When you tune into a midseason finale ofÂ The Walking Dead, you should be ready for something major to happen. Going into the episode, I knew a core member of the group was going to die.Â However, I wasn’t expecting this particular death to leave me so depressed. So before I drown my sorrows in a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, let’s discuss the latestÂ tragic loss and what it means going into the second half of the season.
Not surprisingly, it was Beth who met her end in the midseason finale. I say not surprising because this show has a habit of killing off characters just as we get to know them on a more meaningful level. More importantly, The Walking Dead likes to kill off the moral compass of the group. You better start toughening up Tyreese!
I’m genuinely saddened by the loss of Beth. It’s been wonderful to watch her character develop over the last season and a half. Before season 4, Beth was simply Maggie’s sister who liked to sing and take care of Judith. Once the group split up after the fall of the prison, Beth came into her own. First she teamed up with Daryl who showed her how to hunt and shoot properly. After she was “saved” by Dawn and her people, Beth learned to take charge. She developed a confidence we hadn’t seen before.
Sadly, that confidence led to her demise. Do I think she didn’t have to die? Of course. Beth could have easily went with Rick and the group, and they could have tried to save Noah later. But Beth acted on impulse. She looked into Dawn’s eyes and saw what a vile person she was. Beth always tried to do the right thing, and for her, saving Noah was the right thing.
I think it’s a tad ridiculous that Beth thought she could do that much damage to Dawn with that tiny pair of scissors. She could have at least stabbed her in the neck or in the eye. Even so, Dawn could still pull the trigger. Beth bit off more than she could chew in that moment.
Emily Kinney has done a magnificent job with this character. She took her from a suicidal farm girl and turned her into a noble, vulnerable, strong woman who learned to take care of herself. I’m sad to see her go, but it was a pleasure watching her character arc unfold.
So where do this leave the group going forward? I honestly have no clue. If Daryl’s reaction to Beth’s death is any indication, he’s not going to be in a good place. Beth once told him, “You’re gonna miss me so bad when I’m gone Daryl Dixon.” Beth brought out a side of Daryl no one else could. She gave him hope. She was the pure beacon of light in his life, and now she’s gone. My fear is that Daryl will close himself off from the group.
On the other hand, I feel Maggie may find it difficult to keep her emotions in check. What I found most interesting about her reaction to seeing Beth dead was that Maggie had barely spoken about Beth since the fall of the prison. First, she made it her mission to reunite with Glenn. Then it was following Abraham and Eugene to D.C.. Of course seeing your sister dead will bring out devastating emotions, but I found her reaction to not be as impactful as Daryl’s. I’m anxious to see how these two characters will handle the loss of Beth going forward.
Going forward to where is another question. Rick will have to be filled in on the fact that Eugene lied aboutÂ the cure. I’d like to see the group get out of Georgia. Maybe they should head to D.C. anyway to see what’s there. It can’t be any worse than a cannibal compound. Could it?
One person I don’t care to see and wished they had died instead of Beth is Gabriel. Good lord that man is beyond my comprehension. Why did he go to the school? What was he looking to see? Leading the walkers back to the church put baby Judith at risk, and I don’t like it when baby Judith is at risk dammit! His mindset will get him and those around him killed.
Rick should just off GabrielÂ like he did to Officer Bob. It’s nice to see Rick taking no BS anymore. It’s one strike and you’re out. Rick has finally become the leaderÂ Shane claimed he couldn’t be. Shane knew where the world was heading and knew tough choices would have to be made. It took him 5 seasons, but Rick has finally caught up to Shane’s mentality. If the group had followed Rick’s ambush plan to begin with, maybe Beth would still be alive.
Like the season premiere, we got an after-credits scene featuring Morgan. It appearsÂ Morgan is getting closer to the gang as he made his way to the church. Unfortunately, our survivors are probably not heading back anytime soon. What are those markings he’s following? Who put them there? I thought maybe he knew he was following the group, but he seemed pleasantly surprised to read Rick’s name on the map.
Hopes for the second half of season 5:
– The group leaves Georgia. It’s time they leave it behind and see what else (and who else) is out there.
– Daryl doesn’t regress. Beth’s death will surely weigh heavily, but Daryl needs to lean on his family for support.
– Gabriel gets a severe wake up call. The man needs to either change or die. It’s as simple as that.
– Glenn and Michonne to regain some of the spotlight. They haveÂ been relegated to second string for most of the season. Let’s change that for the next batch of episodes.
– Morgan meets up with Rick. Morgan became a popular character after being featured in only two episodes. Imagine if he actually became a series regular!
The Walking DeadÂ will returnÂ Sunday, February 8th at 9/8c on AMC.
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