Recap: The Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 2: Strangers

Rick Season 5

Happy Monday!

This is a twin post of the same recap posted on Legend Zero.

So last night’s The Walking Dead was a great follow-up to the season premiere. In the wake of the chaos of episode one, this second episode held some much needed rest and recuperation for the group, as well as the setup for what’s to come! It goes without saying, but, SPOILERS!

The episode, Strangers,  starts out with Rick and co. regrouping after everything that happened. There’s a cool “walking through the forest” slow-mo montage that sprinkles through some interactions. Rick and Tara have a moment in which Rick forgives her, and recognizes that she wanted no part of the Governor’s plan. They fist-bump, and it’s a pretty light moment – one of a few that the writers grace us with this episode. Tyreese and Carol have a conversation by the river, in which he asks that she stay with them, emphasizing that the group needs to understand what she did – that he’d make them understand.  He refuses to talk about the girls (Lizzie and Mika), wants to forget that it happened, and it seems like Carol does as well. We get another exchange, this time between Carol and Rick, in which – showing his growth and new understanding – he humbly asks her to accept them into the world that is now basically hers, as a wanderer. This last exchange ends the montage of conversations, and we come to that night, where Daryl and Carol are keeping watch over the group. He tries to ask about what happened, but Carol refuses and Daryl accepts, supporting her in his silent way. Something sounds off in the night, distracting him, and it seems like their mini-camp is being watched by an unknown figure.

The next day, Daryl tells Rick about what he heard, but they decide to keep moving, unable to confirm anything was out there. On their way, Bob and Sasha have a pretty great exchange, in which she names off bad things, and he puts a positive spin on them – it’s a great game that shows his value to the group. This conversation is ended with Sasha explains the game to Tyreese, who smiles fondly upon them both during the course of the game. As they travel, someone calls out for help, and Carl’s the first to suggest to go help, and the group follows, finding a new character, Father Gabriel, surrounded by walkers. They save him, yet the tension they feel towards him is palpable. Carl is the only one that doesn’t seem to be wary of the new face, and offers him some food. The priest leads them to the church he’s been staying at, claiming that he hasn’t left it often since the outbreak. Fr. Gabriel also refuses to go into the details of what he’s done, claiming that that’s between him and God. He makes a poor joke, and it doesn’t help his standing in the group, as Rick clearly doesn’t have a sense of humor (rightfully so). When they arrive, Rick is still distrustful, and chooses to scope out the inside of the church before letting everyone else in.

After asking Fr. Gabriel how he survived for so long, they find out that there’s a local place he hasn’t raided yet, and Rick decides to go, taking Fr. Gabriel and a few others with him on the run. Before he leaves, though, he talks to Carl, emphasizing that no matter what, he is never safe. Carl responds that he knows, but that he also knows that they are strong enough to survive whatever goes wrong, and strong enough to continue to help others, no matter what. It’s a great moment of hope and maturity for Carl, and you can see in Rick’s eyes that he appreciates that Carl thinks this way despite everything that’s happened. Both characters have already grown so much from what they were last season, and that conversation is a clear example.

During the run, Bob makes it clear to Rick that he’s sure the Washington trip will happen. He talks about how everything around them is a nightmare, and nightmares end – the real world is waiting for them just after Washington. It’s a bright outlook, but not one that Rick shares. The scene changes to Daryl and Carol, and he again tries to talk to her. He wants them to start over, all of them, because of everything that’s happened. They’re gathering water and stumble across a car that won’t start, but they find an extra battery to jump start it with – Carol decides to hide it, just in case. We get another light moment here, where Daryl tries to give her one of the gallons of water but drops it, causing her to giggle, calling us back to the “pookie” conversations of the prison. The other fun moment of the episode happens when the scene changes to Maggie and Tara waiting outside a gun shop. They hear a disturbance inside, and prepare to defend themselves, when Glenn emerges. He tries to pass off the sound as a walker attack, but it turns out he just tripped – another cause for laughter, and the three of them walk away with their spoils (three silencers).

They eventually reach the place Fr. Gabriel mentioned – a food back where the food he survived on was supposed to be taken to right before everything went downhill. There, they encounter a flooded basement full of walkers. They go down into the basement, using the shelves for a clever cover to take out the walkers. Everything is going great until Fr. Gabriel sees a person he recognizes, and he freaks out, leaving the safety of the shelves and nearly lets himself get killed, if Rick hadn’t stepped into kill the walker. When they think the room is clear, they all leave the safety of the shelves, but Bob gets attacked. They manage to save him, but he seems a bit off – shaken. They got what they were looking for and leave, and on the walk back we get yet another conversation, this time between Rick and Michonne. Michonne talks about not missing her sword, because it’s evidence of all the time she spent alone, all the practice she had to get so good at it. She talks about missing Andrea, Herschel, and the other people they’ve lost, but not the sword.

When they get back, Carl shows Rick some things he’s found – scratch marks (from a knife) at the windows as if people had tried to get in, and a sentence someone carved into the wall outside – “You’ll burn for this.” In Carl’s eyes, these are just things to look out for, and doesn’t mean that Fr. Gabriel is bad. If you’ve read the comics, you know what they mean.

That night, they have what amounts to a feast with what they gathered from the food bank. Abraham offers a toast, praising their survivor qualities, but asking them if that’s all they want to be. He talks about saving the world – for Judith, for everyone. That speech seems to be all that Rick needed for convincing. He declares that they’ll join in the quest to get to DC. During the celebration, Carol eyes the door, as if she wants to leave, and Bob actually does go outside. Tara confesses her involvement with the Governor to Maggie, saying she didn’t want it to be hidden, and Maggie accepts her apology, hugging her.

At some point, Carol does leave, and it looks like she’s about to take the car they found and run away. She’s ambushed by a walker right before Daryl finds her, asking her what she’s doing. Before she can explain and/or leave, another car zooms by, and Daryl recognizes it as the same car that took Beth. Without thinking twice, he busts the tail lights of the car they found and hops in, taking Carol with him to follow the kidnappers. Back at the church, Bob is outside, crying by a tree. As he’s breaking down (for a still unknown reason) he gets attacked from behind by an unknown assailant. When he comes to, it’s revealed that Gareth, and a few others from Terminus (including the guy Tyreese had “killed”) survived long enough to form a pack of hunters. It’s confirmed – they eat human meat. Gareth goes on a tangent about how this would have happened to anyone, and it was simply poetic justice that it happened to Bob. They’ve chopped off his leg, cooking it in a fire behind Bob.

Conclusion: Can’t wait to see if Daryl and Carol find out where Beth is, and how the group will deal with the Hunters.

Sound off in the comments below! This episode had a ton to talk about 🙂

‘Til next time!

As always, think happy thoughts!

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