Violet recaps the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead, titled Coda, where Rick’s group continues on with the plan to rescue Beth and Carol from the hospital! Following the recap, both Violet and Josh share their thoughts about the episode.
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Episode Recap of The Walking Dead, Season 5 Episode 8: Coda
This episode of The Walking Dead picks up right where the last one left off — with Lamson running off. However, we now see Rick hop into a police car and chase him down. He uses the PA system to ask Lamson to stop — but he keeps running. Rick speeds up and runs into Lamson, projecting him forward. A severely injured Lamson asks Rick to take him back to the hospital, but Rick says no. Lamson tries to tell Rick that they’ll all die out here, but Rick shoots him into the head and tells him to shut up.
We then see where Father Gabriel went: the school in which a horde of walkers are trapped, and outside of which the Termites had their Bob-a-que. He sees the remains of Bob’s leg and weeps and gets angry. Just then, the walkers bust through the glass doors and begin chasing him as he runs back to the church, which is all boarded up. He bangs on the front door, screaming to be let in. Carl runs to help, and Michonne takes an ax and chops through the wood barricading the doors. Gabriel rushes in, but so do a horde of walkers. Michonne does what she can with her machete, but there are too many, so they run to the rectory. Gabriel holds the door closed with a chair while Carl takes Judith through the hole in the floor, followed by Michonne. Then Gabriel escapes as well. Michonne and Carl go back around to the front of the church, and barricade the walkers inside.
Rick and Daryl discuss that they may need to change the plan. However, Officer Shepherd seems amenable to the trade now, and wants to use the cover story that Lamson was attacked by rotters. Officer Lacari seems to be on board as well.
Over at the hospital, Dawn is trying to radio to Lamson and the others, but isn’t getting a response. Apparently, it’s normal for them not to radio back right away, so she’s not too worried about it. Meanwhile, Beth is cleaning Dawn’s office, and she asks about Officer Hanson. Dawn basically tells her that Hanson lost his way, and therefore, lost the respect of the others.
Back at the church, the walkers begin to break through the makeshift barricade. Luckily, Abraham’s group drives up in the fire truck. Glenn fills Michonne in about Eugene, and Michonne fills the others in about the hospital mission. Maggie is overjoyed to hear that Beth is alive. They all set out for the hospital.
Beth sees Officer O’Donnell pushing a ward around, an old man named Percy. O’Donnell is about to start in on Beth, but Dawn takes her away to do other work.
Later, Dawn finds Beth setting at the edge of the empty elevator shaft, and tells her that Percy is going to be okay. But Beth says that nothing is okay. She criticizes Dawn and the hospital, but Dawn reminds her that she and the hospital saved Beth twice. Dawn also tells Beth that the others don’t know what she did, and that she protected Beth from the others finding out that she’s a cop killer.
O’Donnell comes in and threatens Dawn, saying that the others think she’s cracking, and that this is Hanson all over again. Dawn pulls her gun on him, and reminds him that she’s the one who killed Hanson, the only one that could go through with it. They talk for a bit, and Dawn seems like she wants to put a stop to O’Donnell abusing the wards. Suddenly, O’Donnell attacks her, and is able to kick away her gun. They fight, until he grabs ahold of Dawn’s throat, pinning her to the wall. However, Beth tries to jump on him, though he easily pushes her off of him. But it was just enough distraction for Dawn to break free, and kick O’Donnell towards the open elevator shaft. She screams for Beth, who pushes him down into the elevator shaft, with hungry walkers waiting below.
Later, Dawn finds Beth in Carol’s room. Beth tells Dawn she knows why she covered for her: she was protecting herself. Beth also comments about how things are done at the hospital: everyone uses people to get what they want. Beth says she’s going to get out, just like Noah, but Dawn says he’ll be back, and that they always come back. Dawn guesses that Beth knows Carol, and says that they both can be a part of the hospital, that it’s important. Dawn tells Beth that she’s wrong, she didn’t use her, and that she will remember.
Rick’s group is getting ready for the hostage exchange on the roof of a building near the hospital. Tyreese tells Sasha that the name of man he killed at the church was Martin. He knows because it was the same guy back at the shack by Terminus that he said he killed, but actually didn’t. He reflects that maybe they’re the same as they were when they were kids, but Sasha says she doesn’t think she can be the same anymore.
Tyreese and Noah keep watch over the hostages, while Sasha and Daryl aim down below with their sniper rifle and crossbow. Rick goes down and meets with two police officers who drive up. They have him lay down his weapon. He makes the proposal for the exchange of two of their people for two of his. He confirms that Noah is with them, and that Lamson was attacked by the dead before they could get to him. A walker approaches, and Sasha shoots it in the head, letting the officers know that Rick has backup close by.
The officers lead Rick’s group into the hospital. Meanwhile, Beth gets dressed and ready to go in her old clothes. She also grabs a pair of scissors and hides them in her cast. Then Beth brings Carol out in a wheelchair, with Dr. Edwards, as Dawn and the other officers stand in front. Dawn commands everyone to holster their weapons. Dawn asks what happened to Lamson, and Shepherd and Lacari both say that they saw rotters get him. First, they exchange Lacari for Carol. Then Dawn and Rick meet halfway to exchange Beth and Shepherd. It looks like everything is going to go smoothly — until Dawn demands Noah back.
Rick and Daryl argue with Dawn, but Noah volunteers to give himself up. Beth gives Noah a hug, and Noah tells her it’s okay. Dawn tells him she knew he’d be back. Then Beth approaches Dawn and says, “I get it now.” Then Beth stabs Dawn in the chest with the pair of scissors. Dawn immediately reacts by shooting Beth in the head. Daryl responds by taking out his pistol and shooting Dawn in the head. Shepherd yells at everyone to hold their fire and stand down.
Shepherd invites them to stay, but Rick refuses, and says he’ll take anyone who wants to come. Rick’s group leaves the hospital in tears, just as Abraham’s group arrives. Maggie breaks down when she sees Daryl carrying Beth’s body.
In a post-credits scene, we see Morgan examining an “X” symbol on a tree. He comes across the elementary school where the walkers were trapped. Then he finds another symbol on a tree outside of the church. He goes inside the church and finds the map on which Abraham had written the message apologizing to Rick and telling him to come to Washington. Morgan recognizes the name Rick Grimes.
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 5 Episode 8 of The Walking Dead: Coda
Well, we knew it had to happen. That somebody from the group was going to die in this episode. We knew there was going to be a big showdown between Rick’s group and the hospital group, and it was highly unlikely that everyone in Rick’s group would survive. It was just sad that it had be Beth, after all she’s been through in that hospital, that just as she’s about to escape and be free, she gets killed. But, you could kind of see it coming as soon as she grabbed that pair of scissors and hid them in her cast. It was like, yeah this isn’t going to go well, and we just knew that it would be her that died.
Then in the hallway, when the groups were doing the hostage exchange, things were just going a little too smoothly. It was like, no, there’s no way this is going to go exactly as planned, with no casualties on either side. Dawn just had to be greedy and demand Noah’s return. It is kind of a miracle that there wasn’t more of a bloodbath, actually. When Dawn shot Beth, and then Daryl shot Dawn, things could have gotten really ugly, considering everyone there had guns, and my first instinct was that that’s what was going to happen, an exchange of gunfire between the two groups, with even more people dying. Fortunately, Shepherd was able to order her people to stand down before anything more happened. Such a tragic loss though, because I think that Beth would have come back to the group much stronger and more of a fighter.
As for Rick… Well, after seeing what he did to Lamson, it’s evident that he’s almost gotten to the point where he’s too far gone, if he’s not there already. Sure, he had to go after Lamson when he escaped, but he didn’t have to run him down with the police car, and act so barbarically toward him. There was Crazy Rick in a previous season, when he was a little out of it, but now he’s getting to be an entirely different kind of Crazy Rick, more like animal crazy, bloodthirsty crazy. I’m afraid to see what this will mean for the group going forward, though I am curious to see how the group will respond to Rick’s deterioration. Will they succumb to his mindset, or rebel against it? And what will the group’s next move be, now that they know Eugene lied about the cure, and Washington, D.C. is no longer the goal? Will they meet back up with Morgan? And what is Morgan up to anyway, following those symbols? Where did they come from? What do they mean? It’s going to be a long wait until The Walking Dead comes back in February, and I’m definitely looking forward to its return!
Josh’s Thoughts: The Walking Dead, Season 5 Episode 8: Coda
The first thing I have to say about this episode was that Officer Lamson deserved what was coming to him. While I sort of understand his decision to run away, Rick and the team told him their intentions, which was only to get back the person that was taken from them by his people. If Lamson was an understanding person, in this new chaos of the walker filled world, he would have gone along with the plan for the exchange. I didn’t think that Rick and the team showed any signs of being nefarious in the trade, so I didn’t understand Lamson’s decision at all. I personally did not feel any remorse for Lamson’s death. Rick even gave Lamson plenty of time to stop running, and Lamson refused. I more can’t understand Lamson’s thought process at that point. Why wouldn’t he stop when there is a car basically right behind him?
As for the rest of the episode, I was amiable to it for the most part. It was interesting how Rick and the team were able to set up the negotiations. But the terms of the negotiation I did not understand at all. For some reason Rick and the team decided that meeting in the narrow hall way in the hospital would be the best course of action. How is that the best course of action? Given what they know from the intel Noah provided, along with the underhanded move made by Lamson, why would you even thinking about meeting inside the hospital, in a narrow hallway, where a trap could be laid for them? That really bothered me.
Then there was the trade, and Beth had to be the martyr, and get herself killed. Another decision I didn’t really agree with at all. Firstly, the thin weapon would most certainly not be able to kill anyone, unless it hit the exact right spot, so the attempt was basically worthless anyway. Secondly, and this is a problem with the continuity of the episode, how did Dawn get her gun from her holster and fire it so quickly at Beth? That seemed really odd considering everyone had put their weapons away.
I was really hoping that there would have been more fireworks at the end, with a big shoot out rather than this odd hostage trade. It felt like a bit of a let down in terms of the build up, as the major death was kind of a “meh” moment for me. The reaction by both Daryl and Maggie was done really well though. There was certainly a lot of heartbreak in those moments when Daryl is carrying Beth out, and Maggie sees her dead.
I am looking forward to next season. It is going to be like a brand new story line, given everything has basically been wrapped up. I have read ahead a little in the comics, and there could definitely be some interesting and precarious ways to go this second half. Let’s hope it pays off!
Scenes from The Walking Dead, Season 5 Episode 9
Here are scenes from the next episode of The Walking Dead, which returns February 8, 2015: