Episode 5 of The Walking Dead titled ‘Self-Help’ focused on Abraham and half of Rick’s group that split up to head towards Washington D.C. We got to learn more about Abraham’s past and what was really up with Eugene. The events of this episode take place right after the night of the church massacre where Rick and company dispatched and dismantled Garret and the cannibal hunters.
The scene opens with the gang of six including Abraham, Eugene, Rosita, Tara and even Glenn and Maggie who Glenn promised Abraham he’d join them if he helped them defeat the cannibals. Abraham manning the bus is flirting with Rosita about getting a haircut while Glenn is trying to get more information out of Eugene and his process of curing the virus. Eugene gives his normal vague and ambiguous response explaining that the human genome project he was working on had to do with controlled nuclear wipe outs and weather patterns. In the meanwhile, Maggie is keeping hope alive with Glenn when saying that Rick and the rest are only a day behind them while Daryl and Carol should be returning shortly. Here is one issue I had with Maggie thus far in the season. Don’t you have a sister? Once again she disregards the whereabouts of Beth. Her lack of concern for her only remaining sibling baffles me. Getting back to Glenn’s conversation with Eugene, Glenn finally asks Eugene what’s with the mullet? I for one was curious and am sure you all reading this have been too. Eugene likes his mullet. One of the scientists he worked with, an up-standing guy for Eugene’s standards, Brookes said the mullet makes Eugene look like a fun dude. Not before long the Church bus passing a few walkers on the road and abandoned vehicles on the side suffers a blown engine before quickly getting tossed into the air, falling on its side. The bus has crashed as the gang of walkers approach.
Abraham experiences a flashback during an earlier part of the apocalypse. Abraham has just murdered a few men inside a supermarket with canned goods when he stands up and stumbles around shouting “Eileen”, looking for his family.
Abraham wakes up inside the overturned bus as flames start to protrude from the engine. The six adventurers act quickly as they gather their belongings and knock down the rear safety door. Abraham, Glenn, Maggie and Rosita start killing the onslaught of walkers outside as Tara keeps Eugene close for safety inside the bus. They each take apart the walkers knife style or out of brute force (Abraham). Tara and Eugene now outside join the rest in the small battle when Eugene assists Tara in a final walker kill, miraculously saving Tara. The group assesses all damages and lost supplies. The bus begins to go in flames, Abraham’s fist begins bleeding out from the fight but not from a walker bite. Abraham makes sure Eugene wasn’t bit. Eugene tries to convince Abraham to go 15 miles back to the church. Abraham disagrees and is adamant on pressing forward. Abraham tells the group that the mission is the most important thing, they must all continue North. Glenn calms Abraham down and agrees to continue to possibly find more supplies in the nearby towns along the way. Everyone is squared off as they quickly follow Abraham North. Eugene spits at the dead walker he somewhat killed as a reminder of his first official walker kill.
A second flashback ensues of Abraham finding his family in shock at the carnage they have just witnessed from both Abraham’s brutal killing and possible rape. The actor who plays Abraham, Michael Cudlitz went into more detail about that situation on Talking Dead. Besides his family getting raped by the marauders, Cudlitz added those men who did the sinful deed were neighbors of theirs. This world can really turn people into monsters.
Heading back, we find Abraham and the others inside a boarded up bookstore still heavily intact. They set up camp for the night by using book pages for fire wood and two clothing hangers for creating a hot plate. Glenn and Abraham barricade the entrance with wide book shelves. Rosita finds a wire to use for stitching Abraham’s bloody gash on his hand. Glenn joins Abraham on the watch as they look out a wide glass window and the glowing bluish moonlight. A walker bumps his head into the glass only to mindlessly continue walking away. Glenn and Abraham discuss the importance of the goal at hand. Abraham thanks Glenn for joining him and then leaves Glenn on the night watch with, “I need to get some ass.” Glenn awkwardly replies, “I did not need to know that but cool”. Not too long after Abraham and Rosita are fooling around butt naked when Rosita catches Eugene starring at their sexual performance through the books in the ‘Self-Help’ aisle. Rosita gets crept out while Abraham laughs it off, getting back to his business. Besides the hot scene with Glenn and Maggie from Season 3 in the storage closet, this one with Rosita and Abraham comes at a close second.
Tara pulls Eugene away from the book shelf. Eugene is honest with Tara when he tells her that he watches them to pound off from time to time out of pleasure and enjoyment but not too harm anyone. As weird as that might sound, it provides a healthy distraction from the world of the dead that surrounds him. Tara acts as if she did not hear that and thanks Eugene for saving her life. Eugene does not accept Tara’s thanks and instead confines in Tara a nasty truth. A truth that he actually caused the bus to breakdown because he stored crushed glass inside the engine before they left the church. Hesitantly after Tara floods Eugene with whys, Eugene explains that Abraham and the others are only keeping him alive because of his purpose. Eugene feels he needs to have purpose and by lengthening their journey, his purpose of finding a cure becomes that much more at stake. Tara understands Eugene but reiterates that they are protecting him because they’re friends. She also mentions as a favor to never pull a stunt like that again. “No one else needs to know, this will be our secret,” Tara whispers to Eugene as they pound clenched fists. Seems like Eugene and Tara are hitting it off. Glenn and Maggie continue to talk about hope and vacationing on bookstore floors as they cuddle together through the night.
The next morning inside the bookstore, Rosita is bandaging Abraham’s hand she stitched together the night before when they have a brief argument about settling versus staying the course. The others try to convince Abraham to take a few days off the mission to recuperate when Abraham yells and demands they leave immediately. Rosita eventually agrees with Abraham’s plight. Abraham spots a fire truck they could get working to be on the road in no time. As Abraham starts the truck, moving it ever so slightly forward, the fire truck unsurprisingly shuts off. A pissed off Abraham tries cleaning off a corpse filled air filter. Rosita suggests that the filter is on the roof of the truck. Before Abraham gets a second to jump up top, the door that was originally guarded off by the parked truck becomes a situation when walkers and tires come piling outside. Before Abraham, Glenn, Tara, Maggie and Rosita get more melee kills, Eugene begins shooting a 500 gallon fire hose from a top the truck. The high pressure from the water hose decapitates several walkers while decomposing more undead as they fall down like a ton of weightless bricks. A large carcass of blood, body parts and water are formed. Everyone else besides Eugene got soaked in the process. This was by far the coolest walker massacre I have seen thus far. Good job Eugene for handling the fire hose turned turret. After destroying all the walkers in the area, the group is happy as Abraham is surprised describing the moment as something he’s never seen while contrasting his previous experiences at attending goat festivals and fairs. When Abraham cleans the air filter filled with corpse limbs and intestines he sees a sign on the concrete suggesting not to drive the truck or else the sick will pull out. Abraham cracks up realizing the ridiculousness of their situation. Regardless, they get the truck starting again and drive off.
A third flashback occurs where Abraham wakes up after saving his family only to find them missing with a red pen marked on toilet paper reading, “Don’t try to find us.” That’s sad, Abraham’s own family is scared of him. Abraham screams their names as he bursts through the supermarket doors.
Somewhere along the road, their new fire truck breaks down again. As Abraham tries fixing it the group begins smelling a faint odor of decay. The smell leads them over a hill to acres of walkers, a giant herd of zombies in the way of their route. Everyone except Abraham agree to detour from the direct route in order to avoid the wall of death that stands about a quarter of a mile ahead of them. Abraham becomes unhinged and tells the group they have to go through, no more detours. Abraham does not want to waste anymore time in getting to Washington D.C. even if he knows it will put him and his group in dire jeopardy.
A heated Abraham grasps Eugene’s arm pushing him back South towards the fire truck. Glenn and Rosita attempt to stop Abraham from violently holding Eugene when Eugene blurts out the horrid secret. “I’m not a scientist,” Eugene shouts out several times in fright as he continues with, “I don’t know how to fix this.” Silence and shock befalls the rest of the gang as Rosita still does not believe what she is hearing. “But I saw you make all those things?” She asks Eugene. Eugene explains that he is a very intelligent man and a smart enough person to fool them into thinking he was a scientist so they could keep him alive and take him somewhere that was most likely the best place to hold up and fortify. He even admits that Brookes was some guy he read about in a book. Eugene then insults Abraham and tells him he is smarter than him. Abraham blows up and begins punching the crap out of Eugene until the rest are able to stop him. Eugene falls face flat on the ground. Rosita turns him over and sees blood coming down Eugene’s forehead. Did Abraham just kill Eugene? Let’s hope he just got the wind knocked out of him because those were some powerful punches. Abraham’s stitched cut reopens as we walks off alone. Abraham falls to the tar on his knees as tears begin spewing from his eyes. His seemingly only purpose was all a lie. How will he go on living in this world?
Abraham’s flashback returns with Abraham discovering that his family were just mauled. He sticks his gun in his mouth ready to shoot himself when he suddenly hears a voice calling for help behind him. Low and behold is a stumbling Eugene crying out as a few walkers chase after him. Abraham quickly disposes of the corpses with his knife like its nothing and walks back towards his dead family, now a sheer carrion. Eugene stops Abraham and tells him he must not leave. When Abraham asks him why, Eugene looks at his situation, lies and says something in the lines of there being an important mission at hand. Abraham looks back at Eugene as the scene fades to black.
Sometimes the strongest people hold in the darkest of tragedies. Eugene is now in hot water and will most likely have to prove himself if he wants to gain their trust in him again; if he survived Abraham’s blows. How will the others take this horrible news? Is all hope gone? Will they continue going to Washington D.C. or retrace their steps and regroup with Rick? We won’t know too soon, but we will know of Daryl and Carol’s rescue mission of Beth next Sunday at 9/8 central on AMC.
Man that was an exciting and action packed episode. The Walking Dead never fails to disappoint me. Another exciting Sunday night. Except I now have to wait another seven days…ugh.