Monday, October 20, 2014

The Walking Dead, Season Five, Episode Two: Strangers

The smoke from a now burning Terminus rises in the air, as the group gather for a respite.  Rick gets into a conversation with Tara and  Rick brings up her saving saving Glenn and the fact that Tara didn't want to be with The Governor.  Tara manages to earn his seal of approval and they end the conversation with a fist pound initiated by Tara.  On their next break, Tyreese and Carol talk about what she did at the prison and he says that Carl and Maggie accept what Carol did and that he is going to make sure that the rest of the group accepts Carol.  When Carol tries to say that no one has to accept it, Tyreese is adamant that the group does, he does however suggest that neither of them say what happened to the girls.  Look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.  Apparently, Tyreese just wants to forget what happened. Of course, as they walk down the road, Rick takes point.  Why the hell is he still leading them after Terminus?  Michonne stops long enough to kill a walker and when Abraham sees this, he tells Rosita that this is why they are waiting for their moment. Hmmm what is Abraham up to?

That night, Rick meets with Carol to finally admit that he owes her everything. Carol pulls out Rick's watch which she stole from Terminus and Rick admits to seeing the guy get killed. Rick however still has reservations about what Carol did at the prison but he now believes that Carol knew something that he didn't. How magnanimous of the great sheriff and of course, Carol let's him off the hook by pointing out that Rick did say she could survive. Why doesn't Carol get to express reservations about being kicked out of the group? Rick now realises that he sent Carol away from the prison to this life on the road and so he officially asks if the group may join her. Carol smiles and nods and Rick says thank you.  Gotta say, if I were Carol, I would have answered everyone but you.

Later, Carol sits with Darryl and says that she doesn't want to talk about what happened because she needs to forget.  A sullen Darryl replies, " all right," then stands quickly when he believes he hears something.  Darryl did actually hear something because something or someone is in the bushes.

The following day, the group is marching through the woods with Rick once again in the lead, when Darryl reports that he didn't find any tracks when he went looking for the sound he heard the night before. Darryl however is convinced that someone was watching them.  Abraham and Rick agree to travel north until they find a vehicle when they see a road.  Sasha and Bob actually kiss a few times (hmm when did this become a thing?) as they discuss the things they miss. Sasha explains it to Tyreese as a little game she and Bob have started to play. Suddenly, they hear someone screaming for help and Carl demands they help, even as Rick hesitates.

 The group finds a minister on a tree stump trying to fight off three zombies and they makes short work of the Walkers.  Rick asks if he is okay and his response is to throw up and apologise.  He introduces himself as Gabriel Stokes ( fans of Teen Wolf will recognize Seth Gilliam, as Dr. Alan Deaton) and Rick asks if Gabriel has any weapons on him. Gabriel claims that the word of God is the only protection he needs and this is proved by the fact that his call for help has been answered.  Gabriel then asks for food because the food he was carrying hit the ground.  Carl offers up some plums, as Rick does his I am going to stare you down into oblivion thing. Rick begins his search of Gabriel and starts with his standard question: "how many Walkers have you killed."  He then asks, "How many people have you killed and why."  It seems that Gabriel has not killed any people or walkers because apparently, the Lord abhors violence.  This answer does not satisfy Rick, who then asks what Gabriel has done because he believes that everyone has done something.  Gabriel calls himself a sinner and says that he confesses to God and not strangers. 

Gabriel leads them back to the church and says that he hasn't been watching them.  He starts to play with them saying that he may be lying and leading them into a trap, so that he can steal all of their squirrels.  As you might imagine, this does not go down well and Gabriel says that members of his flock have warned him that his sense of humour leaves a lot to be desired.  They arrive at a church which is in a cleared area of the woods.  Rick demands the key for the church so that the group can take a look around first.   The group checks the church, completely ready for action and find it empty. Carol comes across a handwritten version of the bible and the words, "Thou Shalt Not Kill" are written in bold to emphasis them. Rick pauses and looks at all of the empty cans by the alter and Michonne and Glenn look at the artwork done by children.

Rick gives the all clear whistle and when they head outside, Gabriel says that he spent months in the church alone without going outside and that if the group had actually found someone, that would have been surprising.  Abraham reports that they found a bus out back which Gabriel does not want.  Abraham points out that there is a lot at stake but the group wants to take a breathe and get some supplies.  As they head into the church, Darryl snarks that the bus isn't going anywhere and that they will bring Abraham back some baked beans. Glenn pauses long enough to say that the group is doing what Rick says and that they are not splitting up again.  As they rest of the group enters, they affirm what Glenn had to say.  Again, why are these people following Rick? WHY?

Inside the church, Rick asks how Gabriel survived in the church for as long as he did and Gabriel explains that things fell apart as the church was running its annual food drive. Gabriel says that he scavenged after the food ran out and that he cleaned out everything nearby except for one place.  Gabriel explains that the place is overrun by 12 zombies and the group agrees to take care of it and Tyreese happily accepts the job of babysitting Judith.  Really Walking Dead?  Gabriel offers to draw the group a map but Rick demands that he accompany them.  Gabriel tries to protest saying that he won't be of any help and that they have seen how he reacts to Walkers but Rick will not be dissuaded.

Off to the side, Rick tells Carl that he does not trust Gabriel but Carl who still has faith in humanity replies, "everyone cannot be bad."  Rick explains that he doesn't trust Gabriel, which is why he is making him accompany them on the foraging mission and because of this, he asks Carl to stay alert while watching Judith, just in case Gabriel has friends. Rick tells Carl that he is not safe regardless of how many people are around, or how clear the area looks, or what anyone says. Rick reminds Carl that it only takes one second and asks Carl to promise never to let his guard down.  Carl affirms that they are both strong and suggests that they are strong enough to help people and handle themselves (yeah if they have Carol watching their back) if things go wrong.  Carl adds that they are strong enough not to have to hide or be afraid.  Rick again asserts that Gabriel is hiding something. You just know that they are going to make Rick to justify his leadership right?

Bob, Gabriel and Rick walk towards the food stash and Bob tells Rick that he was right when Rick suggested that the people of Terminus don't get to live. It seems that Bob believes that they push themselves to let things go and that eventually there will be things they cannot get back, or hold onto even if they tried.  Bob asks if they are going to Washington and Rick replies that he hasn't decided whether or not the group is going.  Bob however is convinced that even without the group's help, Abraham will get Eugene to Washington where he can cure all of this. Bob suggests that it won't work if Rick lets too much go along the way because Rick will eventually be back in the real world.  Rick asserts that they are living in the real world. Bob says that this is a nightmare which will end and adds that Rick is going to say yes to Washington. What is this, say Yes to the Dress already?"

Darryl and Carol walk with cannisters in hand and Carol says that she has got to be okay.  Darryl suggests that they all need to start over with each other and points out that Carol saved them all on her own.  Carol of course downplays what she did and claims that she got lucky.  They find a car and Carol tries to start it with the keys (umm yeah where did the keys come from?) but it doesn't turn over. Darryl again asserts that whatever happened happened and that they should start over, as Carol checks the trunk of the car. They find a battery charger in the trunk, so Carol suggests that they leave it all there in case things go wrong with the church.

Maggie and Tara stand outside of a gun store they found in the phonebook. When they hear a sound, they immediately draw their weapons but it is only Glenn.  He claims to have killed a walker inside but when the women don't believe him, Glenn admits to accidentally tripping before handing over three silencers he found in a mini fridge.

Gabriel has lead the group to the food bank; the place where all the cans the congregation were collecting were eventually to end up.  Rick et al walk in armed and ready, only to find that the walkers have all fallen through a hole in the ground. Gabriel freezes when he sees the walkers because the group has to climb into the hole to get at the food.  The group uses the shelves to protect themselves from the walkers and makes quick work of them.   A terrified Gabriel tries to run, as a walker seems to stalk him, as Rick watches. Seeing that Gabriel is in trouble and to paralyzed with fear to move, Rick makes a plan to rescue him. Just when they think the walkers are all dead, one reaches up and grabs Bob but he and Sasha manage to fight them off. Are you as surprised as me that Bob made it out of that one? I just know some POC is due to die soon.

With the food all loaded they head back to the church. Gabriel approaches Rick to apologise for what happened at the food bank but an unsympathetic Rick suggests that Gabriel tell his sins to God. Later Rick asks Michonne if she misses her sword but she says that it was never really hers anyway. He questions how she got so good and Michonne replies that it was just her alone everyday and that wasn't a life. Michonne tells Rick that she misses Andrew, and Herschel but not the sword.

Back at the church, Rick tells Carl about the food they found and suggests that he head inside.  Carl points out deep scratches on the exterior wall of the church which suggest to Carl that someone was trying to get in.  Carl then shows Rick the words,"you'll burn for this," carved into the wall but adds that it doesn't mean that Gabriel is a bad guy.

The group sits to feast in the evening and Abraham stands to make a speech calling the group survivors.  They toast with red win and Abraham asks if this is all the group wants to be because while they can survive if they get Eugene to Washington, that will change the game entirely.  Eugene explains in scientific mumbo jumbo that Washington is a restart.  Abraham suggest that while they wait for the reset button to be set they can make the world safe for everyone who have nothing left to do but survive. Rick replies that the group is in and everyone celebrates.

Sasha gives Bob a quick kiss and he once again asks for one more and this time the kiss is tender and certainly not play.

Tara sits next to Maggie and confesses that she was at the prison with The Governor and explains that she didn't know who Philip was or what he could do. Maggie tells Tara that she is with them now and the two women embrace.

Off to the side Gabriel sits alone until Rick joins him to thank him for the hospitality and the communion wine.  Gabriel takes a drink saying that there isn't anyone left to take communion and that the wine is just wine until it's blessed.  Aren't they lucky they didn't end up at church which used grape juice for communion. Rick again asserts that Gabriel is hiding something and declares it his business.  Rick tells Gabriel that the group is his family and that if what Gabriel is hiding hurts the group in anyway, he will kill him.

A walker makes it way out of the woods and Carol kills it.  Darryl finds her by the car they found earlier and asks what she is doing.  Carol admits that she doesn't know and they both hide behind the car when another goes racing down the road. Darryl immediately smashes the break lights yelling that they have she who took to her bed and encourages Carol to get in the car.

Bob stands outside of the church looking in.  Could this be the moment of Bob's goodbye? Bob heads into the woods and leans against a tree crying.  Bob is hit over the back of the head by a man in a blue hoodie.  When Bob regains consciousness he is told by Travis that the good news is that he isn't dead yet.  The interesting thing is that the Travis knows Bob's name.  Bob is told that they didn't want to hurt him, or pull him away from his group but they had to do it because the group apparently took away their home.  It seems that the Terminus people want their revenge.  Travis explains to Bob that they have to hunt to survive  and they evolved into cannibals because they had no choice. Travis calls it a cosmic justice that they are going to feed on Bob but adds that they would have done this to anybody.  When Bob looks down, he finds that the bottom part of his leg is missing as Travis is eating a piece of meat.  Travis tells Bob that he tastes much better than they thought he would.  The camera then switches to Bob's foot roasting in the fire.

I am screaming a big freaking I called it.  That's right people, I called it.  Once I counted up the POC I knew that one of them would be eliminated soon and while Bob isn't dead yet, he is certainly walking the green mile as they say.  Comic book readers will recognize this scene, though it originally happened with Dale.  It makes me wonder if Bob was bitten in that hole and has passed on the virus to the Terminus people?  I will however say that dealing with cannibals has certainly increased the horror scale on The Walking Dead.  The writers have once again affirmed that not only do survivors have to fear the Walkers, they have to fear each other.

The good sheriff is getting on my last nerves.  Watching him walk around and give his approval to both Tara and Carol was too much to handle.  He who decided to become a farmer and ignore all of the threats is now giving his approval to women who have fought and struggled.  I don't even give him points for asking Carol if he could join her.  Why are they ignoring the fact that Rick just abandoned Carol when he knew damn well what danger lay outside of the prison walls.

I like that Tyreese has Carol's back.  What they survived together has brought them together.  After everything he went through with the guy from Terminus, as well as what happened with the girls seems to have taught him that one must do what one must to survive.  Of course there are limits but one must always keep survival in the forefront.

I am super pissed that the Terminus people are going to be hunting the group.  Beyond the fact that Bob is the first one to become snack food, there is also the issue that their presence makes Rick right about going back to kill them.  Their appearance completely undermines all of Carol's heroic effort to save the group.  It further makes it seem as though Rick is perfect in his role of all knowing leader. I know that Rick isn't going to die in this series but do we have to make him into an all perfect freaking Gary Stu as well?