There are few TV shows more thoroughly examined by the Internet than AMC's The Walking Dead. The average viewer might catch one or two little things, but there's almost always a half-dozen or more cool little winks and nods included in any given episode, particularly the big ones.
The midseason finale, which aired on Sunday, is no exception. Watching the episode critically (and then a side trip to Reddit and the like) would give you quite a bit to think about between now and February.
Here are some of our favorites.
"You can't go back, Bob."
After Rick hits Officer Bob with his car, Rick tells him, "You can't go back, Bob."
That was an echo of something Gareth said to Bob Stookey at Terminus -- and it was clearly intentional becuase actor Andrew Lincoln says he used it to help him reconcile the silliness of telling the man to "shut up" after shooting him in the head.
"The 'shut up' [line] was really interesting because the way I justified it was when I echo Gareth by saying 'Can’t go back, Bob' — I think that part of it was him going 'shut up' to Gareth," Lincoln said in an EW interview. "Because otherwise, really? I’m saying 'shut up' after I shot the guy? Which really made me laugh. And to their credit, [writer] Angela [Kang] and Scott were laughing when they told me. They were like, 'Yeah, we thought it would be really cool.' And I was like, 'That’s not good enough! You’ve got to give me some help here!' So that’s the way I justified it, is that it was to Gareth."
A Redditor, unhappy with the way Beth was killed, took his analysis online to point out why, leaving story issues aside, he doesn't feel like it was a well-shot scene:
If you watch the scene again (link there ) notice at 3.07 Dawn has her gun holstered on her hip.
At 3.19 Beth stabs Dawn with the scissors then in the reverse shot that follows somehow the scissors are way up on Dawn's shoulder facing down as though thrust down from above.
Dawn then shoots Beth at 3.20 from below - her hands and still down at her sides but suddenly her gun is in her hand. If you pause at 3.20 you can see the entry wound on Beth's forehead when the shot must have come from beneath - under her chin.
While the show often beats you over the head with its metaphors, this week it was surprisingly subtle about the fact that when he returned to the church, walkers on his heels, Father Gabriel's first stop -- where he briefly collapsed -- was in front of the window where his parishioners had been crying for his help near the start of the plague.
When Dawn tried to change the deal at the last minute, Daryl told her no. She responded with "He's one of mine. You have no claim on him."
This really brought home the idea that Dawn and her people believe the patients to be their property, indentured servants for their treatment. But it also drew a direct parallel between Dawn and the "claimers" with whom Daryl spent some time last year. Rick got to take out Joe, but this time around Daryl got to pull the trigger.
Two different cuts
There were two distinct kinds of markings on the trees in the episode -- the circle filled with an X that we saw (a variation on) in the season premiere, later revealed to have been placed there by Gareth and his Termites, and a straight line, which could be from Terminus but could as likely be from either Rick, Morgan or somebody else entirely also making guideposts in the woods.