Last night’s second episode of the Season 5 ‘The Walking Dead’ departed a bit from the action pack, guns blazing and fire induced premiere we watched last week. This episode titled ‘Strangers’ had the characters encounter strangers as well as coping with the ‘strangers’ within themselves. As you all know, majority of the characters in Rick’s crew each have a secret they’re not proud of or enjoy sharing with. Everyone’s got their own ‘skeletons in the closet’ sort of speak.
The plot continues as we’re left off from last week as Rick and company continue walking through the Georgian woods. Daryl claims that someone is watching them within the trees but cannot track them down. Rick confines in Carol and asks for her forgiveness after he exiled her from the prison last season for killing Karen and David (to stop the spread of infection). Unbeknownst to the rest of the group except Tyreese, Carol holds the Lizzie incident to herself, making her numb. Tyreese tells Carol that the others will have to accept what happened with Lizzie and Mika. For the first time Daryl tries to get Carol to talk about what happened. She remains silent. And Rick accepts Tara into the group after Glenn told him she helped find Maggie.
The group begins hearing someone scream, “help!” They all rush into find a priest over a boulder as zombies sorry walkers, try to get at him. After Rick and a few others dispose of them, we are introduced to another major character from the comic book, Father Gabriel. Rick asks Gabriel the three questions, “How many walkers have you killed? How many people have you killed? Why?” Gabriel responds with neither but also mentions he has sinned and only answers to god.
Rick’s distrust in Gabriel leads Rick to keep a close eye on Gabriel. Gabriel is the first character this far into the zombie apocalypse who is afraid of the walkers and highly unskilled than the rest. Gabriel also has a terrible sense of humor as he jokes that the church he promises to bring them to maybe a trap. Well they make it inside the church and set camp. The priest mentions to the group that he was rationing all the canned foods from the charity box until he recently ran out. That’s when he walked outside and the walkers got the jump on him. Gabriel mentions a food soup kitchen nearby with extra supplies and about a dozen walkers. Rick takes Gabriel on the supply run while Michonne, Sasha and Bob follow. Before Rick leaves, he admits to Carl that he is never safe, that he needs to always keep his guard up and to protect Judith. Carl tries to tell Rick that Gabriel might not be a ‘bad-guy’.
On the supply run we learn of Sasha and Bob’s ever growing romantic relationship and that Michonne lost her sword. Rick, Michonne, Sasha, Bob and Gabriel head inside the supply depot when they notice wrinkled and wet decaying walkers from a flooded basement and caved in rooftop. They all jump down and use the shelves to protect themselves from the walker’s attacks as they melee each one. Gabriel chickens out and runs away to one of the corners when he notices a recognizable woman in glasses turned walker. Gabriel waits to get bit until Rick saves him. Bob almost gets bit by a walker when it comes out of the water. Meanwhile, Glenn, Maggie and Tara go on a separate supply run and stumble upon a gun shop. Glenn finds a few silencers.
A few yards away from the church Carol looks for a car battery in case things go awry. Daryl tries to talk to Carol again and says that things are much better now. Carol takes no chances as she implements an escape plan.
On their way back from the food pantry, Rick asks if Michonne misses her Katana. Michonne says she misses Andrea and Hershel and admits that the sword was not even hers, she just got to used to having it around. Michonne naturally became a master swordsman. When Rick gets back to the church Carl shows his father scratch indents in the exterior wood while someone carved in “You will burn for this”. It’s obvious that Gabriel is hiding something.
That night, the entire group has a supper and share a toast. Abraham brings up the idea of them going to Washington D.C. so they can cure this thing and live a better life instead of being in constant survival mode. While holding baby Judith, Rick agrees with Abraham as the rest laugh together in joyous hope. Tara reveals to Maggie that she actually was part of the Governor’s army. Maggie accepts Tara and says she not only helped Glenn but is now here with them. Inside Gabriel’s office, Gabriel looks upset as he stares at a photo of him and the woman with glasses. Rick confronts Gabriel of his sinned secret and says that if Gabriel’s sin harms him or his family in anyway, Rick will kill him.
In the outskirts of the church Carol kills a few walkers in the dark as she gets prepared to leave with the car. Daryl appears through the trees and asks what she’s doing. As Carol tries to reply a car comes zooming by not too far. When Daryl looks, he sees a cross painted on the rear window. That is the same vehicle that kidnapped Beth in last season. Daryl gets Carol to come with her to pursue the car. Daryl breaks the rear lights as they drive the car out and go on a mission together to save Beth.
A few feet outside the church Bob is looking in, smiles and then cries as he gets hit over the head and knocked unconscious. When Bob wakes up he sees Gareth, oh boy! Gareth and the surviving Terminus group are all huddled around a fire as Gareth begins talking to Bob. Gareth gives his cannibalism an excuse of necessity and not out of want. Gareth also says he will hunt each and everyone of his friends down because they destroyed his home. This scene with Gareth and the others over the flames is a perfect rendition of a scene out of the comic. Gareth is the television version of Ben from the comics. Gareth and the crew are also the ‘Hunters’ from the comic. We also see that the Termite who almost killed Judith and who Tyreese claimed to have murdered is very much alive. Come on Tyreese, you had to finish the job. A second later it is revealed that Gareth and his crew have chopped off half of Bob’s left leg and are now eating it. Ew! Gareth biting a chunk into Bob’s leg mentions how he tastes much better than he thought. Bob is now in shock as he lays against a pole surrounded by cannibals as the rest of his leg is being eaten and burned in the fire pit. I won’t mention who, but Bob is currently in the same circumstance as another major character from the comic book.
Looks like Rick and the others have an even worse threat. Going North will have to wait. Rick was right last episode when he said they should kill all of the Termites. Gareth and the Hunters make the Governor look like a sweet grandmother baking cookies on Christmas Eve, to exaggerate. This episode started slow but ended on a sharp note as it has set up for the group’s next challenge; hunting and killing the cannibals while saving Bob. What will happen next week? Where will Daryl and Carol end up? I am excited to see.