24 October 2014

TV Review | The Walking Dead S05E02: 'Strangers'

Since the preview we got last week, I've been impatiently waiting for this weeks episode. And what with such an action packed episode, it could only get better right? I'm going to apologise now about this being up a bit later than usual - I've been seriously ill for the past week and this is the first chance I've got to write it, so thanks for your patience!

Last week we were given a sneaky post-credits scene of Morgan, hot on the trail of the other survivors through the woods. Will he finally be reunited with our favourite post-apocalyptic group? And I'm going to keep saying this every review until I finally get an answer - what about Beth?

I'm a bit miffed in all honesty that Maggie doesn't seem to even care about where her sister is - this is the same woman who was adamant and almost slightly crazy that she would find Glenn and that he was still alive. So why can't she extend the same psycho attitude towards her own flesh and blood? Daryl has confirmed that she's even still alive - just 'gone', so why isn't Maggie out searching for her? In fact, it seems like Daryl is the only one who even cares!

And what about the residents at Terminus? I'm convinced that we haven't seen the last of them - it's just too much of an interesting storyline to be subjected to one episode.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for 'Strangers'.
If you haven't yet watched it, I advise against reading ahead!!

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Strangers kicks off with shots of our now reunited group traipsing through the woods after escaping from Terminus, with Tara looking rather guilty. After talking to Rick and getting his blessing to stay, the two share what I can only describe as an awkward fist bump. It made me cringe if I'm being honest.

Most of the episode seems to be following the survivors on their journey, with pauses inbetween travelling for the characters to reflect on what has happened. Tyreese and Carol stop to fill up water in a lake (and I can only hope they have some water purification tablets stored somewhere), where Tyreese tells her that others are coming to know what she did at the prison. And some of them are coming to accept it - in Tyreese's words 'they have to accept it. They just do.' But when it comes to Mika and Lizzie - both of them agree they should keep silent - they need to forget it. Who can blame them really, I think I do too!
Abraham and Rosita talk briefly about their plans, and I can't help but think him and Rick are going to clash at some point. They're both leaders afterall, so surely a conflict is inevitable? As for Rosita, her role seems to be bugging me a bit - it may just be my childhood coming back, but I can't see Christian Serratos as anyone other than Suzie Crabgrass from Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. That and the only lines she's ever given contribute pretty much nothing to the storyline.

Rick seems all apologetic to Carol for what he did to her, and asks for her permission for them to join her on the road. As for Carol, she looks slightly dubious at the thought of staying with such a large group again - could it be shes just scared of loosing yet more people? Or scared of them discovering what happened with Mika and Lizzie - even if it was to save Judith? She expresses to Daryl that she 'can't' talk about it, and 'just needs to forget it.' Carol annoyed me before, but seeing how haunted she looks makes me feel a bit sad for her. A noise in the woods interrupts the pair, and we're given a sneaky look at someone following the groups trail. Could it be Morgan lurking around, or someone more ominous?

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Sasha and Bob have their own little game going on, which seems too cute to be true. They're so happy you can tell something is inevitably going to go wrong. Which I really hope doesn't, as I'm loving Bob's character. Screaming for help in the distance distracts the group, and Carl has to practically beg Rick to help. I'm getting so sick of Rick's reluctance - he wanted to keep his humanity for the Carl's sake, but he's unwilling to help out a man in need?

We're introduced to a man in immaculate clothing - so clean pressed you would never guess its the middle of a zombie apocalypse. He introduces himself as Gabriel, and Rick being Rick, has to go and be rather dicky about it. I take it Rick is my 'annoying character of the week.' When I first saw the trailer last week I thought he looked maybe menacing and could be a major antagonist - but as he spoke he seemed more harmless than harmful to me. After all, he threw up after the group dispatched the walkers attacking him - he couldn't really be that much of a monster himself, could he?

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Leading them to his church, Gabriel states that 'people are just as bad as the dead', and with Rick's groups history, it's easy to see that he's right. Curious as to how he survived so long, Rick questions Gabriel, discovering he survived off food that was donated for a food drive. Carol finds some ominous signs in his study - why is he copying out the bible in his own writing? And what's with all the drawings Glenn and Michonne discover - especially the one of the baby? Could it be some potential foreshadowing of Judith?

Abraham again bugs Rick about moving up to Washington, telling him there's a bus that needs repairing but would be good enough for their travel. The group however are unwilling to move unless Rick does, and want to stay put for a while.

Gabriel, Rick, Sasha, Bob and Michonne go on a journey to recover food from a store Gabriel said was overrun, whilst Glenn, Maggie and Tara go to the local gun store in hopes of their being some leftovers. Miraculously, Glenn finds 3 silencers stashed in a mini fridge. That's good, that's where I keep mine too...

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The sight that Rick and co are greeted by is a less than pleasant one. Water had seeped in through the roof and into a hole in the floor, leaving the walkers a nice bloated, smelly mess. Gabriel starts to panic at the sight of one walker with glasses poised comically on her head - clearly he knew her before the world went South. Bob even has a very close call with a walker, which led me to think what if there was a walker beneath the water that they couldn't see? Maybe Bob was bitten? Afterall, him and Sasha did seem too happy - so happy that you knew eventually something bad was going to happen.

On the way back, Rick and Michonne bring to mind one very important relationship - Michonne and her sword. Somehow it just seems wrong to see Michonne without it! Carl shows Rick a foreboding sign on their return; 'You'll burn for this' etched into the side of the Church. My guess is a group was hoping to seek sanctuary in the church, and Gabriel left them to their fates rather than let them in.

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Over dinner Abraham again presses the issue of going to Washington DC - is it just me or does it seem a bit far fetched that a cure would be possible? Afterall, how long has it been now since the outbreak started? Rather than making all the decisions like usual, it's actually Judith who has the deciding vote in it all - that's it, leave the fate of the group (and possibly the world) in a childs hands. Afterwards, Sasha gets up to leave where Bob asks for 'one more' kiss and looking at her longingly, giving us the impression that all is not right.

Tara confesses to Maggie that she was with the Governor, and I actually feel sorry for Tara. Maggie accepts her into the group, but I can't help but feel that it's not completely settled. I'm just waiting for Maggie to go crazy again and then bring up the 'you helped with my dad getting killed!' card. 

Carol somehow disappeared unnoticed back to a car she and Daryl discovered earlier, trying to escape the group. Daryl, hot on her tail confronts her before a car goes whizzing past them - the same car that captured Beth. The two jump in the car and go off in hot pursuit! Yay! Daryl to save the day!

Bob meanwhile has also snuck outside where he starts crying - anyone else get the sense that he was bit? After a moment he's struck down by the same figure from earlier in the episode, and eventually comes round to visions of a fire and (wait for it)...Gareth!

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Gareth states that they didn't want trouble...before. But now the group has left the Terminus residents with no choice. Uh-oh. He states that they 'evolved' into eating people, and now they have 'devolved' into hunters. It actually sends chills down my spine how calmly Gareth talks - especially when he starts chowing down on some Bob meat. He even goes on to state that Bob 'taste's much better than they thought he would'. I don't blame Bob for freaking out here - he looks down to see his leg missing, only to then notice Gareth and the rest of the (now dubbed) 'hunters' feasting on his leg. Both me and my boyfriend were ridiculously shocked - the episode ended on clear certainty rather than a cliffhanger. In my eyes, this adds to the shock value; we're not left to ponder what's going to happen, but we know what happened to Bob.

I'm not going to go all out and say this is Bob meeting his maker, because afterall Hershel managed to survive with one leg for quite some time. Maybe Bob will be able to escape, or maybe he'll be rescued - but for now he's still very much alive. Thankfully - I was really starting to love him! I guess this just goes to show that anyone is expendable on this show *shudders*.

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Next time on TWD: Sasha's voice over tells the group that they're 'being watched, and now three of us are gone.' Notice how she says 3? I'm assuming thats Bob, Carol and Daryl (who hightailed it towards the end of the episode) - not 4, like she's including Beth in that or anything. God does anyone even remember Beth?! There's promise of more of Gabriel's story to come, which I can't wait for personally. He's an intriguing character that's for sure! And of course, 'The Hunters' are to make an appearance. Maybe we'll find out Bob's fate straight away?

Annoying character of the week: Rick - for just being Rick.

As always, AMC have left me desperate for next weeks episode again! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below :)


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