We’ve arrived at another Walking Dead midseason finale and, true to form, another beloved character dies when we least expect it. SPOILERS AHEAD – do not read on unless you’ve already watched the episode. If you’ve even glanced at Twitter, you probably already know what happened. But you’ve been warned.
Seriously — if you’re not caught up, stop reading now.
Okay, so for everyone who did watch last night’s Season Five halfway-to-home finale, let’s examine what we’ve learned over the last eight weeks.
1. Even during a zombpocalypse, it’s hard to let go.
Sasha isn’t over Bob, and ends up letting a prisoner escape because the man shares the same name as her late boyfriend. Tyrese can’t get over the fact that he let evil-cannibal Martin go back at the cabin outside Terminus, and then the rest of the Terminites came back to eat Bob’s leg. Father Gabriel can’t let go of his religious faith, even if it means putting himself in danger. (So the walker had a cross necklace. He’s undead, Gabriel. Let it go.) “You can’t go back, Bob.” Indeed – this is apparently the official theme of Season 5.1 since we’ve heard it twice, once from Gareth and the second time from newly ruthless-as-hell Rick.
2. Yes, Rick is ruthless.
When Prisoner Cop Bob refuses to stop running away, Rick slams into him with a police car. And then when the former hostage begs for mercy because he has a broken back, Rick shoots him in the head. (Wasting a perfectly good bullet – why didn’t he just wait for the zombies to come eat him? They were right there.) Rick didn’t even want to go the whole hostage-taking route, but finally listened to Tyrese and Daryl. His original plan was just to ambush the hospital, all silent and deadly. The one-of-yours-for-one-of-ours route was supposed to lead to more positive conclusion to this whole build-up to the rescue of Beth and Carol.
3. Cops are supposed to protect and serve.
But what we expect cops to do and what they actually do are two different scenarios. (Any resemblance to recent real-life scenarios involving the police are, of course, completely coincidental.) The boys in blue under Dawn‘s regime are pretty icky people, what with the shoving and the sexual harassing and the general nastiness; she thinks she’s doing the right thing, but her reign is still resulting in deaths. Dawn accuses Beth of being a cop-killer and Officer O’Donnell overhears their conversation — soon, some hand-to-hand combat leads to Beth pushing O’Donnell down the elevator shaft of zombie despair. Cops are supposed to be good people. Until they’re not, whether that’s on a television show about zombies or the world outside the screen.