Mar 31, 2020
The Walking Dead RECAP: It's an acquired taste... (S5:E2)
So look, this week’s The Walking Dead featured a new sanctuary, some familiar threats, and a good bit of that old, comfortable feeling that I was worried about last time.
The good thing here is that we’re knee deep in the comic book storyline that provides the spine of this show. This means we have hazy idea of where we are heading, at least in this first half of the season, and those places are all ripe for the picking.
That doesn’t fully save us from the fact that we’re sitting around, collecting food, and waiting for the next thing to happen. Abraham has the right idea when it comes to getting on the road and it makes me like him a bit more. No one wants to listen though. Rick is too busy being bad ass to make hasty decisions, unless those decisions involve murder. All I’m saying is that I’m a little worried.
We join our team walking through the woods, reflecting on what has happened and their bonds for a bit before they come upon a troubled priest named Gabriel. He’s played by our friend Seth Gilliam, aka Ellis Carver from The Wire, and he’s currently in a pickle. A pack of zombies have him surrounded on a rock and are ready to chow down. I’m not exactly sure how long this has been going on or what would’ve happened had Rick and company not moseyed along, but I do know that Gabriel is in deep shit without any sort of crafty shit paddle.
Rick, Michonne and the others fend off the beasts before introducing themselves to Gabriel and reading him the Rick Grimes riot act about becoming friends in this new world. Turns out that Gabriel doesn’t kill and hasn’t killed, at least not in the traditional sense. But we’ll hit more of that later on in the episode.
He takes them back to his church and informs them of a local food bank that houses some supplies they could use. The church is in nice condition and has a party bus sitting in the back. This is what gets Abraham’s blood pumping to get back on the road, but Rick overrules him and decides to gather some supplies and regroup before the big push towards Washington, DC. Gabriel offers to draw them a map, but Ricky thinks he should just go with them. I think he also calls him a pussy, but I might just be editorializing there.
It’s pretty clear Rick doesn’t buy Abraham’s whole Washington cure theory, but he’s not ready to turn his back on an ally. He leads his group to the food bank for supplies and we have our episode. The others stay at the church, apart from Daryl and Carol who head out on their own to get some water. Nothing like making up for lost time out on the road, carrying jugs of water, and rummaging through abandoned cars. Nothing gets the loins a’burnin’ like a little looting. They also feel like they’re being spied on.
They are being spied on, so that’s good on their senses. They spend a little time fooling with the car before deciding to leave it for “back up” later in the episode, once the spies make themselves known.
Back with Rick and his food bank squad, they discover that zombies have become trapped in the food storage and it has been flooded by rain over time, turning it all into one big swampy, zombie mess. It takes the best from Return Of The Living Dead and ramps up the zombie action to 11. Greg Nicotero and company have to be proud yet again.
The group moves down to the storage, using the shelves and boxes to pen themselves in and kill the zombies they can get to. Gabriel can’t cut it though and he starts to lose his cool, especially once he sees a zombie he used to know. It’s the poor church organ player (and probably a bit more from the looks of his reaction). She’s looking rough as hell and wants to take a bite out of Gabriel for letting her die in the muck of the food cellar.
Seeing that they need to act quick, Rick and Michonne start to fight their way to Gabriel and regroup themselves to clear out the rest of the zombies. They manage to get the food and move on back to the church. Rick begins to piece together Gabriel’s past a bit, but he’s still not sure what to think of the timid priest. His thoughts get even cloudier when he returns to the church and Carl shows him an eerie message carved into the outside of the church. People don’t normally write “you’ll burn for this” when they like you as I’ve come to find that out on numerous occasions.
Once night falls, the shit hits the fan. Everyone decides to celebrate their survival and supply gathering with some wine, with Drunk Ass Bob and Sasha sharing a nice moment. But something is off with Bob. He had a close call in the food bank cellar and now he’s a little shaky after sharing some love with Sasha. He goes for a walk and starts to cry, leading me to believe he got bitten or injured by the zombies in some manner. We don’t get a chance to find out because some unknown assailant hits Bob in the back of the head and takes him into the darkness.
Elsewhere, Carol has returned to the “backup” car and is attempting to jump the battery with a portable charger she found in the trunk. Daryl has followed, surprising the fleeing Carol, and questions what she’s up to. He is still unaware of everything that happened before, and she’s clearly uncomfortable being around everyone after Rick exiled her from the prison. There’s no time for big revelations though because the final loose end from the end of last season goes screaming past them.
The car with the cross in the back window has returned. There’s no sign of Beth, but it is the same car and Daryl is not letting it get away. He busts the tail lights out of the “backup” car and they both give hot pursuit into the night. Cliffhangers! There’s so many in this episode, Sly Stallone is hanging around thinking it’s sequel time.
Everything seems alright at the church for now, but the real shock is where Bob has ended up. Turns out that the Termites are still around and they’re still dabbling in cannibalism. Turns out that Tyreese did not kill Martin in the baby murder shed from the last episode, and he was the one doing the capturing earlier in the episode. Bob is a little fucked up at the moment, but he’s around enough for Gareth to do a little evil villain speech action for him.
The Termites are pissed that Rick knocked them out of their home, but he’s not necessarily holding a grudge. What he is doing is whatever he needs to help the Termites survive, which includes lopping off Bob’s leg and eating it. Or hunting as he likes to call it because I guess we still gotta get through this life. I guess now Rick is fucking with the wrong people? Or there is a communal fucking? A big gang fuck between groups? Can we show this on cable?
The real question I was left with was could I eat people meat? Sure. But not in this scenario. I need some spices, maybe a sauce, some sides. This is a desperate meal of dry ass alcoholic Bob meat. Not to mention that Bob is probably infected from a zombie bite and that’s sure to make the meat a little gamey.
There’s a lot of good groundwork here for the next few episodes. I know I enjoyed this storyline in the comics, even if we are dealing with some differences in the TV universe. I look forward to Rick unleashing hell on the Termites again and for a little contamination panic after eating that rotten Bob meat. I also hope the Beth kidnapper storyline turns into something new and awesome for the show. These little side mysteries were unnecessary in the prior seasons, like the rat murder and the surviving prisoners, so I’m hoping we don’t go down that road again. And we can’t get Morgan into the fold soon enough.