As The Walking Dead lurched toward its Season 5 midpoint, multiple characters were forced to consider how much they could trust those in their company.
And, as is almost always the case, the answer was...not very much.
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Sunday's episode featured Rick (Andrew Lincoln) & Co. planning another trip into Atlanta to rescue Beth (Emily Kinney) and Carol (Melissa McBride) from the gang at Grady Memorial — and leaving Carl (Chandler Riggs), Judith and Michonne (Danai Gurira) behind at the church with Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam). Meanwhile, Beth did her best to keep Carol alive at the hospital and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and his group tried to pull things back together in the wake of Eugene's admission about D.C.
So, who proved trustworthy? Let's break it all down:
At the Hospital: Unsure whether or not a rescue effort is underway, Beth is forced to keep Carol alive. When she overhears one of the cops telling Dawn (Christine Woods) to stop wasting resources on Carol, Beth protests. Unfortunately, she makes such a stink that, in order to keep up the appearance of power, Dawn has no choice but to consent to the cop's request. However, she then tasks Beth with taking care of Carol herself and even gives her the key to the drug locker. "I thought you were weak, but I was wrong," Dawn says.
But is Dawn really helping Beth? When Beth asks Dr. Edwards what drugs Carol needs, he tells her — but only after warning Beth that Dawn wouldn't hand over that key out of the goodness of her heart. Although Beth — with the help of another ward — is able to get the drugs to Carol, we'll have to wait for the finale to see if the other shoe drops with Dawn.
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Gone Fishin': After receiving a beating by Abraham, Eugene (Josh McDermitt) remains unconscious, while Abraham sits in stoic silence. When Rosita (Christian Serratos) offers Abraham some water, he slaps it away like a petulant child before getting in Rosita's face. Before the uncomfortable physical encounter can get too out of hand, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) pulls a gun on Abraham. "Sit down or I'll put you down," she says. Although Abraham eventually complies, Maggie is forcd to stay behind to keep an eye on him while Glen (Steven Yeun), Tara (Alanna Masterson) and Rosita go in search of water and supplies.
While they're away (Tara's tension-cutting jokes don't go over so well, but the trio eventually finds a stream from which they both filter drinking water and catch some fish), Maggie tells Abraham to get over himself, reminding him that they all lost the hope that D.C. promised. However, Maggie finally gets Abraham to speak when she asks the million-dollar question: Did he want Maggie to shoot him? (We all remember his near suicide in flashbacks a couple weeks ago, yes?) However, Abraham says, "I though I did. But I didn't.) Conveniently, Eugene wakes up at that moment and Abraham seems to finally let himself off the hook and have a drink of water. Looks like both Eugene and Abraham are going to make it.
At the Church: Once Rick, Daryl (Norman Reedus) Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman), Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Noah (Tyler James Williams) head out for Atlanta, Carl and Michonne barricade themselves in the church with Father Gabriel, who goes a little nutty and starts scrubbing the blood off the floors. When Carl tells him he should pick a weapon and learn how to defend himself, it becomes even more clear that Gabriel doesn't approve of his new guests. Although Carl argues that they had to kill Gareth's cannibalistic crew, Father Gabriel is unconvinced. Although he eventually chooses a weapon, Gabriel then seemingly becomes sick to his stomach and retires to his office to rest.
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However, Gabriel uses his machete to pry up the floorboards and sneaks out from underneath the church (though he leaves his weapon behind). It's unclear what his plan is, but when he is attacked by a walker he does defend himself slightly better than the last time. However, when he goes in for the killing blow with large rock, he is stopped when he sees the walker is wearing a cross around her neck. Is she perhaps another former member of his church? In any case, if he can't kill, we don't know how long he'll last alone.
The Rescue Mission: Once Rick & Co. arrive in Atlanta, Rick lays out his master plan to lure the guards at the hospital away from their posts and then sneak into the hospital and silently take out anyone who stands between the group and Beth and Carol. However, Tyrese balks at the plan, arguing instead that they should capture the two guards and then negotiate an even trade. Although it's clear Tyrese is, as usual, concerned with minimizing bloodshed, his plan does seem logical. In fact, Daryl quickly sides with Tyrese over Rick. (Did anyone else think Rick seemed a little pissed Daryl was a voice of dissent?)
Regardless, they move forward with Tyrese's plan, which seems to be working perfectly until an unexpected third guard shows up and starts firing. After a bit of firefight and footchase, Daryl eventually squares off with the third guard. Although the guard gets the best of Daryl and has his face inches away from being gnawed on by a walker, Daryl uses the skull of another nearby walker to bash the guard's head. Rick finally shows up to assist and seems ready to kill the guard before Daryl stops him. "Three's better than two," Daryl says. (Again, Rick seems a little too trigger happy doesn't he?)
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But it's not really Rick anyone should be worried about. After one of the guards tells Rick exactly the best way to negotiate with Dawn, the group heads off with the other two guards, leaving the most trustworthy one (and Dawn's apparent successor) behind with Sasha. However, after the officer gives Sasha a sob story about one of his old buddies he recognized as a walker outside, Sasha leads him to the window, where she plans to put the walker out of its misery. However, before she can take the shot, the office charges Sasha, knocking her unconscious and scurrying out of the warehouse he's being held in. Hmm, maybe Rick's kill 'em all philosophy wasn't so bad after all.
So, what do you think will happen in the midseason finale? Will Rick & Co. save Carol and Beth or will they too become prisoners of Dawn's? What's up with Father Gabriel? Do you think Abraham's group can move forward from their tragedy? And...do you think we might finally see Morgan (Lennie James) again? Share your theories in the comments below!