TV Recap: The Walking Dead, S5,Ep. 2 – "Strangers" #TheWalkingDead

2-the-walking-dead-season-5-promo-walking-dead-season-5After watching my injury-depleted 49ers get housed by the Broncos, I felt like I’d already watched an episode of “The Walking Dead” this Sunday, and I’m almost assured the body count in tonight’s episode won’t be as high as that game.

The early theme for the night is reconciliation. First with Rick and Tara. She apologized for her role in The Governor’s attack, he forgives her; Rick apologizes to Carol for exiling her, she understands and Carol doesn’t want to talk about “it” with Daryl. Surprisingly, the group’s most talkative member is ok with just dropping it. Daryl thinks he heard something in the woods, but doesn’t think a stroll through the woods is a smart thing. Keep that in mind for later, especially after we see something in the shadows walk by.

the-walking-dead-episode-502-michonne-gurira-carl-riggs-main-590Morning arrives and Daryl tells Rick he knows he felt something was watching them, even if he didn’t see any tracks or anything. And that is why Daryl Dixon is such a fan favorite. Most characters would write that off and go about their business, but Daryl actually takes the initiative to scope it out.

Man, they’re a lot of bodies on this squad. I’m anticipating a cutting down on cast members episode coming real quick this season as The Grimes Gang now resembles a small army and not a pack of desperate survivors.

Bob and Sasha are playing kissy face and for now Tyrese isn’t playing the overprotective big brother. How long can that last??? The gang hears a scream and save a pastor (or at least a man dressed as one) who’s kicking walkers away from a rocky perch.

The pastor introduces himself as Gabriel, but the others are not too welcoming save Carl, who offers some nuts. Rick isn’t buying that Gabriel’s hands are clean and wants to know how he’s survived so long on his own especially if he doesn’t believe in violence. Gabriel’s poor timing with the jokes isn’t helping him earn any trust points either, but he does mention he’s been housed up in a church.

the-walking-dead-season-5-gabrielBeyond someone going “The Book of Eli” and transcribing the Bible,  nothing appears out of the ordinary. Abraham wants to fix the church bus, but Rick opts to rest up and the others follow suit. Abraham really needs to recognize that despite looking like a real-life G.I. Joe action figure, he is not in charge here. First, there’s Hawk, Duke, Flint, Beach-Head, Rick and then finally, you Gabriel… (Anyone gets that reference and I’m giving you a net five).

While his supplies are nearly exhausted, Gabriel says there’s one house left, but it’s overrun. Bob and Sasha pause long enough from making lovey-dovey eyes at one another to say they’re going with Rick, who also volunteers Gabriel to come as well.

Rick gives Carl a pep talk of sorts telling him he’s not safe and to not let his guard down even for a second. I’m so glad Rick has moved beyond feeling the need to baby Carl and to just trust him as much as his most trusted lieutenants — just with a cooler hat. Rick is convinced Gabriel is hiding something.

the-walking-dead-season-5-episode-2-strangers-bob and sashaIn a scene that exemplifies the show’s diversity, Rick is with Michonne, Bob, Sasha and Gabriel. Mind you, Tyrese is back at the church. How many other series have that many black characters in a non-prison show? Bob and Sasha are playing a cutesy game where he finds something positive to counter every negative thing she says. Your cuteness is annoying Bobsha and I’m not liking your relationship life expectancy as we’ve already met our happy couple quota with Glenn & Maggie and Eugene & his mullet.

Rick has the others on separate material runs. Carol and Daryl make a water run and find a car that just might be working while Tara, Maggie and Glen hit up the gun store and find three silencers. Not a bad haul, gang!

Rick and his team make it to the food bank and find walkers in the flooded out basement. The walkers have that been in the bathtub too long prune face going. They hit the basement and wade through the walkers, but in the battle Michonne loses her sword. [My buddy Salem reminded me Michonne hasn’t had her sword since it was taken at Terminus]. Gabriel seems especially terrified of one particular walker, but Rick makes the save while Bob plays Luke in the Death Star trash compactor and gets pulled down by a walker. Sasha fortunately is there to the rescue.

The-Walking-Dead-Season-5-Daryl-and-CarolRick asks Gabriel about the walker woman, but Gabriel is not up for his own confession. Carl alerts Rick to some scraping on the church walls and a message that was carved along the wall “You’ll Burn For This.” Honestly, if Gabriel’s biggest character flaw is not being that dummy that lets 30 people in, I’m not really questioning his logic.

Abraham proposes a toast to the survivors, but he uses his platform to push “Operation: D.C. Road Trip.” Rick and the gang are down. Continuing our earlier theme, Tara fesses up to her role with The Governor’s camp to Maggie and is forgiven. You see Gabriel? This is “The Walking Dead: True Confessions” episode. Everyone’s doing it! You can too! Still, Gabriel is not up for telling Rick what he’s done. Rick confesses the gang is like his family and if Gabriel does anything to hurt them, Rick’s gonna kill him. Ripping a guy’s throat out does wonders for your threat-making credibility. Gabriel goes to another room where he is in his pastor’s attire with the woman walker. Maybe his wife?

Carol isn’t sure if she wants to join the D.C. excursion and heads back to the car, but Daryl tells her to come back. Before Carol decides, a car speeds by that looks like it belongs to the church. Daryl again proving his intelligence, smashes out Carol’s car rear view lights so the speeding car won’t double back.

walking dead garethBob is outside looking like he’s trying to keep his positive face, but starts crying — did the walker bite him??? This becomes a very moot point later as he gets knocked out by a hooded individual. Ah it’s Gareth. He and his crew have caught up to The Grimes Gang and they’ve tied Bob up. Gareth confesses that they had a home and Rick’s crew destroyed it and now they’ve got to hunt just like everyone else. And eat their own special way to survive. Cue Bob looking down to find one of his legs is now on the barbie and Gareth’s crew eating away. Until this episode, I always figured the worst way to wake up would be looking in the eye of a rat. I stand correction.

Can Bob get away before he becomes another tasty meal at Bob’s Big Boy with chef Gareth? Who was driving that car? Will Michonne get her sword back? Will Rick ever find a decent razor??