The Walking Dead Season 5 Review “Coda”

The Walking Dead 508 Coda 02

The Walking Dead 508 Coda 02

The Walking Dead completed the first half of their fifth season with the rather underwhelming mid-season finale “Coda.” With unsatisfying conclusions to some storylines, and nonexistent conclusions to others, I couldn’t help but feel a bit let down at what was going on tonight. That’s not to say that nothing worked out

The episode kicked off right where the last one left off, with Bob Lamson running from Rick after he knocked out Sasha. I get that this was supposed to be an eye-catching and exciting opening scene for the episode, but it didn’t really do much for me. There was just a few too many questions for me. How long after his escape did this happen? How did Rick find Sasha and know where to look for Bob? Why didn’t Bob run in a freakin’ zig zag, or try to go in one of those buildings?! The dude deserved to get hit. He tried to outrun a car in a straight alley! I get that Rick shooting him is supposed to show the mindset that he’s in right now, but it didn’t make sense since it was clearly the right choice. The guy attacked one of your team members, he’s clearly not to be trusted, and he didn’t stop when you told him to. Seems pretty cut and dry to me.

Father Gabriel continues to be a puzzling presence on this show. I’m literally shocked that he lived through the season, or that the team deems him valuable enough to keep him around. The guy does nothing every week except putting the rest of the team at risk. Today he managed to screw up the church as a valuable safe haven, and almost got Michonne, Carl, and Judith killed in the process.

I was not a fan of these church scenes from last week, and I didn’t like these much either, but it was slightly saved by the return of Abraham’s group in their big ol’ fire truck. I’m happy to see them all back in the group, but it really highlights how incredibly useless this little diversion to DC was. It was clearly just a desperate need for giving Abraham something to do, and it feels weird that they just fall back into the group and act like nothing happened. Michonne just gets a sour look on her face when she’s told that Eugene was lying about DC. As if Eugene just ate the last can of beans or something.

Meanwhile, more stuff I don’t like is going down at the hospital. Look, I get that she’s dead and all, but I did not care about Dawn. I just didn’t. She’s sad about this Hanson guy dying, and she’s dealing with this power struggle at her hospital, and she’s trying to keep her island of misfit toys together without having them kill each other, but I just don’t care. Her little power struggle ended with a climactic fight scene between her and this O’Donnell guy, who has had a total of three lines before tonight. The Walking Dead writers tried to have it both ways with this hospital storyline. They wanted us to care about these characters they were introducing, but then they wanted them all to be written out or killed off by the end of the season. You either take up less valuable screen time with your boring office politics and melodrama or actually make these characters and storylines matter. It looks like the only character that will carry over into next season is Noah, but that’s about it.

So yes, let’s get to the big moment of the episode. Beth’s death was definitely a gut punch, and an incredibly powerful and depressing way to end the season, but I just wish it was handled better. Not much in this scene made sense. The exchange seemed pretty fair to me. Heck, maybe a little unfair on Rick’s part. Dawn is getting two trained officers back in exchange for a tiny teenage girl and a middle-aged woman. Why was she trying to bite off more than she could chew with asking for Noah? I guess she was trying to look powerful in front of her subordinates, but why? You’re getting two of your guys back, and asking for more just makes you look reckless and greedy. Oh, and then Beth tries to stab an armed officer with a tiny pair of scissors. Beth has been known to not make many good decisions, and this was probably the top of the list.

I do have to say that this is probably the most I’ve felt from a Walking Dead episode in quite a while. Maybe since Lori died, actually. That’s definitely commendable, but I was actually much more affected by Daryl’s reaction than I was to Maggie’s. Maggie has been surprisingly uninterested in her sister’s welfare since her kidnapping, but it was pretty sad for her to see her dead sister right after she was told she was still alive.

Oh, and speaking of still alive, Morgan made yet another appearance tonight. He didn’t have any lines again, but he did see a piece of paper that had Rick’s name on it. His surprised reaction to seeing this paper seems to insinuate that he doesn’t know it’s Rick that he’s been tracking this whole time. I don’t know if he plans to do something good or bad if or when he returns to the group, but I’m pretty excited to see it happen.

So what did you guys think of the episode? Sound off in the comments section below!

Random Thoughts:

– Anybody else see that Better Call Saul preview? What’d you think? I’m still a bit leery about the entire concept of the show, but I’m down for seeing Mike Ehrmentraut and Saul Goodman butting heads!

– Why couldn’t you see Sasha and Daryl in the negotiation scene? They were peeking over the building behind Rick, and not making any efforts to stay hidden.

– So who’s the next character to die? My money is on Father Gabriel!