When it comes to big episodes, one can always expect something from the Walking Dead mid-season finale. The audience is almost always left with either a major cliffhanger or the death of a beloved character. The producers warned everyone that someone from Rick’s Group would meet their end this episode.
The episode began continuing from last week’s ending, with Officer Bob on the run after knocking Sasha out. As Bob is on foot running away from Rick’s group, the audience sees a determined Rick running after him quickly dispatching Walkers as he chases down Officer Bob. Rick quickly finds a nearby police car and soon enough is racing down on Officer Bob. Through the police car’s speaker Rick tells Officer Bob to stop. After being ignored repeatedly, Rick runs Officer Bob down with the police car. After hitting him at full speed, he had broken the officer’s back. Finally Rick gets out of the car to confront Officer Bob. Bob then tells Rick that his group is going to die and they have been outside for too long. Rick proceeds to shoot him in the head and then tell his corpse to “shut up.”
Father Gabriel has escaped the church and has ventured to the school where the former Terminus group had eaten Bob’s leg. There he is simply walking around and investigating where he comes across Bob’s half-eaten leg. Inside the school, there were some Walkers that now noticed him and are now going after him. As he runs back to the church he realizes that he is shut out, similarly to how he shut out his parishioners before the group met him. He yells for Michonne and Carl to help save him. As they break open the church and try to fend off as many Walkers as they can, they eventually escape through the crawlspace Gabriel created last episode. Once the run into the woods, they bar the church closed and lock the Walkers in.
Rick catches up to Tyreese, Sasha, Darryl, and Noah with the other two police officers captive. Since Rick is now alone and without Officer Bob, he thinks that the prisoner exchange planned last episode will no longer work. The two officers eager to stay alive agree to lie that Officer Bob was killed by Walkers, and not by Rick.
Back at Grady memorial Hospital, the leader of the police officers Dawn is trying to radio the missing officer that Rick has hostage. At this point, she is worried, but not overly worried, since the officers rarely answer their radios. Beth is cleaning Dawn office during this when she puts a picture on Beth’s mantle. It is a picture of Captain Hanson (Dawn former boss). Beth asks Dawn what happened, and Dawn in a very cryptic fashion says that Hanson lost his way and his officers stopped backing him up.
Back at the church Michonne asks Gabriel why he left, and he tells her that he needed to confirm that they were telling the truth about the Terminus people. Just as the Walkers begin breaking down the barricades at the church, a fire trick comes out of nowhere and parks in front of the church to seal them in. Abraham and the rest of the group with him came back from their trip to Washington to save the day. They tell Michonne the truth that Eugene was lying the whole time and didn’t know anything about saving the world. Michonne then gets the opportunity to tell Maggie that her sister Beth is not dead (as Maggie had suspected) and that Rick and the rest of the group were going into Atlanta to rescue her. Now they are all going to go to Atlanta to participate in the rescue and be reunited.
At the hospital, one of the police officers is chastising an orderly about not properly stitching his uniform and almost physically assaulting the orderly. Clearly the power has gone to their heads. Meanwhile Beth is with Dawn and Beth is explaining to her that this is the world that they have and it’s not going to get any better. The angry police officer comes into the area questioning Dawn leadership. This leads to a tense argument where Dawn ends up pulling her gun on the officer and confirming that she killed Hanson. While the two argue, it soon enough comes to blows. Dawn manages to hold her own but eventually the officer gets the better of her and then Dawn calls for Beth’s help. Beth then helps Dawn thrown the officer down an empty elevator shaft to be eaten by Walkers. After they recover, Beth tells Dawn that she eventually going to leave. Dawn then says she’ll be back. Beth reminds Dawn of Noah to escaped, and Dawn said that he will be back as well, “they always do.”
Outside the hospital on the roof, Tyreese and Sasha discussing he being taken down by Officer Bob as he tells her not to be too hard on herself. Tyreese then tells her that the Terminus resident that she killed was the one that he let go the first episode and lied to the group about killing. He reminds her that they are the same people they were before the apocalypse. Sasha tells Tyreese that he still is a good person, but she can no longer be one. They take sniper positions as Rick meets up with some more police officers to propose the trade. After Rick has Sasha display that they have superior firepower, they proceed with arranging the trade.
Beth dresses in normal clothes and then proceeds to his a pair of scissors in her cast. She wheels a now awake Carol down the hallway where the trade is about to be made. Rick then walks the two cops forward. Dawn asks about Officer Bob, and the other two cops continue the lie that he was killed by Walkers. The trade proceeds as planned, but at the last minute Dawn asks for Noah back. Rick and the group are hesitant, but Dawn then states that if she doesn’t get Noah back, then the deals off. Noah not wanting anymore bloodshed voluntarily goes back to Dawn’s group. Beth goes to hug Noah goodbye and then Dawn says to Noah “I knew you’d be back.” This sets Beth off and she proceeds to stab Dawn in the shoulder with the scissors.
Almost involuntarily, Dawn shoots Beth in the head. Both groups are taken aback by this action. Darryl immediately shoots a surprised Dawn in the head. As the cops and Ricks group draw their guns for a showdown, one of the other officers then tells her cops to back off. Beth’s dead and Dawn’s dead, there’s no need for further bloodshed. They invite Rick’s group to stay with them as a peace offering. Rick tells them know and invites anyone from the hospital group to come with his group if they want to. Soon after that Abraham and the rest of the group make their way to the hospital, where they are met with sad news that Beth has died as the episode ends in a sad way.
Another incredible episode! Some fans who were expecting an all out battle between Rick’s group and the police officers will be disappointed, but this was a great episode either way.
Rick is continuing to go towards the darkside. He no longer has any remorse about killing unarmed people. Anyone he deems a threat is being dealt with extreme prejudice. After breaking Officer Bob’s back with the car, he shoots him in the head that would make a mobster proud. He is not to similar from Shane when the series first began. He can no longer afford morals in this world and seems to be growing more comfortable with it.
It seemed like in the end that Dawn was beginning to see the error of her ways. Its seems like her talks with Beth made her realize that she was doing things the wrong way and turning a blind eye to her fellow officers rape survivors made her see that she needed to change, hence the fight and killing of the aggressive officer. So far, she’s actually the most complicated villain the Walking Dead has had. Everyone the group has face had been completely “bad guys.,” but not Dawn. She’s not necessarily evil, but nowhere near good.
Beth has seen great character growth and improvement this season. It’s a shame she died this episode because it seemed like she finally understood this world and was able to hold her own. She was able to get Dawn to see the error of her ways, and was figuring out how to survive under an occupation. She’s grown a long ways from the singing girl who held baby Judith while everyone else went on adventures. Her death is tragic because she was pretty much written off by everyone except Darryl. Now that they knew she was alive, there was hope. Now that hope is squashed with them being so close to rescuing her only for her to die.
Speaking of Darryl, he was the one who delivered the kill shot to Dawn. He had invested time energy into saving her for her to die a few feet away from him. He was unable to save little Sophia, and now unable to save Beth as well. This has got to be nerve racking him as well. Speaking of Darryl, the producers confirmed during the Talking Dead episode that he is heterosexual, so there goes a previous theory.
Comic Vs. Show:
Once again, this whole arc is not from the comic book, so this is brand new territory.
The only theme came from the comic is when Rick ran down Officer Bob. In the comic book when Rick was help captive by The Governor, his group escapes with the help of one of the Governor’s former people named Martinez. It turns out Martinez was just a mole The Governor sent to find out where Ricks group was staying. Once he finds the prison, he begins to run away. Rick runs him down in a similar fashion before beating him to death signifying Ricks turn towards extreme violence. Instead of beating Officer Bob to death like Martinez was, Rick shoots him in the head.
With Noah joining the group, one can hope that they will go north towards Washington DC to Noah’s family and this will probably lead to the Alexandra Safe Zone being a major part of the second half of the season.
The Walking Dead show
The Walking Dead Comic Book