The Walking Dead Mid-Season 5 Finale Review: Has Kirkman Finally Run Out of Ideas? (Warning: Spoilers)

Walking Dead Season 5 Cast The Walking Dead Mid Season 5 Finale Review: Has Kirkman Finally Run Out of Ideas? (Warning: Spoilers)

Back in season 2 when Sophia stumbled out of that barn as a walker, it was such a great moment in television. The characters had spent the better part of the season up to that point looking for her and we saw Carol grieving and Daryl searching. There was that awesome scene where Daryl brought back that Cherokee rose for Carol and told the story about the Trail of Tears. Of course, the odds were that Sophia had gotten either eaten or turned, being that she was an unarmed little girl lost in a forest full of walkers. We all knew that and yet when she finally did show up as a walker after not being seen for so long, it was so compelling.

Then when Lizzie tried to turn her sister into a walker last season and Carol and Tyrese strolled up on the grisly scene, that was a vivid shock to the system. It was obvious that Lizzie had issues but I don’t think anyone saw that coming. It was sad and poignant at the same; superb storytelling.

But what happened last night on the Walking Dead’s mid-season finale was just a disappointment on so many levels. Killing off beloved characters is a tricky situation for a writer; I get that. Whether or not Beth saw her end in this manner at this time in the comics, I couldn’t say because I purposefully put mine away after buying them so I don’t come across any spoilers. But that really doesn’t matter at this point since the show has veered away from the comics with so many characters. For instance, there’s Daryl, who never appeared in the series at all before the show came out, and there’s the Governor, who was supposed to die a lot sooner than he did, but because of his popularity, they waited.

Up until last night, Kirkman never stooped to kill off a beloved character for the mere sake of shock value or season finale cliffhanger. Herschel’s death, while sudden, did make sense at the time. Of course, there are certain characters that he wouldn’t dare kill off like Daryl, Rick or Michonne. But the practice of setting up a cute, warm and fuzzy character for this type of downfall is the stuff of cheesy Hollywood films and soap operas. Not this show, not the great Walking Dead.

Not until last night, when Beth’s actions turned completely out of character and she sabotaged any chance she had of leaving the hospital with her friends at the very last second. After all she had been through, all she had seen; Beth was a lot smarter than that. She also wasn’t the type to risk the lives of others for the sake of some instant gratification. And seriously, those were the smallest pair of scissors ever. How much damage could she really do with those?

It wasn’t like when Sophia was killed in season 2 because they never showed her all that time. She was just missing. So when she did show up it was like all our fears were realized in one epic scene. The end of season 4 and the first half of season 5 spent so many episodes focused on Beth and her story, on her and Daryl or her at the hospital, that the audience got invested. We got to really see how this character evolved from the scared young girl who wanted to end it all to a true survivor of the apocalypse, with battle scars to boot. She became a hero, a protagonist, a solid principal character worthy of her spot in the show.

The Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 4 Recap Video and Review Slabtown1 The Walking Dead Mid Season 5 Finale Review: Has Kirkman Finally Run Out of Ideas? (Warning: Spoilers)

You don’t get the audience that invested in a character just to have that character’s head blown off so vividly. This goes beyond shock value. Desensitizing an audience to violence is one thing, but you desensitize your audience to your main characters and you might as well kiss the entire show goodbye. Sure, it’s been done on Game of Thrones since the beginning. But Ned’s children were there to carry on his legacy and the show has so many good characters and so many new ones…also, it’s mostly the bad ones that are getting what they deserve.

Beth was like a breath of fresh air in a grim world of death and destruction. She survived because she walked the path of light and love. She took care of Judith and sang songs to lift everyone’s spirits. She broke down Daryl’s walls and helped him cope.

 The Walking Dead Mid Season 5 Finale Review: Has Kirkman Finally Run Out of Ideas? (Warning: Spoilers)

Like Dawn said, Beth appeared weak but she was really strong. She provided balance for all these dark characters who have become so much a part of the landscape, it’s getting harder and harder to tell the good guys from the bad guys. Last night, I could’ve sworn I saw Rick walk back to the cop car after shooting Lamson in the head with a bit of the governor’s swagger in his step. The Walking Dead needed Beth. Not everyone can be a stereotypical badass. But hey, maybe we should’ve seen this coming.

season 5 the walking dead The Walking Dead Mid Season 5 Finale Review: Has Kirkman Finally Run Out of Ideas? (Warning: Spoilers)

As for the final face-off scene, it was just stupid bordering on ridiculous. Since when do cops all enter a stand-off with everyone standing in one group like that? Rick didn’t do it when he met those two cops to give them his proposal. Why not have Noah and Tyrese waiting in the wings? The cops on the other side, too. Why was everyone standing within a grenade’s throw of each other? Also, Beth didn’t know Noah that long or well enough to chuck it all over his going back there. She didn’t even wait to see what Rick and the rest would do before pulling that dumb move. And why try to stab Dawn after just saving her life right before that? While some of the episode worked, there was just so much that didn’t make sense at all.

So now, instead of looking forward to the rest of the season, I’m left with closure that was forced upon me at the wrong time. There’s no wondering who will survive another Terminus situation or when and where another Governor will show up. There’s just an empty space where there once was hope…

 The Walking Dead Mid Season 5 Finale Review: Has Kirkman Finally Run Out of Ideas? (Warning: Spoilers)


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