Sunday has come again, and with it comes another episode of The Walking Dead. The premiere episode this season is going to be hard to top, but episode does it’s best to keep the adrenaline pumping. In defense of episode two, the first is a hard act to follow, but it does get us closer to finding out the answer two one of last seasons burning questions. Enough idle chit chat from me, lets dig into “Strangers” (You’ll get the pun when all’s said and done.)
The episode starts off with Morgan Jones (Lennie James) following some train tracks and inspecting a tree with a distinct marking carved into the side.
We’re not sure who is making the marks or why, for now.
Rick and the group of survivors are walking along aimlessly in the wilderness. When Tara (Alanna Masterson) and Rick have a short conversation. Rick tells Tara that he knew she didn’t want to me with the Governor when he attacked the prison last season, that’s why he tried to talk and reason with her at the prison gates.
He also says that Glenn told him that she saved his life, and Tara tells Rick that Glenn is the one who saved her. They end this talk with Tara offering Rick a fist bump which he laughingly accepts.
Touch my fist with your fist Bro
Carol (Melissa McBride) and Tyreese (Chad Coleman) talk about Carol’s actions at the prison. Just to give you a refresher, Carol took matters into her own hands and killed two survivor at the prison that had an illness that needed to be contained, one of which was Tyreese’s girlfriend.
Tyreese tells Carol that they have to understand why she did what she did because if he can come to terms with it the others should too. He tells Carol that he’s not ready to tell them what happened with the “girls” from last season. (Lizzie killed her sister to prove that walkers are still people.
When Carol finds out what she’s done, she feels she has no choice but to execute Lizzie in “Of Mice and Men” fashion.
The group keeps on keepin’ on.
Rick and Carol have a short conversation and they bother forgive each other for their past actions, water under the bridge. Rick knows that the group owes their lives to Carol for saving them at Terminus, and he ends the conversation with asking if the group can join her, effectively restoring her position within the groups hierarchy.
During the night Carol and Daryl (Norman Reedus) are sitting by a tree having the shortest conversation yet with Carol being the only one that talks, saying “I don’t want to talk about it.” This conversation is cut short when Daryl hears a noise in the distance, and this is when the opening sequence for The Walking Dead begins to play.
It’s the next day and the group is walking along in the forest. When Daryl comes out from another direction and startles them resulting in them pointing there weapons for a second, and Daryl responding jokingly, “I surrender.”
Rick and Daryl talk for a moment about what Daryl heard last night, or more importantly what he felt. Daryl tells Rick that it felt like someone was watching them.
Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) wants to get on the road to Washington D.C and approaches Rick suggesting that they get back on the road and head North soon, without stating his true intentions of his destination.
Bob (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) are playing a game they like to call “Good in the Bad”, where Sasha says something that is bad about their situation, and Bob finds a silver lining for them to think about. This ends with Bob and Sasha kissing and Bob asking for one more kiss. Sasha complies and Bob asks for “One more” again. She then explains the game to her brother Tyreese.
I believe the writers are trying to add more depth to Bob as a character in order to make viewers care more later when/if they decide to kill him off.
The group hears screaming in the distance, and Carl (Chandler Riggs) urges his father to investigate the noise. The group finds the source of the rukkus is a man of the cloth on top of a rock surrounded by Walkers yelling for someone to help him.
God, if you’re listenin’.. HELP!!!
The group saves the man, and he introduces himself as Gabriel (Seth Gilliam). When Rick asks him if he’s okay, Gabriel is full of such stress and anxiety that he vomits before he can get a single word out.
Rick asks him if he is armed and Gabriel responds asking if it looks like he is armed. This results in Abraham retorting that, “We don’t give two short and curlies what it looks like.”
Gabriel is religious to a fault it would seem, stating that he asked God for help and that his request was answered in the form of Rick and the group coming to his aide.
Rick questions Gabriel asking him how many people and walkers he has killed. Gabriel responds that he hasn’t killed any because “God abhors violence.” Rick then asks him what he has done, stating that “We’ve all done something.” This question results in a non-answer from Gabriel who says that he is a sinner that sins everyday, but he only tells those sins to God, not strangers.
The group continues down a path in the wilderness with Gabriel in tow, and Rick still interrogating him. Gabriel tells Rick that he steers clear of people these days as the can be as dangerous walkers, which makes Rick correct him saying people are more dangerous.
Gabriel then makes a bad judgement call in the form a joke in poor taste. He tells Rick that maybe he is lying about the church and just wants to steal their squirrels that Daryl killed for the group to provide a source of food.
The group arrives at St. Sarah’s Church proving that Gabriel wasn’t lying, about the church at least. As he is about to open the church Rick interjects with a similar joke to Gabriels’ saying, “Can we take a look around first? We just want to hold onto our squirrels.”
This church from the outside looks very similar to the church from the second season when the group is looking for Carol’s missing daughter Sophia (Madison Lintz).
When they go inside the church to make sure everything is safe, the church looks immaculate, untouched by the outside world and the apocalypse that has plagued it. As they split up and search the church a few things seem significant, including what appears to be a hand-written Bible.
Questions: If you have a Bible why write one by hand? If you don’t have a Bible, how in the hell did you write it from memory. I bet this Bible is rife with ad libs
While Rick is searching he finds numerous empty canned goods that have been eaten by Gabriel.
As Glenn (Steven Yeun) searches he comes across verse of scripture on the wall. The verse is Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.” This seems to give Glenn hope.
Michonne (Danai Gurira) is looking around what appears to be the children’s Sunday School room at the different pictures the children have drawn that are posted on the walls. I’m sure that this is making her have memories of her own baby that she lost during the apocalypse.
Everyone gathers back outside the Church, and Abraham informs Rick there is a short bus in the back of the church. Abraham says that it’s not driveable, but they should be able to repair it in a day or two stating that Gabriel doesn’t care if they take it.
When Abraham asks Rick if he understands what is at stake, Michonne cuts in and says that the group needs to gather supplies no matter what they decide to do. Rick agrees by saying that water, food, and ammunition are the priority right now.
Daryl tells Abraham the short bus isn’t going anywhere, and that they’ll “bring him back a can of baked beans.”
Glenn then tells Abraham that from now on they do what Rick wants to do, and they won’t be splitting up again. Tara then chimes in with, “What he said.” Bob and Sasha are the next to approach him and Bob does the talking, saying, “We want to roll with you, but… What she said.” motioning to Tara. I feel like I’ve heard that somewhere before…
Oops, wrong show.
Inside the church, Rick asks Gabriel how he has survived so long and where he is getting his supplies. Gabriel tells Rick that he was lucky, the church just had it’s annual canned food drive before the outbreak occurred and the world went to hell. Gabriel was the only one at the church so the canned food lasted him a long time.
When the food stores of the church finally ran out, Gabriel began scavenging. He informs Rick that he has cleared out most of the place nearby, except for the local food bank which is infested with walkers.
(Seriously, no one scavenged the food bank? Seems like a no brainer to me.)
Rick decides to take care of the infestation and get whatever supplies are left. Sasha volunteers herself and Bob to help Rick gather supplies and take care of the walker problem and the food bank. She also insists that her brother Tyreese stays behind to look after Judith, which doesn’t seem to bother him at all.
Gabriel says he will draw them a map so they can find the food bank, but Rick insists that he comes with them, even after Gabriel tells him that he wouldn’t be any help to them if he goes.
Before they depart for the food bank, Rick has a talk with Carl. Rick tells him that he doesn’t trust Gabriel and Carl asks his Dad why. Carls answers his question with another question asking Carl why he does trust Gabriel. Carl tells his Dad that “Everyone can’t be bad.”
Rick responds to Carl by telling him, “Well, I don’t trust this guy and that’s why I’m bringing him with me.” Rick thinks that Gabriel may have friends that are lying in wait and that’s why he needs Carl to stay at the church and help Tyreese take care of Judith.
The last thing Rick says to Carl before leaving him seems very important because he’s not sure what could happen to either of them while he is out scavenging for supplies. Rick tells him to really listen to what he is about to say, and goes into a short but sweet monologue.
“You are not safe. No matter how many people are around or how clear the area looks. No matter what anyone says, no matter what you think, you are not safe. It only takes one second. One second and it’s over. Never let your guard down, ever. I want you to promise me.” -Rick Grimes
Carl promises his Dad and tells him that he is right, they’re both strong, but they have to be strong enough to help people too, and they don’t have to be afraid. Rick agrees, but he still insists that Gabriel is hiding something.
Rick, Bob, Sasha, and Gabriel are walking in the small town where the food bank is located with Gabriel out in front. Bob tells Rick that he wasn’t wrong when he said the Terminite’s don’t get to live after what they’ve done.
Bob says that everyone pushes themselves to let things go, and then more things go, and pretty soon there’s things that you can’t get back. Things that you couldn’t hold onto even if you wanted to. He says all of this to make the point that the trip to Washington for the cure is going to happen.
Rick tells Bob he hasn’t decided if they’re going yet. Bob tells Rick that Abraham is a determined man, and that he’s going to get to Washington with or without Ricks help. Bob really believes that Eugene is capable of curing whatever this plague is, and the world will go back to normal. Bob tells Rick that if you let too much go along the way, you won’t be able to function in the real world.
Rick tells Bob that the world they are living in now is the real world. Bob disagrees saying, “No, this is a nightmare. And nightmares end.” Bob thinks its safe to say that Rick is going to say yes to Washington because there’s already too much momentum stating that, “You can’t fight city hall.”
Daryl and Carol are walking along the road hauling jugs of clean water to bring back to the church when Daryl tells her that he gets that she doesn’t want to talk about the things she’s done. When he asks Carol if she’s okay, she responds “Gotta Be.”
Daryl tells her they all get to start over fresh with each other thanks to Carol rescuing them from Terminus. Carol says that they got lucky, and they should all be dead.
While walking along the road they find an abandoned car, and Carol tells Daryl that she’ll check it out.
While she’s inspecting the car, Daryl tells her that they aren’t dead, whatever happened happened, and they can all start over. Carol says she wants to, and Daryl encourages her saying that she can do it.
Carol finds a battery charger in the trunk of the car and turns it on. She tells Daryl that it’s a good idea to leave the car on the side of the road just in case things go south at the church, which Daryl agrees is a good idea.
As Carol closes the trunk Daryl asks her if she needs help carrying her water jugs, but he accidently drops one of his own mid sentence. They look at each other for a moment before Carol smirks and tells Daryl no.
Tara and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) are standing guard outside of a gun store while Glenn is searching the inside. Tara says that she didn’t want to say anything when they found the address of the store in the phone book, but she finds it hard to believe that there would still be anything left worth taking inside.
A noise is heard coming from within the gun store, prompting Tara and Maggie to find out what’s going on. Glenn then emerges from the gun store unharmed, and the girls ask him if it was a walker. Glenn replies yes. When Maggie asks him if it really was a walker Glenn tells them it was a mop and some boxes. He tripped and was embarrassed to tell them at first.
Glenn shows them that he found three silencers that were stashed inside of a mini-fridge. Tara is surprised by this and Glenn tells them “Rule number one of scavenging; There’s nothing left in this world that isn’t hidden.”
Tara reflects on this statement because she is hiding the fact that she was with the Governor at the prison when he killed Maggie’s father Hershel (Scott Wilson).
The subtlety of this scene is easily missed, but becomes important later.
Rick, Gabriel, Michonne, Sash and Bob arrive at the food bank, which looks more like a derelict Salvation Army store to me since there are other items such as clothing racks within. Gabriel tells the others that all the canned goods at his church were going to end up at the food bank before the outbreak occurred.
The group find a huge hole in the floor, revealing a flooded basement with several walker. Bob quips that if a sewer could puke, it would smell like the walker cesspool.
Michonne notices a hole in the ceiling and makes the connection that the water has been coming through that hole for some time and accumulating in the basement.
Sasha has the idea of pushing the shelves in the basement together to form a barricade, and Rick agrees that is the plan.
As the group prepares to enter the flooded basement, Rick tells Gabriel again that he’s coming with them.
The group forms the barricade and stabs many of the walkers in the face when they get within reach. When Gabriel sees a female walker with glasses, he appears to recognize her and panics. In a panic he runs for the stairs, which collapse as soon as he touches them from all the water damage they’ve been subjected.
With no where left to run, Gabriel stands against a wall waiting to be killed by the walker with glasses. Rick says they need to get to Gabriel and they decide to push one of the shelves of their barricade over to pin down some of the walkers.
With the barricade knocked over the group are now killing walkers left and right. Rick reaches Gabriel and kills the glasses walker by bashing it’s head in moments before Gabriel was sure to be devoured.
With all the walkers killed Bob goes to pick a green container of supplies when all of a sudden, a walker from under water grabs him, completely submerging him under the water. Seconds later Bob and the walker resurface, and Bob pins the walker down while Sasha caves its skull in with the green container.
Jesus Water Walker
Sasha is so scared for Bob’s safety that she is breathing heavily while asking him if he is okay twice in a row before he can answer. Bob says he’s fine and she looks down in relief. Bob then looks at the walker, and looks down in what can best be described as contemplative disappointment. It would appear that Bob is not as “okay” as he would have Sasha believe.
This leads me to believe that Bob was scratched or bitten during his scuffle underwater with the walker.
As they leave the food bank, Gabriel apologizes to Rick saying that he panicked. Rick asks him bluntly if he knew the glasses walker while she was living. Gabriel doesn’t answer and Rick recalls that Gabriel only confesses his sins to God.
Along the road Rick and Michonne are talking. Rick asks her if she misses her sword. Michonne responds by telling Rick that it wasn’t ever her sword to begin with. This makes Rick curious and he wonders how she became so skilled in sword fighting. Michonne tells Rick that she had plenty of time to practice when she was on her own with nothing but walkers.
Michonne does however miss Andrea (Laurie Holden) and Hershel. She doesn’t miss what she was before she met Rick’s group, she doesn’t miss her sword or that life, claiming that “whatever it was, it wasn’t life.” This is deep because it makes you realize that Rick and his group brought her back to life, a life worth living.
Rick and the group arrive back at the church, and we see Abraham in the background working on the short bus.
Rick approaches Carl, who is staring at the side of the church, and tells him to come inside. Carl tells his father to take a look at the side of the church, and more specifically the deep scratches on the shutters that cover the window of the church. Carl says they are too deep to be from walkers, suggesting that it was possibly a knife.
Carl then leads Rick to another outside wall of the church, where the words “You’ll burn for this.” are carved into the wall.
Carl tells his father that whatever it is they can handle it, and that it doesn’t necessarily mean Gabriel is a bad guy for sure, but it does mean something.
I’m getting the feeling that Gabriel didn’t let his congregation or other survivors into the church when the outbreak hit in an act of extreme cowardice, essentially killing them himself.
It’s night time and everyone is inside the church eating buffet style, having a good time laughing and talking to one another.
Rick is playing with baby Judith as Abraham stands up and proposes a toast.
“I look around this room and I see survivors. Each and everyone of you has earned that title… To the survivor.” -Abraham Ford
As the group cheers, Abraham continues to talk after a moment.
“Is that all you want to be? Wake up in the morning and fight the undead pricks, forage for food, go to sleep at night with two eyes open rinse and repeat, because you can do that. You got the strength, you got the skill. Thing is, for you people, for what you can do, that’s just surrender. Now, we get Eugene to Washington, and he will make the dead die and the living will have this world again, and that’s not a bad take away for a little road trip. Eugene what’s in D.C.”- Abraham Ford
“Infrastructure constructed to withstand pandemics of even this F.U.B.A.R. magnitude. That means food, fuel, and refuge. Restart.”- Eugene Porter
“However this plays out, however long it takes for the restart button to kick in you can be safe there. Safer than you’ve been since this whole thing started. Come with us. Save the world for that little one. Save it for yourselves. Save it for the people out there who don’t got nothing left to do except survive.”- Abraham Ford
I’ve gotta say that was a pretty decent speech if that was off the cuff.
The group looks around at one another, and we see Rick holding Judith. Judith coos and Rick asks her what she said. Rick looks at Tyreese and he tell him that Judith must know what he’s about to say. Rick says that Judith is in, and if she’s in then he’s in.
The group is pleased with Judith’s decision. That’s a good way for Rick to blame it on the baby once things go to shit.
Sasha tells Bob that Tyreese is not gonna be the only one that gets to hold that baby, referring to Judith. As she goes to stand up, Bob asks her for a kiss saying, “One more.” The two kiss and Sasha stands to go hold Judith, while Bob holds her hand until the last second that she starts walking.
We can tell from this scene, and the scene from earlier in the food bank that something is weighing heavily on Bob. As Sasha is picking up Judith, we see Bob walking outside by himself.
Tara takes a seat beside Maggie and tells her that she was with the Governor at the prison the day that he killed Maggie’s father Hershel. Tara tells her that she just didn’t the secret to be hidden any longer.
After a moment, Maggie tells Tara that she’s here with them now and they hug.
Hug it out bitch.
Gabriel is sitting by himself drinking wine when Rick approaches him. Rick thanks him for his hospitality, but then tells him that it’s obvious he is hiding something and if that something hurts this family, referring to the group, that he’ll kill Gabriel.
Carol is by herself at the car she and Daryl left on the side of the road in case of emergency. She’s charging the battery of the car when a walker approaches. She quickly takes care of the walker when she hears another noise coming from the darkness of the woods.
Daryl has been following her, and he asks what she’s doing. Carol replies that she doesn’t know. He tells her to come back with him, when all of a sudden we hear a car coming. The two hide behind the vehicle and watch as a car speeds by on the road ahead of them.
As the car zooms by Daryl recognizes the car by a white cross that’s on the back-glass of the car. This is the same car that abducted Beth.
With that the game is afoot, and Daryl bashes out the brake lights of the car Carol was charging and tells her to get in the vehicle. It looks like they are going to track the car in hopes of rescuing Beth.
I’m not too sure who I want Daryl to be with personally. Carol and Daryl have great chemistry but it seems like an unlikely match. It seems that Beth and Daryl both have feelings for each other as well, but I personally feel that the age difference is a little much.
I guess you gotta take what you can get when the apocalypse hits no?
Bob is standing outside looking at the entrance to the church contemplating something that we can only guess about at this point. I believe it to be suicide, due to my thinking that he got scratched or bit in the food bank. He is smiling at first, but soon becomes very somber. Bob walks to a tree and begins to gently weep. It is at this point that his crying is cut short, and he is knocked unconscious by an unknown assailant.
When Bob comes to, he sees that he’s near a campfire with other survivors, but they aren’t his group. through his blurred vision from just coming to, there is a quick image of Martin (Chris Coy), the man that Tyreese said he killed in the premiere episode of this season. I can’t really blame Tyreese for thinking that he killed Martin, because he really beat the snot out of that guy. Now, if Tyreese just out and out lied about it, that’s another story.
Gareth (Andrew J. West) is talking to Bob and it is revealed that he is being held captive by the Terminites that survived the assault on Terminus in the last episode. Gareth tells Bob that he’s not dead yet and don’t think too hard about the word “yet”, as it will just drive Bob crazy.
Gareth wants Bob that the things they are doing aren’t things that they want to do, but they’re things that they have to do in order to survive. He tells Bob that they didn’t start out eating people at Terminus, but it evolved into that out of necessity.
while Gareth is talking to Bob, the viewer sees Gabriel at the church looking at a picture of himself and a woman wearing glasses. The same glasses walker we saw at the food bank.
Gareth tells Bob that nothing happening to him is personal, but it does seem like cosmic justice that it be Rick’s group they found while hunting. It’s just coincedence that it’s Rick’s group and they would have done this to anybody.
Gareth then tells Bob they don’t like all that they are doing but at the end of the day, “A man’s gotta eat.”
The camera pans out and we get a better look at Bob’s entire body. The Terminites have cut one of Bob’s legs off.
Gareth tells Bob, “If it makes you feel any better, you taste much better than we thought you would.” as he takes a bite out of a hunk of meat. Gareth’s entire group are feasting on Bob’s roasted leg.
The camera then moves closer to the bonfire and we see the uneaten portion of Bob’s leg. Only the foot remains.
This episode was well paced in my opinion. It was going to be hard to follow up the first episode, but I think the writers did an excellent job of moving the story along. Now we at least know that the group are heading to Washington.
Let us know what you thought of “Strangers” in the comments.
Images courtesy of comicbook.com / techtimes.com / giphy.com / thewalkinggifs.tumblr.com