The Walking Dead: Crossed Review

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By: Jonathan Pilley (@omnicomic)



Like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead is adapted from previous source material. This review is not meant to compare similarities and differences between the show and comic. It’s meant to be read purely as a take on the episode as it stands.

That being said, SPOILERS AHEAD.

“Epinephrine drip. 5 milligrams.”

Daryl’s return with Noah didn’t come without a caveat: a rescue mission to get back Carol and Beth. Rick takes Tyreese, Sasha, Daryl and Noah back to Atlanta to break them out, with Rick coming up with a very violent plan that involves lots of bloodshed. Only thing is, Tyreese isn’t too keen on that plan, offering up one where cops are traded for Beth and Carol. Like everything in The Walking Dead though, things didn’t go quite according to plan. Somehow, the cops were prepared for the ambush to an extent, as there was another cop following the first two. The ensuing chaos gave Daryl a chance to prove his fighting mettle, relying on zombies around him to get ahead in the battle.

One of the biggest character transformations of the season has to be Rick, who’s clearly going to a much darker side. His desire to storm the castle seems bloodthirsty, yet makes sense when compared to some of his earlier threats. For instance, his promise to Gareth of the red machete was dark, almost as dark as Rick staring down the third cop. Even Daryl saw the burgeoning fire, waving Rick off from killing a man rather callously. Rick’s going to a dark place, realizing the world requires a certain level of ruthlessness to make one’s way. How that shapes his future decision-making remains to be seen, but it likely won’t make him any more sympathetic towards those he encounters.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…errr, church, Carl, Michonne and Gabriel are holding down the fort in the absence of the others. Gabriel is struggling to reconcile the group’s utilitarian approach to the church, refusing to help deconstruct it to protect the group. He’s hiding behind a veneer of fear, unwilling to accept the terms of the new world. At least, that’s how it appears to the others. Instead, he’s up to something suspicious, pulling off the floorboards for some reason. There’s always been an undercurrent of mistrust with him, especially going back to the “You’ll burn for this” etched into the side of the church. Sure, he likely just barricaded himself in and didn’t let anyone else in, but there’s likely going to be more to him as the season unfolds.

Abraham is still reeling from Eugene’s revelation that he’s essentially a fraud. He’s retreated into a shell that brought him perilously close to suicide the first time around, only now he’s just refusing to talk to anyone or even move. The group realizes that going back to the church is probably the way to go, but for some reason they rely on basic medical expertise to decide that moving Eugene’s unconscious body isn’t the best decision. Despite the situation, Glenn is looking ahead, expecting them to regroup with the larger group and find a new objective in the absence of Washington, DC. There’s still some sense of optimism brewing among the splinter group, even if nothing is presented as a clear goal.

Dawn’s tasking Beth with Carol’s survival is interesting. Dawn knows that her situation as a leader is pretty tenuous and must assert her authority in order to keep things running. Unbeknownst to the other cops, her helping Beth gives her a chance to do the right thing, while also not appearing to be undermined. The kidnapped police echoes her approach, in that they’re quick to assert some of her mannerisms and predictability. There were ulterior motives on the part of one of the prisoners, seeking to play on the lingering memories of Bob in Sasha as a means of escaping.

“Crossed” is named so because it focuses mostly on the hospital and the attack. There were other plots referenced as well, but the heart was definitely Rick’s plan to get Carol and Beth back. All roads are leaving back to the church and reuniting the group, but Rick has to get some of the key members back first. The show thrives when multiple characters get attention (as opposed to episodes focused only on specific characters). “Crossed” was an episode that offered a look at everyone in an effort to get his or her lines on a path to intersect again. In the meantime, the prisoner exchange at the hospital will carry much of the action for the midseason finale.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


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