The Walking Dead: 5.08 Coda

There are spoilers for Season Five below. DO NOT READ if you haven’t set seen episode eight.

Have you recovered yet? From the harsh pre-credits sequence to the final draining moments Coda was a brutal episode of The Walking Dead, both physically and emotionally. What knocked you back the most: the new, bordering on unpleasant, Rick or the shocking fate of Beth?

Out of all the characters on the show Rick Grimes has seen the most change. He’s been the family man, the righteous man, he’s lost the plot and seen ghosts - a misstep? - and he’s been an anti-violence farmer; but now he’s on the darkest path so far, to the very edge of humanity. There have been many shocks on the show over the years, and they should be expected now. But the sight of Rick running a man down before shooting him in the face was still quite appalling. As much as fans of the show wanted the old Rick back, it’s a question that’s been brewing; has he now gone over the edge?

Meanwhile in the hospital the writers were doing a good job of keeping under wraps which way Sheriff Dawn was going to go when the final showdown came. What wasn’t such a surprise was the fate of Beth. Her response of “I don’t cry anymore.” was so matter of fact, such a statement that it showed just how far her character had come since the second season. Add to that some terrific work by Emily Kinney and Beth really had become the heartbeat of the show. So it was sadly obvious that she was on her way out, especially after Maggie was told she was still alive. How heartbreaking was everything after that? Well shot, well acted and well affecting, the final slo-mo shot was one of the best the show has ever done. It was certainly the first to make tears well in your eye.
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Where to from here then? Well the rest of the season has a lot to live up to. The return of Lenny James’ Morgan is something to get excited about, although in what capacity only the cast and crew know. What becomes of the gang? How will Rick and Daryl deal with Beth’s death? Maggie and Glenn, they only have each other now. A fantastic eight episodes, now just ten weeks to wait.

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