The Walking Dead RECAP: Mercy rules, zombies drool, Rick cools... (S5:E7)
It’s going to be a bloody mid-season finale for The Walking Dead. We had some octane chess movements going on this week, setting up the board for what should be a fairly notable showdown next week. It might not be on the level of the Governor’s assault on the prison, but it is going to be fairly bad ass. And not everyone is going to make it.
This episode brings us back to the wider focus of Rick’s entire group and their different stories moving forward. Abraham is still on bended knee on the road to DC, an unconscious Eugene a few feet away. Glenn, Tara, and Rosita head off to find some food and bond while Maggie stays behind to watch the two former friends. It’s a bit like an episode of My Three Sons I saw one time after church. There were zombies in that show too, they just didn’t know it.
Back at the church in the show, Daryl and Rick are getting a posse together to head back into Atlanta and rescue Beth and Carol. Noah comes along to show them the way like Peter Frampton and also act as bait. He’s still limping, so the role is a natural one. He’s basically nothing but a walking meal for these zombies, even the ones we see in this episode.
That leaves Michonne and Carl at the church with good ol’ Gabriel. Judith is there too, and her crying is getting on the good pastor’s nerves, so Michonne puts him in his office to be alone with his thoughts. That’s a stupid idea, mostly for Gabriel.
And finally Beth is doing her best to swing dick around the hospital and save Carol’s life from the social environment of the hospital. She’s pretty damn good at it too.
I’ll recap it all in the order of importance here. That means getting to know Rosita and threatening Abraham early on here. Rosita goes along on the fishing hunt with Glenn and Tara. Those two are already life debtors, so Rosita is the one we don’t know much about (aside from her openness to boning during the zombie apocalypse). It’s a nice detour from the carnage and tension presented in the rest of the episode, not to mention it allows for us to finally figure out what drove her to join up with Mullet and Stache.
Speaking of Mullet and Stache, Maggie has a gun red dead on the latter and the former is still laid out like Joe Frazier in ’73. I don’t know where they’re heading with this, but hopefully it leads back to the church and a patching up of the relationship between the two in the second half of the season. I’ve grown to like them, and I’m not ready to lose them on TV just yet.
The whole side story with the party bus folks is a good placeholder because I don’t think this episode works if it is just Rick and company hauling ass to Atlanta and hatching a plan on the way. I would’ve liked to have seen a bit more of the planning part of things, but I can live without it. It just seems like we went from Daryl in the bushes to hitting the road with a bunch of guns. That’s the kinda thinking that gets a person strapped to a gurney and forced to sell their body for strawberries.
The church is where our next important events go down. Carl wants to get Gabriel in fighting shape, but Gabriel wants nothing of it. So they let him go into his office and chill out for a bit, not knowing he plans on sawing his way through the floor with a machete and escaping through the crawlspace under the church.
This guy makes no sense to me right now, even if his character was just like this in the comic. First you lock yourself in the church to keep the zombies away and save your own life. Then you cut your way out of the church to escape the same people that saved you a few episodes earlier. Sure they seem like bloodthirsty savages now, and they’ve sullied your House of the Lord. That doesn’t mean they’re going to do the same with you. You’re going down a path that leads to a zombie buffet line, or at least leads the zombies back to the church. They’re always lurking and waiting to cause havoc.
That’s why folks have created places like Grady Memorial Hospital. Or Slabtown. Or Bethland, which is what I’ll be calling it from now on. She’s the real owner of that place at the moment. Using the social construct of the hospital to her benefit and proving to Dawn and our benevolent doctor that she’s tougher than she looks. She’s got some ass kicker in her, plus a cunning streak that really begins to blossom in this episode.
Her story revolves around trying to save Carol’s life. Seems that getting hit by a car is not very good for your insides, but the folks of Slabtown can’t spare the medicine. Why even take her back to the hospital? Why hit her with the car? She’s just another mouth to feed and hitting her with the car has spoiled her ability to help you. If you weren’t going to save her life, just let her go. It’s like hunting an animal you have no intention of carrying out of the woods. Wasteful.
Beth is determined to save her. She does some snooping and persuading to gain access to the medicine cabinet to find some drugs to help Carol find the road to recovery. We don’t get to see if it works, but we do get a greater sense of where Beth is heading. If I had to call it, I’d say she’s going to take Carol’s place as the softie-turned-bad ass of Rick’s group.
Rick and his team hold the most important spot in this show because they’re the ones plotting a rescue. Hard-headed, risky, and dangerous. Rick’s plan involves luring the Grady police out to capture Noah and then taking them hostage to use a bartering tool. What he should’ve done is just murdered them all on sight and declare open war on the hospital. Wouldn’t take much for the folks inside to join the fight and turn all the cops into zombie food.
I could be wrong, though. Rick’s plan might be the right thing to do. It almost gets some folks hurt and killed though, including Daryl, who ends up on the ground near this melted zombie horde. He gouges the eyes out and makes for a great kill, but it just seems like an unnecessary risk. He doubles down on Rick’s stupidity though by talking the former sheriff out of killing the cop that caused it. Idiots.
They manage to capture three of the Grady police and try to form a plan on how to make their exchange work. Tyreese is there being all sensitive, and Sasha is along to get all nostalgic for the dearly departed (and former drunk) Bob. The bad part here is that one of the officers is named Bob too. This similarity is all she needs to trust him for a moment, turn her back, and then end up crunched into a window pane.
The good part here is that this is probably going to be enough to push Tyreese into killer mode. He’s already dead in the comics by this point, so it is uncharted territory to have him around, and I’ve yet to see him go supremely nuts on a lot of zombies at once. He did it a bit after the prison fell, but I want some more.
The episode ends on this note, so we’re left with some good points for the finale. It is mostly going to revolve around the showdown at Slabtown, so I don’t expect much from Abraham and company. I do expect to see what becomes of Carol under Beth’s care. My body count predictions include a lot of cops at the hospital, Carol, Sasha, possibly Noah, Carl might lose an eye to Gabriel, and I’m thinking that Daryl might want to give up. Gotta have something to drag down this season a bit. It’s been going far too well.