Are you hungry for more of AMC’s The Walking Dead? Well then it’s a good thing we’re continuing these recaps which give you a chance to marinate on the show’s happenings and chew on some of the deeper philosophical underpinnings. Oh yeah, and you get to relive the brutal violence against the undead and the cannibalistic alike again and again! Tonight’s episode, “Four Walls and a Roof”, certainly sped up the timetable on what was expected to be season five’s central conflict, a turn of events which was equal parts surprising and reassuring that the rest of the season will be just as thrilling.
Hit the jump for The Walking Dead recap.
After the Bob’s Burgers scene from last week, what extremes will the Cannibal Gang go to this week? Well if you didn’t get the overt comparison of the flesh-eating Walkers to the flesh-eating humans, then tonight’s opening scene should have cemented that one in your psyche. Gareth and his nature stories probably have Bob begging for a quick end, but at least he’s monologuing details about his plans to eat “the women and the pretty people.” Bob laughs at Gareth and his followers, because guess what? He’s tainted meat! (Like many of you predicted)
Sasha’s out looking for Bob, but doesn’t do a great job keeping an eye out for Walkers, so it’s a good thing Tyreese and Rick show up to help out. Before long, they meet back up with Father Gabriel in the church to interrogate him about their missing group members. He still plays the innocent lamb, but do we believe him at this point? (He’s reminding me of Lost’s Ben Linus.) His story is that he had always locked the doors at night, but when Atlanta was bombed (didn’t look that bad to me) he wouldn’t let survivors inside, and they were devoured by Walkers. Though they damned him to Hell, he buried their bodies; now he thinks Rick and his crew are there to punish him. Too bad they’re interrupted by a pack of Walkers approaching to eat the body of Bob, which the cannibals have laid in the churchyard. A giant red A has been freshly painted on the church. (Adulterers? Maybe, but more likely referencing the train car from Terminus.)
Bob gives them some much needed intel on the Gareth and the Fine Young Cannibals, as well as news that Daryl and Carol have driven off. Oh, yeah and the important part that he’s been bitten and needs to be put down before he turns. Gabriel fills in the missing pieces about Gareth’s location, but Ford wants to extract Eugene and head to D.C. to avoid the threat. He and Rick finally have an altercation about whether to stay and wait for Carol and Daryl, or to leave ow in the middle of the night. Glenn steps in to say that they all need each other and can get through it if they stick together. Tara seems to have a plan that will appease everyone, but the macho headgames continue. Glenn and Maggie offer to go with them as long as they stay just a little bit longer, and that squelches it.
Now that everyone’s calmed down a bit, it sounds like they’re getting ready to hit back in a big way. Rick’s group is no longer the vulnerable bunch of bleeding hearts they once were; this is not a crew to be fucked with. And just as I say that, Tyreese opens up to Sasha about losing Karen in the same way she’s about to lose Bob. The big man stays behind to watch over Bob and the others while the rest head over to the schoolhouse. As the camera lingers on the St. Sarah’s Church sign, we see the cannibals approach the church, now only lightly defended. Carl aims his gun at the open door where Gareth waits, baiting them; Father Gabriel hides behind his rosary. Pretty tense scene as Gareth’s crew has the stragglers cornered. He tests Father Gabriel into opening the doors once again, but Baby Judith’s cry gives them away.
Thankfully, Rick and Co. were smart enough to double back and take out Gareth’s gang, along with their guns (and Gareth’s fingers). Martin alone stands defiant, but Ford has a tactical advantage. Gareth tries his sob story again, and says that Rick and his people don’t know what it is to be hungry; he begs for forgiveness. He ain’t gettin it, because Rick made a promise. Rick and Co make a savage, brutal, and bloody mess of the cannibals in a way that makes it difficult to cheer them on. (But you can cheer on Michonne getting her katana back.) Father Gabriel acts as a voice of reason after the carnage, even if reason has no place in this messed up world.
The gang says goodbye to Bob before he talks to Rick man to man (and baby). He thanks Rick for being decent and taking him in. It hopefully serves as a reminder that Rick and the others need to hold onto their humanity if there’s any hope of restoring order to this world. After Sasha says her goodbyes, Tyreese takes over to do the necessary dirty work, slowly and methodically, while a woodcut of the Last Supper is displayed on the wall behind him.
Sticking to their word, Maggie and Glenn plan to head off with Ford, and Rick and Co will meet them up in D.C., presumably after they find Daryl and Carol (and Beth? Anyone?). Rick and Tyreese bury Bob (and the cannibals) and Rick tries to get him to talk about his travels to Terminus, but Tyreese isn’t keen on revisiting it. Meanwhile, Father Gabriel seeks solace in Michonne during her night watch. Someone stumbles toward them in the brush … it’s Daryl, a sight for sore eyes, but when she asks where Carol is, he gestures to the woods and says, “C’mon out.” Cliffhangery, much?
While tonight’s episode didn’t appear to have a strong thruline at first blush, it can be argued that this was a turning point for Rick and his crew. In previous episodes, they’ve been reluctant but willing to bring new people into the group and trust them at their word. Those days are over, since they’ve taken a shoot first and ask questions later approach. But the question remains as to just how much of their humanity is left intact. Are they on the path to becoming like Gareth’s cannibals, or the group of people who took over Terminus originally? Or will they be a beacon of hope for the new world order? Hopefully time will tell, but the pacing of this season has been fantastic thus far and I can’t wait to see where it heads next. (Oh, and what’s up with Beth? Looks like we’ll find out next week.)
- The trail markers were apparently placed there by Gareth and his cannibal gang.
- Gareth: “It wasn’t just a trap, it was going to be a choice. You join us, or feed us.”
- Bob: “Tainted meat! You eatin’ tainted meat!”
- Okay, so who would win in a face off between Rick and Ford? Vote in the comments!
- The eagle-eyed viewers among you have apparently found out that the Bible verses displayed in the church all have to do with apocalyptic End of Days. Fun!
- Gareth: “You didn’t kill us when you could have. There had to be a reason for that.” Rick: “We didn’t want to waste the bullets.”
- Rick: “It coulda been us.”
- Father Gabriel: “This is the Lord’s house…” Maggie: “No. It’s just four walls and a roof.” Episode title!
- Bob: “Nightmares end. They shouldn’t end who you are. And that, is just this dead man’s opinion.” Farewell, Bob! I never thought you’d last this long!
- Sasha: “What is it, the good that comes out of this bad?” Bob: “…”
- Ford: “Sorry I was an asshole. Come to Washington. The world is going to need Rick Grimes.”