Dec 01 2014

The Walking Dead – “Coda” Review. Betcha Didn’t See That Coming.


the_walking_dead_logoSeason 5, Episode 8

Air Date: Sunday, November 30, 2014 at 9/8c on AMC


“I get it now.” – Beth Greene

This group is not to be messed with.

This group is not to be messed with.

I’m not so sure I do, Beth (Emily Kinney). “Coda” is a heavy hitter, and I expect nothing less from The Walking Dead. While I know this is a fictional show and these characters are not real people, I cannot tell you how hard it was to hold back tears during “Coda.” The Walking Dead makes sure its finale affects viewers in some way. Whether you cry, rage, or laugh, you will feel something. I’m not embarrassed to say I cried watching the characters’ responses to an unforeseen event during the final moments of “Coda.” What begins as a simple rescue mission ends in a shocking, untimely, and unwarranted death. Why’d you have to go and do that, writers?

Where Do We Go From Here?

Let’s talk about Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his evolution, shall we? What switch has been flipped among fans who are now saying he’s the new Shane (Jon Bernthal)? I disagree with that sentiment wholeheartedly. Rick is many things but he’s not heartless. Everything he does is for his family, not to simply come out on top. Rick is hardcore now, and it’s taken me a while but I’m pretty sure I love this new aspect to Lincoln’s character. Rick goes into full on attack mode, channeling his former duties as a deputy sheriff instead of wanting to resolve things peacefully. He has the swagger down, keeps his attitude in check, and doesn’t bother to give second chances. Knowing this, you can see Rick is a reasonable man when you don’t try to play him for a fool. What I think has happened with Rick is he finally realizes things will not go back to what they were before the apocalypse. His belief in the innate goodness in every human being has been shot to hell with each new group of survivors they meet *cough* Terminus *cough*. Of course, we couldn’t see the impact of what running into the crazy cannibals would do to Rick, but I think after his dealings with the Governor (David Morrissey), the folks at Terminus completed Rick’s tumble over the edge. All is not lost though. You notice he listens when others in the group speak up. Rick may be walking a fine line but he hasn’t crossed it just yet. With Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman) as his moral compass, and Daryl (Norman Reedus) as his makeshift advisor, Rick will maintain his humanity.

In Other News…

When will this moron be eaten? He has become quite the nuisance.

When will this moron be eaten? He has become quite the nuisance.

Now we’re supposed to care about Dawn (Christine Woods), and be on her side, and want her vision to come to fruition? Who are you kidding, writers? Dawn is evil. E. Vil. She’s a power hungry do-gooder who doesn’t know when to quit. The excuse of wanting to help people only goes so far with pleading Dawn’s case. If she doesn’t know she’s taking the human race back years by reintroducing slavery, then she’s an idiot. And there’s nothing heroic about that. All that aside, the hospital is doing something that warrants attention. They have electricity, food, a doctor, though it all comes with a price. The question remains—is it worth it?

Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) is turning out to be a liability. I think someone should put him out of his cowardly misery because he’s the absolute worst survivor in the history of survivors. I mean, he’s giving Eugene (Josh McDermitt) a run for the top spot of most helpless survivors. Not only does Gabriel run away from those who would help him (probably to end up with tetanus), he leads danger back to them as a thank you. I can’t come up with a label for his brand of stupid, but there has to be one. Again, I have to mention how awesome Gilliam is in this role. I am so pissed at his character, I can’t see straight. Gabriel has no redeeming qualities. I’m waiting for the day the group realizes they are carting dead weight. Or maybe Gabriel will surprise me and actually grow a pair. He is leaning in the right direction, I think. His need to go to the school where Bob (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) was held is a way for Gabriel to reconcile what was done in the church during “Four Walls and a Roof.” There is no way Gabriel could continue on with the group believing they are a bunch of cold-blooded killers.

We say goodbye to a beloved character in “Coda” and it makes Daryl cry. I do not like it when Daryl cries. I look to him to be solid in every situation so when he cries, I cry. And I’m not talking silent tears; I’m talking boo hooing like a baby who wants its ba-ba. In what has to be the most shocking scene all season, Daryl steps up to a place that hasn’t been his. He makes a decision that could possibly shake things up for the survivors by committing murder. Is it justified? That can be argued both ways. Good thing cooler heads prevail and a bloodbath is avoided. Truth be told, I kind of wanted bullets to fly, just to see who would come out on top.

Casualties of war.

Casualties of war.

Noah (Tyler James Williams) breaks my heart. He is so quick to do the right thing, even to his own detriment. That’s the kind of guy you want looking out for you. At least you know Noah won’t stab you in the back. He’s the bravest of the brave, and a great addition to the group. What worries me is the lack of bravery among the other “wards” in the hospital. When freedom is looking you in the face, why do you turn the other way?

How about the Morgan (Lennie James) teaser? The man is making his way, alone, quietly, and just so happens to be in Rick’s shadow. Since we don’t really know what’s going on with Morgan, his shock at seeing Rick’s name makes me wonder if he is sleepwalking (metaphorically) and has just awakened. I am so ready for Morgan to get in the game.

Memorable lines:

Noah to Rick: “I have to do it.”

No, you don’t. Noah gets my MVP for his self-sacrificing action. And he’s just a kid.


Dawn: “We’re supposed to protect people, to help them. But look at you. You’re beating an old man; you’re laughing with your buddies about that poor girl getting raped. That’s who you are.”

While Dawn makes a good point here, I want someone to say to her, ‘hello pot, meet kettle.’ Does she not see how hypocritical she is?



This man has us all in his thrall. You don't mess with the people Daryl Dixon loves.

This man has us all in his thrall. You don’t mess with the people Daryl Dixon loves.

The acting on The Walking Dead is superb. Every single actor proves their worth in “Coda” with each movement, tear filled gaze, and back against the wall moment. There is no question as to why The Walking Dead is one of my favorite shows on television now. I’m still in shock, still reeling over the direction in which the show is going but excited to see how it all plays out. What are your thoughts on “Coda?” Let me know what you think by dropping me a line in the comments section below or tweet me @ellemoe.

For more info on The Walking Dead, visit the official site. The show returns February 8, 2015.

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Photo credit: Gene Page/AMC © 2010-2014 American Movie Classics Company, LLC. All rights reserved.


© 2014, Elle. All rights reserved.

Writer, mother, realist, cloud lover, daydreamer, dessert enthusiast, sweet tea addict, perfectionist, and lover of life and Christ, but not in that order.

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