Season 5 Episode 2 "Strangers"
Warning: This Recap Contains Spoilers
Episode 2 of The Walking Dead was both touching and stomach churning. Touching because, well, to quote Abraham, when the group slows down "shit inevitably goes down." And stomach churning? Let's just say I'll never look at a plate of ribs the same way again.
The episode opens with the group trying to put as much distance as possible between themselves and the burning, infested remains of Terminus. As they make their way to an uncertain future, the members have a few quiet moments to regroup, reconnect, and make amends.
Rick wants Tara to know there are no hard feelings between them. She's one of them now. Tara returns the sentiment with a fist bump, which actually made me chuckle. I have to say, I really like Tara.
Rick thanks Carol again for all she's done. He owes her everything. Especially after tossing her out of the prison, leaving her to fend for herself. Carol tells him he'd said she was a survivor, and he was right. And to prove there is no ill will between them, she returns the watch she'd found in the Terminus storeroom. Rick is thankful, but still feels the guilt of his actions weigh on him. He sent her out into the world and now here they are, joining her. Will she have them? Carol says yes.
Tyreese also tries to put the past behind them. He accepts what she did at the prison, and so do Rick, Daryl, and Maggie. She wouldn't be there if they hadn't. And as for the others? He'll make sure they accept it as well. Carol says they don't have to, but Tyreese won't hear of it. It's important to him that they do. He would, however, prefer to keep what happened at the grove just between them. Those events he just needs to forget.
But Tyreese isn't the only one who needs to forget. Carol is struggling with her own inner turmoil. As she and Daryl sit on guard duty, Daryl tries to get her to open, but she can't do it. She doesn't want to talk about it. All she wants to do is forget. Daryl accepts her wishes and they both sit in quiet contemplation...until he hears a noise out in the woods...
Business As Usual
The following day, the group is on the move again. Daryl tells Rick that despite the noise he'd heard, and his feeling of being watched, he found no evidence of human activity. Abraham also bends Rick's ear. He's champing at the bit to get back to his original plan. Get back out on the road. Rick agrees that it's time.
Sasha and Bob share a brief moment of levity, and some P.D.A. They play a "good out of bad" game. Sasha names the bad aspects of their lives, while Bob, in his eternal optimism, turns the negative into a positive. It was actually quite funny and cute. I should have known right there that Bob was doomed.
The Kindness Of Strangers
The group's trek is interrupted when they hear a man shouting for help. Carl forces the group to intervene, and they swoop in to rescue him from a small group of Walkers. The man is grateful and introduces himself as Gabriel, but all Rick cares to know is whether or not he's carrying weapons. Gabriel is amused by the question. No he carries no weapons. The word of God is the only protection he needs. To Daryl it sure didn't appear that way a few moments before, but Gabriel is quick to the punch and responds that he called for help and help indeed arrived. All I could think is: he's got you there, Daryl.
Rick is still suspicious and gives Gabriel the "how many people have you killed" test, to which Gabriel responds that he's killed no one. Not even Walkers. Rick doesn't believe him and wants to know what he's done, because they've all done something. But Gabriel won't be swayed. Yes, he's a sinner, but all his sins he confesses to God. Not to strangers.
Despite their suspicions, the group follows Gabriel back to his church. After scoping out the premises and deeming it safe, they decide it's a good place to settle in for a day or two in order to catch their collective breaths and shore up on supplies.
Abraham doesn't like the delay and once again reminds Rick of the importance of getting to Washington D.C. There is even transport now courtesy of Father Gabriel. But both Rick and Michonne don't care to be rushed. A few days of rest and preparation are important no matter what they decide to do next. The rest of the group agrees. They'll leave when Rick says they're ready. They don't plan on splitting up again. Abraham is outvoted and overruled.
Never Let Your Guard Down
Gabriel informs Rick of a food bank in town so a few of the members decide to go on a supply run. Before they go, Rick instructs Carl to stay alert and help Tyreese protect Baby Judith should there be any trouble. He doesn't trust Gabriel, which is why Rick's taking him on the supply run. Carl can't understand why Rick won't trust the priest. Not all people can be bad. But Rick doesn't want to hear that. Carl needs to keep his guard up at all times. He's not safe. No matter what he thinks, feels, or how safe things appear to be. All it takes is one second and it's over.
Carl promises to follow Rick's advice. But he also wants Rick to know that they are strong. Strong enough to trust people, to help them, and not be afraid. Their strength means they don't have to hide. Rick won't be moved. He's certain Father Gabriel is hiding something.
After the father and son tête-à-tête, Rick and the crew head out. As they make their way to the food bank, Bob let's Rick know Washington is going to happen. Eugene will save the world. And when that happens they'll have to get back to who they were. If they lose too much of themselves now, then the real world just won't work. But for Rick this is the real world. For Bob, however, this is nothing but a nightmare. And nightmares end. And is it just me or is this the second or third time it's been alluded to that this is not real? Please don't tell me this will all turn out to be Rick's coma induced dream, and all the people he's come across are those he's encountered in his "real" life à la The Wizard of Oz. 'Cause that would suck. Although, if it will mean a world where both Rick and Daryl get to live, then I might be okay with it.
In any case, Bob is adamant that Rick will agree to go to Washington D.C., and there will be a future.
Meanwhile, Carol and Daryl are having their own discussion about the future. As they make their way back from a water run, Daryl wants to make sure Carol is okay. They can all start over. Whatever happened is in the past, and they can all move on from it. Carol responds that she does want to start over. And Daryl makes it clear that there is nothing stopping her from doing so.
Back at the food bank, the group find the supplies they need in a flooded basement occupied by Walkers. As they wade in to dispatch the Walkers and retrieve the items, Father Gabriel recognizes a female Walker and has a meltdown. Trying to get as far away from Church Lady (did anyone else think of this:
while watching that? No? Just me?) as possible, Gabriel backs himself into a corner, forcing Rick to rescue him yet again. Rick takes out poor Church Lady, and the crew take out the rest of the Walkers.
Thinking it's safe, Bob makes his way toward a storage bin, but is surprised by a Walker they'd missed. The Walker attacks Bob, pulling him under water. Sasha comes to his rescue, a struggle ensues, and they are able kill the Walker. They are both shaken, but relieved that Bob is unhurt.
With the events of the day behind them, the group settle in for a good meal and some R&R. Abraham delivers an eloquent speech about the future and their potential role in it. Washington D.C. awaits them, and so does a future where the living can reclaim the world. They can make that happen. All they have to do is go with him to Washington DC where infrastructure, food, fuel, and refuge awaits. Will they join him? All eyes turn to Rick and he's finally moved enough to say yes.
After the speech, Tara tells Maggie the truth about her involvement at the prison. Maggie decides to put it behind them. All that matters is that Tara is part of their group now.
Rick decides to have his own little chat with Father Gabriel. His suspicions of the priest were fueled further by a message Carl found carved into one of the outside walls of the church. The message of "you'll burn in hell for this" was also accompanied by scratch marks along a window. So he thanks Gabriel for his hospitality, but he can see Gabriel is hiding something. Struggling with it. That's his business, but if whatever he's hiding hurts any member of his group, his family, Rick will kill him.
Back To Square One
Carol is having a tough time with her own personal demons. After the meal, Daryl catches her trying to make a quiet escape in a vehicle they'd found during their water run. He wants to know what she's doing. She tells him she doesn't know. They are both about to go back to the church when they are interrupted by a speeding car.
Daryl immediately recognizes the vehicle as the one belonging to whomever kidnapped Beth. He and Carol hop in their own car in hot pursuit...and, of course, I'm squeeing like crazy. BETH!!
Back at the church, Bob is planning his own quiet escape. He makes his way outside and begins to sob when BAM! he's kidnapped by our friendly neighborhood cannibal.
That's right, Gareth is back. He and his small group of Terminus survivors are out for revenge....and are eating Bob alive. Bob awakens to find they've cut the lower half of his leg off and are having themselves a good ol' fashioned BBQ. And I swear to God it looked like ribs to me. I think I actually threw up a little in my mouth. Hell, I'm gagging right now just looking at that photo. In any case, Gareth wants Bob to know that it's actually nothing personal. They are the hunters and Bob, Rick and the rest are simply the prey. And by the way, he's pleasantly surprised that Bob tastes a lot better than Gareth thought he would. Poor Bob.
Tune in next week to find out if humans taste like chicken...
Up Next: Episode 3 "Four Walls and a Roof"
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