Well that was an intense ten minutes.
For most of that midseason finale, the show seemed almost asleep. Sure, Rick killed the cop Bob Lamson and Beth threw another cop down an elevator shaft after he attacked Dawn (who isn't apparently such an evil witch after all), but mostly it was a lot of prep work for the eventual Beth-and-Carol rescue mission.
Unfortunately, that mission did not quite go as planned.
The plan seemed like a simple enough prisoner exchange: The two cops Rick had captured for Beth and Carol. Of course, as we learned from last week's Homeland (which we are still completely freaking out about), prisoner exchanges are rarely as simple as they look.
Rick and his gang, along with Carol and Beth, were about to be home free, until Dawn said she needed Noah back. Rick and Beth both refused to let him go, but Dawn was adamant that they could not leave and take Noah with them. Noah, however, agreed to stay at the hospital so that the others could get out of there safely.
Beth stepped up to say goodbye to Noah, and then stepped over to Dawn.
"I get it now," Beth said, referring to their earlier conversation about the way the world works, and then attempted to stab Dawn using the scissors she had hidden in her arm cast. Dawn immediately responded by shooting Beth through the chin. There was a moment of stunned silence before Daryl shot Dawn through the head, and then all the guns were up.
The tension weirdly immediately dissipated. The remaining cops offered to let Rick's group stay at the hospital, and Rick invited the cops to leave with him, if they wished. Nobody moved.
Cut to outside the hospital, as GREATM is arriving, believing that they're about to be reunited with Carol and Beth. They're almost joyously killing walkers on the way to the door, until Rick comes outside, followed by Carol…and Daryl, carrying Beth's body.
Then, Maggie lost it, falling to her knees and crying, and we lost it, too, more at the sight of Maggie's sadness than at the actual death. Then we realized Daryl was also crying, and we lost it even more. We sort of kind of watched through our tears as Morgan (who was still following those Terminus-marked trees) discovered the church and Abraham's map, meaning he's one step closer to a reunion.
So everything is sad, and we don't even know why. The point in killing Beth seems somewhat unclear, especially after a good chunk of this season's episodes were dedicated to rescuing her, but this show has never shied away from deaths that don't do much more than rip out your heartstrings.
Heartbreaking is right.
What did you think of tonight's midseason finale? Let us know in the comments!