‘The Walking Dead’ Recap 5×3: Four Walls and a Roof

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Old saint Rick. (Gene Page/AMC)

Every Sunday, I watch the new episode of The Walking Dead with Ed, the guy who sleeps on my couch. It’s a real pain in my ass, because Ed never pays attention and needs everything explained to him. Also, he’s a zombie.

Me: Hey Ed, how’s it going?

Ed: Grrrr. Argh.

Me: Yeah, I know. It was more of a rhetorical question.

Ed: Grrr. Argh.

Me: Ugh. Anyway, let’s get this show on the road.

Ed: Grrr, argh?

Me: Yes, those are the ex-Terminans. And yes, they’re still eating Bob’s leg.

Ed: Grrr, argh?

Me: The “gray-haired queen bitch” who killed Gareth’s mother is Carol. Guess the Tasha Yar character was his mom. I don’t think they ever mentioned it before. Seems unnecessary to give him extra motivation like that; he’s already pure psychopath.

Ed: Grrr, argh?

Me: Oh clearly Bob got bitten back in the food bank. That’s why he was out in the cemetery crying when he got captured.

Ed: Grrr, argh?

Me: The food bank? From last episode? Remember, with the gross waterlogged walkers? The one that popped up from under the water must have bitten Bob on the shoulder.

Ed: Grrr, argh?

Me: How the hell should I know what happens if they eat zombie-infected meat? The Terminans don’t seem to know either. But there is obviously pretty good reason they never eat zombies. I wouldn’t eat a cow that died of horrible infection, would you?

Ed: Grrr. Argh.

Me: Right, sorry. I forgot.

Ed: Grrr, argh?

Me: Carol and Daryl are off chasing that car with the cross on the roof, the one that Beth’s kidnappers were driving. They didn’t have time to tell anyone they were leaving, so Rick & co. don’t know where they are either.

Ed: Grrr. Argh.

Me: Yeah, it kinda sucks to have to watch a whole episode without either of our favorite characters, doesn’t it? Well, at least Carl barely has any lines this time, so thank god for small favors.

Ed: Grrr. Argh.

Me: As I said last week: nobody can have survived this long without getting their hands dirty. Priest or no priest, Gabriel isn’t too holy to have done awful things. Turns out he let his whole “flock” get killed. He thinks he’s damned, but Rick and Sasha’s reaction seems to be more like “Oh OK, that makes sense. Welcome to the party.”

Ed: Grrr, argh?

Me: Oh yeah, Jim was that guy waaaaay back in season one who was digging holes for no reason. He got zombie-bit on the stomach and hid it from the rest of the group for a while—Glenn is saying Jim was sick for at least three days and hadn’t turned into a walker, so Bob has some time left.

Ed: Grrr, argh?

Me: Abraham sure does have a one-track mind. Kinda like the writers couldn’t come up with any real character traits, but were just like, “Um, so he has huge muscles and he really wants to go to Washington, D.C.”

Ed: Grrr, argh?

Me: Looks like a woodcut of the Last Supper. Which is where Jesus said that the bread was his body, etc.  Lots of references to eating flesh and drinking blood in this church, wink-wink. They even seem to be doing a little Bob = Jesus thing here, what with Glenn’s reference to the three days before a “reanimation.” Except here it’s all zombie-backwards. Eating Bob’s flesh may give you eternal life, but not in the way anyone would want.

Ed: Grrr, argh?

Me: Bob and Sasha have that game they play, “good from bad.” Their postapocalyptic pastime: find the silver lining in every cloud. Bob was way too good at it—so obviously he had to be the one to die. Slowly, over the course of an entire episode.

Ed: Grrr, argh?

Me: Because tactics! The Terminans’ plan was to return Bob, so he would tell Rick & co. where Gareth & co. are camping out. Then Rick would go to attack them at the school, at which point Gareth could just waltz in and kill (and presumably eat) the weaker ones who they left behind at the church. But Rick is the smartest guy in the room once again, and sees right through it—because what other reason would they have had for returning Bob? So they only pretend to hightail it and just circle back to take the Terminans by surprise.

Ed: Grrr. Argh.

Me: Yeah, isn’t this like the sixth time Gareth has given this speech about how they used to be good but then they had to change? Who is he really trying to convince here? He’s about to die and he’s still sticking to the same dumb rhetoric. Just shut up already, dude.

Ed: Grrr, argh?

Me: Rick made that promise in the first episode of the season. Remember, when the Terminans had them all kneeling in front of that pig-slaughtering trough? He was telling Gareth about the weapons he had stashed in the woods, and when he got to the machete, he said, “That’s what I am going to kill you with.”

Ed: Grrr. Argh.

Me: I guess it is always going to shocking to see a massacre like this inside a church. Hell, I’m Jewish, and it still got to me. But then when Gabriel makes it explicit—“This is the Lord’s house”—you can see how strange it is that we feel this way. Look how many levels Maggie’s response to him works on. It’s just “four walls and a roof” because that’s what any building is nowadays: a place to hide inside. But also, it’s just a building, because how can there possibly be a God in this world? And then it reflects back on Gabriel’s sin, locking his parishioners out of those four walls, making his claim that it is the Lord’s house dubious at best.

Ed: Grrr. Argh.

Me: Yep, Daryl’s back, thank god. There’s only so much of the sainthood of Rick Grimes I can stomach. Aaaand that’s all she wrote. Catch you next week, Ed. Stay hungry.

‘The Walking Dead’ Recap 5×3: Four Walls and a Roof