The Walking Dead episode seven, “Crossed,” starts with multiple characters dealing with grief and loss. I know, that’s not exactly a revolutionary way to describe an episode of the series considering how often it explores that theme, but this beginning was exceptionally telling.
With the exception of Father Gabriel Stokes and Sasha, Rick and company are up to their usual routine, fortifying Gabriel’s church against potential intruders using pipe organs and wood cut from the pews. Sasha intensely cuts into the pews, chopping through her grief with a focused intensity. Father Gabriel, the seemingly sane one of the group, tours through the construction and wonders if they would repurpose the church’s cross.
“If we need it,” Daryl ominously replies.
Back inside, Gabriel notices the dried blood from the fight with Gareth’s cannibals. Echoing Lady Macbeth, he tries to clear a spot, scratching on the floor with his fingernails. Sanity is but an illusion, I suppose.
A few scenes later, Carl (CAR-UL) engages Gabriel and tries to teach him the benefit of knowing self-defense with Michonne watching carefully. Gabriel can’t handle it, further demonstrating his prolific weakness. Or so we think…
We briefly return to the Abraham / Eugene scene where Eugene remains unconscious, and Abraham remains near catatonic, his sole reason for living now gone. There is a nice scene where Maggie shows she’s not afraid to “put him down” if he falls out of line. She later continues to provoke him, urging him to get over himself because it won’t get any better than what they have at that moment. Other than that, it was a throwaway moment. We did discover that the gang refers to themselves as GREATM using the first letters of each name to distinguish their water bottles. Kinda cute.
Rick takes a small band of his group to Atlanta to rescue Beth and Carol, who remains unconscious in Grady Memorial. Officer Dawn and the officers holding court there have proclaimed Carol all but dead, leaving instructions to remove her from life support. For vague reasons dedicated only to furthering the plot, Officer Dawn gives Beth the key to the drugs and puts her in charge of saving Carol’s life.
Outside, Noah draws two officers outside into a trap. Rick and company are about to work a deal when another car ambushes them and rescues the captured cops. That victory is short lived when the getaway car plows into a field of zombies in various states of decay. The Most Gruesome Moment of the Episode award goes to Daryl who uses the head of a snarling zombie to bash an attacking cop in the head.
Capturing the three cops for leverage, Rick intends to bargain for Carol and Beth. The cops, however, quickly reveal that Dawn is “on her way out.” One of the officers – a more reasonable, less rapey (hollaback to the first Grady Memorial episode) cop – indicates there’s another way, and he’s willing to help them find it. This cop, however, manages to talk Sasha into freeing him long enough to overpower her and escape by the end of the episode.
Wrapping up other events, Father Gabriel uses the machete CAR-UL gave him to break his way out of the church through the floorboards. After stepping on a nail, he wanders through the woods until he’s attacked by a snarling female walker. He manages to free himself, pushing her down on a tree limb, but cannot smash her head in with a large stone because she’s wearing a cross. Clearly, suffering on the forest floor with her intestines hanging out is justifiable if she’s wearing religious iconography. I know a little about Father Gabriel from spoilery reading on the internet, but I’m not a huge fan of his. It’s a realistic and legit interpretation of the character, but I do find it slightly annoying.
We return once more to the Maggie / Abraham intervention scene where Abraham finally starts coming out of his state. Eugene regains consciousness, and Glenn and others return from their completely uninteresting side journey to look for water. They find something hidden in a backpack, but we’ll have to wait until next week to figure that one out.
This sets the stage for yet another presumable Battle Royale during next week’s midseason finale. I dunno, maybe it’s the weather or maybe it’s just me, but I’m feeling a little fatigued with all of the wars these people keep waging. It’s almost as if it would be more surprising if the various survivors didn’t actually just shoot each other to claim supremacy in this zombie apocalypse.
Five seasons in, just blowing everybody away is getting a little passé.