By: Heather Seebach
**Warning: The following contains spoilers about episode S5E3**
The fifth season continues its gritty charge forward with this solid third episode. It begins by delivering on the scene we comic book fans were so excited to see play out: TAINTED MEAT!! Of course, it wasn't Bob in the comics but otherwise, it happened pretty much the same. That's a hard bit of monologue to pull off convincingly, too. Kudos, Lawrence Gilliard, Jr!
In that opening scene, I also enjoyed the symbolic shot of Gareth's reflection in the window among the walkers. A bit obvious, sure, but a poignant moment that encapsulates the Terminus cannibals and how they are essentially no different than the zombies. In fact, they're probably worse because they chose to be this way.
Once the cannibals realize Bob is "tainted meat", they return him to the church and there is a walker attack. This is when one very intriguing moment occurs - someone out in the woods shoots a zombie and saves Rick from a distance. When first watching it, my boyfriend immediately interpreted that as the Termites stopping their food from being picked off too soon. I, on the other hand, immediately assumed it was Morgan, watching over them! I still lean toward my interpretation because we know Morgan is a skilled sniper! I guess this one will remain a mystery for now. If you saw it differently, please comment below and tell me why!
With Bob dying and the safety of the church compromised, Abraham & co. decide to leave. There is that great almost-showdown between Rick and Abraham. "You're not taking the bus." Shame we didn't get to see them fight! Rick gives the best Give No Fucks faces, doesn't he? We see it again when he gets the jump on Gareth & co. later in the church. How badass was that?! "Put your guns on the floor and KNEEL!" Single sexiest thing Rick Grimes has ever said - unf! Second and third might be, "We didn't want to waste the bullets" and "I already made you a promise..." respectively!
What happens next plays out very closely to the comic books. Rick's group brings the cannibals to their knees, blowing off the leader's fingers and making him beg for their lives. They then proceed to brutally butcher the Hunters/Termites with bladed weapons. It was a powerful scene in both the books and the show, so much so that it (along with "tainted meat!") was #1 on my list of TWD plots I wanted to see adapted on the show.
So Michonne gets her kitana back, Bob dies, and Abraham's crew leaves for DC. Meh. For me, this episode is ALL about the comic book moments. I did appreciate Abraham's little note, though: "The new world is gonna need Rick Grimes." I liked that because it's the first we've really seen of the Rick-Abraham dynamic from the comics. I hope there is more of that in the near future.
The episode ends on a genuine cliffhanger - I can't even remember the last time one left me wanting more! Daryl returns from chasing Beth's kidnappers, and when asked about Carol, gets a solemn look on his face. But he is not alone. Who is it?! Beth? Carol? A third person?? I am genuinely curious, especially given the preview for next week's where we see Beth has been god-knows-where! Mostly, I fear for Carol. I am just starting to love this fucking character, don't kill her off now!!
I'd say this is my second favorite of the three episodes so far this season. The premiere is still the strongest but this had some great, bad-ass moments, and it actually left me wanting to know what's next (which is rare for The Walking Dead).
- Bob got bit the same episode when Gabriel was introduced. Evidently the show's old "black dude" ratio rule is still in effect! One in, one out.
- Did you notice the "A" painted in what may or may not be blood on the church? Seemed to appear after Bob got dropped off. I assume Gareth & co. did that since the survivors were held in traincar A but nobody seemed to notice or care. Deleted scene, perhaps?
- Judith's baby acting is fantastic yet again! Did you see her face when Gabriel was calling everyone's name except hers? It looked like she was saying, "....and??"