Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Review of The Walking Dead, "Coda"

Firstly, my apologies for being a little neglectful around these parts in the way of TV reviews. Evidently, the Blue Jays keep me fairly busy during the regular season (and this offseason as well), so I haven't had much of a chance to write about my favourite shows.

Anyway, please keep in mind that this brief review will of course contain spoilers, so if you haven't already watched the season five midseason finale "Coda", then please don't be mad if I spoil anything.

So I don't know if it was just me, but I feel like this was an episode that was supposed to be grand in nature, but it really didn't. A series regular may have been killed off, but the episode itself didn't come across as monumental at all.

It seemed like the past four episodes (after the conclusion of The Hunters storyline) were kind of stagnant. Not unlike the endless search for Sophia in the first half of season two.

At this point, the formula for The Walking Dead is fairly familiar; most mid-season and season finales lead up to a showdown of some point, and invariably include the death of one or several key characters.

"Coda" was not all that different, and sweet, innocent Beth was the victim this time around. Admittedly, this season was the first which allowed her character to develop and flesh out a little bit. But sometimes when that happens, it essentially means those characters are ticketed to be killed off.

The final scene in the hospital hallway with Beth felt anti-climactic and I want to say ... rushed? I mean, in reality, that would've been an extremely quick sequence of events, but if you blinked, you really might have missed what actually happened.

Beth herself symbolized a sense of hope and innocence that's very rare in a post-apocalyptic universe, and one could argue those qualities might actually be detrimental to one's survival in that world. But Beth managed to evolve, and perhaps her father Hershel's passing was the catalyst for that.

Again, going back to The Hunters arc; I think a lot of people were disappointed this storyline really only had a three-four episode run, while Dawn and the rest of the hospital had a total of five. In comparison, Gareth felt like a much more compelling antagonist, while Dawn was just a plain old tyrant.

In retrospect, it might have been better to flesh out The Hunters arc much longer, and only cram the hospital stuff in the latter part of the first half of season five.

Logically, I can understand why the producers did it that way; building the hospital set pieces had to warrant using that particular setting in more than one or two episodes.

As usual, leave it up to Daryl (Norman Reedus) to steal the show; the imagine of him carrying Beth out of the hospital was definitely one that elicited a lot of raw emotion, and it's probably one of the single strongest images from the series thus far.

Overall, the season five midseason finale "Coda" wasn't bad, but it certainly could've been better. The energy and emotion in the last 10 minutes (and the bonus scene) was palpable, while the first 50 minutes of episode kind of dragged on until the showdown in the hospital.

My issue I guess is with the progression of the first eight episodes of the season. It was a whirlwind first three episodes out of the gate, but then things slowly fizzled out after that.

And now we have to wait until February to discover where the survivors are headed to next. Is here anywhere that's a safe haven for them anymore? We shall eventually find out.