In “Four Walls And A Roof”, Rick faces off against the cannibalistic Hunters, Bob makes a surprise return to the church and Father Gabriel confesses his sin.
Everything after the break will contain complete spoilers and a discussion of The Walking Dead Season 5, Episode 3.
Four Walls And A Roof
When The Walking Dead has a point to make, the show doesn’t tip toe around the message; the writers like to repeat it again and again. Survival in the post apocalypse is about weighing the need for brutality against morality, of course what is moral is a big grey murky area. What it comes down to is making decisions even when there doesn’t appear to be any other viable choice to be made.
Not shown very subtly is how there’s only a window pane that separates the flesh-eating Hunters from the flesh-eating walkers. The Hunters don’t see themselves as evil which is a very scary kind of evil. They do what they do out of necessity or so Gareth believes. The Terminus is not an indiscriminate trap either, they give their prey the choice to either join them if they have useful skills or be eaten. Is that really a choice?
Back at the church, Father Gabriel is forced to confront a decision he made at the start of the zombie outbreak. His confession about locking out helpless people outside of the church is well acted and handled. Rather than leaving what Father Gabriel did as a mystery, the writers made a good decision to quickly provide answers and develop his character further. Now that he’s facing his demons, Gabriel’s self torment should ease off and the gang can start building trust with him, that is if he’s not scared of them after seeing Rick butcher The Hunters.
While the message of the episode was driven home, the logistics of why The Hunters dropped off Bob back at the Church is more interesting to examine. (This isn’t a comic spoiler since it already happened on the TV Show.) In the comics, dropping off an amputee was meant to be an intimidation tactic by the Hunters, to create a frenzy among the group, making them more vulnerable to attack and perhaps scaring one of them to leave the church for easy pickings. Of course being the badasses that Rick’s gang are it didn’t work.
The writers smartly didn’t try to replicate that scenario on the show because the Terminus people already met Rick’s gang and know they’ve been through so much that a partially devoured Bob wouldn’t unravel them. Gareth’s sneak attack plan would have worked on an inexperienced group but Rick is way too clever to be fooled. Rick must have been thinking why are the Hunters sending back Bob instead of killing him? The letter “A” markings on the church and the Hunters’ gun shots that conveniently missed them as they picked up Bob off the ground was probably a big red flag too for Rick.
Because Bob is tainted meat Gareth decided that Bob is better used as a sort of bait than as food. We didn’t find out conclusively if eating infected meat that’s been cooked could turn people into walkers because there wasn’t enough time for the Hunters to develop symptoms before getting shot in the head or chopped up. Rick could have shown some mercy by giving Gareth a quick bullet to the head, instead he got personal using the machete to hack and slash.
It’s understandable that Abraham believes the mission to find a cure to save humanity is more important than going after the Hunters (not sure why he wanted to go in the middle of the night). What’s weird is why Glenn and Maggie would leave Rick’s group to go with Abraham, especially since Daryl clearly said in the season premiere that Beth is still alive. Doesn’t Glenn care about his sister-in-law and his other friends? Glenn also said last episode that he didn’t want the group to split up again so this is an unexpected turn around.
Oh Tyreese, the guy you left alive went on to eat Bob’s leg! Finishing off Martin in the premiere would have been an earned character moment. Afterall, Martin was about to snap Judith’s neck and forced Tyreese to go outside of the cabin to almost certain death.
In a round about way, doing away with Bob brings things full circle for Tyreese as he had to do what Carol did back at the prison. One nitpick though is how easy it was for Tyreese to stab Bob’s skull like butter. Since Carol wasn’t there to see that Tyreese lied about killing Martin is the show still going to address this in the future? It would be sloppy if they didn’t.
Most deaths on the show are quick and violent. Having Bob’s death drawn out is very touching. In part because Bob became a likeable character and the actress playing Sasha brought her A game. Their conversations were well written too and the call back to the “Good/Bad” game from the previous episode was sweet.
It’s a powerful, symbolic image seeing Michonne grasp her sword again. Last episode Michonne said she didn’t miss her sword but it represents a way of life she needs to be in order to survive and protect the people she cares about.
“Four Walls And Roof” was a weak line by Maggie but another strong episode in a row. By focusing the story mainly on events at The Church, it allowed the characters sufficient time and space to react to the unfolding events without feeling rushed. Gareth wasn’t intended to be a big adversary like the Governor, so putting a quick end to the Terminus story makes way for what happened to Daryl and Carol which should be intriguing. It looks like finally next episode we won’t have to ask “Where Is Beth?” anymore.
What do you like or dislike about this episode?