When it comes to the zombie apocalypse, you should always prepare for the worst. AMC’s The Walking Dead treats that saying like its mantra. Each of the show’s mid-season finale episodes always goes out with bang – sometimes literally – and last night’s Season 5 mid-season finale, “Coda,” was no different. So strap in and get your crossbows ready, because we’re about to take on some zombies!
WARNING: This article will discuss events that happened in the Season 5 mid-season finale, so beware if you haven’t seen the episode yet because spoilers are ahead.
The spoiler warning is a little ironic since AMC spoiled the big news on their Facebook page just hours after the episode aired on the East Coast (and before it had aired on the West Coast). Fans were not pleased, to say the least. But their displeasure wasn’t merely at being spoiled in general, it was also regarding what the spoiler entailed.
“Coda” brought the final showdown between our heroes and the villainous cops who run the hospital where Beth and Carol are prisoners. Fans have been looking forward to Beth Greene and Daryl Dixon reuniting ever since their electric episodes in season 4 made them a popular “ship” (relationship for non-fandom speakers) but this reunion would not be a happy one. Beth met her demise last night after Dawn, the leader of the cops, “accidentally” shoots her in the head. Daryl nearly instantaneously shoots Dawn in retaliation. As our heroes leave the hospital, Daryl carries Beth’s lifeless body in his arms as Maggie breaks down at her sister’s death.
Some reviews over the past few months have said that Season 5 is the best season of the show so far, including this episode. Most fans and reviewers were less than impressed. While it’s true that death is inevitable in a show of this nature (even senseless deaths of people you don’t expect to die), some fans and critics feel the writers rely on character death far too much. The writing is getting lazy and the character deaths are being used for shock-value. Many fans even though “Coda” was an okay episode but not a good one, least of all a good mid-season finale.
Killing Beth is even more controversial, as her character undeniably saw some of the most growth. Many fans feel this was a disrespectful and unnecessary turn of events. Beth stood as a beacon of hope to everyone. Perhaps that’s why she had to die in the dark and dismal world of The Walking Dead. But wouldn’t it be more powerful to see this female character, who has been called strong time and time again by cast, crew, and characters alike, prevail against the odds? It’s a disservice to both Beth and Daryl’s characters, particularly since her death appears only to be another way to further’s Daryl’s emotional pain. In an interview with TVLINE, Emily Kinney (Beth) said it best of all, when asked whether or not she was satisfied with how Beth went out:
I think the writing throughout has been great, but I wasn’t ready for it to be over. I think the Beth character, in particular… more could’ve been done with a teenager growing up [in that world]. I did not see it coming at all, especially this season. It’s weird, because I would’ve been OK with [this happening] in the second season or the third season, when I was like, “Oh, maybe this character is coming to a close. What else is there to do with her?” But now I feel differently… I feel like there was still so much more to [explore.], like, what could have happened with Daryl?
Despite everything that happened on the mid-season finale, people are talking about it. So what do you all think? Were you satisfied with how the mid-season finale went? Are you looking forward to The Walking Dead returning on February 8th? Share your thoughts in the comments.