During a recent TV Guide interview, Norman Reedus confided that he sat and wept for an hour before filming the Mid Season Finale of The Walking Dead.
After it airs tonight, viewers, too, will likely shed some tears as we slip into the dreaded The Walking Dead mid season hiatus (suddenly February seems so far away!). But what scene cracked fan-favorite, Reedus?
The mid-season finale started with a bang. Music throbs as Rick makes an executive decision and kills his hostage, rationalizing, “You just had to stop.” So much for a peaceful hostage trade!
Perhaps this was Rick’s plan when he shot Bob Lamson at point-blank range. Bob was, after all, called “one of the good ones.” At this point, Rick seems more comfortable with bloody battle than negotiation. Has our leader lost his way? Or is he insuring the safety and well being of his group at any cost?
Dawn is another leader who holds fast to the “whatever it takes” model. Just ask her former partner, O’Donnell. He threatened Dawn’s leadership and ended up at the wrong end of a loaded gun only to end up walker feed at the bottom of an elevator shaft. He is not the first loved one she sacrificed. But does she make these sacrifices in the name of humanity or power?
Dawn’s showdown with O’Donnell happens moments before Rick appears to negotiate Carol and Beth’s release. The tense hostage exchange goes smoothly until Dawn demands Noah- then all Hell breaks loose.
Sweet, hopeful Beth, who can no longer tolerate Dawn’s injustice, stabs Dawn in the shoulder, and Dawn shoots Beth in the head. Another good one gone. The line between Dawn and Rick is blurred as both executed an innocent member of the opposing group in an identical fashion- a single shot to the head.
In deafening silence, Daryl, the man who motioned for a peaceful exchange, delivers swift and bloody justice, executing Dawn. In Season 4, Episode 12 “Still,” Beth tells Daryl that he will miss her “so bad” when she is gone. His heartbreaking tears are surely just the beginning of his grief.
As Season 5 progressed, Daryl evolved into an introspective, sensitive, strategic leader. Will he honor Beth’s memory and his love for her by continuing in this direction? Or will this agonizing loss, a result of a failed peaceful negotiation that he backed, send him on a dangerous downward spiral?
Then there’s Rick. Rick favored an aggressive attack, but relented when his group favored a peaceful approach. Will Rick blame himself for Beth’s death since he went against his instincts? Is this proof- positive that Rick’s approach to conflict is the only way?
As we reel from Beth’s tragic death, the moment that surely had Reedus crying on set, a familiar face emerges. Morgan Jones! He continues to track the tree markings, remnants of the twisted Termites, and finds himself at Father Gabriel’s church. There, he finds the map that Abraham gave Rick, complete with the inscription- the world is going to need Rick Grimes.
Morgan’s eyes ignite- he knows that his old comrade, Rick Grimes, has made it. Before he finds the map, though, he lines a few items up on the church altar and then giggles like a mad man. Will Rick and his group accept Morgan if and when he catches up with them? What’s more, will Morgan want to travel with them?
The second half of The Walking Dead’s fifth season airs on AMC in February. How will you pass the time until then?
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