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Despite all of the zombies that wander around trying to eat people on a regular basis, all of the character drama developing from one episode to the next sometimes causes us to forget that The Walking Dead is a horror series. Horror, after all, is relative. But there's no doubt in my mind that the close of tonight's episode of The Walking Dead was legitimate horror. The kind of horror that makes my stomach turn as I blurt out curse words and try to process this incredibly disturbing scenario.
And it's at this point that you want to stop reading if you haven't seen Episode 2 of Season 5, "Strangers." We're about to get into major spoilers.
A man's gotta eat.
Poor Bob. Seriously, not since Carol took Lizzie out for a walk have I been quite so shocked by something on The Walking Dead. And I wasn't sure anything could be quite as disgusting as the sight of partially butchered human remains on meathooks at Terminus. But tonight's final scene takes the cake.
Carol and Daryl were both suspicious that they were being followed in the woods, and it was no surprise that they were. It wasn't even all that surprising that the followers turned out to be Gareth and some of the remaining Terminus survivors (including the guy Tyreese was supposed to have killed? Was that him?). It also wasn't shocking to see Bob get snatched up by the "mystery" stalkers. What was shocking what happened after Bob woke up. It started with Gareth droning on about how this wasn't personal and how they're just doing what they have to do. It seemed like your typical villainous monologue. In my mind, I'm thinking, worst case scenario, they kill Bob, which would be a shame, as he and Sasha seem so happy right now.
And then we pan out and Bob's leg is missing.
And Gareth is eating meat.
They're all eating meat and Bob's leg is gone. It's like that Hannibal scene with Ray Liotta, except no one's forcing Bob to eat. Yet, anyway.
To add insult to brutal injury, Gareth makes sure to tell Bob how good he tastes.
This is horror.
And we might suppose that the payback was inevitable, given how swift and seemingly flawless last week's victory was. Everyone in Rick's group made it out alive and in one piece. Gareth's people weren't so fortunate. And he can act like this isn't personal, but let's face it, it is. You don't rub someone's only flesh in their face and try to claim otherwise.
Let's move on to other matters. Tonight's episode touched on some issues that obviously need to be resolved. Like who's in charge, for one thing. Rick's in charge. That much seems clear to everyone, including Abraham. He waited until he thought the time was right to address the plan to go to Washington, DC. And in the end, Rick gave it the thumb's up.
I can't say I blame Rick or the rest of the group for wanting to give DC a try. The prospect of food and shelter someplace safe from this chaos is too good to turn down, right? And what do they have to lose? It's not like they have anywhere else to go. Except...
What about Beth?
The only thing I didn't quite understand about the "Let's go to D.C." meeting was why no one brought up trying to find Beth. Including Maggie. Beth's her sister. Isn't she at all concerned about what happened to her? Or has she just written Beth off as another casualty?
Daryl hasn't forgotten Beth, however. He spotted a car that looks like the one he saw hauling it down the road when Beth disappeared. He promptly knocked out the tail lights of the car he and Carol were using and the two took off after it. So perhaps they'll track Beth down before they all start heading north.
Gabriel's no angel.
The episode introduced a mystery character in the form of Gabriel, a preacher whom Rick and the others rescued from walkers. He's proven to be something of a mystery. He's not good with fighting off walkers and he's definitely keeping something from Rick and his people.
I'm guessing Gabriel locked out his "flock," leaving them to fend for themselves? It would explain the "You'll burn for this" words scratched on the outside of his church, and the scratch marks at the window. There may be more to the story of the woman with the glasses, whom he saw in zombie form when he reluctantly showed Rick the food bank. This story's too be continued for now, but I don't picture him joining up with Rick and his people full time.
Tara's in. Rick seems prepared to trust her (enough to fist-bump her anyway), and she confessed her origins to Maggie, who also seems up for giving her a full do-over. I like Tara, so I'm glad she's clearing the air if it means she can be fully initiated into the group.
Carol and Tyreese had a discussion about what they should and shouldn't tell the rest of the group. It seems necessary that these things be discussed, if only to decide what has to be aired and what needs to be forgotten.
As mentioned Bob and Sasha seemed to be in full-on romance mode, minus the privacy. But something seemed up with Bob before he was taken. While the whole group was enjoying food and each other's company, he gave Sasha a kiss and stepped outside to smile and then cry. Were those happy tears? Or is he upset about something that he wasn't able to talk about with Sasha? Seemed like he needed a moment to himself. It's just unfortunate he made himself vulnerable to Gareth and his group.
Will Bob survive this ordeal? Or is this just the beginning of a bigger nightmare for him?