So, it’s that time of year again, the big hitter shows have hit their midpoint and accordingly leave for their 2 or 3 month hiatuses with a bang, to keep audience interest and give you a reason to want to keep watching when they return of course, though fans of said shows will still tune back in next year, regardless of a lackluster mid-season finale. Anyway this mid season-finale was the culmination of the Beth-Atlanta hospital arc, which was amped up with Carol being brought into the situation, spurring Rick and most of the gang to go to Atlanta to rescue her and Beth.
As far as mid-season finales for The Walking Dead go… it was pretty good, there was a feeling of constant tension in the last 3-4 episodes in my opinion, including the unshakable feeling that someone was going to die, in traditional out of nowhere TWD style. I’ll come back to that later, but for now one interesting thing to note was how Rick came across in the last few episodes, as a sort of ruthless executioner – the dude drove into a cop and shot him dead…. well, I’ve seen fans commenting on how he’s sort of morphing into Shane, I don’t necessarily agree as I think he’s just being as ruthless and cold as he can be to protect his people, but he is coming across a bit murdery.
Season 5 has been an interesting one, an underlying theme being a focus on the brutal violence and constant death in the universe of The Walking Dead (at least that’s how I’m seeing it), we’re seeing this in some of the ‘evil’ characters reactions to Rick, wondering how he can be so cold and merciless, although some people e.g. the Terminus cannibals probably deserved swift justice.
And we also see this in characters like Sasha and Tyreese especially, struggling to come to terms with the violence they need be used to, just to survive, it’s fascinating to watch him as a character, not wanting to harm anyone but feeling so frustrated as he needs to, to protect himself and his loved ones, though going back to the mid-season finale, it was an interesting move for there to be so little death in it, for The Walking Dead at least.
Also Abrahams’ expedition group is back out of the blue, I was wondering when they would show up again – and Eugene is still knocked out? Abraham looked decidedly beaten and submissive interestingly, I wonder what’s next for him and Eugene.
And of course the shocking, awful and pointless offing of Beth is the obvious talking point, after a pretty stupid character action – trying to stab the boss cop with scissors, really? But otherwise, no one else died surprisingly, in the moments after Beths’ shock death, you could have seen that episode ending a lot differently, a shootout in the hospital halls was seconds away but I suppose it would have been a bit too much for just the halfway point in the season.
Seeing Daryl and Carols’ initial reactions to Beths’ demise were pretty gut wrenching, as was Maggies’, but I’m fascinated to see where this season goes next, how the group, now dealing with no Beth, with Noah and now with Abraham Ford, Eugene et al deal with things to come next. I have to say I’m liking the wandering group of survivors slant to this season, it opens up opportunities for exploration, more characters and constantly changing storylines, rather than having a season set in one or two locations like in season 4 with the prison and woodbury.
But in all in all it was a good, fairly eventful and ultimately depressing mid-season finale in typical Walking Dead style I guess, roll on February 2015.