The Walking Dead, Season 5 – “Coda” – Mid-Season Finale

the walking dead season 5 - beth in daryls arms

the walking dead, season 5 - beth in daryls arms

I don’t usually give a SPOILER alert, but I’m going to assume you’ve watched this episode. You’ve been warned.

Well, friends, The Walking Dead, Season 5 mid-season finale has come and gone. How many of you are pissed? Not because of the break until the show returns on February 8, 2015, but because of the tragic ending.

For the first time since I can remember, the mid-season or season finale didn’t give us a cliffhanger in which the group wasn’t in peril or at the mercy of some other nefarious group. No, this one broke our hearts. The attempt was made to break our hearts in more ways that one, but only one was successful.

Bob #2

Along the way to our heartbreak we were treated to a pretty eventful episode with a few bad-ass moments. One such moment happened at the top of the episode with Rick chasing down an escaping Bob #2, picking up exactly where we left off last episode, “Crossed.” Rick, using the megaphone in the squad car, tells Bob to stop running. When Bob keeps going, Rick runs him down with the cop car and sends him flying. As Bob writhes and squirms on the ground, stating that he thinks Rick broke his back, Rick simply says, “all you had to do was stop.” Then Bob goes into some crap about seeing Rick for who he is and that he’s been out there too long. Rick then shoots him in the head and says, “Shut up.”

Just last week I was praising Rick for his balance, for finding a way to be brutal in the world while being a loving and protective father and leader. This act with Bob, however, seemed unnecessarily brutal. True that he couldn’t let Bob return to his group at the hospital, but Rick didn’t need to run him down with a car or shoot him in the head. So, has Rick gone too far or is this what it takes to survive? What does it say about Rick to be able to return to his group and nonchalantly explains Bob’s absence with, “He wouldn’t stop.”

Pied Gabriel

the walking dead, season 5 - running gabriel
Gabriel is such a dumb ass! But I understand his need to see for himself what went down at the school, where the cannibals had set up camp. He needs to know if the people he is with are honestly good, that they did the right thing by executing those men in his church. It’s funny how he’s still living in the cannibal aftermath while the rest of our group has moved on and all but forgotten about that threat.

Maggie the Drama Queen

the walking dead, season 5 - beth in daryls arms, maggie on ground
Ford’s group returns just as Carl, Gabriel, Michonne, and Judith are standing outside the compromised church. After some quick updates, Michonne tells Maggie that Beth is alive and that the others went to rescue her. At this news, Maggie breaks down in tears of joy and hope. This scene felt like a staged, last-minute addition to the script that was shot in post to appease the outcry from fans and critics regarding the issue that Maggie hadn’t once mentioned Beth.

Does anyone remember an assumption being made that Beth was dead? Did Daryl say she’d died? No. He still had hope that she was still alive, otherwise he wouldn’t have gone after the black car with the white cross on it. Why did Maggie assume Beth was dead? Why had she given up hope? WTF?!? This scene, and Maggie’s reaction to the news that Beth was alive just doesn’t jive.

As much as the scene between Michonne and Maggie felt contrived, it paled in comparison to the closing scene in which Maggie collapses at seeing Beth’s dead body being carried out of the hospital in Daryl’s arms. Another scene shot in post?


the walking dead, season 5 - hospital exchange
Now, I’m not fool enough to think that The Walking Dead would add scenes into the mid-season finale in an attempt to cover up the plot holes where Maggie is concerned, especially when the episode’s title, “Coda,” seems so well conceived. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it comes from music, which is fitting since Beth was always singing, and from it’s musical definition it’s come to also mean a “concluding event.”

So, we can assume that we’re done with the hospital and we’ll be onto a new adventure come February. Then again, maybe the writers are telling us critics to shut the fuck up about Maggie and Beth. Maybe they just decided in the last hour that they’d kill off Beth since we were complaining so much about Maggie’s lack of interest in her sister.

Oh, the show also tried to gain sympathy for Dawn, and even though I think we felt her sincerity toward Beth, our sympathy fell short. Am I wrong? What did you think of Dawn’s final episode?

The hostage exchange in the hospital’s corridor felt lukewarm at best. There was so much potential for other things to happen, but they didn’t. Perhaps this is to say that neither party was “evil.” That everyone is just doing what they think is best for survival. It was, however, badass that Daryl didn’t hesitate a second before taking out Dawn. But I still don’t understand why Beth felt the need to stab Dawn.

Miscellaneous observations/questions:

the walking dead, season 5 - the wonderer
-Why did Gabriel pick up the deck of cards?
-What did Tara find in the backpack last week?
-So, is all forgiven with Ford?
-Why wasn’t there a bigger reaction when Glenn tells Michonne, Carl, and Gabriel that Eugene had lied about the cure?
-Where is the show going with Tyreese and Sasha? They keep visiting their issue, but only briefly.
-OK, we saw Carol stirring to consciousness when Beth and Dawn were talking in her room, but couldn’t there have been an interim scene before Carol was being wheeled out, fully awake?
-When Rick negotiates with the two cops outside of the parking garage, and one of the cops asks, “Where are your people,” and just then one of Rick’s snipers (I think it was Sasha) takes out a Walker, and Rick answers, “They’re close. Radio your lieutenant, I’ll wait.” That shit was BADASS!
-Did anyone take Rick up on his offer to join them?
-Did you stick around after the mid-season credits? We got to see that black wonderer we saw at the end of this season’s first episode. So, he’s still on the trail of our group, but is he intentionally following them? What he does here is give mercy to a Walker outside the school, arrives at the church, stands up the cross, puts some things on the table, lights a candle, and prays, then laughs. Finds a map with Ford’s message to Rick. So, where is this going?

Until February…

Rock Hard \m/

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