The Walking Dead Season 5, Episode 2 recap

As much as seasons spent stuck in one location suck (ugh, the farm), at least when you have a stable living situation there’s an opportunity to sketch out how everyone is surviving. The thing about wandering around the woods is that it immediately makes me question the basic logic of survival. Namely, HOW IS JUDITH STILL ALIVE? What is she eating? They show her being bottle-fed—what is in that bottle?! Where are they getting whatever it is?! What’re they doing for diapers? How are they keeping her clean? Parents, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t keeping your baby’s patoot clean really important because of potential infection? I don’t understand how Judith hasn’t contracted some horrible infant illness by now, and/or starved to death.

Similarly, how are they purifying their water? We see Carol and Tyrese scooping up (brown) river water in plastic bottles with no follow-up boiling scene, and yet no one ever gets any kind of weird river-bug or sickness or parasite or any number of the gross things that hang out in rivers. I’m just curious how no one has died of ptomaine poisoning yet.

That said, this episode, following on last week’s superb premiere, was okay. It suffered a little bit from the thing that has plagued The Walking Dead since season two, which is that it was too drawn out, but the ending redeemed the muddy middle. Rick & Co. are on the road when they hear someone shouting for help. They rescue a man dressed in a priest’s collar and proceed to make uneasy friends with Gabriel. He’s obviously hiding a terrible secret and Rick tells him directly, “I know you’re hiding something, but I’ll kill you before you can kill me.” Gabriel’s probably already planning how he’ll burn everyone alive inside the church.

Abraham is up to something, too. At the beginning of the episode he watches Michonne make a sloppy zombie kill (she’s missing her katana, whether she says so or not) and he’s all, “That’s why I’m up to something.” But by the end of the episode, he’s toasting the group and they’re all pledging to go to Washington together. Perhaps, as long as they’re all pulling in the same direction, Abraham won’t try anything. For now, he’s calling Rick “Officer” and going along with the group—all of whom told him point-blank they’re following Rick.

There’s also some fence-mending this episode. Carol and Tyrese have made peace and though Rick can’t forget what Carol did at the prison, he’s willing to accept her now. And, in a really great scene, he asks if Carol can accept him as well. He’s acknowledging that not only has he wronged Carol in the past, but that in the present, she’s the greatest threat to his authority. She’s the most capable of leading the group. And Tara and Maggie deal with the fact that Tara once fought on the Governor’s side.

Zombie-wise, there’s an effectively scary scene in a flooded food bank with a bunch of melty, water-logged zombies. Gabriel leads them there in search of food, but he’s useless. He claims to never have killed a zombie or a person, but yet, the food bank is full of his old parishioners. So obviously, he’s done something. Rick & Co. escape the food bank intact, but Bob was dragged underwater by a Surprise Zombie. He says he’s okay, and then, at the end of the episode, he acts like he’s going to kill himself because he’s been bit.

Which is when the turn comes. Someone kidnaps Bob before he can do whatever he was going to do in the woods, and it turns out to be Gareth and the Terminus survivors. They prove that the cannibalism wasn’t just a necessity thing—they amputate and eat Bob’s leg. It figures—he was being all lovey-dovey with Sasha, of course something terrible would happen to him. Also, Gareth is all, “We have to do this, you made us do this,” but it’s like, dude, you’re in the woods. Go kill a deer or some squirrels like Daryl. No one is MAKING you eat human flesh. You’re choosing to do that because you’re a dickhead.

Status Check:
Officer Rick – Maintaining control for now.
Gabriel – Probable arsonist, definite coward.
Bob – Completely f*cked.
Carol & Daryl – Chasing after the people who kidnapped Beth.
Gareth – Bag of dicks.

Worst thing seen/heard this week: Drinking that untreated river water—gross!

Zombie kill of the week: Tie—Rick’s water-zombie head smash and the Sasha/Bob tag-team head-smash.