Written by John Edward Betancourt
THIS IS THE EMERGENCY SPOILER ALERT SYSTEM...YOU ARE ADVISED TO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK...
So. Wow. As expected, The Walking Dead's midseason finale delivered as it always does and while this one was not as action packed as last year's, it was just as devastating. So let's get right into our recap of last night's "Coda".
I'm still reeling from this episode simply because it was an absolute roller coaster of emotions. The tension in this episode held strong for every minute the show was on the air and it started with that stunning opening where Rick ran down Officer Lamson in brutal fashion. It set the tone for an ugly episode and man...that ending. But we will get to that in a moment, because this was also an episode that featured in a magical way, Father Gabriel's redemption.
Yes, we caught up with our favorite Padre as he continued his search of the countryside and we finally found out why he took the time to escape in the first place, to see for himself just how bad the world had truly become. It of course leads to a small herd of the dead following him back to the church as he tried to escape but at last...Gabriel did something worthwhile, keeping the dead at bay long enough to get Michonne, Judith and Carl out of the church to seal the dead inside, for a little while. But before the dead could break out...Abraham and the gang came to save the day before everyone decides to head to Atlanta.
Which brings us to the most brutal and tense moments of the night...the prisoner exchange for Beth and Carol. Now, I'm not gonna lie, I was fully expecting there to be an incredible shoot out and carnage to say the least, but instead...the show went low fi, leaving us with an intense stand off that led to the return of Carol and Beth. But crazy old Dawn, who earlier in the episode also made sure the last of her opposition died with the help of Beth, demanded the return of Noah, since well...Dawn's a nut job.
It was a moment that finally broke the always sweet and gentle Beth, to finally cross the line and assault Dawn...and it cost Beth her life. Yes, in the most stunning of moments, Dawn kills Beth and I was left in utter shock. It was so sudden, so brutal and quite frankly, such a horrible way for sweet little Beth to go. She's a character that's come so far in such a short time frame and man...this was devastating. The only satisfaction was that Daryl took immediate revenge on Dawn, and yes that idiot deserved it. I mean hell, she even had the nerve to pretend that it was an accident.
But, Beth is gone, and you know it's a big deal when Daryl Dixon cries and makes the rest of us mist up as well. In fact perhaps the most brutal moment of the show last night was when Maggie and company arrived at Grady Memorial in time to see Daryl carrying the body of Maggie's baby sister out of the hospital. Really last night was an evening of holding your breath, grasping the couch, and wiping your eyes. Definitely another outstanding episode, and my only complaint is that we have to wait to see the aftermath of this mess. Until February...