I was going to start this post by quoting The Doors, but I really didn’t want to rip off The Lost Boys. It’s been a solid start to The Walking Dead’s fifth season. As I mentioned last week, they’re following the comics again, which seems to be helping the show with its sense of direction. Direction is important for a show that spent what felt like an eternity on Hershel’s farm. Strangers solidifies that direction and gives the Dead gang a cause.
Strangers largely deals with the fact that the living are more dangerous than the dead, but it also shows the comfort of friendly faces. Bob and Sasha are lovey dovey. The gang finds some shelter and top notch hooch. There’s a real sense of community and camaraderie that the show has been missing. The Walking Dead needs more episodes like this. A sliver of hope can go a long way.
Yet, while things are pretty cozy as the cast finally drinks some wine in some non prison or murderous shelter, all is not well. Rick reminds CORRRAL that he should never feel safe again. The church may look nice, but it’s been marked with violence and desperation. A priest seems like someone you can trust, at least in theory (insert Catholic church joke here). Father Gabriel sure seems like he messed up big time when the shit hit the fan.
Seth Gilliam captures Father Gabriel’s murkiness well. He seems on edge and it’s clear from moment one that he’s hiding something. How does someone that cowardly survive for that long? He’s certainly no Carol.
Last week showed us that Carol is ready to move on without mercy. She’s ready to live in Hell. Carol can only do this by shutting herself off to the world, though. She’s lost too much. Being back around people, letting them in, it’s overwhelming. She can’t lose anyone else. That’s why Carol is ready to bail as soon things start to get cozy.
Carol and Daryl (which rhymes far too much for my liking) come across a random, working car. You can see the gears turning in her head as soon as she spots it. This is her ticket back to isolation. Things get a little weird from there. Daryl playfully throws a gallon of water at Carol, which immediately had me concerned as I saw one of those split open at the supermarket over the weekend. What a waste! Don’t mess around with plastic jugs of water, kids.
Carol tries to take her chance to bolt, but is stopped by Daryl. While they discuss her future, the god damn hearse that took Beth zooms by. Seriously? The hearse guy could go anywhere with his functioning automobile and he drives right by the exact spot where Daryl is standing with another functioning automobile? I’m all for suspending disbelief, but that was tough. I have no idea where they’re going with this side plot. Perhaps a Munsters crossover? I’d watch that.
But anyway, back to camp. So everyone is boozing it up at the church, when Bob gets mopey. He goes outside to think when he’s nabbed. Why, who could it possibly be? Of course, we all know it’s Gareth and the Termites. I knew they would come back, but I didn’t think it would be this quickly. Poor Bob, he’s in kind of a pickle here. Hopefully he can get out of it so we can have 3 black Wire alums traveling at once. Hey, what smells so good? Waaaaait a minute, they’re eating Bob! The Wire giveth a cast member and The Wire taketh away. Maybe. Probably. If this is how Larry Gilliard, Jr. is going out, I guess it’s at least a step up over his Wire demise. Dun dun dunnnnnnn.
Don’t read this section if you haven’t read the comics and don’t want to be spoiled
Gareth and the Terminus people really are the Hunters, they’ve just basically given them a backstory. It looks like Bob has just been subbed in for Dale. Sorry, Bob. I’m glad that scene was just as horrifying as it was in the comics. I can’t wait to see if it concludes the same way.
I saw some discussion about the Termites eating infected meat not mattering because they’re all infected already. Zombie bites can kill, though. Also, I’m not sure Gareth and his people know that everyone is already infected. I think we’re still going to see Bob’s realization and cackling as the Termites realize that they’re made a huge mistake. Plus, the Hunters never lived long enough to turn anyway, so what’s the big deal?
Is this what it feels like to be a Game of Thrones book reader? Hmm…