The Walking Dead; Season 5 Episode 2 “Strangers” Review

If it makes you feel any better, you taste much better than we thought you would.


In what was perhaps the biggest shocker ending since last weeks surprise after credits Morgan appearance, TWD is pulling no punches so far this season. In the second episode of this season, we saw a reunified group coming to terms with their post Terminus situation. A new character is introduced to us, some old issues brought out, and a BBQ to end all BBQs leaves all us rabid fans hungry for more (sorry Bob). So lets get started.

10625159_782032008525442_4146247275127960826_nThe Walking part

They call it the Walking Dead for a reason. The episode begins with our reunified group walking away from Terminus. I like that they started with Tara and Rick having a “talk” about her former association with the Governor. It was important to show that Rick remembered her for story consistency. Also the little flirty exchange between Sasha and Bob continued to show the growing love connection between those two characters. it is nice to have more than one relationship dynamic aside from Glen and Maggie.These are people in extreme situations, they need to have some release from the terror around them to give them hope.  And then there is the awkward chat between Daryl and Carol.   Daryl wants her to open up and talk, to become part of the group, but she is still being withdrawn, stemming from the deaths of Lizzie and Mika last season.  I know there is a group of fans that just want these two to get together, but there is the distance that Carol keeps between her and everybody that I think will keep that from ever happening. Tyrese tells Carol that he will talk to the others and make sure it is good and that everyone accepts her back. She tells Tyrese that isn’t necessary, but he disagrees that it is very needed. Later, when Rick is talking to Carol, he apologizes in his own way, for what happened and asks that him and his group be allowed into Carol’s group. This is a huge step taken by Rick to heal the break they had back at the prison. Will Carol accept it? She tells Rick,  Tyrese, and Daryl that it’s ok, but you get the feeling she just wants to be somewhere else. This isn’t her group anymore, she doesn’t need the group to survive anymore. Will she realize the group needs her now more than ever?


 Preacher on the Rocks

We are then introduced to the newest character this season when Carl hears screaming in the distance. Does anyone else notice how much Carl wants to run to help people all the time? This is a far cry from the cold Carl at the Prison who would step up and shoot you as quick as he would say hi. The softening of Carl, I think, will be something that we need to watch as the season continues.  The group saves the screaming man from his zombie attackers and instantly start questioning him. Father Gabriel Stokes (played by Seth Gilliam) says he is a man of God. He has no weapons, no protection, just God. Does anyone else buy this? 10449910_782031658525477_984182925471222006_n

According to Gabriel, he’s been surviving off can foods in the church and then clearing out food in places nearby his church.  His church is hidden back in the woods and doesn’t seem to look very touched by the walker apocalypse. Also he’s been hiding out for about two years(the time that has passed in the show) and has no ability to fight off walkers or survivors looking for food or shelter?  He is a very scared man, who has been so alone that once he is trapped on rocks surrounded by walkers and he is screaming out for help?  It seems that the good preacher has some explaining to do, as Rick tries to get the info out of him repeatedly throughout the episode. I liked that Rick asked the three questions he asked at the prison to let new people join. The answers by Gabriel were, to say the least, questionable and Rick knows it already. Gabriel offers to take the group to his church and seems very nervous as they walk to the church.10678633_782031641858812_702116985549404244_n

Once they get to the church and check it out, Gabriel tells them about a place where there is plenty of food, but it is swarming with zombies. Rick, still not trusting, tells Gabriel that he will lead them to this food bank to get the food and supplies.  He tells Carl before he goes, in a very emotional scene, to never feel safe anywhere at anytime. This is our new Rick. The realist who understands that no one can be trusted and no where is safe. Rick is now the leader that Shane said he never could be. He makes decisions, judges situations, and sees the angles to do whatever it takes to protect the group. 1421237_782031698525473_4103676156985675213_o

The Church Lady

When they arrive at the food bank, they find that the food cache is in the basement. The main floor has caved in from water damage and filled the basement with water and, of course, walkers. The group climbs down with a reluctant Gabriel and begin dispatching the bloated walkers (probably the most grotesque group of walkers) and blocking off the walkers they couldn’t kill. Bob is grabbed by one of the walkers under water and for a few seconds is pulled under. When he gets up, he holds the walker at arm length as Sasha finishes it off.  She asks him if he is ok, and he says yes, but seems to be bothered by the attack.  Another walker (seen above) had glasses and seemed interested in going after Gabriel. Luckily, Michonne dispatched the walker before it could get the preacher, but it was easy to tell that he recognized the zombie and was terrified. Later in the episode, he looks at a picture of himself and a woman with glasses that looked like the walker before she had turned. Could this be part of the secret that Gabriel is keeping from the group?  The group heads back to the church with the food, and as they return Rick is pulled aside by Carl who shows him some scratches on the outside of the window as well as something written onto the side of church.10710938_782032658525377_5341823401666960238_nMore questions about Gabriel. Who is this guy and what did he do? Did he betray someone or a group of people? Was the walker with glasses one of the people he betrayed? Gabriel is surely a man who has a crime on his conscience. Fans of the comic book are already familiar with a similar storyline, but as we have seen before they do like to change things up on the TV show.  Gabriel is hiding something and I’m sure it will be a big storyline over the next few episodes.

1545944_782031775192132_2196866355634648293_nCarol and Daryl

As the group celebrates finding food and a temporary haven at the church a few major plot points are touched. First, Abraham asks Rick in front of the group if it’s time to go to Washington D.C. Throughout the episode, Abraham hinted at wanting to go and he has been pushed off by Rick. Abraham unable to wait any longer brings it up in front of everyone to force the issue and get a response. Rick, with the cooing agreement of Judith, agrees that they will go to DC to try to fix thangs (thats Rick speech, not a typo). Also, Tara goes out of her way to tell Maggie that she was with the Governor when Herschel was beheaded. Another important detail that helps keep consistency in the story and put a halt on any issues that could arise later between Maggie and Tara. It seems like this episode was a lot about asking for forgiveness. Those in the episode that asked for forgiveness, Rick and Tara, were given it freely, but those who didn’t, Gabriel, Carol, and yes Bob, suffer in silence. Speaking of Carol, what was she up to at the end? It appears to me that she was gonna leave the group and take off in the car. Daryl, obviously following her, comes out to confront her about what she was doing when he is distracted by the roar of an engine.10672430_782031821858794_4512010771743581287_n Yes, that car. The same one that Daryl saw drive away with Beth last season. Sorry Carol, but you been drafted into the next adventure as Daryl jumps in the car and begins to chase after the “cross car”.  I would assume this means we will be finding out about Beth soon, even though the previews didn’t show anything for next week. What group will they run into? Is there a connection with Gabriel? Will Carol and Daryl have that talk? We can only hope.they find Beth before she winds up a walker.

10350503_782031875192122_5017945268183509604_nWhat about Bob?

The final part of the episode, we see Bob give Sasha “one more kiss” as he reluctantly watches her walk away. Bob then goes outside, alone, and stands looking back at the church as if looking one last time at his new family.  What is up with Bob? While everyone is celebrating going to DC, being together, being safe after Terminus, Bob appears to be the party pooper.  Much like Carol, sneaking off alone, but I believe for different reasons. Carol doesn’t feel like she belongs to the group. She is an outsider looking in. Bob is part of the group. His relationship with Sasha has gone well.  The group has accepted him, he has fought alongside them since the prison, and any reservations about him before have seemed to go away. So why is Bob outside alone crying? My theory is he got bit, when he was pulled under water and is afraid of confessing that to the group. I believe he was planning on leaving and wandering off into the forest to die. Unfortunately for Bob, that plan didn’t work out the way he wanted as he gets knocked out and grabbed by the surviving Terminus people who have been obviously following them. Bob awakes to find himself tied up by a campfire with Gareth staring at him. Gareth goes on to explain how the events at Terminus have forced their hand. That nothing is personal, but they need to hunt to survive. That’s when Bob looks down to notice what Gareth is pointing out.1796452_782031855192124_270402162626323384_nHis leg is gone. Gareth and the ex-Terminites now referring to themselves as Hunters, have decided to move the cannibal thing on the road. As Gareth admits that they would do this to anybody and comments on how good Bob tastes the credits roll. There are a few things I noticed about this scene.  First, the guy in the cabin that Tyrese said he killed appears very much alive and well. That will definitely come back to haunt Tyrese. Second, if I am right and Bob was bitten by a walker, would that make him tainted meat? Will Gareth and his gang get sick or be affected by eating Bob? Third, when Bob is hit and kidnapped, the camera focused quickly on a mark on the tree. This mark seems familiar since last week we saw another tree marking. 10616500_782031901858786_508464806566692191_n Morgan was seen last week looking at tree markings and apparently using them as guides. What could they mean? Is Morgan hunting for someone as well? Is there a connection to Terminus? And lastly, doesn’t it seem that Gareth and Bob might have more history than we know? Gareth makes several comments about how fitting it is that Bob got taken first. Is he just referring to the time they met at Terminus in front of the trough or did they know each other before that? Bob was in other groups before he came to the prison, was one of the groups one with Gareth? So many questions, so few answers, welcome to the Walking Dead universe. Until next episode.

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