In “Crossed”, the plan to rescue Beth and Carol gets off to a rocky start. Meanwhile, Carl and Michonne babysit Father Gabriel and Team Glenn goes fishing.
Everything after the break will contain spoilers and a recap of The Walking Dead Season 5, Episode 7.
Crossed is the first episode this season to juggle every plot line and regular character. After Beth’s flashback episode from when she woke up in the hospital and Carol & Daryl’s side mission to Atlanta, the various story lines are now in-sync time wise, making it fitting to check in on all the survivors in a single episode with some level of coherency.
As a build up episode before the mid-season finale, the scenes with Rick & Daryl in Atlanta were the most engaging as it moved the story closer to a confrontation with Officer Dawn. While the other story lines weren’t as compelling, they focused on a number of characters at the proverbial cross-road which needed to be addressed.
Are You Going To Take The Cross Too?
Carl’s speech about Father Gabriel being sheltered in the Church for so long that he hasn’t had to make the tough decisions like the rest of the survivors is on the money. As it turns out, no amount of preaching is going to get through to Father Gabriel. It’s probable he’ll hobble back to the safety of the church after getting nearly killed, he simply doesn’t have what it takes to survive on his own.
From the church taken apart by the gang and the nail in the foot, there’s plenty of symbolism abound. To have Father Gabriel escape out of the boarded up church happens to be the reverse scenario of when he locked out his parishioners. Gabriel wasn’t so much running away from the group as he was getting away from the place where a couple of atrocities occurred, including one that he was personally responsible for and hasn’t come to terms with yet.
It hasn’t been a strong season for Maggie but she stepped it up a bit this episode. It was thoughtful of her to provide shade for Eugene. When Maggie pointed the loaded gun at Abraham, it forced him to reconsider whether he wanted to die or not which handled his character arc in an economical way. Abraham was obviously angry at Eugene but he also probably couldn’t live with himself if he killed Eugene since he didn’t drink anything until Eugene started to make noise.
Without the possibility of a cure and getting things back to the way it was before, Glenn and company must go back to surviving for the sake of surviving. The team bonding helps sells the idea that the reason they continue to struggle to exist is for each other. It’s a nice touch to have Rosita open up about her past and recognize that Eugene, described by Tara as basically useless other than having the cure, taught her to filter muddied water.
So the awesome thing Tara found in the backpack is not food or some survival item, it’s a yo-yo. Little moments of satisfaction are rare in the post apocalyptic world, it’s nice to have the group enjoy it while it lasts. Yawn!
Everybody Goes Home
The differences between Tyreese’s and Rick’s approach to getting Carol & Beth back speak loudly for where their characters are at. Rick shows he can listen to reason but what happens when the group can no longer keep him from completely going to the dark side? Rick is so casual about taking life, describing the how of his plan is “He slits his throat.”
The sequence with Daryl battling the cop as walkers lied around them was great. It’s very gruesome to see Daryl use a walker’s eye sockets like the holes in a bowling ball. This episode could have used more acts of badassery like this.
In her own way, Beth is noticeably stronger and actress Emily Kinney does a better job at portraying her inner strength in these handful of scenes than in her standalone episode. Officer Dawn comes across as a hard ass but she appeases both her subordinate cop and to Beth by giving the key to the medicine cabinet. Dawn is a wild card in the mid-season finale, if she’s unpredictable it could be very interesting or a little anti-climatic if she can be reasoned with.
Anger is a normal part of the grieving process which Sasha has in abundance. It’s a poignant moment when she accidentally rips the sleeve of Bob’s jacket, like even the physical memento of Bob is ruined. All through the episode Tyreese is trying to get Sasha to connect back to her humanity which sets up her mistake at the end in helping the officer, a little too coincidently named Bob.
“Crossed” is a decent episode but hardly a favourite of the season so far. When there are so many characters to service, there are usually some story lines that are less compelling as others. I’m not that invested in Father Gabriel so I didn’t care much for his scenes. I also didn’t like how Sasha got duped by that cop which I think most of us could see coming from a mile away. While I appreciate the writers not neglecting the character work, I was hoping for a more exciting set up to the mid-season finale.
What do you like or dislike about this episode?