The Walking Dead First Impressions – Coda

coda5The pace and the structure of this week’s The Walking Dead season finale was well-done and I was left pretty satisfied with the effort, except in a few places that left me scratching my head.  “Coda” was meant to be a resolution to  the hospital conflict/kidnapping storyline that has been dragging on for a while now.  That’s about all it did, because Eugene and Abraham’s story was wrapped up already.  In any event, this episode had pretty good performances, but felt a little mellow and understated.  I was waiting for the shoe to drop or whatever that saying is, but the ending only partially delivered.

codaDawn the Witch was a pain in the ass again and put down an uppity guy who was questioning her authorita.  These guys are cops, right?  The authority to end all authorities?  Why are they obsessed with power in an apocalypse?  At the hospital, we didn’t get a viewpoint from anyone else but Beth and Dawn, but that’s alright, because this episode was all about their opposing perspectives.  Dawn the Witch was doing everything she could to manipulate people and stay in one place.  Beth didn’t like that very much, obviously.

I thought Rick came off pretty well in this episode.  The brutal Rick reared his ugly head and the peace-maker Rick showed up too, so we had the best of both worlds.  Maybe Rick is finally taking a step back, and coming down off insanity mountain he’s been on.  Abraham more than makes up for the insanity and intensity quotas if needed, anyway.

Speaking of Abraham, his group was shoehorned into this episode so Maggie could react to Beth.  There’s no other reason for him to be there.  In a way, there were more contrivances in this episode than any of the last, which made the whole thing weaker than most.  I think it held together mostly because of the performances though.

coda2Beth takes a tiny little pair of tweezers and stabs Dawn the Witch, so Dawn shoots her in the head in response.  Overreact much?  Daryl starts sobbing, then shoots Dawn the Witch in the head, but the episode didn’t focus much on Daryl, which is really unfortunate, so his reaction is totally just thrown in there for the fans or something.  I’m not sure what Beth was thinking and it seems a little out of character for her to be that impulsive and dumb.  Her death was also fairly predictable.

coda4All in all, I liked this episode, but mostly because it dealt directly with the issues, unlike last week.  To be honest, there were a lot of contrivances and stupid plot points, but I really didn’t mind.  This time.  A lot can be overlooked when the performances are good and that’s what happened in this episode.  Notice that Abraham didn’t have one line in this episode, which is good, because I wanted to enjoy it.  Dawn the Witch was sorta annoying, but she’s supposed to be annoying and petty, so you’ve got to give her credit for playing her character pretty well.  Luckily, “Coda” knew how to balance the annoying with the good.

Because my post is late, I was able to check out some other reviews across the amazingly unbiased internet (sarcasm).  Yahoo News made fun of the episode by pointing out that running from a cop car is a dangerous, and explained that stabbing someone with a loaded gun is a bad idea.   Brilliant analysis from Yahoo.  Variety pointed out that The Walking Dead absolutely destroyed Football with its highest ever rating, a 7.6 in the 18-49 demographic.  They also complemented the emotional impact and Maggie’s reaction in Coda, which I guess is a good review.  Lastly, CBS news thought this episode was “brutal”, although believed Beth’s death was predictable.  Overall, I think it was emotional and pretty good drama, if only to see Norman Reedus cry.