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12/1/14

The Walking Dead: Mid-Season Finale

Spoilers/discussion after the jump.


Looks like Killer Carol made it through the midway point of the season, and little Beth bit the bullet.

The opening scene, with Rick chasing down the escaped cop, was well done. At this point, giving the dude a chance to surrender and then running him down was about the best way to handle things. 

Rick had the decency of gunning him down, too, instead of leaving him to serve as a live walker snack.

Back at the church, we learn that crazy Gabriel left the church to go to the school...apparently to verify that the cannibals that Team Rick killed were indeed cannibals. Unfortunately, a mini-horde of zombies breaks out from the school and follows him back to the church. Michonne has some good zombie/katana action as they bug out.

Is anyone else getting annoyed that Gabriel ISN'T dead yet? Anyone think they should cut him loose for being crazy? Drop him off in a safe place with some food and say adios?

After some dialog between various characters that didn't matter a whole lot, we find ourselves at the initial encounter between Rick and two of the police officer's, with the rest of the group set up as snipers.

Nice touch to this scene - it looked like Rick had set up a wind flag with an old grocery bag, to help the rest of the group read the wind and make adjustments. It didn't look like they were really far enough to need to make adjustments for wind, but a nice add none-the-less.

Now, due to lazy writer syndrome, Team Rick moves deep into enemy controlled territory (a hallway within the hospital) to make the actual prisoner swap. This is a terrible idea on so many levels, but it was done so that a) the ending could happen and b) they wouldn't have to scout/build another location for the prisoner swap.

We enter into a tense standoff. The close range and lack of cover mean that if anything goes wrong, a whole lotta people are going today.

Swap goes off seemingly well until the group goes to leave and head police woman demands that they leave Noah as well. After some arguing, Noah volunteers to stay. Beth takes exception to this, goes all crazy and stabs head police lady with a little pair of scissors she had stashed in her cast.

Head police lady shoots Beth in the face, and then a heart broken Daryl finishes head police lady. At this point, I was thinking we might have multiple characters dying - with everyone at spitting distance raising their guns, it was gonna get ugly. Luckily, the cops call off the ensuing gunfight and calmer heads prevail.

Now, you'd never let crazy, pissed off Beth get in head police lady's face to begin with. Not a good negotiation tactic. But then you wouldn't have had the ending that the writer's wanted.

Meanwhile, Team Glenn, Maggie & Associates return to the church, pick up Michonne, Cawrl and baby, and then head to the hospital. Maggie gets her hopes up hearing that Beth is still alive, only to have them dashed when they show up at the prison to see Daryl carrying her lifeless corpse out.

Overall, I was a bit disappointed by the episode. Beth's death was fairly pointless, action was a bit of a let down for a mid-season finale and the ending left you with nothing but "Ok....now what are they going to do?"

At least the group is re-united once again (finally).

And hey - whatever happened to Morgan? We got a brief tease of him following the group early in the season and then...nothing!

Edited to add: If you're cable-free and buy the shows, you need to be more patient than I was and wait 'till after the credits for a sitrep on Morgan. We see him wandering, Book of Eli style, following the trail markings left by the cannibals. He makes his way to the church, where he finds the map left by Abraham - "the new world's going to need Rick Grimes" - queue surprised reaction and then the episode really ends.

That's it from me - what did you think of the episode? If you were in Rick's shoes, where would you go next?

10 comments :

  1. I take it you missed the VERY end of the episode where they brought us up to speed on Morgan...

    They showed him walking into the church (now free of walkers), placing a piece of candy, a rabbits foot and a bullet on the alter while putting the crucifix back on the altar. Then comes the kicker. He is walking out and finds the map left for Rick. He reads the note about the route to Washington and sees the words "RICK GRIMES", then they pan to his astonished face. So looks like he may be heading to Washington incorrectly looking for Rick. Of course at this point the Rick crew may still head there. Previews show them on the road again going somewhere.

    On a side note anyone not watching the after show Talking Dead really needs to. This week they had show creator Robert Kirkman on and he said that even though they may be reports otherwise that Darrell is definitely not gay. He did say there will be a gay character coming soon though.

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  2. Damnit, price I pay for not having cable!

    Agree r.e. Talking Dead - anyone know if it gets streamed for free viewing anywhere?

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  3. The universal reaction to Beth's death seems to be "Blah". She just wasn't a character that anyone really cared about very much. But, when the show runs 'character development episodes' to try to get you to care about the character, people decry it as 'boring' and 'not enough action'. It's a two way street - if you want characters thatyou actually care about you have to have the episodes that show you why you should care about them.

    A good question is exactly WHY Beth killed Dawn to begin with. Beth was minutes away from being with her loved ones so why throw it away? My guess is that after Dawn manipulated Beth into killing, what... three people?, Beth hated Dawn for what Dawn had turned her into. Regardless, it seemed a rather forced plot point. I suppose the only real lasting consequence will be to further shape Daryls character.

    Ricks prisoner exchange was amazingly bad from a tactical standpoint. He's leading his group into a warren of narrow hallways and stairwells, all controlled by his enemy, who could shut the exits behind him at any moment. The parking lot where they originally proposed the deal would have been a better venue.

    A couple things about Morgan that I'm very curious about: is he just wandering or is he actually following Team Rick? If so, what is his attitude towards them...good or bad? And why did he leave his heavily fortified and apparently very well stocked town...did he get driven out? Did it get burned down? Has he gone further around the bend?

    And speaking of character development...why are they keeping that useless priest around? And, come to think of it, Tara isn't exactly carrying a whole lot of storyline either. I think these are he 'redshirts' that the series keeps on hand for when they need a dramatic moment of character death but dont wanna kill any of the big names.

    Previews for next season look mighty similar to the Alexandria Safe Zone...which not only fits the scenese shown but also puts them closer to DC, which has been tossed out as a possible new goal for them. We'll see.

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  4. Also, although it isnt mentioned anywhere, I suspect Emily Kinney ("Beth") wanted off the show to pursue her singing career now that the show had provided her with the exposure to get it off the ground.

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  5. K. here...

    ;)

    http://twdupdate.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/walking-dead-season-5-spoilers-new-photos-show-the-alexandria-safe-zone/

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    Replies
    1. Me again,

      http://moviepilot.com/posts/2014/09/16/leaked-walking-dead-season-5-set-photos-show-a-world-that-s-burning-2274634

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  6. It was an OK episode, but you would think by now that none of Rick's survivors would have been dumb enough to allow one of the cop prisoners to manipulate them into giving him a chance to escape. I'm also very confused by the whole Gabriel situation...that dude needs to go or get to doing something. Also, I crack up at the fact that Rick is the one who spends the least amount of time with his own baby.

    I can't remember what happened to Morgan's son, maybe we find out later that he is grown up and is Noah from the hospital?

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    1. morgan's z-wife killed the son!! he told rick he want down a basement to look for food, he came up and there was his z-wife who preceded to kill her son. this show was the one called "clear"..

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    2. Awesome! Thanks for clearing up my memory on that. I've been meaning to go back and rewatch some of the older seasons, but just haven't got around to it.

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  7. guess it just shows you, they turn, they have to die! there is always a moral problem of killing close family members. could you kill your wife, son, daughter? or would you allow someone else to do it? saw a doom day prepper show where they was talking about this, one guy not only said he would not kill them, he would not allow anyone else to do it. me....I don't think I could, unless there was no one around to do it. then I have to....to bring peace to them and to protect others.

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