The Walking Dead Episode Review: “Coda”

by StevenHelmer

A review of the season 5 mid-season finale that first aired November 30, 2014.

Synopsis: Rick (Andrew Lincoln) hopes to rescue Beth (Emily Kinney) and Carol (Melissa McBride) from the hospital survivors through a peaceful exchange. However, as is often the case for him and his crew, things don’t go well and they lose a beloved companion as a result. Meanwhile, thanks to a mistake by Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), the church becomes overrun by walkers.

Guest Stars

A Shocking Mid-Season Finale

I have to admit, this episode surprised me at the end. I figured, since it was a mid-season finale, we would see one of the main characters get killed. However, I’ve been expecting it to be Carol. I wasn’t expecting to say goodbye to Beth and I certainly wasn’t expecting her to die so suddenly. It actually took my wife and me a few moments to let that sink in.

Her death does make things interesting going forward. As I’ve mentioned in earlier reviews, I felt like she was growing as a character and possessed some unexpected wisdom for such a young character. I think the fact she is now gone permanently does leave a big void for the rest of the survivors. This is especially true of Maggie (Lauren Cohan). She finally learns her sister is still alive only to have her excitement snuffed out a short time later and before she even had a chance to become reunited with her. That leaves her as the lone survivor from her very large family.

The loss of the church was also a big factor leading into the second half of the season (due to come out in February) because it does lead to an interesting question. With the return of Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and his group, they have more than enough people to reclaim the building from the walkers. The question, however, is do they want to? Rick and his friends are becoming nomads and his refusal to take shelter in the hospital (something that seems very logical given the fact they would have more people, more weapons and the hospital seems to be pretty secure) shows he is reluctant to settle down anywhere. I’m not sure if this is because of the the disappointment about what happened at the prison or if he has other reasons.

Also of interest is the direction the group will take in regards to Gabriel and Eugene (Josh McDermitt). Neither of them possesses even a hint of survival skill and their potential contributions are limited at best, especially since we now know Eugene is a big conman. I think it’s only a matter of time before someone in that group suggests sending them in a separate direction.

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Final Opinion

Overall, this was a very good episode that does a great job setting up the second half of the season, especially with that shocking death at the very end. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 11/21/2016, StevenHelmer
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