BWW Discussion: Death, Development, and Scaredy-Priests; THE WALKING DEAD Fall Finale Had It All
Sunday's mid-season finale of AMC's THE WALKING DEAD delivered yet another gut-wrenching episode complete with twists, turns, and plenty of tears. Basically, everything we've come to expect from this zombie hit, still going strong with record-breaking ratings at season five. Even though we have to wait until February to see what's next for Rick Grimes and the gang, these two recappers still have a lot to talk about. Check out my conversation with THE WALKING DEAD recapper Jennifer McHugh, because a lot happened, and you need to know about all of it. Spoilers abound, so proceed with caution.
SAD, BUT NOT SURPRISED
Jennifer: Welp, I knew it would be either Beth or Carol, and as sad as it was, I'm glad it wasn't Carol. But Maggie's reaction almost destroyed me.
Kara: Oh my gosh, see, I went into it 100% convinced that it was going to be Carol, and I'm so relieved it wasn't, because that would have killed me. And yeah, poor Maggie...Although it still bothers me that she never seemed that compelled to actually go out and find her sister herself...y'know, the way she was with Glenn last season, but what can you do.
Jennifer: I agree! Multiple times in my recaps this season I asked the question "Has Maggie even inquired about Beth's whereabouts?"
Kara: Yeah, the thing with Maggie just never sat well with me. And I think if she had at least mentioned Beth at some point, even just a casual "I miss my sister" to Glenn, anything, really, it would have made her reaction to Beth's death so much more powerful. It was still sad, of course, but it would have had more punch if I actually believed in their relationship.
And it's too bad that Beth had to get killed off right when I feel like she was really starting to come into her own. After going through...sort of "Badass Training Camp" with Daryl last season, and then being on her own for the first time at the hospital, I think you started to see little glimmers of what she could be. Like, there was a lot of potential there.
Jennifer: Yes. Beth became much more interesting once she stopped singing and actually started learning to defend herself. Father Gabriel could take a few lessons from her. Maybe he needs to go through Dixon Boot Camp.
THERE'S A NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN
Jennifer: Interesting that Rick is not about the second chances anymore. He told Bob to stop, he didn't, he dead. Quite a turnaround from past seasons.
Kara: Oh yeah. We really need to talk about Rick. Those first few minutes with him were just pure gold. He's come such a long way from that baby-faced "Officer Friendly" we met in season one. I think he definitely learned a lot from the whole Governor mess last season. He gave that guy too many chances, and look what happened. And it's interesting, I've heard some people saying that Rick has become the new Shane, in some ways. It makes you wonder if maybe Shane was just a little too ahead of his time way back when on the farm.
Jennifer: Rick has definitely evolved into Shane. I think Shane was like that right from the start, and it seemed so harsh at the time. But going with Rick to get to that point makes so much more sense. It'd be interesting if Shane hadn't died, where his and Rick's relationship would be now. Would they be friends or mortal enemies? Everyone has changed so much, it's hard to say.
Kara: The big difference between Shane and Rick though, when you get right down to it, is motivation. Shane was motivated by his fixation on Lori and his jealousy of Rick more than anything, I think, whereas Rick is motivated by a pure need to protect his people, his family. Which is why it's so much easier to see Rick as a hero.
NO CHURCH IN THE WILD
Kara: Father Gabriel is a legitimate hot mess. Like, dude is so not cut out for this at all, which is shocking to me, because how long has it been since the turn? How can someone living in this world possibly still be so clueless? I guess that's easy for me to say. Goodness knows I'd certainly be a walking disaster if I got caught up in a zombie apocalypse.
Jennifer: Speaking of Father Gabriel, it's interesting that he came out of the fire truck at the end with the group. He was holding the machete and very carefully walking with them toward the hospital. I wonder if that means he is turning a corner or if he was just curious. I think after the attack on the church he finally got to see firsthand what has turned these people into warriors instead of thinking of them as savages.
Kara: Oh, that fire truck. I can't even tell you how hilarious the image of Abraham's mustache and Eugene's mullet rolling off in a fire truck to save the world was to me--just a side-note. And you're right, I have to think that Father Gabriel had some kind of epiphany after the church fiasco. And now that his church has been overtaken by walkers, he's kind of left with no other choice but to trust these people. Lucky for him, he just happened to bump into the only group of affirmatively good people left in this crazy world. Awfully convenient.
WHAT DO WE WANT TO SEE NEXT?
Jennifer: It's so hard to figure out where they go from here. Are they still going to head to DC?
Kara: Really, where do we go from here? I have heard rumors about finally moving out of Atlanta, which is interesting. You kind of forget that there's an entire country--an entire world?--out there overrun with walkers. That's scary to think about it. But it could be cool to see a change of scenery.
Jennifer: I would love to see how other cities and locations are handling this situation. They certainly did rule the hospital out very quickly, but I think they wanted to remove themselves from the scene of the crime, as it were, as quickly as possible. Even if that scene may have provided sanctuary. However, let's keep in mind, the last place that offered them sanctuary was Terminus, so they do have the right to be a tad skeptical.
Kara: I think it may take the group a while to recover though. The fact that it was Beth, of all people, must make it especially hard for the group. The one who still believed in singing, and Christmas, and summer picnics. She stood for hope, and innocence, and kindness, and all that good stuff from the old world that can be so easy to forget about when you've got zombies breathing down your neck. It's going to be hard to bounce back from that loss. It's the first big death since Hershel, and it's different in that the aftermath of that death was so crazy with everyone scattering about and working towards finding each other again or just struggling to survive. In this case, the group's all together, and there's no real driving force--for now. Nobody to save, nowhere to go, they're just left to cope with what happened at the hospital. I'm worried especially for Daryl, because you just know he's going to think it was all his fault. And I just can't take anymore sad Daryl. When Daryl Dixon cries, I cry.
Jennifer: If anything were to happen to Daryl, the nation would revolt, and I would lead the charge. I think his guilt will be matched by Noah's. I look forward to learning more about Noah, as well. I saw that he left with the group and didn't stay at the hospital so where will he fit in?
Kara: That's a good point about Noah. If Daryl's involved in anyway, I tend to forget that anybody else exists, so thank you for reminding me. I'm still waiting to see what's up with Noah. I went from loving him to kind of hating him when he ditched Beth at the hospital and whatnot, but he redeemed himself by going back to join the rescue team. Now I just need to see Eugene follow suit and get himself a good redemption arc. He certainly needs it.
Jennifer: Well, that's a good point. This show is a lot about redemption. So does Father Gabriel have a shot at it, or will it be the ultimate irony that it is the priest who cannot find redemption? Just a thought.
LONG STORY SHORT
Jennifer: I could not have been more satisfied with this season. I'm interested to see where Father Gabriel goes next as he accepts this new life. I'm excited to see the new relationship between Abraham and Eugene. (And with all these cast members from THE WIRE popping up, I will hold out hope for the appearance of Omar Little.)
Kara: I'm so happy to see that this show is even better than ever. This season started with a real bang, and I cannot wait to see what happens next.
Still recovering from THE WALKING DEAD's fall finale? Tweet me @i_got_the_tweet and tell me why. And check out the rest of Jennifer's recaps and follow her on Twitter @eponineq.
Photo Credit: AMC