My first initial thought after the credits for the episode rolled was: Anticlimactic. Deanna’s death and the showdown between Morgan and Carol were the two events which had any actual story movement. The rest of the episode was all setup for the next half of the season. It comes down to expectations. The expectations I had for this episode was an hour filled with zombie kills and the Alexandrian’s driving the zombie horde out of the town. What we got was everyone hiding in their houses and talking.
The episode started off with a bang with everyone trying to get to safety. The scene with Maggie trying to get away from the walkers was the most tense and exciting of the finale. With the showrunners bringing Glenn back it would have been fitting for them to kill off Maggie. I expected a character to be killed off tonight to balance the scales for Glenn. I didn’t think it would be Deanna. A person from the main group should have been offered up tonight. I don’t want one of my favorite characters to die, but the show needs to prove again that anyone can perish at any time. With Glenn being alive I feel the show lost this edge, and it needs to gain it back. Deanna death will have effects on the town after they are able to draw the walkers away, but it didn’t hold a true emotional impact on the overall show.
In the end the most frustrating thing about the mid-season finale is nothing happened. We got the tower collapse at the end of the episode last week and then no advancement of the situation for the finale. I tend to like the slower episodes and the character development. A slower episode when the town has become overrun by zombies was not the best decision for the show. This season overall has been fantastic. The first four episodes where some of the finest of the series. They tailed off a bit leading to the finale, but I expected (there’s that word again) to end on a high note. We now have to wait until February to get any kind of movement on what is going on in the town. Nothing was solved during the first half of the season. It started with the group trying to move a dangerous herd of walkers away from the town, and they are still dealing with this issue.
Glenn and Enid were outside the walls, but no focus was placed on them during the episode. They could have at least been shown trying to formulate a plan to draw the walkers away. This is what Glenn was outside the walls to do in the first place. It would have been nice to see him try and do something tonight to help the town. Instead he gave a speech to Enid about helping and climbed a tree. I’m struggling to determine why the show went this way for the mid-season finale. The big takeaway is Deanna pushing Rick to accept the town and everyone in it as his people, and the standoff between Carol and Morgan.
The standoff between Carol and Morgan ended with a whimper. We did at least see them fight, but I think Morgan should have made short work of Carol in that situation. Carol is fantastic with a gun and planning and executing an attack. One on One, Morgan with his Aikido should have easily gone out on top. I’m not sure why he got on the floor to try and stop her from grabbing the knife. He could have easily disarmed her again with his staff. It was good to see them go back and forth. The two polar opposite ways of thinking in the apocalypse and how to survive in it. Morgan is sane because he doesn’t kill. Carol is sane because she does. The two sides had to eventually clash, and the discussion they had leading up to the fight was the best part of the finale.
The only other event that I liked in the episode was Carl taking the gun off Ron and calling his dad an asshole. I was ticked at Ron for being an idiot in the garage, but I was impressed with Carl covering for him, but still putting him in his place. I have a feeling I might be in the minority about this aspect of the show, but it resonated as the right decision. This still should have taken place in another episode. It could have been dealt with in the next episode and more focus tonight on them dealing with the zombies.
In the end we are left with Rick coming up with the plan to get to the armory by covering everyone in walker guts. It was gory and gross and served a purpose, but we shouldn’t have ended with them walking out. This should have been a halfway point in the episode and the second half with them actually dealing with the threat. I don’t want to be pretentious, but this episode really let me down in storytelling and plot movement. If this episode was the leading up to the finale I would have been fine with it, but this not what you end on leading into a break. Season 2 we found out Sophia was dead. Season 3 we had a shootout between Woodsbury and our group. Season 4 was the epic prison battle. Season 5 we got Beth’s death. Each mid-season finale had some major moment, this had none. Without a major moment or plot development we are left wanting more.
What did you think of tonight’s episode? Did you end up wanting more? Were you as disappointed as I was? Was Deanna’s death enough of a big moment in the episode or did it hold no weight because she wasn’t a main character? Comment and let me know.
My Rating: Underwhelming