Godsmack drummer Shannon Larkin recaps each episode of 'The Walking Dead' Season 5 exclusively on Loudwire. Check out his look at the midseason finale, Episode 8 ('Coda'), below:

What a rad beginning! So we leave off with Bob the cop’s escape, and he has made it to his car and is frantically scraping at the zip ties around his wrists trying to free himself. But alas, here come the walking dead, forcing him to run. We then see the cowboy boots of a pursuer running after him. It’s Rick, and he’s pissed. Rick gets to Bob’s squad car, jumps in, and pursues running Bob down the street. He gets on the car’s PA system and tells Bob to stop. Bob doesn’t, so Rick slams into him from behind with the car, gets out and approaches Bob laying in the road. Bob thinks his neck is broken, but Rick shows no sympathy and pulls his piece, shooting Bob in the head, execution style. Nice!

Now Daryl and Rick are questioning the other two captive cops and still trying to make a plan to trade them for Beth and Carol with minimal bloodshed.

Flash to the preacher, on his own now and not dealing too well with this apocalypse business. The burned foot sets him to crying and losing his s--t until a mini hoard of about 20 people eaters break out of the building they were trapped in and start a hot pursuit. The preacher leads them back to the church where he is saved (in an awesome scene) by Michonne and Carl. But in the process, they have to leave the church, trapping the zombies inside. Just when it gets bleak and the Z’s are almost free, Abraham and the group arrive in the fire truck and seal the zombies inside using said truck against the doors. It’s a happy reunion for most of the gang, and Maggie gets right to the point explaining Eugene’s deception. But she’s stoked to hear her little sister Beth has been located alive and that Rick and the gang are already en route to try and save her (and Carol).

So all this season I’ve done the “blow by blow” review. I figure here, anyone reading this has watched the midseason finale. So now I’m just gonna gush! This was by far the best episode of the season. Talk about saving the best for last!

In the beginning when Rick runs by the zombie and slashes his stomach on the way by, spilling his guts. Brilliant! Rick knows that won’t kill a Z (or even slow it down), and was acting out of malice towards the dead. At the church, Michonne showing her ninja Katana skillz and halving skulls with a flick of the sword. C’mon! Carl showing beyond his age maturity and becoming a dead eye shot in the face of adversity and not panicking. Dawn at the hospital showing Beth a kindness that didn’t seem at all deceiving at the time, then taking down (with Beth’s help) the bad cop dude in a brawl with UFC style knees and elbows. Dirty! The sound of said cop falling down the elevator shaft to the hungry dead waiting at the bottom. Lots of great walkers and walker kills and action and drama and everything I could expect from this monumental season. And then… the exchange.

We see Rick and the gang go to the hospital and make the deal to trade the two captured cops for Beth and Carol, with Daryl and Michonne hidden in sniper positions so no funny business can go down. So an exchange is planned, and the group goes into the hospital to make the trade. Everything seems peachy as the trade is made, then Dawn (control freak that she is) says she wants Noah back since they’re taking Beth who took Noah’s place as her ward. Rick steps up and is all “that wasn’t part of the deal,” but Dawn wasn’t gonna let it drop. So Beth walks right up in Dawn’s grill and tells her she knows what it was all about with Dawn the whole time: power, fear, deception, and mostly control, as evidenced by her earlier comment that Noah would be back, and the smug way in which she was certain of it. And then the WTF shocker that I’ve mentioned many a time in reviews of this show, and one that I was TOTALLY not expecting -- Beth pulls out a scissor and stabs Dawn, and then BOOM! Dawn shoots Beth point blank under the chin with the bullet exiting out the back of her head.

I gotta believe every fan of this show had their jaws drop to the floor at this scene. I always wonder (as all of us fans do) who will die next, but I really didn’t pick this doozy. Daryl immediately puts a bullet in Dawn’s forehead, and Rick wipes Beth’s blood spray off his lips with an expression of disbelief, sadness, rage, and a plethora of emotions passing through his features in a five second shot that shows why Andrew Lincoln is a superb actor and this show wouldn’t have done what it did without him.

Well s--t - a shout out to all the fine acting here, as I don’t think there was a dry eye in the final scene when Maggie and the gang show up at the hospital to find Rick and the group coming out the front doors, with Daryl carrying Beth’s corpse and grimacing/crying, showing emotion we’ve never witnessed from his character. Then to see Maggie’s reaction to her dead sister – wow. I admit it, I had tears happen. Hats off to Norman Reedus and Lauren Cohan for truly becoming their characters and making us feel the pain of the loss. This has been a motherf--ker of a season and one helluva midseason ender. I love Rick’s trajectory and look forward to seeing him bring his ruthless no nonsense survival judgment to more scumbags and deadf--ks when Season 5 resumes in February!

All hail The Walking Dead!

Until the last time…Apocalypse!!

Our thanks to Shannon Larkin for his recap of the first half of Season 5  of 'The Walking Dead.' Check back in February for recaps of new episodes. Godsmack recently released their latest album, '1000hp,' which is available at iTunes and Amazon.

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