After last week’s episode of The Walking Dead focused on Daryl, Carol and eventually Noah, this week’s episode (s5e7) – Crossed – looks to be the week where the band starts putting it all back together as they head towards a mid-season showdown with the Grady Hospital crew.
At the church, you see the team preparing for what is coming. They are dismantling the pipe organ. (I recoiled in horror. We have no evidence that zombies have any ties to their previous life, but the most terrifying thing in the world would be zombie church ladies ticked off about their pipe organ being messed with.) Sasha is working over a pew with an axe. Outside Rick and Michonne have a discussion about who is going to be going with Daryl. Inside, Father Gabriel asks if they are going to take the cross as well, before he begins trying to scrub out the blood stains in the church floor.
The team is then loaded up in the truck and Tyrese tries to talk to a despondent Sasha about how she is feeling about Bob’s death, but she refuses to talk with him.
Team DC gets a new name as Tara calls them GRATEM, as she fills the water bottles labeled with each of their initials (Glenn, Rosita, Abraham, Tara, Eugene, and Maggie, for those of you trying to keep track of our separated survivors). After Rosita argues with Abraham about drinking his water, he gets up from the kneeling position he has been in, moving threateningly towards Rosita before Maggie draws her 6 shooter and forces him to back down.
In the ATL, Rick maps out a game plan based on the information that Noah has given them. (I am not quite sure why Noah gets a pass. He went from “Guy no one knew” to “trusted confidante” in the fastest time we have seen in a while. It turns out that while Everyone Hates Chris, everyone trusts Noah.) The plan is to essentially move in quick and deadly, using their knives and silencers to take down threats. Tyrese offers the suggestion of maybe just capturing a couple of the cops and making a trade. Rick looks likes Tyrese has lost his mind but Daryl backs Tyrese and they seem to be moving forward with that plan.
Back at the church, Carl is trying to helpfully instruct Gabriel in learning how to survive, giving him machete lessons after Gabriel has chosen one. But it ends quickly, as Gabriel declares himself to be ill and he retires to his office.
At Grady, we learn they are still very frustrated that they haven’t caught Noah yet. The conversation shifts to how they are wasting resources on the patient in exam room 2, when Beth comes to what is Carol’s defense. Dawn then says pull the plug and when the other officer leaves, she blames Beth. Eventually, she does give Beth the drug cabinet key, saying she will have to treat Carol on her own now.
Team GRATEM then divides up, with Glenn, Tara and Rosita heading down to the creek for water with Maggie staying watch over Eugene and the still kneeling Abraham. After the others depart, Maggie takes down a ladder and sets up a tent over Eugene, who is still laying right where he was when Abraham knocked him out several episodes ago. Maggie then explains she is heartbroken just like Abraham, sad that this is current state of things is the best it will ever get.
Beth is at the hospital and is getting the doctor to tell her what kind of medicines to use to help Carol. He figures out that Dawn has given Beth the medicine key and that it is a bad idea. Beth makes him tell her anyways.
The team GRATEM water hunting crew discovers the water from the creek is dirty. Rosita then uses a trick Eugene taught her, involving filtering the water through a cloth, which will make it clean enough to boil. Glenn then asks for her story, and she talks about how Abraham and she met in Dallas. The reason that she joined him was because he said he needed her, which was the first time since the apocalypse that anyone had asked for her help.
In ATL, the bait works, as Noah is caught, proving that even on a bad leg, he can take a hit from a car better than Carol can. After he is caught, Rick, Daryl and the team then surrounds the cops and disarms them. In the midst one of the Grady cops recognizes that Rick used to be a cop because of how he is handling things. But just then another car rolls up, bullets fly and the now three cops get away, though not too far. They run their car into an asphalt jungle of zombies that had been bombed and are now stuck to the asphalt. The car catches a bone and gets stuck, which leads into a foot chase. The part we see is Daryl tracking down the late arriving cop and they get into a fist fight. The cop has the advantage on Daryl in preparing to force feed him into the bombed zombies. And then, it happens. This is going to need its own paragraph…
Since the show The Walking Dead began, we have seen all kinds of strange and gruesome things. But the most innovative and gruesome thing I think since the show began was when Daryl reached out for a living zombie, stuck his hand through its eyes and then rips the skull from the body and bludgeoned the cop off of him. It was classic Daryl Dixon, willing to do whatever it took to survive. It was the most unexpected move of the season. And it paid off, as Rick shows up and they take the cop captive, though Rick’s growing bloodlust was about to show itself, when Daryl pointed out that three hostages to negotiate with are better than 2.
The reasonable cop, who we learn is Sergeant Bob Lamson, says that he know how to negotiate with Dawn and help everyone walk away from this without any more violence. Rick seems to have a comrade-in-arms vibe with him, as Lamson, like Rick, was a cop before the apocalypse happened.
Glenn, Rosita and Tara decide they want to catch those fish, so they go back are scavenging off the bodies of zombies who were hit by a telephone poll while hiking. They cut out the mesh liners from their coats to make nets and Tara pulls a whole backpack off them.
At the church Michonne is trying to help Father Gabriel see that the awful things that they are doing are worth it in some way. He thanks her and excuses himself back to his office, where we see that he is using the machete to remove boards in the floor to make an escape.
At Grady, using a strawberry bribe, Beth gets someone to fake an injury so she can go get the medicine the doctor said she would need. After hooking the IV to Carol, Beth lets the still unconscious Carol know that she is there.
In the ATL, as Sasha and Tyrese are trying to change the tire that got the bone through it on the escape cop car, she tears Bob’s army jacket and then they have a moment, as Sasha has to forgive herself for not having the strength to put Bob down herself and having Tyrese do it.
Gabriel flees out the hole, stepping on a nail in his foot, marching out the cemetery of the church into the woods. He eventually stumbles into a zombie, who he powerslams and impales on a limb but he is unable to deliver the punishing final blow when he sees the zombie’s cross necklace.
Sgt. Bob Lamson then is talking with Sasha and talks about how hard it was to see the asphalt zombie jungle because he recognized one of the zombie as a guy who replaced him on a final run and how he would like put at least that zombie down so he can have some closure. (The asphalt zombies were the last of the refugees who were going to Grady when they were bombed.)
Maggie and Abraham then have a conversation where she asks essentially if he was using her to commit suicide earlier. Abraham admits that he thought he did want her to shot him. Eugene then starts to awaken and while Maggie goes to help him, Abraham symbolically drinks the water bottle that has been beside him, essentially saying he is willing to move on.
And finally, back in the ATL, Sasha sympathizes with Lamson and has him direct her towards the zombie to take out when Lamson pushes her into the window, knocking her unconscious, before running off quickly with his hands zip tied behind his back.
A solid 7 out of 8 nerds.
- The character of Gabriel is one of the most interesting ones this season to me. From the get-go, when Rick woke from his coma, we saw someone adjust to this new world. But Rick was a cop, comfortable with weapons. Gabriel is like a time released reset button. We are seeing through his eyes what is it like to have to adjust to this world. The cocoon of his church and his partnership with Terminus spared him from those things until now. It is a very interesting storytelling device to remind us that the world is pretty gruesome when you first encounter it. If they hadn’t introduced him, you might lose sight of how that can look through new eyes. (We have seen the ease that the survivors now seem to be mowing through groups of 20 or less zombies.) And side note: Gabriel’s walkabout is probably what is going to bring Morgan back into the picture in the second half of this season. Could even be the cliffhanger at the end of the mid-season finale.
- If Daryl dies in this show, I may be out. He is my favorite because of what he does but what he represents as well; he is survivor, willing to do things like use a skull as a weapon but he is also slowly and surely becoming a better man in what could be the end of the world.
- I am worried about Rick. His bloodlust has been growing and his solutions now almost always are “Let’s kill them all.” He is coming up on the line that Herschel was worried about Carl being at when Carl shot the unarmed guy at the prison.
- It was great work to do some more character development with Rosita and Tara. Glenn is a great foil to bounce off of and hearing her backstory helps. When Glenn says they will need her, it is a meaningful moment. And Tara being so pumped up about a yo-yo was really funny.