Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) finally back this week as we set up everything for the midseason finale. So how did the penultimate episode for the first half of S5 fare?
Let’s bitch it out.
A lot happens in ‘Crossed’ as we jump back and forth between our fractured Grimes gang. And although a lot “happens” I felt, on the most part, that the episode was dragging its heels. We know it’s the last offering before the big midseason finale, which undoubtedly will be jaw-dropping (something the series has relished delivering year after year) and in order to deliver those satisfying WTF moments, we’re gonna need some setup. I think that’s the problem. Perhaps I’m being unreasonable in my criticism since this episode delivers by all accounts: character development, well-paced momentum, proper set-up for a satisfying payoff – but at the end of the day, I didn’t feel particularly compelled while watching. Aside from when miscellaneous cop #3 showed up unexpectedly to thwart Rick & Co.’s plan to kidnap two members of Dawn’s (Christine Woods) squad, I found myself completely uninterested in many of the things going on.
Perhaps it’s because the episode felt the need to touch base with all the characters at some point, when really the most urgent plotline is figuring out what Rick, Daryl (Norman Reedus), Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman), Noah (Tyler James Williams) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) were doing. We do find out interesting tidbits along the way, like how Tara (Alanna Masterson) is further bonding with Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) arguably helps Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) snap out of his frustrating pity-party. It’s necessary to get us to the midseason finale, but none of it is particularly enthralling. I mean, discovering that Rosita (Christian Serratos) can build a makeshift water filter just doesn’t measure up against the kidnapping-swap plot, amiright?
The excitement I had a couple episodes ago seems to be waning. I can envision how next week will play out – an inevitable showdown at the hospital with at least one causality from our group, and some narrative mechanism that brings the fractured bunch back together fortuitously, likely in a ‘nick-of-time’ scenario. I guess I’m disappointed that things are progressing in a more predictable (but still well written) fashion than I had anticipated. I delighted in how swiftly the Termites were dealt with a few weeks ago and loved how we switched gears and sat with the new politics of Grady Memorial Hospital. It felt like The Walking Dead was taking more narrative risks and we were reaping the rewards. I even appreciated the effort to develop our heroes outside of Rick in subsequent episodes, even if the results were less than stellar. But now it feels like everything is coming together a bit too perfectly, and I guess I’m yearning for those moments of surprise that I just can’t see. That being said, there’s yet to be a midseason finale that didn’t leave me jaw-dropped, so perhaps I should just shut it and learn to have some faith.
- I couldn’t help but groan when Sasha so foolishly decided to trust Jasper Sitwell Sgt. Bob Lamson (Maximiliano Hernández). I mean, come on! Hernández will forever be typecast as duplicitous in my mind.
- I also feel like the show is desperately trying to carve out Rick as an antihero, but haven’t we all learned it’s best to suspect everyone is an asshole in the apocalypse? Rick is right to be distrustful and it’s about time that everyone else follows suit. How many cannibals and rapists do we need to encounter before everyone gets this? S5 people – not S2. We’re past the moral ambiguity. Kill first, discuss later.
- How incredibly uninteresting is Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam)? Answer: very. I get that he’s struggling to reconcile his faith and what the new reality is, but again, it’s S5. #AintNobodyGotTimeForThat.
What did you think viewers? Did this episode excite you and leave you itching for next week? What do you think will happen? Will Rick & Co. successfully rescues Beth (Emily Kinney) and Carol (Melissa McBride)? Who do you think won’t survive, (because you can pretty much put money on losing some one in our group)? Aren’t you SO EXITED that Eugene (Josh McDermitt) is back to live another day? And Abraham drinks some water! He’s got the will to live again! Doesn’t that leave you tickled pink? Sound off and complain about my sarcasm in the comments below.
A gentle reminder that we adhere to a SPOILER FREE zone. Please keep any plot points from the graphic novel that may potential spoil the direction of the show to yourself.
The Walking Dead airs at 9pm EST, Sundays on AMC.