Episode 7 didn’t see a lot happen in Robert Kirkman’s universe for The Walking Dead. So I decided to forgo a review on that episode and wait for the midseason finale, which slowly built to a painful end. Although for most followers of the show, it came as no surprise that a main character would be killed off, considering all of the interviews and warnings that this week’s episode would be “heartbreaking.” So enough chatter, let’s get into the episode.
Back at the Hospital . . .
Beth is still residing at the Grady Memorial Hospital with Officer Losing Control, otherwise known to us as Lerner, being on the receiving end of about 900 speeches that somehow justifies Lerner’s actions to herself, in her own mind. Carol finally wakes up, despite being taken off life support, thanks to Beth’s sly skills of obtaining medicine. Lerner has connected the dots that Beth knows Carol. Oh, and Beth helps Lerner take down one of her officers after he overhears the two ladies discussing that Beth will be eternally indebted to Lerner for her protection.
Back at the Church . . .
Michonne, Carl, and Father Gabriel are holding down the fort at the church. Carl has lent Gabriel a knife so he can “defend himself.” Of course, Gabriel uses the machete to break out of the church, go to the school, and discover the remains of what the Termites left, allowing us viewers to revisit Bob’s cooked (and tainted) foot. It’s questionable why this scene would matter, much less make it into this packed episode, aside from the fact that it seems like the writers were trying to be metaphorical. Gareth’s mother, Mary, had apparently left a Bible, which Gabriel discovered. I’m not sure of what the connection there is, but at least the Father’s eyes had finally been opened to the reality of the apocalyptic world they are living in.
When a group of walkers break down a door, Gabriel is forced to retreat back into the woods to get to the church. Again, we get to see the tables turned as he bangs on the door, begging to be let in. We get to see the words scratched on the outside of the church, the place where others died when the Father locked them out. Being the good people they are, Michonne and Carl let him in, and in doing so, lose hold of the stronghold the church has become.
But what better time for the calvary to arrive then now? Abraham, Rosita, Tara, Glenn, and Maggie, along with a bedridden Eugene, return to the church in a firetruck. Michonne breaks the news that Rick & Co. are retrieving Beth and Carol from a hospital in Atlanta, and for the first time in season 5, we get to see Maggie truly care that her sister is, indeed, alive. They quickly decide to join forces with the rest of the team to recover Beth and Carol in Atlanta.
Back in Atlanta . . .
Rick and his crew have been successful in acquiring a few of Lerner’s police officers in order to organize a friendly exchange with no bullets fired. Simply put, it’s a few of Lerner’s guys for Beth and Carol. It doesn’t get too complicated until after Sasha’s let her guard down, and one of the officers escapes, running for his life. When Rick finds the runner, he hits him with a police car, puts a bullet in his head, and tells the dead body to “shut up.”
Back at their base, the other officers plead for a friendly exchange despite losing one of their men. The plan continues, and we’re finally back in the hospital. Carol is first exchanged with one officer. Next, Beth is exchanged with another officer. And then Officer Lerner, perhaps in an effort to not seem weak in front of her officers, demands that Noah returns to them since he was one of her best workers. Noah doesn’t put up much of a fight, but Rick’s company struggles to stand for this, considering the deal was already made. Emotionally struck by the situation, Beth hugs Noah, faces Lerner, and using the scissors she hid in her cast, strikes Lerner in the shoulder. Sadly, the next action ends in a bang (I couldn’t help myself), and Lerner reacts by shooting Beth in the head. Following suite, Daryl shoots Lerner. An all-out gun fight is about to start, but one of Lerner’s officers puts it to a halt before any more blood is shed.
Of course, the episode has built to a dramatic finale. The rest of the group has just arrived to see Rick leading the group, giving a quick, solemn shake of his head, followed by an emotionally distraught Daryl carrying Beth’s dead body. Cut to one devastated Maggie, who never got to reunite with her sister after the battle at the prison from season 4.
And that, folks, is the end of the first half of season 5. And if that picture below doesn’t kill you inside, then you might have a heart. Just kidding.
Discussion Questions/Thoughts for Episode 508
- Will Eugene live? It’s a likely possibility this guy will live, but what good is he now?
- How will Maggie and Daryl deal with Beth’s death? We’ve seen characters, especially Rick, go through every emotion in dealing with a loved one die. Beth’s death hit harder than most, considering the way in which she died, and the fact that she never reunited with her sister or other friends beforehand. Maggie’s been a strong character throughout the show, and she has a husband to lean on. Daryl has lost yet another close friend, yet he seems to box up his emotions whenever necessary.
- What are the repercussions of Beth’s death? Adding to my previous question, how will the rest of the group’s dynamic and emotional state be affected by Beth’s death? Will it push them to make another decision? The preview for the next half of the season seemed to point to that.
- What’s next for the gang? Speaking of that preview, Michonne got to talking about a destination, versus their wandering. A lot of people are predicting the next big set will be Alexandria, a safe zone that includes electricity. Yet how will they deal with the idea of a safe zone when the last two included a sociopathic Governor and a herd of cannibals?
- How does Father Gabriel fit into things? Is there something more to the Father than what we’ve witnessed so far? How will he influence the outcome of the remaining episodes of the season?
- When will Morgan finally join up with Rick? We got another lovely little tidbit featuring Morgan, who always seems to be just a bit behind Rick. Yet he didn’t know it was Rick until he found the map in the church, which had Abraham’s note including the name “Rick Grimes.” So my question is, when (and where) will they finally meet up?!
Favorite Moments from the Episode
- Glenn and Maggie returning to the church to reunite with Michonne
- Daryl shooting Lerner in the head
- Morgan’s post-credit scene
We got a lot of answers, a heavy episode that included a major character death, and now some new questions. What did you think of the mid-season finale? Do you think it was too early for Beth to die? (I did.) Sound off below, because I’d love to know your thoughts!