Season 5, Episode 7: "Crossed"
Plot: For the first time all season, the gang was all there last night. Except for Bob, who’s no longer with us. Come to think of it, I don’t remember seeing the baby, but I assume she was there somewhere. For all intents and purposes, the gang was all there.
In no particular order, Daryl returned with “Everybody Hates Chris” to raise an army to go rescue Carol and Beth from the clutches of the evil hospital. Rick and the gang – minus the ones he sired, Michonne and Fr. Gabe leave for Atlanta. In the church, Carl tries to teach Fr. Gabe to fight, Fr. Gabe loses interests and secretly escapes the church like it were Shawshank prison, if Shawshank were the easiest place in the world to escape from.
On the warfront, Rick is all gung ho to storm the compound and start killing some dudes, but Ty is like “There’s another way” and Daryl agrees. Instead, they capture some cops and plan to conduct a prisoner exchange. Things go mostly according to plan until one of the cops headbutts Sasha and escapes.
Elsewhere, Eugene is still unconscious and Abraham has stopped doing anything other than knocking water bottles out of the hands of pretty Latina gals. Maggie gets left behind to babysit them while Glenn, Rosita and Fist Bump girl go to get water, which they do and on the way, they find a yo-yo. So that worked out. Eventually Eugene wakes up and Abraham decides that making love to Rosita is probably enough to fill the void no longer needing to drag a mulleted weirdo across the country has left in his life.
Finally, Carol is also unconscious, but the cops decide to pull the plug on her because she’s an older gray-haired lady. What could she be good for? Secretly, leader cop lady tells Beth to keep Carol alive because this hospital is just the world’s biggest failed marriage where everyone hates each other and each of them will stop at nothing to undermine what the other says or does.
- Good: “Walking Dead” does “Game of Thrones.” All of your characters in one episode, but still stretched across multiple locations so we cut back and forth. In theory, this means should only get the good stuff and should avoid some of the downtime that plagues the singularly focused episodes. You can still get backstory in, we get to see what everyone’s up to, what’s not to love?
- Bad: Oh wait, I forgot. This was the episode before the midseason finale so all that happens is we set the stage for the massive conflict that’s going to happen next week. Otherwise, it’s just a lot of, “Remember, this character is on this show too. Remember that.” Not all bad, still some things to like here.
- Good: Daryl goes against Rick. This rarely happens. However, he took one look at Rick and said “You ain’t Jack Bauer and only Jack Bauer can pull off a close-quarters extraction mission like that crap you’re talking. Let’s go with the non-conflict resolution.” Always good for Daryl to take a stand.
- Good: Sasha, all broken up about Bob, makes a dumb mistake. A perfectly understandable misstep from a character who’s going through a rough patch.
- Bad: Jesus Christ Sasha, I don’t care how broken up you are about Bob, that heel turn couldn’t have been more telegraphed had the cop said the word stop at the end of every sentence. I’m torn on this.
- Good: The melty road walkers. Very ew.
- Good: Goddamn, Daryl just ripped a walker’s head off and hit a guy with it. After this and last week’s shadowy cigarette scene, tell me again why Rick is the leader of this group?
- Bad: If the payoff of your trip to get water is you get water and find a yo-yo, it doesn’t need to be filmed and it certainly doesn’t need to be a thing that survives the editing room.
- Good: Snuck in a little Rosita backstory there. Nice. Put her with Maggie and they can have that conversation while setting up a ladder over Eugene’s carcass. Maggie can even mention her missing sister. When Glenn comes back with water and Fist Bump Girl comes back with a yo-yo, no one will question it.
- Good: Maggie telling Abe to sit the hell down. It’s been so long since Maggie reminded everyone that she is massive badass. We need more of this, please.
- Bad: Dawn publically says kill Carol, privately is banking on Beth to keep her alive. The doctor doesn’t trust anyone. These people in the hospital, they need a divorce. They all need to just go their separate ways because this living situation is emotionally-crippling for everyone involved. And look what it’s doing to your kids! Beth’s face is falling off, “Whale Rider” is dead, “Everyone Hates Chris” is off joining a gang.
- Good: Beth pays a guy in strawberries to create a distraction. I imagine he bartered her up from blueberries and she haggled down from blackberries. That’s just berry economics.
- Bad: Meanwhile back at the church, fighting lessons from Carl. I guess Carl skipped over the first rule of surviving the walker apocalypse: spend two years never being in the place where everyone expects you to be, much to the detriment of those around you.
- Bad: It’s dumb, but it made me laugh. Fr. Gabe escapes the church by tunneling through the floor, crawling through some dirt and then out from under the church. Oh, but he stepped on a nail in the process. I mean, it’s not quite crawling through a river of feces five football fields long to get to freedom. I just wish he’d put an area rug with Jesus’ face on it over the hole he was making in the floor.
- Good: Maybe? Is Fr. Gabe a walker? Did he suffer severe nerve damage from his youth spent tending to reindeer in Finland (making up some addition backstory here)? The show has spent this entire half season telling us that he is not a tough dude and then he embeds a nail basically all the way through his foot and is reaction is tantamount to “Well, that’s inconvenient.” I would have been screaming and cursing god and demanding the nail be put to death. After that, I’d have probably passed out and woken up three months after the walker apocalypse has ended, a perfect bookend to how the series started.