The Walking Dead: Crossed – Tyreese Rising


The Walking Dead Warning: Spoilers

In tonight’s episode of The Walking Dead a lot of questions were answered.  How would the D.C. party, especially Abraham respond to Eugene’s lie?  What was going on with Beth in the hospital?  What would Rick and his rescue party do in order to save Beth and Carol from Grady Memorial?  We also had a chance to see the season’s new character Father Gabriel struggle with his past and shine a moral light on the decisions made in the apocalypse.

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First, I have to start by saying FINALLY we were given a show with the stories told in parallel.  That is, this wasn’t an episode devoted to one or a group of characters.  This episode had everyone.  It is hard to believe but the last time we saw Rick was a month ago.  Before Halloween.  In a prior article I expressed my concerns about this structure and why I don’t think it is good for the story or show.  I’ll save you from that here (mostly).  Cutting between the different stories improved the pacing for me, and was good for something new to focus my attention on when I got bored of Abraham’s silent kneeling, or Lady Gabriel Macbeth scrubbing blood in the church.

So, let’s take a look at what happened tonight… going from what I consider least interesting to most.

Father Gabriel, Carl and Michonne

Not much happened here except for some moral questioning.  The apocalypse has been going on a while and somehow Gabriel’s church has been ignored and untouched.  At the start of the episode we watch as the group dismantles the organ and pews to barricade the building.  The contrast was nice.  On one hand we have Gabriel who has only had to lock the doors.  On the other we have this war machine of a group who comes in and terraforms (for lack of a better word) the joint.  It calls in to question their methods of survival and if maybe they are being too extreme.

The second point made with these three is when Carl offers Gabriel a weapon.  Gabriel tells Carl the cannibals said they would leave.  Carl tells him they were liars and they all needed to do what they had to survive.  This is the same thing we heard from Gareth in the first two episodes of the season.

There wasn’t a lot of movement with these three aside from Gabriel secretly leaving the church and taking a very heavy-handed nail to the foot followed by the next heavy hand in the form of a walker he couldn’t kill because she was wearing a crucifix.  With all the hype behind Seth Gilliam joining the cast this season and his top-notch acting highlighted by Father Gabriel being a far different character than the one he played in The Wire, I’m wishing we had more of him.  I’m hoping he doesn’t become a message about who can make it in this new world.

Beth, Carol and Slabtown

It’s been three weeks since the Beth-centric episode, “Slabtown.”  Now that Carol is in there with her, albeit comatose, viewers have a little more to look forward to than just a story about the politics of the hospital.  We saw a lot of the same from the last hospital episode.  Beth is a stronger character who has developed a give and take approach of do-the-right-thing and do-what’s-best-for-me.

Because we only had one episode inside the hospital and the show took time off to focus on the D.C. party and Daryl and Carol’s journey through Atlanta, I’m still a little lost on the place.  I know what it is and I have a general idea of what they do but I have no idea how many people are in the hospital and I don’t know any of the cops from any of the other cops aside from their leader, Officer Dawn.  This creates problems in a different part of tonight’s episode.

It is also very important to remember that Beth has been away from the group for a long time and does not know that Carol has reunited with everyone.  With Carol in a coma and unable to communicate this, we could see complications during or after the rescue attempt since Beth is unaware that help is on the way.

The D.C. Group

This was another stalled story that only happened because Eugene was (in)conveniently knocked out.  After finding out Eugene’s lie Abraham is understandably upset though I don’t think it would be easy for viewers to separate what they know from what the characters know.  The characters don’t know that Abraham was on the verge of suicide and Eugene’s mission was his only purpose to live, perhaps a distraction.  Abraham came around at the end though, out of his own form of unconsciousness and made it clear he had the will to live when he told Maggie he thought he wanted her to shoot him, but know he really didn’t.

Rosita, Tara and Glenn went for water.  This was the first time saw the usefulness of Rosita.  She built a water filter and told Glenn she could clean the fish they caught.  Up until tonight she wasn’t much of a character though there is still some mystery behind whatever secret her and Abraham are keeping.  Unless it is that they are sleeping together.  Then that was a waste of suspense.

Speaking of waste of suspense.  A yo-yo?  Tara digs through a bag then says, “You’ll never guess what’s in here,” and we have to wait 20 minutes to find out it is a yo-yo?  Maybe she’ll become a character that relieves some of the tension, somewhat like Hershel.  But I was hoping it was a hand grenade.

It is important to note that by the end of the season Tara, Abraham, Rosita and Eugene will all be credited with 20 episodes.  That’s as many as T-Dog and Shane and more than The Governer and Dale.  It’s been a while since the show has made a meaningful cut.  Just saying.

The Atlanta Rescue

This story held most of the action and most of the physical movement. Rick, Daryl, Sasha, Tyreese, and Noah return to Atlanta and form a plan to rescue Beth and Carol from the hospital.  The subtitle of this article, “Tyreese Rising,” should convey my thoughts enough on what happened.  Rick had one plan.  A plan with bloodshed.  Tyreese had another, where nobody dies.  The group went with Tyreese’s plan.  Daryl was the first supporter.  Pair this with Gabriel’s frustration at the church and I think we have something interesting.  I think we may have possible groundwork in place for Rick to be ‘removed’ from power in some way.  Maybe, maybe not.  But I’ll repeat what I said about the D.C. group: It’s been a while since the show has made a meaningful cut.  Tyreese could be in place to be the new leader, with a new approach.

Earlier I mentioned that with only one episode devoted to Beth’s story in Slabtown it is difficult to differentiate the cops.  I have to assume they are all conniving.  This made it tough to know exactly what was going on after the group captured the three officers.  One said the trade wouldn’t work, the other said it would.  One also told the other to shut up.  With a little more time devoted to these characters before tonight, the situation would have probably been easier for viewers to understand.

We had a good chance to take a closer look at the bombed out city.  I’m wishing they would have moved around more, though.   The pavement fused zombies were interesting.  I know that these episodes were all filmed well in advance, but when Daryl turned a live zombie head into a bowling ball and smashed the cop with it, it felt more like Z Nation’s style than The Walking Dead‘s.

I am interested to see what happens to Officer Bob who duped Sasha at the end and how the group’s plan will change.  I’m also wondering how Maggie, Glenn and the others can fit in or if it is even possible.  We are just a week away from the mid-season finale “Coda,” and those questions will be answered.  You can be sure to expect a mid-season review within the following day.

What did you think about the episode?  Anything you enjoyed, or didn’t?  Theories?  Leave a comment below.  I’ll likely respond.