Series Issues: The Walking Dead 5×02 – Strangers

(Source: AMC)

(Source: AMC)

Spoilers ahead.

The Walking Dead 5×02: Strangers has a tough act to follow after the opening firestorm that was the premiere episode of this season. The overall premise is a simple one. The group saves a priest named Gabriel from certain death and he tells them of a place with plenty of food but full of walkers.

We also get to bring out some skeletons. Carol’s secret is mentioned but not openly discussed. Tara tells Maggie she originally was with the Governor’s group. Michonne misses her sword. That last one keeps nagging at me, because you know that katana is somehow going to find its way back to her. Do you remember who had it? Yeah the Terminus guys. The fact that Daryl keeps sensing someone watching them at night doesn’t help.

The supply run ends up in a basement full of water where the walkers’ facial structures have acquired a particularly slimy look due to being trapped in stale water so long. Gabriel recognizes one of the walkers as someone he knew, and someone he shared a secret sin with, and he panics. Rick rescues him, but shortly after he tells him that if his secret ends up putting any of his group in danger, he will kill him.

Abraham makes a speech while the party starts with food and communion wine. He wants them to come with him to Washington. Rick accepts – and that means the rest of the group will be in as well.

While the group feasts on the food, Carol is working on a car (and killing a walker, it’s Carol after all) when Daryl joins in. They both see a car race by, a cross marked on its aft windshield. It’s the car that took Beth. Daryl takes out the car lights and tells Carol to jump in.

Meanwhile, Bob steps away from the party to deal with his own personal demons when he gets knocked out. When he wakes up, it’s Gareth from Terminus looking directly at him. He’s eating something and as Bob looks down, he realizes he’s missing a leg… Terminus has come back for revenge.

Highs:

  • The group is pretty cohesive now. Rick has no doubts about the loyalty of his crew.
  • Michonne going for her sword and laughing realizing she doesn’t have it. She also confesses it was never hers. She just got good at using it.
  • Carl showing stuff to Rick, knife marks on the church walls and a message that reads: “You will burn for this.” Gabriel is hiding something. Or perhaps he wrote the message himself. More important: Carl finds something out and instead of keeping it to himself, he tells his dad. Rick trust his son and instead of waving him away, goes over to see what he has found. The two characters mutually trust each other.
  • Terminus is back. This is good because it means we’re not discarding all that build up. With no prison to defend or fight over, this is pretty much a guerrilla war.
  • You know that Michonne’s sword is going to turn up somewhere.

Lows:

  • Another supply run! Yes, we get the swimmer-walkers, but it’s pretty standard. Still, glad to see the group together.
  • The episode feels like a throwback to the old days of scavenging for almost the entire time. It’s the old routine of letting us get comfortable to bring out the bad guy at the end.
  • The shocking last scene is even more shocking as they show Bob’s actual leg on the fire. That was not necessary, then again perhaps some people wouldn’t get it. Yikes.

That will do for now.

(Source: AMC)

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