Sunday, February 8, 2015

Walking Dead - Coda Recap

So, Beth died. 

Photo credit: twitter
Yes, Joey, Beth dies.  And I’m super torn up about it too.  If I could put my TV in the freezer, I totally would. 

I waited so long to write this recap because I was just feeling too many feels.  The episode thankfully spared Carol but we all knew someone had to go, and it ended up being poor, sweet Beth. 

The episode started with a pre-credits sequence that was possibly the most brutal and heartless cold open we’ve ever seen on the show. 

Rick chases after New Bob, hopping in a police cruiser and speeding through the alleyway.  He repeatedly commands Bob to “STOP” through the speaker system, but New Bob isn’t a good listener.  When he doesn’t stop, Rick stops him.  By bashing into him with the car.

But this is no hit and run. New Bob mewls on the ground, asking for help, and Rick saunters over to him.  We see Rick from New Bob’s perspective.  He’s just a tall, dark, foreboding silhouette. 

Rick says, “It didn’t have to be like this, you just had to stop.”  New Bob pleads with him, and Rick responds, “Can’t go back Bob.”  Eerie, considering these are the exact same words that Gareth said to Old Bob back in the premiere at Terminus.  In short order, Rick executes New Bob, shooting him squarely in his shiny bald forehead. 

DAYM RICK!  That’s cold.  Ice cold.  The new Grimes motto seems to be ‘Live Grimes, Or Die.’  I’m not exactly shocked, but this wasn’t a predictable turn of events either.  Gotta be honest though and say that I’m totally glad New Bob is gone.  That dude was kind of a drag.

Back at the school, Gabriel continues his pointless walkabout.  He’s just so useless.  He putters around, browsing the discarded Termite magazine selection.  His focus eventually shifts to the maggot infested Bob-B-Q.  Listen, I’m no cannibal, but that leg had some serious meat left on it.  Yeah, sure, I’m a terrible person.  While I’m thinking doggie bags, Gabriel is having a little freak out.  He causes such a racket that the walkers bust out of the church and start to pursue him.

Of course Gabriel runs away and leads the horde directly to the church.  Do not pass Go, Do not collect any common sense.  Instead of going in the way he left, he bangs on the door to be let in. Carl starts to immediately dismantle the door barricade showing that he has much more mercy than his father who, let’s be real, probably would’ve left the pitiful priest out there to rot.  Michonne apparently also shares Carl’s penchant for mercy, as she tells him to step aside.  She hacks the door open with an axe, and then proceeds to katana chop an entire parade of walkers.  All with Judith on her back.  Bad.  Ass.  Michonne proves time and time again that she is the momma lion that the Grimes kiddos need. 

The trio retreats to the rectory and Carl shimmies down the escape hatch. Gabriel steps crazily out of character and insists that Michonne go down first.  Gabriel lets go of the door, and as he starts to lower himself down the hole, a walker lunges face first into a strategically placed machete.  The walker’s skull splits open like a ripe cantaloupe, splattering a shocked Gabriel with braaaains. 

Back at the warehouse, Rick lets Daryl know that he killed New Bob using, “he wouldn’t stop” as the reason why.  This seems perfectly reasonable to Daryl, and they immediately start brainstorming a new plan.  Lady Cop overhears and takes the opportunity to contribute.  She deftly spins the story.  She comments on Lamson’s death, saying, “He was a good man.  Attacked by rotters.” She pleads with Rick to let them help.  Baldie cop seems to be cooperative, echoing Lady Cop’s story.  

Over in Slabtown Dawn is sweatin’ to the oldies while Beth putters around her office, cleaning.  They chat about Captain Hansen, Dawn’s predecessor, and Beth starts to ask the hard-hitting questions.  Dawn circumvents the answers, waxing poetic about her job and earning respect and blah blah blah.  It’s all just Charlie Brown ‘wah-wah’ noise from Dawn at this point.  We don’t care.  You’re a horrible person Dawn. Just get over yourself.

We feel your pain Charlie. #JeSuisBored
Photo Credit: dabble in travel
Back at the church, Carl and Michonne regroup outside of the church.  Michonne wanders over to Gabriel and confronts him in a very un-Rick way.  Her cool and collected demeanor is increasingly a counterpoint to Rick’s way of doing things.  She doesn’t get too many answers from Gabriel, but it doesn’t really matter, because what’s done is done.  The walkers start to bust out of the church when the cavalry arrives.

Yay!  The firetruck! Maggie jumps out and hugs Michonne as if she hasn’t seen her in years, even though…didn’t they only leave one day ago?

By way of hello, Glenn simply says, “Eugene lied.  He can’t stop it.  Where is everybody?”  Way to throw Eugene under that fire truck, buddy.

Michonne gets a huge grin on her face and turns to Maggie, saying, “Beth’s alive.”  Maggie responds, “Beth who?” Just kidding - she’s really happy and starts crying.  But honestly she hasn’t cared one iota about Beth since the prison, so I’m pretty surprised that she’s so emotional.

Speaking of Beth, she’s perched on top of the elevator shaft, peering thoughtfully into the darkness.  Of course her bestie Dawn finds her to gabble on some more about her demons.  Honestly, Beth should just tell Dawn to go find a therapist.  Instead, Beth slaps her in the face with a truth bomb.  She lays down the facts for Dawn, saying that the world is different now, and that she needs to accept things the way they are.

As the two women chat, one of the evil officers sidles through the door to confront Dawn.  He says that he thinks she’s cracking, just like Hansen.  Dawn says she’s nothing like Hansen, because she killed Hansen.  While we’re all mulling over how nonsensical this reasoning sounds, evil officer starts to sweet talk Dawn, reminding her of their past as coworkers and friends as he slinks his way closer to her.   Fwack!  He smacks the gun out of her hands, and it goes skittering down into the elevator shaft. 

A pretty awesome fistfight commences.  Most hilarious line of the episode goes to evil officer who tosses Beth off his back and screams, “Stay in your lane, bitch!”  What lane?  The metaphorical lane of wards versus officers I guess? This guy is funny.  Too bad he’s about to die.

Dawn karate chops evil officer in the throat, and he stumbles.  Beth assists and shoves the guy through the elevator shaft.  Evil officer falls through and the croak of walkers can be heard from below as Dawn thanks Beth.  The two women stand in the elevator door frame in silence. 

A bit later, Dawn seeks out Beth yet again, this time armed with a flask and two glasses. Beth is slumped against the wall in Carol’s room, clearly in no mood for company. Dawn pours some liquor into a glass for Beth and tells her it’s ok to cry.  Apparently big girls do cry, because Dawn admits to crying alone sometimes.  Dawn settles down onto Carol’s bed. Dear God, it would be amazing if Carol sprang to life and murdered Dawn right now, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards. 

Again, the two have what’s become a pretty standard yawnfest about Dawn’s intentions and Beth’s view of those intentions.  She offers for Beth to be “a part of this thing” because she’s touched by Beth’s sweet murdering skillz.  She says she will remember what Beth did.

Outside of the hospital, Tyreese and Sasha have a sibling bonding moment while on sniper patrol.  Tyreese confesses about Martin.  Sasha blinks hard and focuses on him.  Tyreese says that he’s relieved, because he thinks that his inability to kill Termite Martin and Sasha letting her guard down with New Bob are on par, proving that they’re both still tenaciously holding on to their old values.  Sasha disagrees.  She’s glad that Tyreese is still the same, but she thinks she needs to change.  She says this as she adjusts the scope on a high-powered semi-automatic weapon, blatantly underscoring that, yep, if you haven’t noticed, this world is very different than before and that change is probably a good idea.

Down on the ground, the show takes an amazeballs detour into action movie territory.  A cop car pulls up into an abandoned parking lot and two of the officers get out, guns drawn.  Rick holds his hands up.  He says, “I’m here to make a proposal.” 

Rick explains that they want to make an even trade.  They’ll exchange two of the cops in return for Carol and Beth.  A giant walker ambles toward the cop car as one of the officers asks where Rick’s people are.  Pop!  Sasha shoots the giant from her sniper perch, and Rick smirks in response saying, “They’re close.”  Cheeky Rick.   

Dawn accepts the terms, and our crew makes their way into the hospital.  Cut to a shot of Beth getting ready to leave, putting on the same disgusting clothing she came in with.  Like any diligent member of the Grimes gang, she smuggles her purloined scissors away in her cast for good measure. 

Carol is wheeled out in a wheelchair. Apparently even though the world has ended, arcane hospital regulations live on.   

The two groups meet in Western shootout style across a dimly lit hospital corridor.  The shot is at a tilted angle, keeping the viewer a bit off kilter.  Dawn asks, “Where’s Lamson?” The Lady Cop and baldie cop respond as planned:  “Rotters got him.” “We saw it go down.”

They start the exchange, first baldie for wheelchair Carol.  Then, Dawn brings over Beth in exchange for Lady Cop.  Rick encircles Beth with an arm, and gives her a fatherly nuzzle on the head as he guides her toward the door. 

Everything’s totally cool, when Dawn decides to be a total buzz kill and ruins everything.  She calls out, “Now I just need Noah, and then you can leave.”

Lady Cop tries to interject, but Dawn shuts her up.  Daryl and Rick step up and say no, that wasn’t part of the deal.  Noah starts to move back towards Dawn.  Rick argues for a moment, and then gives in when he sees that Noah is willing to go.  Noah makes his way down the hall when Beth yells, “Wait!”  She goes to hug Noah goodbye and Dawn ruins the moment once again by creepily whispering, “I knew you’d be back.”

Beth releases Noah, and turns to Dawn.  She says, “I get it now,” and suddenly stabs Dawn in the shoulder with her concealed scissors. 

BANG!  Dawn reflexively retaliates by shooting Beth DIRECTLY IN THE HEAD.  As Beth crumples to the ground, everyone freezes at this unexpected turn of events.  Everything starts to move in slo-mo.  Everyone’s eyes are wide, jaws slack.  Dawn’s eyes are full of panic and regret, but Daryl doesn’t care.  His face crumples into a sob, and he strides toward Dawn, not hesitating as he puts a cap into her forehead. 

Everyone readies their weapons, and a shootout seems imminent when Lady Cop shouts, “Stand down!  It’s over.  It was just about her.”

Both sides listen, lowering their weapons.  Our gang has teary eyes all around, immobilized with shock.  Lady Cop extends an invitation to stay, but our gang declines.  Rick steps up and offers to take anyone who wants to leave, but doesn’t appear to get any takers.  

As this tragic scene unfolds in the hospital, the fire truck rolls up to the front entrance, literally moments too late.  They clear a path to the front entrance, while Gabriel wanders behind them like a lost puppy.  

The fire truck crew reaches the front door as the rest of our gang exits the hospital with somber faces.  Maggie’s face lights up, but she quickly crumples to the ground when she sees the truth. 

In an iconic moment for the show, Daryl walks out of the hospital, Beth in his arms.  The final scene is a long shot of Daryl slowly carrying Beth towards her grieving sister, a broken Atlanta rising in the background.

Tears.  So many tears.


Following the credits, there’s a shot of one of those mysterious X men symbols in a tree.  The shot pans back to reveal a hooded figure.  IT’S MORGAAANNN!!!  I love the music that’s been accompanying his journey.  It’s peaceful, almost Enya-like.  It makes me feel good about the place that Morgan is in mentally.  He looks like a well-geared superhero as he surveys the damage at the schoolhouse.  The magazines that Gabriel had looked at earlier in the episode have aged, browning and curling at the corners. 

Morgan approaches the altar at the church and creates a small shrine with some curious items.  He carefully lines up a blue rabbits foot, a snack cake, and a single bullet.  He kneels for a moment then raises his head and chuckles to himself a bit.  As he starts to exit the church, he steps on something.  He lifts it up to examine it, and sees the note.  “The new world’s gonna need Rick Grimes.” YES!


- I cannot wait for Morgan to catch up with our gang, but if the aging of those magazines is any indication, it’s going to be awhile until they meet up.

- Why did Beth stab Dawn in the shoulder and not the neck?  She knows better than that.  I was pretty disappointed that Beth’s last moments on the show made her look incapable and stupid. 

- Dawn’s path is definitely serving as a cautionary tale for Rick – Rick is also a cop who killed his old partner when he became unstable.  Like Dawn, Rick is losing some of his humanity, but how much further will he go?  How much further can he go before he loses everything?

- Ummmm, WTF does Slabtown mean?  This was never explained on the show, but I decided to look it up, and it’s actually pretty interesting.  So, if you need a bit of reading material while you wait for tonight’s episode – here you go!

1 comment:

  1. I think the leftovers from the bob-o-que was because bob started screaming tainted meat and all the termites were spitting it out. I didn't cry when Beth died bc her only job was to take care of Judith and let's face it Michonne is a much better choice then Beth. I also won't miss her singing.