Welcome to the official Panels The Walking Dead weekly recap! I did these recaps occasionally for iFanboy back in the day, and I am thrilled to be bringing them here to Panels. In the discussion, please be mindful of spoilers from the comics, let’s let everyone get their reveals the old-fashioned way.
Now finished hunting, the Hunters feast. Gareth monologues. He really does love to monologue. He explains that Terminus wasn’t always supposed to be a trap, it was supposed to be a choice between joining up or becoming food. He also really wants to eat Carol, because she killed his mom and he claims, using science, that women just taste better.
Bob’s cries turn to laughter, they think he’s lost it. Bob reveals that he was bitten. “I’m tainted meat!” If you read my previous recap, this may not come as much of a shcok. The Hunters start trying to vomit and freaking out.
Sasha, Rick, and Tyreese search for Bob, Carol, and Daryl. It’s a pet peeve of mine when drama is created simply by failing to communicate, like not telling your girlfriend that you have to leave the church because you’re going to turn into a flesh-eating monster. The searchers turn towards interrogating Gabriel, because that guy fishiness has been increasing as fast as it would at one of Jesus’ lectures. He admits that when this all started he locked the doors of the church leaving his congregation to be eaten as they pounded on the windows to be let in. Not exactly what a shepherd is supposed to do for his flock.
The Hunters discretely dump Bob in the yard outside the church and fire a few warning shots at the gang as they drag him back inside. We see a large black A painted on the side of the church. A for Grade A meat? If you have ideas let’s hear them in the comments! Bob recounts watching his leg being eaten and learning that Carol and Daryl drove off. Then the big reveal: the bite.
Abraham wants to leave for DC, because he has a one-track mind. Rick isn’t ready to leave without Carol and Daryl. Rick and Abraham nearly come to blows, but Glen gets between them and argues for cooperation. Abraham isn’t having it, and barks at Rosita and Eugene to get moving. Eugene almost grows and spine to refuse but fails. The plan is to take the bus Abraham fixed up, but Rick doesn’t want that to happen, even though it seems like Abraham did all the work to fix the thing. Glen finally convinces them to stay 12-hours, as long as Glen and Maggie leave with them. That was a lot of bargaining for a pretty simple resolution.
Sasha comforts Bob and it’s appropriately sappy. Moving on.
Strategy session: “Lets go attack the hunters, they won’t expect that.” Is it actually a good plan? Who cares. Sasha wants to join the fight, Tyreese urges her to stay with Bob. Instead of playing the comforting caretaker, Sasha hands Tyreese and knife to use on Bob as soon as he stops breathing.
The Hunters head to the church, bust through the doors, but all is dark on the inside. Gareth monologues into the darkness. He knows all of their names, even Judith. He knows Rick and his team just left the church with most of the guns. He knows lots of things we already know, but saying them out loud is apparently just his absolute favorite thing. I’m guessing Rick expected this and is actually also hiding here or doubling back or something like that. Gareth offers Gabriel freedom for himself and Judith if he unlocks the door where they’re al hiding. Gabriel is enough of a coward that he might go for it. Judith starts crying and their position is blown.
Rick shows up and with one of the suppressors from a few episodes ago and starts shooting Hunters, including Gareth but not fatally. Gareth asks if he should start begging, Rick says no, they just didn’t want to waste all their bullets. Gareth, even with a bullet in him, monologues some more. Rick lets him finish but then kills him with a machete while everyone else gets stabbed or beaten to death. I would have at least taken them outside first, think of the mess you just made. Tyreese looks on horrified, and Michonne gets her sword back. She was so close to having a line of dialog this week. Maybe next week, Michonne!
Gabriel says something naïve about his church being sacred, because to him it’s fine if people die right outside the walls, but cross the magic threshold and it’s wrong again. Maggie points out that he’s dumb by stating the title of the episode. Thanks, Mags.
The group says goodbye to Bob. Even as he’s slipping away Bob has hope for the world to get better. He flirts with Sasha one more time, then is gone. Sasha prepares herself to knife him, but Tyreese shows up and takes over. Whoever did the sound effect for the knife thrust deserves an Emmy.
Abraham readies his half of the gang for the road. I don’t have a clear sense of why Rick isn’t going along. Is that church really that awesome? The floors are all sticky now anyways. Abraham gives Rick a map with his route to DC and on it he’s written an apology for being a butt. Why couldn’t they just hug it out like real men?
Nightime again, which is frustrating because I felt like a lot of this episode was so dark I actually had trouble just telling what was going on.x Gabriel whines to Michonne as though he’s the only one whose had bad things happen in this new awful world where bad things happen to everyone literally all of the time. A nearby rustling takes Michonne to the edge of the forest, and Daryl reappears.
“Come on out.”
CLIFFHANGER (I guess, but a pretty awkward one.)
Probably obvious from the recap that I did not love this episode. Scenes felt like they dragged on much longer than necessary but not for any reason other than filler. I figured the storyline with the Hunters didn’t have enough meat for an entire season, but the resolution still fell very flat.
“We’re here to eat you!”
Stab stab stab. Team Rick wins again.
During the premiere I thought the soft reveal of a major character from the comics was exciting, but now I think it has been distracting me from the main storyline. It’s a cool future plot, but pacing it out this far ahead may have been a mistake. That being said, we don’t know what the rest of the season holds. Next week we get to find out what happened to Beth which is kind of exciting. The comic stays almost exclusively on Rick, so getting to see a whole episode from another character’s perspective is something only the show can do. That much, at least, I am looking forward to after this week’s stumble.