We knew this would be war and war it is—almost. Last night's set-up to The Walking Dead's midseason finale explored what happens when you don't follow the Rick Grimes plan. The theme of this episode is: Wait, what?
Instead of focusing on one or two groups, "Crossed" features the whole ensemble and brings the storylines full circle. Carol (injured from a dumb car accident) and Beth are stuck at Grady Memorial Hospital. Rick and the crew need to reclaim them. So as the episode opens, they're dismantling Gabriel's church to use the wood for weapons in an attack.
"Are you gonna take the cross, too?" asks Gabriel, hypothetically. Daryl has an answer: "If we need it." Sasha is still mourning Bob's death. Eugene is unconscious. Abraham is frozen and puzzled. "It's never gonna get any better than this," Maggie tells him. What is hope? Here's What Would Jezebel Do?
1) Would we infiltrate Grady Memorial using Rick's plan or Tyreese's?
Rick's, of course. And why is this a question? Because Tyreese. As the team strategizes how to get Carol and Beth back, Rick suggests a sneak attack, hot and fast. They won't see it coming. Tyreese—whose philosophy is "War what is it good for?"—plays Devil's Advocate and says there might be too much bloodshed. He proposes kidnapping a couple of their people and negotiating "an even trade" with Dawn. "Theirs for ours. Everybody goes home," he says while I laugh.
Rick understands. "I get it. And it might work. This WILL work," Rick says of his own plan. I'm inclined to believe the guy who's bitten a jugular to save his son. However, Daryl steps in and sides with Tyreese. Rick is challenged. Instead of a tense face-off, he suprisingly opts for Tyreese's strategy. Under normal circumstances, a peaceful plan is such a noble thing. Under post-apocalypse circumstances, trying to see the good in people gets you killed.
2) Would we leave Eugene lying on the ground or take him back to the church?
The latter. This was another strange decision. You'll recall that Abraham TKO'd Eugene for lying about being a scientist. That knockout has Eugene laid out on the road. They debate whether to move him but Maggie says that might make it worst. Wait, what? How? I need a logical explanation.
Abraham, moody and sulking, will not be moved. The idea of D.C. is now just a figment of his imagination. At the end of the episode, Eugene does finally start waking up.
3) Would we trust Dawn and try to save Carol's life?
Yes, because it seems like the only option for Beth. At Grady, she checks on Carol who's hooked up to machines, suffering from internal injuries. Beth eavesdrops on one of the officers telling Dawn that when they found Carol she was half-dead. Oh really? The cop says Carol isn't worth wasting the hospital's energy, but Beth isn't having that. She intervenes, but Dawn—who asserts her authority in the WEIRDEST way—tells the cop to "Turn off the machines" and then tells Beth that Beth basically just killed Carol.
Wait, what? "There's nothing I can do," says Dawn. "So you'll just have to do it." Okay... Dawn gives Beth the key to the drug locker and explains: "I thought you were weak. You've proved me wrong." We're definitely questioning her motive here, especially since the doctor implies to Beth that Dawn shouldn't be trusted.
4) Would we trust Bob No. 2 and align with him?
Sure. Since Noah is helping the team out, it's easy to see why Rick might also think Bob No. 2 could be helpful. Unfortunately, it's a poor decision. In the midst of following Tyreese's plan, Noah acts as bait to lure two Grady cops out into the open. Before Rick, Daryl, Sasha and Tyreese can take them hostage, another cop comes screeching in and everyone scurries. The two cops are now handcuffed and on the run. Tense moments.
BEST SCENE: While Daryl is checking out the trailer park (FEMA is written in spray paint on the trailers), the third cop sneaks and wrestles him to the ground. Daryl snatches a walker's head off and bops him just as Rick comes up and holds a gun to the cop's head. I'm thinking Rick will kill him. But once again, Daryl has sympathy, only because three hostages are better than two.
The woman cop later tries to convince Rick to let them go. "There's a good chance you can't make this deal work." Yep. She says let them go and that they'll take care of Dawn. Nope. Bob No. 2 has known Dawn for eight years and tells Rick, "You can make this work, but you gotta be able to talk to her." Right. He wants peaceful resolution and offers assistance. Rick decides to trust him.
5) If we were Gabriel, would be leave the church?
Yes, but only because it's Gabriel. He doesn't have a stomach for this stuff. It's clear that his morality is in peril. It's also clear that he's lost it. In the church, he feebly tries to scrub the blood from the cannibals off the wood. When Carl says he can teach Gabriel how to use the weapons, you realize this is a calm kid telling a traumatized man to man up and learn to defend himself.
Gabriel later uses the machete from Carl to dig up the floorboard in the church and escape underground. Once he's in the woods, he's attacked by a walker and wrestles her but he still can't bring himself to bash her head with a brick. Will he die at some point or will he maybe bump into Morgan?
Sidebar: It's weird how muted Michonne has been this entire half-season. In the beginning of the episode, she offers to go to Atlanta with Noah, so maybe that storyline will give her some meatier content next year. At the end of the episode, Bob No. 2 manages to trick Sasha into another room alone. He smashes her head into the glass and escapes in handcuffs, presumably back to Grady to let them know that now it's war.
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