**Spoilers. Although if you haven’t heard what happens in this episode by now you must be living under a rock. So if you are, stay under that rock if you don’t want to know what happens in the mid-season finale.**
Fans knew it was coming, but every time one of the beloved core characters died on The Walking Dead it’s a blow. Social media was blazing at the end of the Season 5 mid-season finale because of the death of Beth Greene. Speculation had been rampant that it would be Beth, played by Emily Kinney, who wouldn’t survive the mid-season finale but because The Walking Dead is known for surprises there was the slight chance it might have been Carol who didn’t make it. At the end of the episode Beth took a stand against Dawn and it ended her life. In the preview for the February premiere of the second half of the season it looks like they take Beth back to Hershel’s farm to bury her, giving Maggie the chance to grieve for both Hershel and Beth. Since Hershel was killed in last season’s mid-season finale there is a certain amount of poetic justice to Beth being killed in this season’s mid-season finale. But still, fans are devastated.
At the Church
While Rick and the others are still plotting how to get Beth and Carol out of the hospital Michonne and Carl are at the church with Father Gabriel, who has tunneled out and gone to the elementary school. There he finds personal possessions including a Bible that belonged to some of his parishioners who died when he refused to open the church for them. He seems some walkers that used to be his parishioners. He draws a big crowd of walkers and because he is pretty much incapable of action he runs back to the church, leading the entire herd to the church. The church quickly gets overrun and Michonne, Carl, Judith and Father Gabriel shut the walkers inside the church. The walkers quickly break through the makeshift barricades they have put in place but Abraham, Maggie, Glenn, Rosita, Tara and Eugene arrive at just the right time, parking the big fire truck in front of the failing church door. Michonne and Carl tell them that Rick and the others have gone to free Carol and Beth, who is still alive. Maggie suddenly remembers that she loves Beth and is emotional at the thought that Beth is alive. Since the church is no longer safe they all decide to head to Grady Memorial to help Rick and to see Beth.
Outside the Hospital
Rick chases Bob, the cop that was being held hostage but escaped after getting the jump on Sasha a police car. He uses the radio to tell the fleeing man to stop, but he refuses to stop. So Rick, who has snapped back into being the Ricktator, hits the gas and nails the running man with the police car. He gets out to confront the man, who is lying on the ground in a heap with a broken back. They exchange worse and Rick shoots him. Rick still has two cops from the group at the hospital he can trade for Beth and Carol. The group takes position to make contact with the group at Grady Memorial. He walks out in front of officers on patrol, after making sure that Sasha, Daryl and the others are covering him from the roof. The cops talk to him once he agrees to put down his gun and tells them he was a deputy himself. They get on the radio to tell Dawn about Rick’s offer to swap the two prisoners for Carol and Beth.
Inside Grady Memorial
Inside the hospital Beth and Dawn are talking in the hallway near the elevator bank. Beth is sitting with her feet dangling down the shaft. She and Dawn talk seriously. Dawn tries to manipulate Beth by telling her that she knows Beth is a cop killer but has covered for her so that Beth will be protected from Dawn’s main rival for control who beats the wards and raped Joan, the girl who killed herself in Dawn’s office. Unfortunately Dawn’s rival is standing in the hall door and hears her. He challenges her authority and attacks Dawn, who fights him off pretty impressively. When Dawn starts to lose the fight Beth jumps in to help, giving Dawn the few seconds she needs to regroup. She throat punches the other officer and Beth throws him down the elevator shaft.
For a few minutes fans feel a little sympathy for Dawn, as she and Beth talk Dawn seems a little softer and it’s a little easier to understand her motivation. After the other officer is killed they go to Carol’s room. At the end of the scene of Beth and Dawn talking in Carol’s room Carol wakes up. Dawn tells Beth about the deal with Rick and Beth goes to her room and changes into the yellow polo shirt, jeans and cowboy boots she was wearing when she and Daryl got separated and to tuck a pair of scissors she took from the doctor inside her cast. The exact details of the deal are not shows in the episode.
The Prisoner Exchange
Rick and the others bring the two police to one of the wards in the hospital. Dawn and her entourage, Carol in a wheelchair and Beth are there. Rick and Dawn talk and Dawn says to send one of the police for one of Rick’s people. Rick and Daryl exchange the police for both Carol and Beth. Rick hugs Beth in an instinctive fatherly gesture, pulled he close and kissing the top of her head. For a brief moment it seems like the exchange is a success. But then Dawn has to assert her control again. She demands that Rick give her Noah. Rick refuses, but Noah agrees to go back with Dawn in order to save Beth and give her a chance to get free. Beth stops Noah on his way back over to Dawn to give him a hug.
Beth Takes a Stand
As Noah goes back to Dawn after Beth has hugged him Dawn makes a snide remark to Beth about how she knew that Noah would return. That’s a reference to a conversation they had earlier when Dawn said that Noah wouldn’t be able to make it out there on his own. Beth, really tired of Dawn’s cruelty and smugness, walks back over to Dawn and stares at her for a moment angrily. She slips the scissors out of her cast and stabs Dawn in the neck. However, her blow isn’t fatal and as soon as the blow lands Dawn draws her weapon and shoots Beth in the head. Beth is knocked back by the force of the blow and killed instantly. Daryl screams angrily and kills Dawn with a shot to the head. Rick got the same look on his face that he had when Lori died, and when Hershel died. He wants to open up on all of the people standing in the hallway but the cop who had been their prisoner stops him, saying that Dawn was the problem and she is now dead. Rick knows if he fires on the people in the hallway it will end up in a bloodbath. So he turns to walk away, led by the others.
Outside the hospital the fire truck carrying the others has arrived. They kill a few walkers outside and find the entrance to the hospital. They see Carol and Rick come out along with Sasha and Tyreese. Maggie starts to run to them to see Beth but crumples to the ground screaming and crying as Daryl emerges, crying, holding Beth’s lifeless body.
Even though it’s always a shock and it’s always sad when a main cast member dies fans were especially devastated to lose Beth after just finding her again. Maggie didn’t get to see her sister alive after the massacre at the prison when their father was killed. In the hierarchy of the deaths of main cast members in The Walking Dead this one was pretty high on the list. Rest in peace Beth Greene. May you find peace in the arms of your father and watch over your sister and the other survivors. They’re going to need you as they make their way to the new world of the Alexandria Safe Zone.