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Review: The Walking Dead, Season 5:E2, “Strangers”

October 20, 2014

CAUTION: FULL SPOILERS ahead, proceed at your own risk!




By: Alex Westphal


It’s interesting that the title of this weeks episode really only refers to one stranger, a Reverend by the name of Gabriel (played by Seth Gilliam). The group finds him after their first night in the woods, having just escaped Terminus and their cannibal captors. It should be noted that they were being watched by someone from a distance on that first night, and appears for the moment that the person was the Reverend, but more that later…




The Reverend, of course, has a church that is somehow devoid of walkers and/or miscreants who could do harm to Rick and the gang, but they only decide to bunk up after Rick gives the Reverend a good grilling… it seems highly unlikely that the Reverend has had to do nothing violent or murderous to survive by himself in the woods, and Rick is clearly suspicious.


The Reverend offers to take Rick and a group of scavengers to an abandoned foodbank in a nearby town that his church used to donate to. Of course, this place IS filled with walkers, of the aquatic variety, and they are shacked up in a flooded basement filled with canned goods. Through some peril (and chickening out by the Reverend), they are able to secure some goods, but not before Bob is pulled under by the still writhing torso and head of a submerged walker. He holds the monstrosity back, but it’s not clear he wasn’t bit.


Upon the scavenging party’s return, Carl informs his Dad about some clues he has found on the property, which may point to Gabriel’s identity/history, but make no sense at this point in time. Hopefully more on these in next week’s episode.


That evening, Sargent Ford gives another rousing speech of just how awesome it is in DC, and how they should all just head there; and, in a strange moment of naivety, Rick decides to follow. How good could things actually be? Well, all is good until Bob decides to take a solemn break from the group, which really makes it seem like he didn’t make it out unscathed after all.


Before things take a turn for the worst - and I mean REALLY take a turn, Carol and Daryl happen to spot the car that drove away with Beth last season tearing down the road. There is no indication that Beth is in the car, but they both hop in their own newly-found ride and take off after them… and a new story arc is born, how adorable!


Now for the turn.


So, Bob is wandering the woods and looking really distraught and is hit over the head from behind. It turns out the watcher from the group’s first night in the woods was not the Reverend - rather, it was Gareth the cannibal leader of Terminus! He explains to Bob (as he comes to) that he and his merry band of cannibals have been forced to evolve into hunters to survive, now that their home has been taken away (don’t think anyone feels bad about that); but, hey, no hard feelings. However, when the camera zooms out, Bob is missing a leg… which Gareth then begins munching on, to the horror of the captive Bob. Yes, Bob is being eaten alive… by humans.


He is informed that he tastes better than they thought he would, then they show the guy that Tyreese was supposed to kill in the last episode (I believe), and then it’s over. This does leave us with some interesting thoughts, though - because, if Bob really had been bitten on that leg in the basement, and the infected leg was being eaten by his captors… they might have actually done him a favor, and sentenced themselves to death. Having their cannibalism kill them would be such a fitting end for the Terminus gang!

Leave it to the Waking Dead to match last week’s action-value with the following week’s shock value, this proves that TWD is back in true form for Season 5, and I am glad to see it.


Here's the trailer for TWD 5:03!


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