By Alex Westphal
After taking a week off of WD recaps, I couldn’t help but make a few notes about this most recent episode, titled “Self Help.” We’ve learned a lot about Eugene and his mission since the final few episodes of WD, Season 4 - and we gained perspectives on his mission and the plan to end the zombie apocalypse just three episodes ago… However, some bombshell plot twists in this new episode threw Eugene and Ford’s story arc into a tailspin.
Here we have a man, Abraham Ford, on the mission of a lifetime, attempting to deliver humanity’s savior to Washington DC, to set into motion a plan that will save what little remains of humanity. This episode only followed the Church-bus crew as they set out on the (relatively short) trip to Washington DC. This was immediately ended when the bus malfunctioned and Ford lost control, flipping the bus onto its side, and completely destroying their hopes of a smooth ride to DC.
What this episode did extremely well was dig into the deep-seated motivations that drive the tenacious Sgt. Ford on his mission. We catch glimpses of backstory through dream-like sequences, that culminate to the tragic ending of his family in Houston, and his subsequent meeting of Eugene. We learn through this that Ford’s principal motivation is pure and simple - he lives only for his mission.
Eugene shined the most in this episode, and his character underwent a modest evolution in his adapting to kill zombies (ripping a dozen of them apart with a FIREHOSE), and a major evolution in his - and this is a MAJOR SPOILER - admission that he is not, in fact, a scientist on a mission; rather, he is simply smart, self-serving, and a liar. This causes Ford to snap and beat Eugene to within an inch of his life, and we don’t know for sure if he will still be around the next time we see this group.
In his rage, Ford began to relive with Gonzalez what he experienced with his family in his dream sequences - they became terrified and untrusting of him when they witnessed him beating a man to death with a can of green beans. Shocking as this was, it led to the loss of his first family. This is most likely a major foreshadowing event of the Ford/Eugene story arc… but only time will tell.
This episode was a major boost over last week’s episode, which I disliked enough that I didn’t bother writing a recap. This season is overwhelmingly the best since the first season, and I can’t wait to see more.