Review: The Walking Dead, Ep. 8 "Coda"

Review: The Walking Dead, Ep. 8 "Coda"

The Walking DeadWalking_Dead_Season_5_Poster

Season 5, Episode 8


Rating: A+

When The Walking Dead wants to leave us broken, it very much knows how to carry that out perfectly. After weeks of our group being split, scattered to 3 corners of the Atlanta area, they are finally reunited in the last new episode of 2014.

Before I get to the big meat of everything, let’s take a minute to talk about the potatoes. There’s a moment here where Rick truly crosses the line. There are no cannibals here to excuse it. Bob Lamenson, the nice-guy officer of the previous episode who uses Sasha’s affection for the now-dead Bob of our group to escape. Rick mows him down in his own car. As the officer lays on the ground, sputtering blood, telling Rick his back is broken, Rick calmly raises the python and pull the trigger.

When he gets back to the other two officers they’re holding, they are insistent that Lamenson was eaten by rotters. They explain that if Dawn knows that Rick killed him, the deal will never go off. Now that they’ve found out how serious Rick and the others are, they just want to get out of this whole thing alive.

Meanwhile, Dawn is talking to Beth about what it means to survive in this world. She talked about holding out, doing what you have to, just a little bit longer. Just until help finally gets there, until the world is finally fixed. Beth snaps at this, and tells Dawn that there is no help. This is it. This is the world now. When Dawn is attacked by one of her officers, she manipulates Beth into killing him, holding that over her, making it seem like Beth owes her. Dawn isn’t as stupid as she seems to be. She’s aware the Beth knows Carol. Throughout both of these conversations with Dawn, she begins to look more and more unstable. Her eyes are glassy, she constantly looks like she’s on the verge of tears, and she keeps going on about the extremes one has to go to to survive. Using it as justification for her actions, kidnapping (‘saving’) people, forcing them to stay in the hospital, choosing which patients die and which patients live.

Finally, it’s time for the exchange. The tension is palpable as Rick and the other lead the bound cops down the dark hallways of the hospital. Beth wheels the newly awake Carol out and down the hall, the doctor walking alongside. Dawn and the rest of her officers are waiting, pistols at the ready. The two groups holster their weapons, and step toward each other. The exchange works, Carol first, then Beth. There’s a moment where everything seems like it’s going to be okay, our group turns to leave, everyone smiling, Beth finally back where she belongs, when Dawn demands that they give her Noah. “That wasn’t the deal!” Rick shouts at her, but Noah stops him, saying it’s okay, and turns to walk to Dawn. Beth tells him to wait, runs forward and gives him a hug, then steps to Dawn. “I get it now. What you have to do.” She says as tears well up in her eyes. She reaches into her cast, pulling out a pair of medical scissors she hid earlier, and stabs Dawn. Right as she does, a gun goes off, and the back of Beth’s head blows out and toward the camera, in yet another graphic death of a well-loved character. This is up there with the Governor hacking away at Hershel’s neck. Robert Kirkman has something against the other members of the Greene family.

Dawn barely has time to register what she’s done, and you can see in her face she didn’t necessarily mean to do it, but it’s too late. Daryl has already raised his gun and pulled the trigger, and Dawn has a hole in her forehead. The other cops raise their guns and the whole thing turns into a mexican standoff. One of the officers our group captured tells everyone to stop that it was just about her, just about Dawn, and no one else has to die. “It’s over.” she says. Rick stumbles in lowering his weapon. There’s no one to kill, no one left to punish. Maggie and the Washington group has gotten back to the church, picked up Carl and Michonne since the church is now lost (more on that below) and arrive at the hospital just in time to see Daryl carrying Beth’s body out. If Daryl crying wasn’t enough to push you over the edge into tears, Maggie’s visceral, animal-like reaction to seeing her sister’s body in Daryl’s arms will. She screams, she falls to the ground, and I have tears in my eyes just thinking about it.

Norman Reedus said that Beth was Daryl’s proof that there is kindness and good in the world. Now she’s gone. I don’t know what our group will look like next year, losing Beth is going to be a big thing. For Daryl, for Carol, for Maggie & Glenn, Beth’s murder is going to reverberate throughout the rest of this season. We will miss you Beth, miss your songs, your optimism, and your kindness. Rest in peace.

Stuff And Things

  • – Noah survived… but at the cost of Beth’s life…

       Okay I didn’t put this in the main part because it made me want to slap my TV. During this whole thing with the hospital, Father Gabriel tries to strike out on his own, and his idiocy and unwillingness to kill Walkers causes a herd to follow him back to the church, and they lose the church as a haven and place of safety. It’s overrun, and the only reason Michonne, Carl, and baby Judith didn’t get overwhelmed and killed was the timely arrival of the Washington group in a firetruck.  Gabriel is beyond useless, his uselessness is flat out dangerous at this point.

Categories: Entertainment