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The Walking Dead - Crossed - Review and Discussion

We’re one week to the mid-season finale, and it showed in this week’s episode, as we got an hour of mostly set up, a little character development, and some stalling thrown in. Crossed was possibly the weakest episode this season and will likely rank low in my final tallies for the season for reasons I’ll get into below. But in truth, all will be forgiven and quickly forgotten if the mid-season finale delivers and the set up proves worth it.

This week we followed four storylines – one the beginnings of a rescue attempt of Beth and Carol, the second Beth’s attempt to keep Carol alive, the third the fire truck group waiting for Eugene to wake up, and the fourth Father Gabriel adjusting poorly to the recent Termite massacre.

Most of the action was centered around the group headed to Atlanta: Rick, Tyreese, Sasha, Daryl, and Noah. After putting an ax to the church to make weapons, to the horror of Gabriel who apparently hasn’t bought into Maggie’s comment that the church is just “four walls and a roof,” the group sets off for Atlanta.

We had a discussion in the comments here a couple of weeks back about just how far Atlanta is from the church. Apparently it’s not far at all, because there was no sense of significant time passing conveyed. One minute they’re in the church, and the next they’re scoping out the area around the hospital. While time jumps are common and perfectly acceptable when accompanied by verbal or visual cues that time has passed, this one felt jarring because the other storylines (particularly the church and the firetruck), seemed to be progressing in close to real time. As for the passage of time at the hospital, Beth makes a comment mid-episode that Carol has been there less than a day. Showrunner Scott Gimple said in interviews that the show was going to be playing with the sense of time in the first half this season. This could be what he meant, but I’m a little skeptical, though.

Getting back to Rick’s group in Atlanta, on the one hand this was the most exciting storyline of the episode. It had action, Rick being bass-ass with his gun, gore (a human arm hanging out of the wheel of a car), walkers turned into street art as they had melted into the sidewalks during the city’s bombing, and a close call for a walker bite when Daryl wrestled with one of Dawn’s officers within range of walker teeth. We were also shown a new way to use walkers as a weapon – grab them by the eye sockets and use the skull to bash your assailant’s head.

On the other hand, Rick’s disorienting mood swings combined with Sasha’s unfathomable lack of caution led to the development that one of the three cops the group had secured got away. I was really expecting the cop to push Sasha through the glass and out the window, killing her, so I guess we can be thankful that she appears to be only knocked out. I believe that Sasha was supposed to be off because of her emotional state, and the fact that the officer said his name was "Bob."  All of this is understandable, but the usually cautious Sasha would have still seen that her captive was luring her into a compromised situation, I would think.  This development means that the officer will likely reach Dawn to warn her, and things can only get violent from here. Score one point for the “trust no one” camp.

Meanwhile in Atlanta , we had Beth creeping around the hospital, eavesdropping and plotting to keep Carol alive. This was my favorite part of the episode – watching Beth get sneaky and protective over Carol. The best scene of the episode had Beth holding the hand of an unconscious Carol, to comfort her and let her know that she’s there. Dr. Edwards’ warning troubles me though. He told Beth that if Dawn gave Beth the key to the medicine cabinet, it wasn’t out of the goodness of her heart. This could be coming from Edwards’ own warped perspective, but I believed him, and I’m now wondering what the catch with be. I’m also hoping that Edwards makes it out alive and is redeemed. The group could use a real doctor again.

At the church, we mostly focused on Gabriel’s struggles with the blood and violence introduced into his church. He appears to blame Rick’s group, but he’s also seen looking the message scratched in the church wall, that he will burn for what he’s done, so he seems to recognize that his actions played a role in his current situation. We later see him tunneling out through the floorboards (I must have missed the scene where they made him a captive and told him he was not free to leave), to complete an unknown mission. He steps on a nail (a tetanus plot to come maybe?), which under other circumstances I would say fits in with the recent religious symbolism – in this case Christ being nailed to the cross – but I don’t think Gabriel is being portrayed as a Christ figure, so I’m at a loss as to where this detail might be leading.

Finally, we followed Glenn and Maggie’s group in the hours following Eugene’s revelation that he didn’t have a way to stop the walkers, and his subsequent beating from Abraham. This is where we could have used a time jump. While there was some value in catching up emotionally with this group in seeing how they all reacted to Eugene’s news, I thought we could have skipped the journey into the woods to fetch water and spent that time building out Atlanta storylines more.

We pick up with the group at the fire truck, and it’s tapped out of water. While I was watching Eugene hose down the walkers – like many I had thought it made a cool visual – but at the same time, I had questioned the waste of such a valuable resource, especially considering the group on the ground with their knives and guns seemed more than capable of handing a walker herd that size. Anyway, (a few hours later I guess?) they’ve completely used up their 500 gallons of water.

As you’ve can probably tell, I had some issues with this episode. With that said, next week’s looks promising. A bloody confrontation between our group and Dawn’s group seems inevitable. At least one person who we care about will likely die (just a guess here), so I’ll probably prepare for watching by pulling out the tissues.

Other Thoughts

- My favorite quotes: (Gabriel) “Are you gonna take the cross too?” (Daryl) “If we need it.”

- Another quote:  (Maggie to Abraham) "Get over yourself. You’re not the only one who lost something today.”

- And another: (Rick's response to Michonne's comment that they all owe Carol) "I owe her more." Yup, Rick, you do.

- Best character moment:  Maggie pointing the gun at Abraham, saying, "Sit down or I'll put you down."

- Most casually chilling character moment:  Rick explaining that their plan includes Daryl slitting a guard's throat.

- I liked that Tara was being shown as sympathetic to Eugene. It makes sense given her own recent quest for redemption, and it’s a better reaction than the more predictable one of anger.

- Tara’s excitement over finding a yo-yo was nice touch. We also learned Rosita has skills. Good to know.

- I'm predicting that when Sasha wakes up, she's going to be in one nasty mood.

- Question for you all because this is something I didn’t get. Glenn makes a comment to Tara on their way back to the truck, “Don’t even look at it.” He appears to be talking about the “Buckle up” sign, but I have no idea what that might mean. Any thoughts?

About the Author - Chris684
Chris is a New Englander with a background in print and digital media, who currently earns a living by making web and technology products easier to use. She has a weakness for TV characters who are 'dark and twisty' (to quote Meredith Grey) and reviews The Walking Dead, Legends, Halt and Catch Fire, and Dig for SpoilerTV.
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