WARNING – FULL SPOILERS
Well I don’t know about you but for me Christmas came earlier in the shape of a shiny bullet that unwrapped itself in the middle of Beth’s head.
Let’s face it, as soon as Michonne told Maggie ‘your sister’s alive’ we knew she was done for. It’s an agonising cliche that so many shows are guilty of – build up the empathy for a character who’s hardly been used just to create some sort of meaning when they die a few scenes later. Ultimately, this decision robbed the mid-season finale of any consistent excitement, particularly in the middle part where more conversations between Beth & Dawn dragged on like a mid season edition of Grey’s Anatomy.
In terms of the actual death scene, although it wasn’t surprising to see Beth finally shake a seven, the way in which it went down was actually quite startling. The writer’s were probably hoping that Beth went out like her father did a year ago at the hands of the Governor, in a way that was shocking, sudden and heartbreaking which if you were quite fond of Beth probably worked for you.
For the majority of viewers though this felt more like a boil that needed to be lanced rather than a moment of heart break. Beth’s development has been slightly above T-Dogg’s – she’s just been along for the ride as an extra body that can be thrown under the bus anytime it can have some sort of impact and last night that time finally came. It’s a surprise it’s taken this long, especially with such a large group for the past couple of seasons but it’s done and in return the group have picked up Noah.
Outside of Atlanta A&E, the best moment of the episode came pre-title sequence when Rick mowed down the fleeing Bob Lamson. Last week gave the impression that he’d be running back to warn Dawn about the impending attack so to see him rammed fearlessly and executed on the spot by Rick shock up proceedings before things got going. This also increased the frustration of having to sit through the Dawn/Beth borefest in the central part of the Coda.
As for the remainder of the group, they didn’t have too much to do other than to hook up together and arrive just in time for Maggie to have her ‘Sofia’ moment in the form of Daryl carrying out a lifeless Beth. Lauren Cohan didn’t have much time to work with but managed to captivate the devastation fantastically, collapsing to the ground in a heap of distraught heartache was difficult to watch.
Where next for the group? D.C is off the table, the church is gone and the survivors are once again on the hunt for greener pastures. With a couple of people down and a few new faces in the ranks, the series is free to try out some new things when the show returns in February. There’s fewer loose ends to tie up and the regulars are all back together with a lot less dead weight attached to them, things are looking bright for 2015 – see you then.