The Walking Dead: Season 5, Episode 7 (SPOILER) Review

Episode Title: Crossed

Director:  Bill Gierhart

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In last week’s episode of The Walking Dead we spent an hour with Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride) as they attempted to find Beth by following a car. They were ambushed by Noah (Tyler James Williams), the escapee from the hospital who managed to get away back when Beth tried to escape a few episodes ago, who took their weapons out of desperation. Soon, Daryl and Carol met back up with Noah who was in trouble and they reluctantly saved him from sure death. Noah quickly revealed that he knew Beth and they hatched a plan to break Beth from the hospital. The episode ended with Carol being hit by a car from the hospital and being taken to where Beth is being held. Daryl and Noah then plan to help rescue them, but Daryl announces that he will get some backup first. It was a strong episode that brought us up to date on things and had some great scenes involving two of the most popular characters in the show.

This week begins back at the church where Daryl and Noah now are, and we hear that the two of them, along with Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) are planning to find a way to get Beth (Emily Kinney) and Carol back. After arriving in the city and arguing against Rick’s idea to infiltrate the hospital and take each member out quietly, Daryl and Tyreese decide that the best plan of action is to take a couple of the police officers from the hospital hostage and trade them for Beth and Carol.

This episode is notable, also, for the fact that we meet back up with each arc. Beth is at the hospital, attempting to find a way to nurse Carol back to health but struggling due to the danger of being caught or found out by the people around her. Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) is still in a state of shock after the “big reveal” from Eugene (Josh McDermitt) a couple of episodes ago, and Eugene is still unconscious. Maggie (Lauren Cohan) attempts to help Eugene back to health while Glenn (Steven Yeun), Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Tara (Alanna Masterson) go for water at a nearby stream. Back at the church, after Rick, Daryl and company have headed out in order to begin their mission, Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Carl (Chandler Riggs) keep their eyes on Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) who seems disturbed by the brutal killings in the church from a couple of episodes back. Michonne offers her support to the priest, but he doesn’t seem to be entirely fine with being in the church, and there is still plenty of mystery surrounding him and his past.

The rescue-mission group fire off a gun in the city, in order to get the attention of the people in the hospital, who react and send out a couple of “cops” to check out the area. Noah lures them in and the rest of the group manage to ambush them and take them hostage. It quickly turns sour when another car turns up with more hospital members, but they are all eventually taken hostage, with Daryl standing in the way of Rick who appeared to be about to kill the member of the hospital gang who had attacked and attempted to feed Daryl to a walker moments earlier. The hostages, Bob (Maximiliano Hernandez), Licari (Christopher Matthew Cook) and Officer Shepard (Teri Wyble) are restrained, with Shepard pleading to be let go, saying they would let Beth and Carol go when they got back to the hospital. Bob, a cop that Noah refers to as “one of the good ones”, disagrees with his “ally”, instead saying that they would help Daryl, Rick and company get to the hospital and get their friends out, claiming it to be the better idea because he knew how to speak to Dawn (Christine Woods), the woman in charge of the hospital.

Back at the church, Father Gabriel flips up floorboards in a room that he has locked himself in and uses the crawlspace to escape, coming into contact with a walker in the nearby woods. Further showing the mystery of his character, he refuses to kill the walker who is wearing a crucifix around its neck. Maggie helps Abraham come around a little while Glenn, Tara and Rosita find water and filter it and Eugene wakes up. Back with the hostages we see that Bob and Sasha are speaking, and Bob tells her that he saw a walker that used to be someone he knew. Sasha says she is willing to help Bob and put the walker out of its misery. The episode comes to an end when Bob attacks Sasha as she is looking down the sight of her gun, knocking her out and running away, still with his arms tied behind his back.

I was surprised, and happy, to see that this episode visited each of the stories and groups again, filling us in on where each of them are and what they’re doing. Glenn, Maggie and the remainder of that group had the least going on in the episode, with us merely watching Abraham coming to terms with the news that put him into shock, and the remainder of the group waiting to see if Eugene wakes up. The hospital scenes were minor too, with Beth attempting to help Carol against the wishes of others. The church was also only visited for a short time, but with all of these areas being included, it added a lot of intrigue and gave us an idea that something big is about to happen with the mid-season finale. The hostage-storyline was enjoyable to watch unfold and the power struggle between trigger-happy Rick and the more thoughtful and survivalist Daryl reared its head, hinting at a possible clash between the two in the future. Tyreese showed further why he is the most kind-hearted character in the show, offering advice to a mourning Sasha. I thought everyone did a good job, and lots of questions are still wide open, awaiting answers.

With Sasha attacked and the escaped officer, Bob, probably warning the people in the hospital of the groups’ plans to rescue Beth and Carol, it brings a lot of danger and possibility to the coming episodes. If Bob does get back to the hospital and reveal the plan, will Beth and Carol survive, and will the group manage to get there in time to help them? I’m not sure where we go next, or what the next episode will bring, but it appears there is going to be a war inside the hospital and I imagine bloodshed won’t be off the menu. As for the group that used to be traveling to Washington, I’m interested to see what happens next with that plotline, and if Eugene has survived, how will Abraham and he manage to travel side-by-side given Eugene’s deceit. The church seems to be holding plenty of mysteries also, and Father Gabriel isn’t telling his whole story, a story that I am also very interested to learn about, and I imagine it will shake the group up in some way when we do.

An important episode that moved the stories along and helped set up what is bound to be an exciting and tense mid-season finale. I’m not sure what is going to happen, but if I were placing bets of having a good guess, I’d say I won’t be writing an episode review next week that doesn’t include details about a major character death. Excellent writing and direction and brilliant performances, among the usual great practical effects, this was yet another super-solid episode of a show I consider one of the best around in all aspects. Roll on, episode eight.

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