Monday, November 10, 2014

The Walking Dead, Season Five, Episode Five: Self Help

Abraham et al are making their way in the bus that Abraham fixed up.  As Rosita plays with his hair, Abraham talks about how he is getting ready for retirement and potentially becoming a plumber of all things.  Tara talks to Eugene about cutting off his mullet (yes, please do), asking if it's the source of Eugene's secret power. Eugene just rambles off another of his senseless answers.  Maggie wonders if the group is right behind them because Carol and Darryl have returned.  Maggie then questions Eugene how long it will take him to fix the world and Eugene of course tells Maggie that much of the questions she asks are classified.  Glenn brings up the mullet and Eugene asserts that no one is taking clippers to his hair because his old boss, the director of the genome project loved it.  Abraham suddenly loses control of the bus and it flips over landing on its side. Zombies witness the crash and start making their way over to the bus.

Later, we see Abraham using a soup can of all things to beat someone.  Abraham finishes off by using his foot to break his victim's neck.  It turns out that this is a dream and Abraham is regaining consciousness calling out for Eugene.  The rest of the group starts to struggle to get up and Glenn suggests that he and Abraham head out first to take care of the zombies who have surrounded the bus.  Abraham orders Tara to take care of Eugene and then kicks out the window to be followed by the rest of the group.  Eugene hangs back but Tara tells Eugene that it is time to be brave and hands him a knife.  A timid Eugene leaves the bus but only watches as the rest of the group fights off the walkers.  Eugene does however act when a walker grabs Tara from behind but Tara still has to turn to finish the walker off. 

With all of the walkers dead, Abraham demands that Eugene be checked for injuries. Eugene says that he is fine but Abraham demands again that Eugene be checked.  Eugene notices that Abraham has reopened the wound on his hand but when Maggie turns to get the first aid kit from the bus, it catches fire.  Abraham grabs his bag saying that the mission hasn't changed and that they have to keep moving. Eugene points out that the church is just fifteen miles behind them but Abraham refuses to turn back in a rage.  Glenn checks on Abraham and assures him he, Maggie and Tara are going with him and that he just wants to make sure that Abraham is okay.  Abraham admits to being stressed and depressed to see their ride on fire but he is good to keep moving.  Maggie adds that they can find what they need like they always have on the way.  Tara suggests looking for some bikes.

The group starts to head down the road and Eugene stops to spit on the walker he helped kill, before joining the group.

I suppose this is another flashback.  Abraham looks like he is walking through a cafeteria and he calls out for Ellen.  A woman stands and behind her are two little boys.

In the present, the group has found some kind of accommodation and Tara collects water from the septic of the toilet. I'm not sure if they could boil that water long enough for me to consider drinking it.  A humming Abraham starts a fire in a wastebasket, as the women rip pages out of a book to feed the fire.  Tara puts the water on to boil, as Abraham continues to hum and Glenn stands look out.  Abraham heads outside to take a sweep of the area, where he runs into Glenn.  Abraham thanks Glenn for showing up and staying with them.  Glenn points out that he made a deal. Glenn brings up Abraham's wound, which Abraham plans to allow to have air access.  Abraham says that everyone left alive is strong now and this means that either the strong help the strong, or they kill each other. Glenn says the world is going to change and advises Abraham to turn in because he has late watch. Of course, before leaving Abraham has to mention that he needs some ass first.

Abraham and Rosita are having sex, when she notices that Eugene is watching them from the self-help section.  This brings a giggle from Abraham, but he tells Rosita that Eugene is harmless. 

It's Tara who catches Eugene red handed so to speak and Eugene not only admits that he was watching Abraham and Tara but says that both Abraham and Rosita know that he is in the habit of watching them. Eugene explains that its not a kink and he sees this as victim less crime because it gives him comfort and distraction. Tara suggests that they move on from here and instead thanks Eugene for saving her life back at the bus.  Eugene said he felt screwed either way and so he helped.  Tara assures Eugene that he can do this and Eugene admits that the bus crashed because of him.  It seems that Eugene messed with the fuel line, believing the vehicle wouldn't even make it to the road.  An astonished Tara points out that they could have been killed. Tara asks why Eugene would do this and Eugene instead thanks Tara for "the positive affirmations" but makes it clear that he absolutely cannot survive on his own.  Eugene says that if he doesn't save the world that he has no value. Eugene points out that without this, the group would not protect him or share resources.  Tara however tells Eugene that this is not true and that they are friends and have each other's backs.  Tara advises Eugene not to tell anyone else what he did and promises to keep Eugene's secret.  Eugene promises not to do something like that again.  Tara again asserts that they are all stuck together.  When Eugene questions why he told Tara, Tara simply replies, "welcome to the human race asshole."

It's now Maggie and Glenn together and she talks about not being with the old group anymore and  that they are headed for something else - something better is implied.  Glenn brings up the crash and the fact that they are drinking toilet water but Maggie asserts that what they have is good because it's not about what was last night but what is going to be. Glenn tells Maggie not to feel guilty about this and the two kiss and cuddle.

Another flashback and this time Abraham tells the woman that she doesn't have to be scared now.  The woman is clearly not comforted by this and the children cower behind her.

The next day, Rosita is bandaging Abraham's wound and she declares that it is not infected. Rosita suggests staying where they are for the day because they are all banged up from the accident they got into the day before.  Abraham does not want to stop but Rosita suggests that the reason they are always stopping is because they never start at 100%. Abraham tells Rosita that she wants them to sit around.  Maggie enters and argues that the town isn't in bad shape and that the store they are sitting in has not been touched.  Maggie suggests that their present location would make a good base. Rosita decides to back Abraham now and says that they will sweep as they go.  Tara points out that they have used up the toilet water and so Abraham opens the drapes and shows them the firetruck he found. 

Abraham and Eugene hop up front and Abraham starts up the firetruck commenting that it is about time things started going their way.  When Abraham pulls the truck a few feet forward it dies, leaving an open door behind them.  Glenn hops out saying that they will find another ride but Abraham is convinced that if that if there was actually a road worthy vehicle in this town, they would have seen it already.  Abraham realises that the air filter of the truck is filled with human remains but it is Rosita who points out that Abraham is working on the wrong area of the truck.

Zombies begin to pour out of the door left open by the firetruck.  The group immediately starts fighting.  It is Eugene who stands on the top of the truck using the fire hose, who manages to get the zombies to lay back with the force of the water.  The group is all wet but the zombies are no longer a threat.  Glenn suggests checking out the Goodwill for supplies and clothes but Abraham declares this not necessary because the group can air dry.  On top of the truck Abraham starts to giggle at the sign painted on the ground, "sick inside, let them die." 

Back to  the dream  and this time, Abraham wakes up to find the woman and children gone and a Dear John letter telling him not to try and find them.

The group stands guard on the side of the road, as Abraham works on the truck. Of course, Eugene is reading.  Maggie approaches Eugene saying that he likes H.G. Wells because he is not the person people think he is and that he doesn't want people to know who is.  Eugene asks what Maggie means and Maggie points out the mullet and says that a lot of people in his position would have given up.  Maggie then tells Eugene that he is not like Sampson because Sampson was a mess.  Glenn calls attention to the stink on the wind but Abraham says that they are not stopping.  It's Maggie who points out that they are already stopped.

The group starts heading down the road and stop when they see a massive horde.  The group starts to walk away but Abraham stands staring, saying that the walkers cannot hear or see them from here.  Glenn talks about finding a detour but Abraham replies that he is not playing that game anymore. Glenn asserts that they are not going through but Abraham says that sooner or later people end up cornered and end up killing. The group keeps giving reasons to detour but Abraham remains adamant that they are not detouring.  Finally, it's Rosita who tells Abraham that the group is right, which causes him to walk in the opposite direction manhandling Eugene.  Glenn and the women try to stop Abraham but he pushes them off roughly and continues to drag Eugene along.  Finally, Eugene yells that he lied and is not a scientist.  The group goes silent and stares at Eugene, who hangs his head down.  Rosita says that she has seen the things Eugene has done and adds that he must be a scientist. Eugene says that he is smarter than most people and that he knew Washington offered the best chance of survival.  Rosita cries saying that people died trying to get Eugene here.  Eugene lists off the names of the dead and says that he lost his nerve as they moved closer to Washington and therefore started to slow down their journey. Eugene adds that he realised that he was screwed either way and admits that he does not know T Brooks Ellis.  Eugene tells Abraham that he is smarter than him and makes his case to be taken along but Abraham knocks him unconscious.  Rosita has to come between a bloodied Abraham and Eugene. Abraham walks by himself to the middle of the road and falls to his knees. 

In a flashback, Abraham has caught up to the now dead Evelyn and the kids.  Abraham takes off his dog tags and throws them on the ground.  Abraham was just about to eat his gun, when Eugene makes his appearance being chased by a few walkers.  Abraham makes short work of the walkers and then starts walking away.  Eugene calls out that Abraham cannot leave because he has a very important mission.

In this episode we got to see Abraham's back story.  The show didn't make it clear but his wife and children were raped and attacked by the group they were with and Abraham killed them in revenge. It is at this moment that Abraham loses hope.  With his hand covered in blood, how could his family who have been through so much already let go of what they had lived through? 

It's clear that Abraham is authoritarian by nature.  The mission was his sole reason for living and that is why he kept pushing forward each time it made good sense to stop.  Abraham must have known that something didn't sit right but instead figured that if he could just keep moving, all of his doubts would be erased.  This mission also if successful made him feel like the man he used to be before he was forced to kill his neighbours with a soup can and his family looked at him in fear. 

As for Eugene, please in the name of heaven cut the mullet and get rid of those horrible jhorts.  Eugene is well and truly a coward, allowing others to die in his stead.  Eugene put his survival over and above so many others because of his cowardice and arrogance.  At this point, there is nothing redeeming about Eugene.  From his lies to his creepy watching of Abraham and Rosita, Eugene skeeves me right out when ever he is on screen.

I know that Glenn made a promise to Abraham about following him to Washington but I don't think he questioned either Eugene or Abraham enough.  I am tired of Glenn wandering around the south following White men, when he has proven time and time again to be a capable person.  It is only when it became clear that Abraham was going to take them on a death march that Glenn resisted though there were signs throughout the episode that Abraham had become a bit unglued. I want to see Glenn step up and perhaps now that Abraham is destroyed Glenn can fit into this slot until they rejoin the rest of the group.