The Walking Dead Midseason 5 Finale Recap: Boom Clap

I know, I know. I’m over The Walking Dead. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to watch the midseason finale! It’s a doozy. Or rather, the last few minutes of the episode are engrossing. The rest, well…it’s the new normal of sullen predictability.

Rick finalizes his metamorphosis into Bad Ass Rick, emphasis on the bad. Rick’s singular purpose is on his group, his people, and no one else. As such he takes out Officer Bob after New!Bob knocks out Sasha and attempts to escape. Rick didn’t have to kill him. Heck, he didn’t even after to run him over. He just had to drive his car around, cut off New!Bob’s frantic run, and re-apprehend him. Why didn’t he? Because he didn’t feel like it. This is New!Rick. How do you like him?

Boring, stupid stuff takes up most of the episode, all of which is a move to confirm that we are done with the church location. Thanks to Father Gabriel screwing up, the church gets ransacked by a horde of Walkers. Michonne, Carl, Judith, and Father Clumsy Foot are marooned outside of the church. Luckily the sullen red fire engine of lies returns, and the reunited crew take out the horde of Walkers. With Beth and Carol soon to be rescued, they decide to make a full move to Atlanta and start up again on the road, together and stronger than ever.

But this is The Walking Dead. The only people who describe themselves as together and stronger than ever are cannibals, and we all know how long they lasted.

Dawn wasn’t pushed far enough to be a compelling villain/anti-hero/whatever. Instead, she became a muddled gray shade of a character—vicious and power hungry in one moment, jealous and snippy in the next, and even sad and remorseful in flashes. Dawn is a fuzzy carbon copy of Battlestar Galactica‘s Admiral Cain, played by the incomparable Michelle Forbes. They’re both ladies in charge who have taken their resolve and command over their officers to the brink. They even both enjoy exercise machines!

We shall always remember Dawn and her wacky hospital crew as she’s responsible for Beth’s death. The OGs and the HCs (Hospital Crew, get it?) successfully trade hostages. That is, until Dawn demands Noah to be returned to her. UM CAN WE TALK ABOUT TWO WHITE PEOPLE ARGUING OVER WHO OWNS A YOUNG BLACK MAN? Notice that? No? Well you should.

Beth hugs Noah goodbye, outraged by Dawn’s demand. She decides to stick one to her former captor, stabbing her with hidden scissors. Dawn pulls her gun trigger by reflex, obliterating Beth’s brains. Daryl subsequently obliterates Dawn’s brains.

So much for together and stronger than ever.

What made Beth’s untimely (but not totally unforeseen) death all the more heart-wrenching was Maggie. Not like this show cares about Maggie in any way shape or form, but the writers did give us a dash of tragic dramatic irony. Her fall to the ground in tears and despair when she witness Daryl carry her sister’s dead body out of the hospital almost broke my heart. Before we could really dig deep into Beth mourning, the episode abruptly ends.

We did at least receive another scene involving Morgan. He finally knows Rick Grimes is alive! Yay! Yay? Really, at this point I’m Team Morgan regardless of whether Morgan is on Team Rick or Team Anti-Rick. So, yay!

Walker of the Week: Does Bob’s maggot-infested foot count as Walker of the Week? No? Okay, then, the disemboweled Walker looked cool. Walkers/Rotters/The Dead took a backseat in this midseason finale as the truly creepy and monstrous elements came from The Living instead.

Badass of the Week: Beth. All the Beth. Beth really became the star of the Grady Memorial Hospital scenes. Even with Whale Rider zombie and Everybody Hating on Chris, Beth shined as a scrappy, complex but ultimately good-hearted character. If her supporting characters (besides Noah) were as vibrant as she is/was, then I wouldn’t have minded a Grady Memorial Hospital spinoff.

ALL THE QUESTIONS!

  • This is a rhetorical question, but is it really okay for basic cable to depict someone’s head exploding in gunfire? I mean, I’m all for the proliferation of uncensored images but damn.
  • Will Rick feel guilty about how he killed Officer Bob? Will he tell anyone about how it really went down?
  • Will the others feel more and more uneasy with Rick’s behavior and attitude, let alone his de facto leader role?
  • Where will the group go? Are we headed towards Washington, D.C. anyway?
  • Will Maggie get a fruitful storyline not tied to her husband Glen?
  • Will Glen fulfill all my hopes and dreams and lead the group over Rick?
  • When will Carol and Daryl take their relationship to the next level?
  • What the hell is happening with Morgan?!
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