Talking Out The Dead: “Crossed”

Thomas Crawford: Knocked out by a head freshly pulled from a walker… Daryl gets one of best walker kill scenes in memory.  The group gets wind of where Beth and Carol are being held from a returning Daryl with Noah in tow.  Rick gets called out for being a former police officer, something he hasn’t been reminded of since the second season I think.  Sasha, well she is still showing her feelings, being drawn in by the name of “Bob”.  This was one of those filler episodes that I could watch again.

Overall, this was one of those episodes that was meant to build up to the finale.  Well in this case, the midseason finale.  There was a lot of action, shooting, close quarters combat, but not a lot of story telling.  However, there didn’t have to be in this case.  It was just meant to bring all the interested parties together in a conglomeration for one epic battle, and leave the fans hanging.     

I actually liked this episode a lot because it managed to bring everyone back together.  It had the shit storm that Eugene had brought from “Self Help”, it brought together Beth and Dawn at the hospital, and still managed to focus on the main group of Rick and company trying to get Beth back.  It has been sort of normal for each episode to focus on different groups throughout the seasons as they have split up.  This tends to leave fans wondering what the hell is next following the cliffhanger of the last episode.  Being that this was the show to the midseason finale, I think the writers did a solid job of bringing all the lines together.

Does anyone else think that Rick is sort of leaning towards a bad way?  I mentioned this earlier, though everyone seems to disagree.  His first thought, kill, kill, and kill some more.  I won’t lie, I do agree that I like that he is past the farmer Rick and trying to make a deal Rick.  However, Tyreese being the voice of reason, literally having to override Rick in his assessment of the situation, makes me wonder.

Rick wants to kill them all and let God sort them out.  Forget the fact that he has no clue how many guards or officers are in the hospital, where the bullets will be flying, or who may get hurt.  This just doesn’t seem like the Rick who is the leader of old.  I know many if not everyone will disagree.  However, Rick always had a plan.  It wasn’t always a good plan, that is true.  However, he always wanted to at least preserve life.  This episode, it was guns blazing and whoever makes it out alive deserves to.

Some will probably say this is a bad idea.  The main man Rick is listening to Tyreese, or Cryreese as some have called, no names mentioned.  I just think this is one of those episodes that shows a man that is past his limit and willing to do anything… yet needs a voice of humanity to keep his sanity.  Come on, one of the biggest themes throughout the ENTIRE show has been Rick trying to be a father to Carl.  Now, he is willing to kill any and everyone no matter what just for a possible goal?

The scene with Daryl fighting the officer from the hospital was epic.  I will admit I thought that Daryl would have some more fighting skills.  For those that don’t know, if someone has you down in a street fight, you don’t go for the guard.  It works in a cage, but not when you are on your back on the pavement.  He didn’t bite, scratch, headbutt, or go for the throat as I expected of a person with a lot of street fighting experience.  My personal thoughts about life or death street fights to the side, the way it played out was killer.   Daryl ripped a walker’s head off his body and bashed his attacker with it.  How is that not the zombie kill of the century?

My final thought about the fight: If someone gets you in the position Daryl was in, he was on his back and the guy was bigger.  The cop was also better trained considering he was used to putting people down.  Life or death, throw down.  This is one of the only times an eye gouge might work.  You can use the teeth on the chin, nose, or even throat.  Rick would tell you that a good throat bite in life or death situations can come in handy.  If you happen to have a walker head in close quarters, well, that works well too.

Really Sasha?  You trust the first guy you meet who is named Bob?  I understand that this world is different, but still.  She literally trusted a guy who was shooting at her just hours before.  She did it because of his name.  Do you think she has some issues with her lost lover Bob?  I say that loosely, as we never really knew if her and Bob had relations.

The fact is that Sasha, at this point, is a liability.  I joke but I love it.  It was real to me in the moment.  Sasha just watched her lover, or loved one, or boyfriend, whatever, die.  She is having issues obviously.  This just seemed really like a cool way for the writers to push that she is not over Bob.  She even fell for the sob story, the whole he is still alive because of another… and the other is still existing as a walker.  I’m sure many people will disagree, but Sasha is becoming one of my favorite characters of the season.  She may do some dumb things, but she does some dumb things people do.

Kelen Conley: Ugh. I hate to say that considering I called a guy I know a 13 year old girl for using ugh in an email, but it fits.

What a boring episode. Like I told Heather, all this episode did was get the pieces in place for the midseason finale. Necessary but a snooze fest for sure. I think everyone drank a big glass of stupid before they headed into Atlanta too.

  • Rick takes Cryreese with him rather than Michonne, when we all know Cryreese’s parenting skills are his best asset right now.
  • We definitely find out Noah is with Daryl, which was teased in “Four Wall And A Roof”. Sure it had us speculating, but what a letdown.
  • Abraham looks as if he’s about to hit Rosita when he’s the one to blame for believing Eugene’s story. He spent the rest of the episode sitting (kneeling?) in the same spot.
  • Cryreese the Gentle convinces Rick of all people that they shouldn’t just blast their way into the hospital but not before Daryl agrees as well. I feel like they’ve forced Daryl into a voice of reason role here with Glenn not around. It works but I think Daryl would still feel the need to be ruthless in this situation. Maybe Beth really rubbed off on him…
  • Dawn tells Officer O’Donnell to pull the plug on Carol all because Beth spoke up against the idea in front of him. She apparently lets her officers do whatever they want as long as they listen to her final orders. WHICH IS EXACTLY HOW YOU DON’T RUN THINGS DAWN.
  • Beth gets to do what she wants and gives Carol epinephrine on Dr. Edwards’ recommendation. Because as the main doctor, Dawn doesn’t trust him with the keys to the drug locker. My head is starting to hurt.
  • Rick’s group uses gimpy Noah as officer bait and gets the drop on Lamson and Shepherd, who are then assisted by Licari, because THERE’S NO WAY TO TELL THERE’S A THIRD CAR COMING TOWARDS YOU.

We finally get a clue that the officers want to overthrow Dawn and that actually makes things a bit more bearable. I think the part that makes me so annoyed by Grady Memorial is that we went from the clear, awesome threat of Terminus, to an OCD cop and her ragtag crew in the hospital. I’m really wishing they had extended the Terminus storyline now.

And onto Daryl using the walker head; it was a pretty incredible move. While Daryl clearly seems to be lacking in the hand-to-hand department, his ability to think on his back is uncanny. The only thing that bugs me about the move is that the writer’s knew they had a boring episode lined up after being consistently great the entire season. So what do they do? Let’s give Daryl an awesome new way to fight with a walker!

But I did love it. “Crossed” may make me grumpy but I’m not dead.

The bonding scenes between Glenn, Tara, and Rosita just make me think that Abraham might not make it out of season 5 either. Or they’re going to kill her next episode and they want to make her death matter more. I can appreciate it because the fishing was a much needed, calm, human moment compared to all the other asininity going on.

  • Oh, how about we talk about Father Gabriel leaving a secure church to go… where exactly? And he can’t even kill a walker that was going to kill him? I think he’s been drinking the water that Cryreese has been into.
  • And finally, Sasha is mourning Bob so hard that she immediately trusted Lamson and decided to let him lead her away from the group, where she met her fate with a window while he scurried off. A BIG GLASS OF STUPID. I can’t forgive her for making a mistake like this. I keep saying, we’re too far along in the game for you make big mistakes like this. The scenes with her and Cryreese are proof enough that she’s not dealing with Bob’s death well. Do we really need her eliminating all common sense in order to drive the point home? She’s definitely expendable, which is a shame because I feel like she’s one of the stronger characters. And since this is TWD, she definitely had relations with Bob at some point before Terminus.

I know I’m being hard on this episode but you have to look past the fact that we love TWD so much sometimes, and “Crossed” is one of those times. Maybe I’ll calm down a little in my next section.

As for Rick, I think he’ll calm down once (or if) they find a stable place to live again, and the church ain’t it. He’s not only protecting Carl and Judith, he’s responsible for the entire group’s lives. It’s easier to shoot first and ask questions later when you have nowhere to go. And you have to consider that the plan for Rick is to rescue Beth and Carol and then get on the road to DC. He thinks it’ll be a while before the group will be “safe” again. Plus Carl hasn’t seen how nasty Rick can be since he ripped Joe’s throat out, so it’s not like the boy is exposed to him being so violent every time it happens.

He’s the leader and he’ll use any means necessary to ensure everyone’s safety. I think he’ll be able to step out of that zone the next time they get comfortable.

As for listening to Cryreese of all people, bad idea. I think Rick had the wrong idea too though. I don’t think they needed hostages. If Rick had just approached and talked things out, who’s to say Beth and Daryl wouldn’t have been given back to them? Using hostages puts everyone on the defensive. When everyone is on the defensive, people die. I’m thinking it will be Dawn and someone else from the group dying in the midseason finale and my money’s on Carol, Cryreese, or Sasha. Or is it that crazy to think everyone from the group leaves the hospital alive? A bit anti-climatic but I don’t hate that idea.

TC: I have to disagree with the whole snooze fest idea man.  I can see where you are coming from, but at the same time, I just enjoyed the episode.  Sometimes you have to be dumb, bring everything together in a nice way, just to move the story along.  The writers gave Daryl an awesome kill, gave us a moment with Glenn and crew fishing, plus gave us a bit of drama with the church, and showed that Rick and crew can still execute a plan, albeit not completely hassle free.  All in all, I was into the whole thing.  

Instead of drifting, I think I’m going to touch on some things you mentioned.  I’m going to try and do it and be short and succinct.  Let’s see how this works.

Sasha, yeah I admit her trusting the first guy she met named Bob was bit of overkill.  She is obviously off her rocker.  I don’t blame her as the character.  Be honest, in TWD world the only really important thing is someone you love and care about.  She still has Tyreese, but Bob was someone special to her.  At the same time, I totally get the making mistakes at this point.  However, people will be people.

Yes, Abraham just knelt the entire episode.  After you blasted him when you learned how he and Eugene met, I thought you would have liked an episode without him being a main character.  I am sort of in disagreement about him being killed soon.  I think he has potential to be a big time character for however long the show runs.  That being said, how long until are Rosita and Eugene for TWD world?  Both have sort of served their purpose up to this point.  These are two characters I see possibly dying and wouldn’t be surprised.

Why did Rick take Tyreese?  Furthermore, why did Rick listen to Tyreese about a hostage trade?  That is a good question.  I can think of a couple good reasons that you will probably not like.  First, Rick needed the manpower.  Sasha, even after losing Bob, was definitely going.  She was all about the plan to handle the Terminites.  She doesn’t have a problem killing to survive and keep the group safe.  However, Rick isn’t dumb.  He knew that Sasha might need some support.  Who better than her brother?

I know, Tyreese is in full parenting mode at the moment and by the way, it’s ironic you say that.  However, he is also the closest thing to family that Sasha has.  Rick needed Sasha, yet he needed her to function.  It sort of makes sense that he would take her brother.  Do you think he would have left Sasha at the church to watch over Carl, Walker Bait, and Gabriel?  I don’t think so.  I think he trusts her just so much, but not enough to watch over his kids.

That leads him with one conclusion, he needs to take Sasha to rescue his family from the hospital, yet he needs to keep his kids safe.  The best way in the end was what he did.  He took Sasha, he took Tyreese to keep her stable.  He left Michonne, because let’s face it, who would you want watching your kids in the zombie apocalypse?  I would pick Michonne every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

The second reason I have is also very possible.  Rick trusts Tyreese.  He literally brought his daughter back from the dead.  There is no question.  However, Rick might know that Tyreese is having issues killing.  He knows that Tyreese would die before he let anything happen to Carl or Judith.  However…could Tyreese kill Gabriel if he had too?  I think deep down Rick knows this is an issue.  That is another good reason that Tyreese went with Rick and the group, because if Gabriel acted up, Michonne would handle it.

Listening to Tyreese about the plan.  I have to admit this is more complicated.  Yes, Rick is willing to kill.  Rick is willing to do horrible things to survive and thrive.  However, it has been five years now for us?  It has only been at most a year and a half, two years for the actual characters??  I think we get mixed up when looking at it from a more realistic perspective.

It is something that just struck me, how Rick was reminded he was a cop.  He had training and years of doing work to serve and protect.  With viewers it seems stupid, however, if a year was gone, could you change that much?  I’m just saying that was a thing the writers threw in, it was meant to make us remember Rick used to be a cop.  He used to believe in justice, the law, and doing good and protecting the innocent.  It was sort of a way to remind the viewers that he wasn’t all about just trying to survive and doing anything to do so.

Tyreese, though he has problem killing people, seems to remind Rick that they aren’t animals.  They aren’t barbarians.  Everyone in TWD world that isn’t a walker is human, and needs some consideration.  This might be a weakness, I know you will say that.  However, part of Rick needs to believe there is more than the kill them all and let God sort them out option.  Tyreese sort of played the part of Rick’s conscience in this episode. The old Rick, the Rick that believed that there was another way besides killing everyone who isn’t a walker, perhaps Rick needs that at this moment.

Think about it.  In TWD, Rick has been doing what over the past week, maybe two at the most?  He has torn a man’s throat out with his teeth, been reunited with his daughter he thought dead, then murdered a man with a machete while he was begging to be let go.  I’m no psychoanalyst, however I’m sure there are some deep issues forming with that all happening.

Part of this is Rick’s struggle, though the writers didn’t seem to shine a spotlight on it.  You even seemed to blame Daryl for going along, yet didn’t notice that he was sort of being the devil’s advocate.  Rick overall is a good man.  He has been put in a position that no good man wants to be in, to make terrible and difficult choices.  Tyreese has sort of become the “other voice” if you will.  It isn’t a necessarily a good reason to listen to Tyreese, however it is the one that makes the most sense to me.

I’ll finish this up by again saying, this was no snooze fest.  Hopefully you will sleep on it, see that there is so much going on under the shown actions, that this episode actually had a lot of interesting character development without the focus being on one or two people.  It may have not been perfect, however I could totally watch this episode again and enjoy.

KC: I think that Rick is thinking more clearly than he ever has. You act like he’s become this monster that wants to kill everyone but you completely overlooked what I said about why he is acting this way. The prison is gone. Since they left the prison, Joe and the Claimers wanted to kill him for what he had to do to their friend back at the house so that he could escape alive. They were going to rape Carl and Michonne. Rick did what he had to do to ensure everyone’s safety.

He went into Terminus hoping to find new sanctuary and found a place where you had a choice: cannibalism or death. The people he killed to escape Terminus were necessary in order for the group to escape alive. He met Father Gabriel and he led them to his church. He agreed to go to DC with Abraham. In the church, before Bob, holding Judith, Rick seemed to be making peace with this next part of the journey.

If Gareth and the remaining Terminites don’t hunt them down, cut off Bob’s leg, and then threaten his family AGAIN, Rick was over it. He wasn’t seeking vengeance. Gareth brought that machete on himself. He pursued it. He wouldn’t let Rick and them walk after Terminus was taken down in a day. You act like Rick chased him down and murdered him for no reason because he stole some peaches from Carl.

RICK IS FINE. I’ll even bite; he brought Cryreese to keep Sasha in check. He left Michonne with the kids because she has the best chance at defending them. Both of those are rational decisions made by someone who is thinking and leading at a very high level. I feel like you’re looking for these decisions to come back and haunt Rick later. If he gets a moment to think about them, sure they will. He is an officer of the law. Not everything he’s done has been done for justice or preservation. He’s no saint and he’ll have to deal with that if he gets another private moment or when judgment day comes.

I don’t think Rick has turned into this Punisher type character you see him as. Again, if and when the group finds some kind of place to call their own again, I think we’ll see a calmer, dare I say Farmer Rick again. But going into Atlanta, here’s what he knows: Beth was kidnapped by the people running this hospital according to Daryl even though that’s not the story she was told that she may have shared with Noah. Not Beth is staying with this nice group in Atlanta and we just need to go talk to them. That sounds like a situation where you need to not ask questions. Carol was hit by a car! She was running across the street and O’Donnell and Alvarado took a page from Toxic Avenger and nailed her! Daryl and Noah both saw it. There is no reason Rick should be taking a non-violent approach here.

He hasn’t lost touch. He’s not hallucinating like in season 3. He’s trying to do what’s best for the protection of the group. I don’t understand why you’re overlooking that and thinking he needs Cryreese to help him hold onto his humanity.

I think you nailed the exact reason why Rosita and Eugene won’t be dying this season: you wouldn’t be surprised. We’ve seen that TWD likes to keep their characters around long enough to make them interesting, so predicting quick deaths for characters we still don’t know a lot about doesn’t make sense. They gave us the whole picture of Abraham in “Self Help”, so you better be preparing yourself buddy.

And as for Sasha, I love the idea that people make dumb mistakes when they’re not thinking clearly. I just felt like if they had to drive home the point that Sasha is troubled, they could have done it better than they did. Having her fall for such an obvious trap, mourning or not, is out of character for her. Cryreese and Sasha were on their own for a while before they met the group in the prison. I just think her character deserves a bit more respect in the execution.

What it all comes down to is how excellent season 5 has been up to this point. Even with the slower paced “Self Help” episode, I’ve enjoyed every episode immensely until this one. I’ve been watching every Sunday night since the midseason premiere of season 3 and I don’t recall the consistency at any time that the first 6 episodes of this season has had. While you may enjoy it, to drop a clunker like “Crossed” is akin to going up 3 games to 0 in a best of 7 series and then losing game 4. When the series is won 4 games to 1 a few days later, game 4 is a mere afterthought in history. “Crossed” will be an afterthought in the history of TWD television series.

Or it could hold a secret that ends up being key when the series ends years from now. Then you can rub it in my face.

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