‘Walking Dead’ Recap: Human BBQ Is on the Menu

Walking Dead Strangers recap

I’m bummed about the days getting shorter, but I am LOVING the fact that The Walking Dead is back to make my Sunday evenings a little more awesome. After last week’s jaw-dropper of a premiere, I could hardly wait to see what was going to happen in the next episode, titled “Strangers.” We knew from the sneak peek that Father Gabriel would make his first appearance, but aside from AMC’s description, which hinted at Rick leading a risky supply mission, there were plenty of questions left unanswered.

If you’re all caught up on the latest in season 5, let’s talk about what The Walking Dead dished out in last night’s show.

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We start with Rick’s group in the woods, with a slo-mo shot of Rick’s badass expression appearing over a hill that we revisit several times over. Very Western-feeling, which is appropriate since the director of this episode did some Deadwood episodes as well. Rick tells Tara that he’s cool with her, even though she was with the Governor and all. She makes their new friendship official with what ends up being, like, the world’s most awkward fist bump. Come on Tara you can tell just looking at Rick he’s not gonna be Mr. Warm 'n' Fuzzy Instantaneous Reciprocal Fist Bump.

Although Rick and Carol pretty much had their moment of reconciliation at the end of the premiere, they seal the deal with a chat. Rick has a really great line: “I sent you away to this and now we’re joining you. Will you have us?” I love this, because instead of making it sound like she’s glomming back onto their group, he’s telling her she’s more than worthy all on her own. Carol says yes. Aw, Carol is the BEST. (Except does anyone suspect that if Carol were part of this real-life Ebola scare we’re dealing with, she would burn EVERYONE who’s under the slightest suspicion of being infected? “Better safe than sorry,” Carol would shrug, obviously pained but still reaching for the flamethrower.)

Tyreese and Carol have some real talk. He’s all, don’t worry about killing Karen everyone’s going to be fine with that on account of how you just barged into Terminus like it was High Noon and saved our asses, but he doesn’t feel like telling people about Lizzie and Mika. “I just need to forget it,” he says. Good luck with that, Tyreese! Maybe you can try just looking at the flowers!

Now Carol and Daryl are together and I’m wondering if they’re going to have a nice long burden-releasing talk about ... nope, not even a little bit. “I don’t want to talk about it,” Carol says. “I just need to forget.” This is a poor mental health strategy, Carol and Tyreese! But Daryl’s all about shoving the bad feelings down deep inside. “Alright,” he grunts. Next to their camp, a shadow moves quickly through the trees. What the fuck? Oh, must’ve been the wind. No big deal.

Later, Bob and Sasha are having fun banter and kissing as the group moves through the woods. Might as well hang a “NEXT TO BE KILLED” sign around your chests, guys. Suddenly a scream for help cuts through the air and everyone stops. Rick rightly hesitates — he’s seen some shit, y’all — but Carl insists they check it out, probably because he’s hoping the distressed person has pudding.

It turns out to be Father Gabriel, trapped on a rock like walkers and screaming like a little bitch. Sorry Father, but I’m not going to take that back since your behavior throughout the rest of the episode never redeemed you on the courage front. Rick and his group quickly dispatch the zombies, and after Gabriel has a nice barf session, they follow him back to his church.

Rick’s mighty suspicious of Gabriel, who insists that while he’s a regular old sinner, his sins he confesses to God, not total strangers. Well at least you have ONE outlet, Gabriel, unlike some people I could mention. The group decides they need to make a supply run, and Rick forces Gabriel to come with them.

They make their way to a food bank. The good news is, of course, that it’s a food bank! The bad news is that it’s filled with water and gross water-decomposed zombies. The group has to deal with some unpleasant walker battles while half-submerged in water — boy, you wouldn’t think the Walking Dead team would keep figuring out ways to make the undead even creepier, but here we are — and Gabriel continues to behave like a giant chicken. How on Earth has he survived this long? Gosh, I wonder if there’s some sort of backstory to this ... (she said smugly, having read the comics).

On the way to the food bank, Bob tells Rick not to give up so much of his humanity that he won’t be able to fit back in in the real world. “This is a nightmare,” he says, “and nightmares end.” Bob is also attacked by a walker during the melee, but Sasha saves him. Whew, close call! Glad that nightmare ended for him, just as he predicted, and there are no lasting repercussions from the incident!

Back at the church Carl finds some dire evidence there’s more to Gabriel’s story. Deep scratches outside the windows, along with the words “YOU’LL BURN FOR THIS.” Hmm, maybe an angry parishioner who objected to one of Gabriel’s sermons? We don’t get more on that, but we do get Abraham leading a totally uplifting toast that abruptly switches gears to a heavy pitch for making their way to D.C. It’s like hearing someone praising a high school football team for their great game performance then blasting them for not going for the Super Bowl, but it works: everyone’s totally on board with getting Eugene to Washington in order to save the world.

Carol sneaks back out to the car she found earlier, and Daryl follows her. Out of nowhere, a car speeds by, and the cross in the back window makes it clear it’s the same vehicle that stole Beth. Daryl breaks out their car’s taillights and they take off in hot pursuit. Meanwhile, Bob’s outside of the church, having soulfully begged Sasha for just one more kiss, and he’s all broken up and weeping. Dude, he was SO bitten during the water zombie fight. Before he has a chance to do whatever he’s going to do, he’s knocked out by someone in a hoodie, then comes to in a Terminus camp.

Oh no, it’s Gareth, giving the standard bad-guy speech that explains his actions! He says in order for his group to survive, they had to become hunters, and the camera pans down to reveal that Bob’s leg is gone. Gareth’s chomping on Bob BBQ! This is so gross! There’s his FOOT, right on the fire! Ew! Although the BBQ looks surprisingly ... tasty? WHAT AM I SAYING OH GOD.

And that’s where we end it. I’m assuming this storyline follows the comics, and that we’ll learn Gareth’s group was eating tainted meat. Oooh, will they all get infected? Or will Rick’s group brutally kill them first? I can’t wait to find out.

Lingering questions: Tara is totally in love with Glenn, right? Was Carol thinking of leaving the group when she returned to the car? And what was the line that was carved into the tree Bob was standing near?

What did you think of this episode?


Image via AMC

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