(All images used in this post are screen caps from AMC’s The Walking Dead, and The Talking Dead, unless otherwise specified.)
Well, loves, if you watched the The Walking Dead’s Season 5 mid-season finale, “Coda,” last night, you probably know how I am feeling this morning. Devastated. Deflated. Melancholy. Haunted. And a little hungover, truth be told.
My WD buddy, after driving a hellishly long end-of-Thanksgiving-weekend commute in back-to-back traffic, came armed with champagne for us to watch the mid-season finale together. After many Coronas, and re-ups of champagne, and OMG’s, and Holy Fuck’s, and hand holding, and tears, we watched TWD, then TD, then bid each other farewell and went our separate ways, come midnight, to brave the night’s sleep (all six and a half hours of it), and wake up to get the kids to school, ourselves to work, and to start the new week.
(This morning, my WD buddy texted me that she called in sick to work. Good call, friend! I wish I could, too, but there is a post to write, and work to do, and appointments to keep, and so, life must go on…but in honor of Beth, I am wearing black under my work attire. Nobody will see it on the outside, but I will know it is there.)
My night’s sleep was filled with dreams of Beth, and Emily Kinney. I have been wondering how Emily Kinney is doing right now, checking on her via social media.
While I know, ultimately, that Emily Kinney will be just fine (being a young, supremely talented and beautiful It Girl on the rise), it was really hard to watch her try not to cry, to keep it together, on Talking Dead last night,. She said she only found out about the Beth story line for the midseason finale when filming Episode 7, “Crossed.”
Even Kirkman, who was also a guest on TD, looked like he was feeling super guilty, and near tears himself, as Emily Kinney was talking.
Kirkman said that it’s the hardest part of being in the WD writers’ room, having to decide who, and when, a beloved character gets killed on the show. He said that with writing the WD comic series, it was just a matter of telling Charlie Adlard, the incredible artist who took the helm after The Walking Dead, Issue #7, “not to draw the lines” of the deceased character anymore. But, with the show, the actors become incredibly bonded with one another, with the writing and production team, and the crew…and with the fans.
I find it challenging enough to write a blog about a show. I cannot imagine the challenges writers like Robert Kirkman and Scott M. Gimple must face to keep such a powerful, intricate, complex story going, staying focused and true to their creative vision while navigating the storm of fan response, social media ebb and flow, and the vast scope of production such an endeavor requires.
Much love, kudos, and Deadies all around to Kirkman (Dad), Gimple (NewDad), and Nicotero (Crazy Uncle Greg…the fun uncle!). Thanks, guys. Thanks for bringing the pain, and levelling the playing field. We Prime Time Pollyannas needed to toughen up and get us some street cred with the Comic Book Set.
And.speaking up mad props, and much love…it’s time to start talking about this beautiful lady: ❤B❤E❤T❤H❤
Emily Kinney posted this amazing drawing a young fan sent her on her Instagram account @emmykinney
Beth Greene, beautiful badass, speaker of truth, bringer of light, and song, with the voice of an angel. It has been amazing to watch the transformation of Beth, especially from the second part of Season 4, on, as she came into her own as a strong, sensitive young woman whose pure, artistic spirit, and clear, beautiful voice carried the message of truth, love, and justice in a world grown dark, grim, and seemingly devoid of such light, purity and hope.
Despite the dire circumstances she found herself in, Beth’s fire never dimmed, and despite the brutality of the world around her, Beth’s wild spirit refused to be cowed by it.
On Talking Dead, in the Dead Notes section, it said that Beth represented purity and honesty to Daryl. My WD buddy and I have discussed this subject at length, and while she thinks that Daryl thought of Beth as more of a little sister, I personally think that Daryl felt romantic love for Beth, as well, to some degree.
While Daryl was certainly older than Beth, there did seem to be a real and powerful attraction between them, whether or not that connection would have ever manifested itself into a romantic relationship.
Daryl had a very childlike and innocent, unexplored way about himself, especially in the beginning of the series. His painful, abusive childhood and teen years never seemed to let him truly experience, or explore, the rites and rituals of coming of age, and from those experiences, fully develop into manhood. So, instead, poor Daryl became closed off, distrustful of others, for his very survival, until he got free of his older brother, Merle, and was able to find his own identity among the good, loving people of the prison group.
The way I see it, Beth’s pure and honest expression, her openness and innocence, and her ability to accept Daryl unconditionally for exactly who, and where he was in the moment, allowed Daryl to feel safe enough to really open himself emotionally to her. I think, with Beth, Daryl was able to have the experience of young love that he never got to have growing up.
In the short time they were together, Beth taught Daryl to open his heart, to be sweet, and allow himself to feel, and to show tenderness and love to another person. In turn, Daryl taught Beth to be strong, and resourceful, to listen to her instincts, to fight if she needed to…to survive. Daryl and Beth were firey, kindred spirits, and I think if they had remained together longer, just the two of them, that something sweet and romantic would have blossomed between them.
Saying this, I feel that Daryl and Carol also have a deep, undeniable love connection between them. Carol and Daryl have a lot in common. They both suffered abuse in their pasts, and they both got to free themselves of their former personas, their former lives, and start afresh, be who they were “always meant to be”, in Carol’s words, in the apocalypse. They connected early in the series, when Daryl kept hope alive and tirelessly searched for Carol’s missing daughter, Sophia. There was always a chemistry between them, and as Carol is a grown woman, and a consenting adult, she and Daryl were able to explore a physical relationship back in the days at the prison (while that has never been confirmed outright, I think, especially after watching “Consumed,” that it’s safe to say that Daryl and Carol had a romantic relationship of some kind back at the prison).
I think that Daryl fell in love, on different levels, and in different ways, with both Carol, and Beth. In doing so, Daryl got to explore, and develop, crucial aspects of himself with both relationships. I think Daryl needed both Carol and Beth, and sharing love with these two catalytic, amazing women, Daryl was able to finally fully develop into a man, and tap into the emotional depth, sensitivity, and sweetness that he always had.
I really do hope that Daryl can heal his heart, and come to terms with the loss of Beth in the second part of Season 5. I really hope the entire group can. I also really hope that Daryl’s grief doesn’t drive a wedge between the new level of connection that he and Carol established with one another in “Consumed.”
I think, as the group has needed to remember Hershel’s wisdom, and teachings, as they navigate through these dark times, they will also need to invoke Beth’s spirit, and keep a small part of her purity and light within themselves, so they can keep love, hope, and faith alive in the times ahead.
I would like to take this moment to award Beth Green, and Emily Kinney, with a Deadie of the highest honor: MVP of the first part of The Walking Dead, Season 5.
Emily Kinney’s amazing portrayal of Beth Greene has catapulted Beth’s character to, I predict, legendary icon status. I can see many incarnations of Beth and Daryl fan fiction in the future of pop culture…maybe even in the anime genre?
Please, please, oh please, somebody do it, and send me a link if, and when, you do!
As for Emily Kinney, while she may need a moment to process this loss (keep.showing her the love on social media, people!), once she recovers, I do believe this beautiful, talented, and multifaceted young actress, songwriter/musician, and model has a bright future ahead of her.
One of Emily Kinney’s hot upcoming projects is being the new face of the Nikki Rich Spring 2015 collection, the haute, music-and-art inspired clothing line collaboration of designers Nikki Lund and Richie Sambora.
Check her out:
(Images used are from the Nikki Rich Spring 2015 collection.)
Young, hot, and on fire…not such a bad takeaway for being on a hit show that has become a worldwide pop culture phenomenon. Something tells me that Emmy Kinney’s star is on the rise, and that she will be just fine, thank you very much!
Much love, mad props, and life eternal, Beth Greene. You are a true badass.
Beth Forever! ❤
In the opening sequence of “Coda,” we see a pair of (fine-ass) lean legs, clad in black jeans and boots, running fast on the concrete…
We soon recognize these fine getaway sticks as belonging to Deputy Rick Grimes.
Next, we see a pair of hands, bound behind the back by a zip tie, trying frantically to cut the tie against the edge of a Grady Memorial police car’s front bumper…
Going somewhere, Lamson?
Meanwhile, the Stoner Trio Walkers lurch aimlessly around...just another day in the parking lot…
“What are we gonna do today?” “I dunno...what do you guys wanna do?” “I dunno…what do you wanna do?” “I dunno…”
“Hey, look, there’s a dude over there!” “Awesome! Hey, I know…let’s go eat that dude!” “Righteous idea, bro…let us, like, totally go forth, and eat that dude!“
Meanwhile, quick as a blur, Deputy Grimes speeds by, and disembowels, Spill Yer Guts Walker…
<Slice!> “S’cuse me, just passing through…”
“…those were my guts and shit...what the hell, buddy?!”
Rick finds the cop car, gets in quickly, and begins speeding towards Lamson. We see a picture framed on the dashboard of the squad car, of Lamson in better days, arm around a woman and smiling happily. In a crazy twist of fate, the tables are turned, and now Lamson is on the lam, son, running as fast as he can away from his own squad car, which is now tailing him, about 30 yards back.
Deputy Rick Smash! grabs the microphone and commands Lamson’s retreating form, “Stop!”
Lamson does not comply, however, and Deputy Smash! barks into the microphone, “Stop right now!”
When Deputy Smash! tells you to stop two times, you should do as he says, Lamson…
…because you get three strikes…
...third strike, You’re Out!
Ouch! That’s gotta hurt…what an insane stunt!
“Crazy…” Lamson manages. “I think you broke my back!” Rick stands over him, says, “It didn’t have to be like this.” The beautiful man’s got a point, Lamson.
Lamson tries to get Rick to take him “Back…take me back to the hospital.”
Deputy Smash! echoes Gareth’s words to Bob back at Terminus, “Can’t go back, Bob.”
As walkers approach, Bob tells Rick that, “You’ve been out here too long…you’re gonna die…you’re all gonna die.” Rick Smash! pulls the trigger, silencing Bob Lamson with a bullet to the brain. “Shut up,” Rick Smash! growls, looking down at Lamson’s lifeless form.
A couple of thoughts on this scene…being a little deafened by years of blasting rock n’ roll, I didn’t quite get what Lamson was mumbling to Rick as he lay, broken and bloody on the pavement. If Lamson gave any clues as to why he knocked out Sasha and ran, instead of letting himself get traded back to Grady Memorial, and, in his words, “sleeping in my own bed tonight,” my half-deaf ass didn’t catch it….the only reason I can think of as to why he made his ill-fated escape attempt was pure pride.
I think that Lamson, once a real cop, (and a sergeant, no less) could not abide the thought of being marched back to Dawn Lerner, hands zip-tied behind his back, in a disgraced hostage situation, especially if he was being groomed to take over as head cop of Grady Memorial once the others “took care” of Dawn Lerner.
I can see where Dawn Lerner, with her acid tongue, and predilection for belittling and humiliating others, would have had a field day with Lamson, both during and after the trade-off. Maybe death, to him, was preferable to her mockery.
Pride indeed goeth before a fall, Lamson.
Anyway, my WD buddy and I of course enjoyed many champagne toasts to Rick Grimes throughout this opening scene, once again blown away by the man. How did he know not to leave right away, to hang back and see if Sasha was ok, and if Lamson was for real?
As my WD buddy and I have asked, many times, Why does anybody question Rick Grimes any more?
The man is just a chiseled, lethal brand of pure dreamy, people, and btw, he is looking really good in those black jeans of his.
Gael Anderson, Andrew Lincoln’s wife, and daughter of Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson, is one lucky woman, and rock royalty, no less. She also has really cool hair, and she looks all lean and stealth, like she could scale silently up the side of a building, knife in her teeth, and quickly dispatch an entire enemy camp in their sleep, ninja-style.
Another beautiful, badass woman, who I really do not want to piss off.
(Gael Anderson, if you ever read this, I mean no disrespect, ever…while I admittedly have been giving your man the “hungry eyes” on the tv screen, for years, now, if there is such a thing as respectful ogling, then that’s what I, and my WD buddy, have been doing when we go on and on about how beautiful and hot your husband is. We, like you, are happily married women, who love our husbands, but who do like to sneak a look now and again at our pretend boyfriends, like Rick Grimes and Daryl Dixon, to file away in our fantasty rolodexes, for later. You are married…you know what I’m talking about, I think...but maybe, in retrospect, you don’t!)
Anyway, respect, Gael Anderson, much love, and P.S., Congratulations!
Now, speaking of rock royalty, I have a very special announcement…today, at the time of this writing, it’s Ozzy’s Birthday! Whoooo hoooo! Happy Birthday, and much love, Ozzy Osbourne!
All hail the Dark Prince of Metal…and smoke ’em if you got ’em, bitches.
Ahhh, the pause that refreshes…
I must say that I am very glad that Rick, Daryl, and Tyrese came back to check in on Sasha, and she’s safe, for the time being, anyway. For a moment there, last week, I really did imagine that they may return to that warehouse and find her dead, and reanimated into a walker.
Meanwhile, back in the woods, the Schoolhouse Walkers, still locked inside the schoolhouse, are seething, snarling, and pawing at the glass of the school doors, trying to get to Gabriel, who is outside, poking around the former campsite of Gareth and the Terminans.
Exactly why he is there, and what the hell he is doing, I do not know, children. If I knew, I would tell you. My guess is as good as yours, and aside from moving along the plotline in a more “walker mayhem” direction, there is no earthly reason I can think of for that man to be there, sleuthing around like some misguided Matlock, instead of being holed up, safe, inside the church.
Boggles the mind, truly it does.
As Gabriel pokes around outside, the walkers in the school get more and more agitated…
…and as they continue to bang against the door, we see the glass is starting to crack…
Outside, Gabriel finds a couple of pages of either a school event flyer, a yearbook page, or a couple of missing person flyers, a pack of cards, and a student’s backpack with a bible inside. As Gabriel thumbs through the bible, he sees a girl’s name written on the inside cover, with a little heart over the “i.” His face shows his distress at this, until he lowers the bible and sees something else truly distressing, and awful to behold…
Bob’s charred leg, on the Terminans’ makeshift grille, with maggots crawling over it.
Horrified, Gabriel stares at the leg, then, with a cry, he upends the grille and throws it aside. (Guessed while watching this that Gabriel was probably not in cahoots with the Terms after all, but I definitely still thought he was a major dumbass for busting out of that church, for no good reason, immediately stepping on a big-ass nail, and hobbling, unarmed, right to the worst possible place he could have chosen to go…the overrun schoolhouse, where a band of cannibals had recently set up camp…I mean, really, Gabriel? Really?)
Then, of course, this happens:
The Schoolhouse Walkers bust through the glass doors and start pursuing Gabriel…
…who, hobbling and tripping along the way, leads the walkers through the woods…
…right to the church. Thanks, dude. Really, thanks for that.
Once again, a cruel, karmic twist of fate plays its fickle hand as the priest, who barred the doors of his church to his parishioners, leaving them outside to be torn to pieces by the undead, finds himself now barred from his own church, begging and pleading to be let inside as the horde of walkers close in on him.
Inside the church, Carl and Michonne, who is holding Baby Judith, are shocked to hear Gabriel screaming for help outside the church.
Thankfully for Gabriel, the Morgan-style spikes that Daryl and Tyrese fashioned from the organ pipes hold the walkers off, buying him a couple of minutes’ worth of time…
Wearing Baby Judith on her back, Michonne looks like the most badass momma ever, chopping at the boarded up church doors with an axe...babywearing, zombie-apocalypse style!
Doors chopped open, Gabriel makes it into the church, while Michonne, still toting that baby on her back, holds the walkers off.
(Now, not to be a dick here, but that baby on Michonne’s back looked totally like a doll, stiff and unyielding, as Michonne did her badass momma walker kills and katana flourishes. Maybe next time, the effects crew could fashion a softer, jelly-filled doll that would move and flow a little more like a real baby would, as of course a live stunt baby is not an option.)
I officially declare Michonne as being beautiful and badass enough to be Rick Grimes’ girlfriend…and Carl and Judith’s NewMom.
Just casting my vote, here, for the record.
The church, however, gets overrun with the walker horde, who push through the doors’ opening…
There are too many to fight off, and Gabriel calls to them to get to the rectory, his room in the back of the church.
Gabriel finally steps up, bravely barring the door to allow Carl, Judith, and Michonne to escape through the crawlspace under the church.
And as Gabriel dives for the crawlspace hole in the floor, Machete Walker falls through the door, lunging towards Gabriel…
…and Gabriel’s machete makes its first kill, as Machete Walker falls right into the sharp blade, slicing her head in two. (Bravo, Nicotero & Co.!)
Once outside the church, Michonne quickly closes the doors on the walkers, boarding them closed…and fickle fate once again plays her cruel hand, as the walkers are now locked inside the church, unable to get out.
Meanwhile, back at the warehouse…
Sasha’s feeling pretty dumb right about now…don’t take it too hard, girl…not the first time a righteous sister’s been taken in by a smooth-talking man with an agenda.
Rick returns, as they see, alone.
Rick pulls Daryl aside. “He wouldn’t stop,” Rick says, simply. They must think quickly, come up with a new plan, as this development changes things.
As they turn back to their kneeling hostages, Officer Shepherd doesn’t need much time or encouragement to flip the script on the Lamson situation.
Shepherd is quick on the uptake of the situation. “He was a good man,” she intones, as if eulogizing Lamson. “He was attacked by rotters. I saw it go down.” Rick Grimes sizes her up, remarks snidely, “You’re a damn good liar.” Shepherd replies, “We’re hanging by a thread, here…he was attacked by rotters.”
Daryl steps forward, asks Shepherd that she initially thought the trade was a bad idea, so what changed? Shepherd replies that Lamson was their shot, and now that he’s off the table, it’s either say he got attacked by rotters, or go in guns blazing. Rick turns to the other cop, Licari, who says that Dawn won’t want to look weak in front of the other officers, and she’ll think that the trade is a rip-off if she thinks that Rick and them took out Lamson, so, “It’s a good thing that he (Lamson) was attacked by rotters.”
Rick looks at Daryl, who nods back at him.
Back at Grady Memorial…
As she tidies Dawn Lerner’s office, Beth overhears Dawn try to radio Lamson, Licari...to no reply, of course.
Dawn swears softly, and Beth asks her, with false concern, if something is wrong. Dawn tells her that the officers out on runs don’t always radio back, which drives her, Dawn, crazy.
As Beth goes to put the framed picture of Dawn and her mentor, Hanson, on the desk, Dawn (being totally OCD) tells Beth that no, the picture goes up there, by the badges.
When Beth asks her if that’s Hanson in the picture, Dawn Lerner looks down, as she pedals the stationary bike, and asks Beth if someone said something about him, Hanson, to her.
Beth replies innocently that she just heard that Hanson used to be in charge. Dawn Lerner replies that Beth will probably hear stories about him, about her, Dawn, and what Dawn did…
Beth looks down, digesting this new piece of information...seems like Dawn took out Hanson at some point to take control of the hospital.
Dawn finishes her cardio, and as she towels the sweat off her face, she tells Beth that Hanson was her mentor, her friend…she looks at Beth, says, “I miss him. That’s the part the stories leave out.”
Beth asks her what happened to him. Dawn walks over to where Beth stands, looks at the framed picture. She tells Beth that every time the officers go out, they risk their lives, so the runs have to be for a good reason, have to be worth it. Dawn says that Hanson lost sight of that, and so, “He lost them,” meaning, Hanson lost the officers’ fealty and respect.
Dawn looks right at Beth, then, and tells her that in this job, not everyone is going to like whomever is in charge, but they need to respect that person. “Lose that (respect), and everyone goes down.” Dawn looks at Beth, tells her, “Hanson lost his way.”
This scene is very telling, as it explains, later, why Dawn Lerner makes the choices she makes, especially at the end of the episode…she knows her position as leader is in jeopardy, already, and she is terrified of losing face with her fellow officers, and ending up like Hanson did.
Back in the woods, outside the church…
As Gabriel takes a rest, Michonne touches Juith’s sleeping head (and that, my readers, is all a stunt baby should be expected to do…look adorable, and take a nap!).
Michonne then turns to Gabriel, asks him where he went.
Gabriel replies that he went to the school, because he had to see it for himself, had to know. (Whatever, dude.)
The walkers, however, are pretty much over being inside of the church, and they begin to break away at the barred doors keeping them inside.
“Hey, you out there! This place blows…there’s nothing to eat, and you fuckers drank all the damn wine! We’re busting down these freakin’ doors, then, ZOMBIES OUT!”
As the walkers begin to break through the doors, Gabriel, Michonne, and Carl back away in fear and alarm. Carl asks, “Where do we go?” Michonne looks around, trying to come up with a plan, when…
…a perfectly timed fire truck smashes through, barring the doors and saving the day! Yay!
The gang reunites, and Glenn breaks the bad news about Eugene lying, and D.C. being a bust, before asking where everyone else is. Michonne, smiling, tells Maggie that Beth is alive, in a hospital in Atlanta, and the others have gone to go get her back.
Maggie, overjoyed at hearing this news, grabs up Glenn in a hug, while Tara says, “Let’s blow this joint and go save your sister!” (Ugh, feeling like I am about to cry, and vomit, rewatching this scene.)
Meanwhile, at the Grady Memorial Hospital from Hell, Beth has turned a corner to find Officer O’Donnell bullying poor Percy in the hallway, chewing the poor elder gentleman out for forgetting to sew the hole in Officer O’Donnell’s shirt.
Poor Percy, the fine man who faked a coughing attack for Beth in exchange for strawberries, dares not look Officer OD in the face as he stammers an apology…
…to no avail, as Officer OD mocks, then shoves the elder gentleman to the floor, then looks up to see Beth watching…
Officer OD, looking down the hall at Beth, challenges her, “What about you? Are you any good with needle and thread?” Dawn Lerner walks by, says nothing about the pushing, as she briefly regards poor Percy, lying on the floor. Seems Dawn Lerner picks her battles, and this isn’t one of them.
Beth stares, frozen, unable to reply right away as Dawn quickly cuts in, telling Officer OD, “I need her..sorry.. we have a lot of work to do. Come on, Beth.” It seems Dawn Lerner is taking Beth under her wing, making her Dawn’s new ward. I can see how Dawn Lerner had this relationship with Noah, protecting him, confiding in him, but still abusing him like all others if she deemed it necessary…probably worse. Being Dawn’s ward would have both its benefits and steep cost.
(Now, before I go on, I must say my piece about this. I am one crazy Irish mutha, and the blood of O’Donnell flows through my veins. O’Donnell is my maiden name, the name of my birth, and as such, I hold it very dear to my heart. It pains me greatly to see the name of my kin, and my ancestors, be represented in such bunk fashion by this shrill, bullying a-hole. I am sure that the actor who plays Officer O’Donnell is a wonderful human being, but the character of Officer O’Donnell can eat a bag of dicks.
I think I speak for all O’Donnells when I say, “This character in no way, shape, or form represents the true spirit of O’Donnell.”
Because he sucks, Officer O’Donnell shall be demoted from O’Donnell status and referred to henceforth in this post as Officer OD.)
Later, as Beth sits at the elevator shaft, legs dangling, and daydreams about escape, Dawn Lerner comes in, interrupting Beth’s quiet time. When Dawn tells Beth that Percy is going to be ok, Beth replies, “Nothing’s ok.”
In reply, Dawn asks Beth, with mock gravity, “Are you gonna jump?” Beth rolls her eyes at this, tells Dawn, “I wanted to be alone…you left your elevator key where it was.” Dawn replies that at least she knows Beth isn’t going anywhere.
Beth replies, “Neither are you.” She turns to face Dawn, tells her that “you keep telling yourself you’re going to do whatever it takes until this is all over…but it isn’t over. This is it. This is who you are, and what this place is, until the end.”
Dawn Lerner isn’t having it. “This place saved you. I saved you…twice. The others don’t know what you did…they think Joan was just trying to get back at me.” Dawn tells Beth that she, Dawn, saw the smashed jar, and closed up the office before the others could figure out what really happened, what Beth did to Gorman in Dawn’s office.
Dawn looks at Beth, tells her, “You’re a cop killer.” Beth protests that she would never kill anybody, to which Dawn replies, “But you did.” Dawn asks Beth what she thinks the others would do if they found out what Beth did…Dawn continues, telling Beth she protected her, she helped save that woman in Room 2, not because she had to, but because she, Dawn Lerner, wanted to. “But there’s a way that things have to happen around here…don’t you get that?“
A noise from down the hallway startles Beth and Dawn…they turn to find Officer OD standing there. It seems he has been there a while, and has overheard all the dirty deets.
Dawn asks Officer OD, hands held loosely at her sides, but ready to reach for her guns if need be, “What are you gonna do?” Officer OD fires back, “No, Dawn, what are you gonna do? Starting with her?” He motions to Beth. “She’s my ward,” Dawn replies. “I’ll handle it.”
Officer OD steps closer, tells Dawn that he thinks the other officers should know who they’re working for, “So are you gonna tell them, or should I?”
Dawn narrows her eyes, begins to step closer to Officer OD. “You don’t get to threaten me,“ she says, dangerously. “This isn’t a threat,” replies Officer OD. “These are the facts…you look like shit…the guys are talking, they think you’re cracking. This is Hanson all over again.”
Officer OD turns to the door with the parting shot, “It’s time to make a change.”
(Now, don’t get me wrong. I am all about Officer OD, and the other officers, ousting Dawn Lerner as the head chief if it were about her being crooked, and they were wanting to make a clean slate and some much-needed changes. But, if Dawn Lerner is the only tenuous thread holding them back from going full rampage on the female wards of the hospital, or abusing the weaker ones like Percy, then Officer OD and the other male cops who are rapists and bullies are just as shitty, if not more shitty, than Dawn Lerner. The whole place sucks, really, when it comes right down to it.)
The click of a gun behind him stops Officer OD in his tracks. Dawn Lerner has pulled out her pistol, cocked it, tells him that he’s wrong, that she’s nothing like Hanson…she killed Hanson, remember?
“I was the only one who could go through with it.” Watch out, Dawn Lerner’s getting the crazy eyes!
Officer OD turns to face Dawn. “Lower your weapon, Dawn,” he says. “All I have to do is shout.” Dawn replies that all she has to do is say that he came at her. She orders Beth, who is behind her, to get out of the way. Beth complies, moves to the other side of the hallway. Dawn then orders Officer OD towards the elevator shaft opening. “Don’t do this,” he tells her.
“Don’t make me,” Dawn replies.
As he walks slowly towards the elevator shaft, Officer OD reminds Dawn that they were rookie cops together, that she had cigars with him and the other officers in the parking lot of this very hospital when his son was born. (It’s crazy to think how these hospital cops were once good people, with lives, and families, who were on the police force, wanting to help others in the community…and now, they are reduced to this…enslaving people against their will, raping and abusing them because they are in control of them, and can.)
These remembrances seem to be rattling Dawn even more than she already is. She tells Officer OD to stop, that the man he was, once, is gone.
“Look at you,” Dawn tells Officer OD. “You’re pushing the old man, you’re laughing with the others about that poor girl getting raped...that’s who you are now.”
Officer OD steps forward, asks Dawn, “So who the hell are you?” Dawn Lerner replies, “Someone who isn’t going to let it happen anymore.”
“That’s not what this is about,” replies Officer OD. “It’s about holding on to what you have.”
Dawn asks, incredulously, “What the hell do I have?”
Officer OD distracts Dawn with some mindfuck shit about Hanson, then ambushes Dawn, tackling her into the wall. A super burly beatdown ensues between Dawn Lerner and Officer OD…it happened too fast for me to get any good pictures of it, but Dawn was holding her own pretty well against an enraged male cop who was also trained in hand-to-hand combat.
Officer OD does get the best of Dawn, clamping his hand around her throat in a chokehold and lifting her up high against the wall.
“You think you’re better than us?” he asks through clenched teeth. Beth tries to pull Officer OD off Dawn, and he knocks Beth to the floor. “Stay in your lane, bitch!” he screams at Beth. This gives Dawn Lerner the opening she needs…she punches Officer OD hard in the throat, then side kicks him, sending him towards the opening of the elevator shaft.
I did get this shot…watching this, I was thinking, “Why can’t Dawn Lerner be one of the good guys?” She definitely has some mad fighting skills, and some leadership & other smarts to offer a group…such a waste for her to be so twisted at this point.
Before Officer OD can get his bearings, Dawn Lerner screams, “Beth!” and with one hard shove, Beth pushes Officer OD off the edge of the elevator shaft and sends him flying down the steep blackness, until we hear his body crash down below…then the sounds of the walkers descending upon him.
That scene is a hard one to watch…we get glimpses of who Dawn Lerner and Officer OD were before the change: idealistic, rookie cops, with families, and normal lives. We see what they have been reduced to, exchanging words, accusations, then pulling guns and coming to blows, all in the quest for top slot at Grady Memorial.
We see glimpses of Beth, what she has had to do in the short time at Grady Memorial, (things that she never would have thought she would do) like killing someone, just to survive in this hellish place. And now, she has just pushed a cop down an elevator shaft, and helped Dawn Lerner stay in power, which I guess was the preferable option than letting Officer OD and his goon squad have full reign of power…but either option is hardly ideal.
Later, we see Beth, dozing against the wall of Carol’s room, sitting on the floor, looking so sad and lonely there. Carol is Beth’s only friend there, and she is still unconscious. Beth has nobody to turn to, to talk to, and she is just a young girl. She has been through so much, and had to be so strong throughout all the horrible shit that has gone down at this hospital.
One moment, she was sitting at a table, exchanging a sweet, loving moment with Daryl, and now, she is here, in a living, daily hell in a hospital prison.
Wake up, Carol!
I am so sad for Beth in this scene.
Dawn Lerner comes into the room, a little loud and sloppy, carrying a flask and a glass. She’s drunk, you can tell. She tells Beth that it’s ok to cry.
Beth states, with a young defiance, that she doesn’t cry anymore…
“I do,” says Dawn, pouring herself a drink
Dawn offers the cup to Beth, who turns away, refusing the offering. Dawn places the cup on the edge of the sink. “It’s from my own stash, no strings, “ Dawn tells her. She goes over and sits on the end of Carol’s bed, and takes a long pull from her flask.
I have thought about the character of Dawn Lerner a lot since watching this episode…definitely felt some sympathy for her during moments like this, while still knowing what harm she is capable of doing, and how quickly she can turn on others.
Beth tells Dawn that she knows why Dawn covered for her…she was actually covering for herself. Gorman, Jeffries, and O’Donnell were problems for Dawn, and now they are gone, and Dawn didn’t have to do the dirty work. “That’s how things get done around here,” Beth says. “Everyone uses people to get what they want. You aren’t the ones who have to remember.”
Dawn peers down at Beth’s face. “Is that what happened with Edwards and Trevitt? He used you?” (Dawn is astute, I’ll definitely give her that.)
Beth says then, “I’m getting out…just like Noah.” Dawn tells her that Noah will be back. “He’s going home, “ Beth tells her. Dawn tells her that they always come back, that they don’t make it far…for one thing, they can’t, but, also, they really don’t want to.
Beth leans forward, tells Dawn angrily that Noah is going home.
Dawn smiles a little smile at Beth, tells her that she, Dawn, was like Beth, once. “Nobody could tell me anything.” Dawn tells Beth that she isn’t stupid…she motions towards Carol with her head, says, “You know her…and somehow, you both ended up here. Maybe that means something.”
Dawn goes on to tell Beth that they, Beth and her friend, can be a part of “this thing,” what they have going at the hospital, and that it may be the most important thing she, Beth, has ever done. Beth cuts a look at Dawn as she says this, but says nothing.
Dawn continues, “And what you did back there…” and with this, Dawn puts a hand to her throat, remembering O’Donnell’s hand clamped down on it. She tells Beth, after a moment, that Gorman and O’Donnell hurt people…the world didn’t lose anything when they died. Dawn then tells Beth that she’s wrong about her, Dawn.
“I didn’t use you,” Dawn says. “And I will remember.” As Dawn sits, lost in her thoughts, Carol, unnoticed, turns her head slightly on the pillow.
Meanwhile, on the top of a building in downtown Atlanta…
At their sniper station, Tyrese is telling Sasha to stop beating herself up for not rekilling Bob.
As Daryl leads the hostage cops to their waiting places on the roof, Tyrese goes on to tell Sasha about Martin, the one she killed at the church. He tells Sasha that he was left with Martin, and how he maybe should have killed him, but didn’t, even though he said he had. Tyrese muses that maybe they haven’t changed so much, after all, from the way they used to be, and maybe that’s good.
Sasha looks at her brother, tells him that he hasn’t changed from who he was, and that is good. But she, Sasha, can’t go back to who she was, before…
Sasha peers through the rifle scope, refocusing on the task at hand. “Not anymore,” she says, as she takes aim at the target below.
As Daryl and Sasha see the cop car approaching, Daryl signals Tyrese to radio as much to Rick.
We see Rick get himself in the zone of Negotiation Mode, then we see a shot of the red flag they’ve erected to mark the meeting point, blowing in the wind, as Rick raises his arms and begins to walk towards the cop car that slowly approaches.
I love the homage to old cowboy movies in this episode…so many shots, like this one, and the hallway scene between Dawn Lerner and O’Donnell…
…look like they were taken from right from the old western classics. Love it.
As the cops get out of the car, guns raised and levelled at Rick, he addresses them both by name.
“Officer Franco, Officer McGuinley…I’m Rick Grimes.” (Mmmm hmmm, he sure is.)
Rick tells them that he was a deputy at the Kent County’s Sheriff’s office, that he’s here to make a proposal. The officers, taken aback by this approach and familiarity, exchange looks. One officer tells Rick to lay his weapon on the ground. Rick agrees, moves slowly, complies. Daryl and Sasha hold their aim, have the cops’ heads in their sights.
As they move closer to Rick, the other cop asks Rick what his proposal is. “You have two of our people, we have two of yours. We want to make an even exchange, then we walk away…no one gets hurt.”
The officers ask Rick who they have. Rick replies they have Officers Shepherd and Licari. Rick then tells the cops that they have two of their people: Beth, and another woman who was hit by one of their cars and brought in yesterday.
The cops exchange looks at this, and the one cop asks if Noah is with them. “Yes, he is,” says Rick. As a walker approaches, one of the cops asks where Rick’s people are.
In reply, a perfectly placed shot by Sasha, sniper style, takes out the walker behind them.
“They’re close,” Rick replies, nonchalantly. The cops looks around, spooked. Rick takes a step back. “Radio your lieutenant, I’ll wait,” he tells them.
And then, it has become time to make the exchange. We see Rick’s group, with Rick and Daryl marching Sheppard and Licari in front of them, at gunpoint, walking through the maze of hallways and stairwells in the hospital, led and flanked by the cops at the negotiation, towards the meeting place.
We then see Beth, getting ready to go, with the bloodstained yellow shirt she got back at the country club, the Pine Vista, where she and Daryl went in search of her first drink…as Beth gathers her things, she thinks a moment, then reaches under her mattress and gets the scissors she took from Doc Edwards’ office.
We watch as Beth slips the scissors into her cast, just in case…
We see Beth wheeling Carol down the hall in a wheelchair, with Doc Edwards walking behind them.
They approach the group of Dawn and her officers, and wait.
As Officers McGuinley and Franco rejoin Dawn Lerner’s group, Rick tells Dawn the officers in their keeping haven’t been harmed.
Dawn immediately asks where Lamson is.
Shepherd says, a little too quickly, that “rotters got him.” Licari adds that they “saw it go down.”
Dawn Lerner isn’t buying it. She narrows her eyes, nods, says, “Oh…I’m sorry to hear that…he was one of the good guys.“
Dawn then tells Rick, “One of ours for one of yours.” Rick nods to Daryl, who releases Licari forward, and one of Dawn’s cops wheels Carol forward to Rick’s group.
Then, Dawn marches Beth forward, herself, and Rick follows suit, bringing Shepherd forward. The exchange is made, and Rick reaches out and touches Beth’s head, tenderly, while looking at her face and checking in with her for a brief and wordless moment.
I love how tender he is with her…she is so close…so hard to rewatch this scene.
As Rick and the gang turn to leave, Dawn says to their retreating backs, “I’m glad we could work something out.” Rick turns to look at her. “Yeah,” he replies, hoarsely and with barely concealed contempt.
Dawn glances back at her officers, afraid to look like she is losing face in this deal…
…and with a slight shake in her voice, Dawn says, loudly, “And now, I just need Noah.”
At Dawn’s words, Rick stops in his tracks. He turns to Dawn, walks back towards her, “That wasn’t part of the deal.”
Dawn replies that Beth was her ward, and now she’s lost a ward…and she, Dawn, lost good men who were killed looking for Noah, so she needs a new ward, and she needs Noah.
Daryl steps forward, says Noah isn’t going back to Dawn. Rick says the boy wants to go home, and that Dawn doesn’t have any claim to him.
Dawn says, “Then we don’t have a deal.” Rick protests, rightly so, that the deal was done.
Noah steps forward, “It’s ok,” he says. Rick tries to hold him back, but he looks at Rick, tells him that it has to be done. Otherwise, it’s war. He hands his gun to Rick. From behind, Beth’s voice is clear, shaking, “It’s not ok.”
As Noah limps forward, Dawn Lerner says, with satisfaction, “It’s settled, then.”
“Wait!” Beth rushes forward and hugs Noah, hard, not wanting to let go.
Noah tries to reassure Beth that it’s ok, while Dawn Lerner cannot bring herself to watch. Even she knows how wrong this is. But then, she recovers herself, turns to Noah….
…and says, softly, smugly, “I knew you’d be back.”
Beth looks at Dawn with pure hatred.
She walks up to Dawn, looks her in the eye, says, “I get it now.”
In one quick instant, Beth stabs Dawn Lerner with the scissors…
And, in a moment of pure reflex, Dawn Lerner shoots Beth through the head, killing her instantly.
Dawn Lerner shakes her head in disbelief, and fright, mouths that she didn’t mean to…
In fury and grief, Daryl steps forward and shoots Dawn Lerner through the skull.
As the officers draw their weapons, Shepherd tells them to hold their fire…“It was just about her (Beth), “ she says. “It’s over. Stand down!“
Poor Daryl! 😦
Officer Shepherd offers for the gang to stay, if they like. One of the men pipes up, says that they are surviving here, that it’s better than “out there.”
Rick, dazed, stricken, shakes his head. “No,” he disagrees, refusing. He says that anybody who wants to go, is coming with them…but only Noah comes forward.
Outside, Abraham pulls the fire truck into the hospital parking lot…the gang steps out, takes care of stray walkers as they approach, walking toward the hospital. As they get closer, Maggie allows herself an excited, happy smile at the thought of seeing her sister again. Rick and the others file out, Rick giving a little shake of his head.
Maggie allows herself a hopeful smile, and then they see…
The image that has seared itself into the hearts of all WD fans worldwide…Daryl carrying Beth’s body. So heartbreaking, the worst ever.
Upon seeing Beth, Maggie screams, collapses on the ground.
The final shot of the Season 5 midseason finale…
Wow. I don’t even know what to say, even now. Watching it again, finishing this post, I feel really overcome. Tears. Beth! We love you, girl.
So many of my friends are saying that there is no hope, that The Walking Dead is just going to keep getting more and more bleak, that nothing in the world that is being portrayed in the show is going to get any better. I do hope that’s not true, but as I said before, the comic series doesn’t exactly lead to chocolates and roses.
Kirkman, Gimple, be kind. It’s all I ask.
A couple of things, before I sign off for a while…I would like to thank all those who have found me, and my crazy tweaker blog, and who have given me encouragement, posted comments, shared with friends. I am gaining new readership all the time, at unprecedented rate. Thanks, gang. I appreciate your showing the love.
One reader, Brooks, asked me in a comment a couple of months back if I would ever consider having a guest writer post on my blog.
I am sorry that I did not directly answer your question in my reply to you, at the time, Brooks. I was honestly taken aback, as I had never even thought about it before. I was so surprised to be asked.
But, I have thought about that question you asked me ever since, and this is what I came up with…during the midseason break, while I take a much needed rest, I would like to open up barnfullawalkers to be a forum for writers, artists, WD fans to contribute their talents, if they wish. I will not be posting, so there is opportunity to get your talents showcased if you want to play along.
As this is a blog about The Walking Dead (more or less, sometimes more, sometimes less), I would ask that any contributions be centered around The Walking Dead as a central theme. If you have fan fiction, poetry, drawings, art, photographs, essays, commentaries, Season 5 thoughts, synopses, that you would like to submit, or any other correspondence that you would like to send along, please send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is totally a new thing, and I’m not quite sure how it’s all going to work as of yet, but I promise that any submissions will be treated with the upmost respect, and if I choose to post it, I will contact you, and we will take it from there.
On a funny note, as always, the midseason and season finale episodes of WD seem to result in especially memorable Talking Dead episodes, and last week was no exception.
As Robert Kirkman, the creator of both The Walking Dead comic and television series, was a featured guest on TD, fans were invited to Skype in questions for him, and we got a few new additions to the Kooky WD Fan Hall of Fame:
We got to meet:
Brendan and Suzanne, the wacky swinger or “free pass” couple whose “kids” wanted to know if their dad could kiss Maggie. Ol’ Brendan said it was up to his wife, but if she was down with it, so was he…and then they both gave this “thumbs-up” sign, so, I guess everyone’s ok with it, even the kids!
Christie (sp?)…she was cute, with a sweet smile and a normal question for Kirkman that I can’t remember at the moment.
Then, we met Scott, who asked Kirkman if Daryl ever got to have a “booty call” or if he was just saving himself for one special person….got my fingers crossed for you, Scott, buddy…here’s hoping!
Then we met the bespectacled girl with the quirky style who dolled herself and her little dog in fancy bow ties. She asked some question about Shane, I think.
And finally, there was Gig Guy, sporting a fox pelt hat and screaming at the camera as he channeled Rick Grimes telling off all those who doubted his leadership abilities.
Ah, humanity! 🙂
Have a lovely holiday, my WDO darling readers, and drop me a comment, or if you are shy, drop me an email at email@example.com
Until Feb.8, and enjoy Beth’s playlist:
Playlist: (Seven-song playlist to take Beth up to Level 7…Beth Forever! ❤)
Jose Gonzalez, “Storm”
Purity Ring, “Obedear”
Moondog, “Bird’s Lament”
Tori Amos, “Cornflake Girl”
Guns n Roses, “Sweet Child of Mine”