Last night, Season 5 of “The Walking Dead” spat out its 3rd episode and it was gross, violent, and sad. Not that any of those qualities are bad when it comes to AMC’s zombie series. Actually, we all expect these attributes now, don’t we? The episode in question was titled “Four Walls and a Roof,” and there are spoilers below, so tread lightly!
The episode starts where last week’s ended: Gareth and the gang are eating Bob’s leg. There are walkers forming outside the school walls and it looks as if Gareth has accepted there isn’t much difference separating them from the undead. As they all enjoy Bob meat, Gareth starts teasing Bob with the details of his future plans. He’s going to eat everyone, including Rick. This threat goes beyond the man’s healthy appetite as he blames Rick for both his mother and brother’s death back at Terminus.
It’s at this point when Bob breaks out into crazy laughter. He’s finally lost it, everyone is thinking. But the reality is that in “Strangers” Bob really did leave the church to cry about being bit by a walker. He shows the whole gang of cannibals that he has been infected and yells, “Tainted meat!” Some vomit, others immediately freak out. But the calming words come from Gareth as he assures them they cooked the meat so they have nothing to worry about. Is that how that works?
Back at the church, Rick, Sasha, and Tyreese are getting antsy. Bob, Carol and Daryl are all missing and Rick’s mistrust for Father Gabriel has reached an all time high. They confront Gabriel, suspecting his involvement with the disappearance of their friends. We find out that the demons plaguing Gabriel stem back to his actions when the zombie plague started. He locked the doors of the church, keeping the members of his congregation out so he could save his own ass.
Timing in this episode is everything because as soon as Father Gabriel finishes his confession, the gang spots Bob’s body lying outside the church in the grass. The team quickly finds out that Gareth survived the attack at Terminus and brought friends with him. It’s during this moment that Bob informs Sasha and the rest of them that he was bit back in that store by one of the waterlogged zombies. Things get emotional.
Seeing the possibility of how quickly things may go to sh*t, Abraham announces he is taking Eugene to DC in the newly operational bus out back. The brash nature of this decision almost leads to a physical confrontation between Abraham and Rick, but Glenn steps in the way. He sparks a deal with Abraham suggesting that if he stays and helps them, then he and Maggie will join them on their trip.
Rick, Abraham, Sasha, Michonne, Glenn, Maggie, and Tara all leave the church to track down Gareth and his crew. They head to the school where Bob was being held and at this moment, the bad guys come out of the shadows and infiltrate the church. It may just be me here, but the use of shadows in this scene along with the drawn-out dialogue by Gareth made it pretty damn obvious Rick was setting them up. Still, these few minutes were a bit stressful and I attribute that to the great work Andrew J. West was contributing to this evil character Gareth.
At the most (seemingly) inopportune time, Judith begins to cry. There’s a moment here where Gareth smiles and expresses how much he loves that girl before closing in on the room everyone is hiding in. But their next moves do not matter as two of his henchmen are immediately taken out. Rick and crew have taken shelter in the church’s shadows themselves, leading the rest of the intruders to kneel and leading me to wonder when the hell Rick got a silencer for his gun.
Gareth attempts to bargain with Rick, even playing with the notion that Rick didn’t want to kill him or else he’d have done it right away. Rick’s response was simple: “We didn’t want to waste the bullets.” It’s this scene that illustrates just how far Rick has come from season one and just how similar our heroes are to these intruders. Then we see a rather gruesome attack on Gareth and the rest of his group. There was so much stabbing, slashing, and hacking that it gets to a point where I personally thought it was a bit too much. That is probably the point.
Glenn, Maggie, and Tara noticeably stay back, put off by the overly violent payback the group unleashed on these Terminus survivors. It’s nice to see some people have maintained some sense of civility. Also, it’s worth noting that Michonne finally gets her sword back in this scene. Yay, Michonne!
The story takes a turn back to Bob who is literally on his death bed. He requests to speak to Rick alone. The image above, of Rick holding Judith while Bob continues to preach hope even while his life is leaving him, is a strong one. Knowing how this reality has affected and changed Rick, he delivers some advice to him:
Nightmares end, but they shouldn’t end who you are. And that’s just this dead man’s opinion.
When Bob turns, Sasha enlists Tyreese to deliver the final death blow. It’s a quick but meaningful moment and further shows how numb he has gotten to the world. And then the group splits in half, with Glenn and Maggie joining Abraham and crew on the bus to Washington D.C. This should be an interesting direction for the show, if we do get to follow along on this trip and get out of Georgia for a bit. Before we could really take in the implications this break in the group will cause, Michonne finds Daryl in the woods outside of the church with a yet-to-be-seen guest accompanying him. And while we don’t see who it is, I’m guessing it ain’t Carol!
The preview for next week’s episode hints at answers regarding what has happened to Beth this entire time. Is it bad that I don’t care? I really don’t. But that’s the price one has to pay for an ensemble show such as this. Even if my curiosity regarding Beth’s fate is minimal, I’m still sure next week’s episode will be a nice change of pace as we’ll be in a different locale with unfamiliar characters. Am I wrong here? What did you think of last night’s episode of “The Walking Dead”? Tell me in the comments below!
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