Well, Rick and the gang are back, and everyone is gearing up for war. Again. I really have to wonder how they find so many people to be at odds with when most of the world is filled with the walking dead (do you see what I did there?); you’d think the undead would be the biggest problem. Of course, when anarchy reigns, you have to have a new world order and a Ricktatorship seems to be the best option so far.
In this week’s episode, “Crossed,” all the storylines which have been followed so far this season are beginning to come back together. Now that everyone knows Eugene isn’t who he said he was, it looks like Glen, Maggie, and the rest will be headed back to rejoin the group. While they are waiting to see if Eugene is going to wake up, they are each struggling with whether or not there is something to live for when, as Maggie says, “We all lost something today. It’s never going to get better than this.” Each one has to find a reason to keep going and decide what that will look like in the long run.
Beth is still at Grady Memorial, trying to keep Carol alive while Officer Dawn continues to offer ominous one-liners like, “I thought you were weak. You’ve proved me wrong.” Coming from anyone else, that might seem like a compliment. Considering Dawn’s track record, it feels more like a threat. Dr. Edwards warns Beth that Dawn’s actions aren’t what they seem, but it looks like Beth can handle herself and doesn’t really need the advice. Even though Carol is unconscious, I would bet on her and Beth being able to take care of themselves if the rescue party doesn’t show up soon.
Carl is trying to get Father Gabriel to learn how to defend himself in a disturbingly matter-of-fact way, “You’ve gotta be able to drive it down ’cause sometimes their skulls aren’t as soft…” Father Gabriel has never actually faced what is going on outside the walls of his church. Unfortunately, the arrival of Rick and company has forced him to pay attention and see what the world has become. From the first time he made an appearance, it has been obvious that Father Gabriel is uncomfortable with the lengths Rick’s group goes to in order to survive, and it appears that Carl’s machete tutorial is the last straw for him.
Lastly, we have Rick’s group, who are preparing to go out and rescue Beth and Carol. Beginning with Rick’s plan to infiltrate the hospital, it becomes clear that there are now two ways of thinking about how to survive: Rick no longer cares who gets hurt as long as his people are safe, but Tyreese and Darryl want to go with a different approach. A decision is reached and the plan is put into action. Of course, nothing goes smoothly, and the show ends in another cliffhanger moment.
Through all of the storylines, it’s clear that each character is moving towards a choice. Unlike past seasons, there has been no one character who acts as the moral center of the group. Rick is too damaged, Herschel is gone, and Father Gabriel is too weak. This means that each character must decide for themselves how they will live in a world with no law, and if they can live with who they become because of their decisions. Each loss of a friend, family member, or ideal has pushed the characters to a breaking point, and it looks like it may come to a head soon.
Of course, most of the episode is just a set-up for next week’s mid-season finale, and there isn’t really any resolution. In the end, I was left with several questions that I need answered in next week’s episode or I’m going to have a hard time waiting through the break. What, exactly, were they using the organ pipes for? What are Officer Dawn’s motives? What is in Tara’s bag? And, most importantly, is Eugene waking up or coming back?
Language – Some cursing (a**, d***, s***, h***)
Violence – The undead killing is pretty graphic and a fist fight. Gunfire with no victims.
Sexual Content – No sexual content but some of the undead are nude.
The Bottom Line
Even with the cast finally coming back together in one episode, "Crossed" is mostly just setting the stage for a mid-season finale that is sure to be great.