In the latest Walking Dead recap, Rick and the survivors face off against the last of remaining cannibals from Terminus….
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
It’s safe to say the people that once populated Terminus weren’t always savages who feasted on the flesh of man to survive. The world made them this way. Originally, Terminus was a town built to welcome in those who made it out of the zombie apocalypse. A safe haven if you will. But in this new world where laws aren’t even suggestions and survival of the fittest a way of life, somebody is always willing to go further than the next guy.
It’s probably why with dwindling food supplies and trouble lurking around every corner while venturing out for supplies, the Terminites opted for a more forward approach when it came to breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was as easy as the people who came to Terminus looking for help and instead helped them by being sacrificed and chopped up as food. But now with Terminus destroyed, the last remaining citizens are out in the wild still hunting and gathering food the only way they know how.
Bob found that out the hard way last week when he walked outside the church to gather his thoughts and soon woke up near a campfire before Gareth, the leader of Terminus, explained how they sawed off the bottom half of his leg and cooked it up for dinner. Now as Gareth tells Bob in the new episode titled “Four Walls and a Roof”, this wasn’t means as an act of horror. They didn’t cut him up just to make him suffer. No, they cut the leg off, cauterized the wound and allowed Bob to survive. See, Gareth wants to treat Bob as a human even in his final hours alive in this world. Oh sure they plan on chopping off new pieces as each day goes forward and by the end of it all, Bob will be nothing more than a bloody stump, but he’ll be conscious every step of the way so he can at least appreciate these last days on Earth.
Gareth regales Bob with stories about bears eating cubs and how women actually taste better than men. He’s a talker, this one.
Just then Bob breaks down and starts to cry, like anyone stuck in his situation would surely do. But his cries soon start filling with laughter and a few moments later he’s gone into a hysterical fit as if he’s breathing laughing gas through every orifice. Bob finally breaks the bad news to his captors after they have a belly full of his scrumptious leg.
“You idiots. I’ve been bitten you stupid pricks! I’m tainted meat! Tainted meat!”
Bob reveals a nasty bite on his shoulder, suffered when the water zombie pulled him under at the food pantry. The Terminites panic and start violently vomiting while Gareth tries to reassure them that the meat was cooked, thus it’s fine. In reality, Gareth has no clue if he’s just willingly signed everyone’s death warrant. Bob gets knocked out after maniacally taunting at all of those silly bastards and while he’s not long for this world, he will definitely get the last laugh.
What About Bob?
Sasha is frantic looking for Bob in the woods, but she also knows the camp is being watched. When she gets back inside she assumes it’s Father Gabriel who has led the group into a trap because Bob’s missing and Darryl and Carol and nowhere to be found. Rick then turns to question Gabriel and it was clear last week this guy has a wet noodle where his spine once lived. He crumbles down to the floor in a bubbly mess while confessing the real reason why he’s been able to live inside the church for months now while barely ever stepping outside the front doors.
When the zombies started appearing, he was asleep and the church was secure because he locked the doors every night. “I always locked the doors” he mutters to himself. But when his congregation started making it to the church looking for sanctuary, he opted to stay inside eating all the canned food they left there just days earlier. The pound of fists on the walls didn’t break him. In only strengthened his resolve that inside was the safer place to be. Each day his parishioners tried to get in, but one by one they got picked off while Gabriel sat snug as a bug in a rug safely behind the church doors.
He believes now this is his penance. He has to pay for his misdeeds and judgment is coming and that’s right soon. It’s clear from his speech, however, that Father Gabriel didn’t lead anybody into a trap. He just got scared and opted to save his own ass when this whole disaster started.
Moments later, Rick and the survivors hear something outside the church. When they go to check it out, they find Bob laying on the ground barely conscious, leg missing, and it’s clear there are a number of threats in the woods just outside the church. As the group rushes back inside knowing they are being watched, an ominous ‘A’ has been painted in blood on the side of the church. The same letter that marked the train car where Rick and his group were living just days ago.
A Plan of Attack
Bob tells the group what happened to him both while he was at the food bank and once he got captured by Gareth and his cannibals. He reveals that the Terminites are holed up at an elementary school, which Gabriel says is only about a 10 minute walk from there. Rick’s seen enough already. Staying in the church right now is like inviting Gareth and his people to start picking at them one by one. Instead, he’s going to take the fight to them before they even know what hit them.
Before they go, Sasha sits with Bob as he tries to play their game one last time. He says thanks to getting kicked in the face and knocked out, he almost forgot about the pain he’s been feeling from the zombie bite and the missing leg problem he has right now. Sasha doesn’t want to play any longer. She just wants to know why Bob didn’t tell her he got bitten in the first place.
“I knew when I told you you’d become all about the end and I really liked the middle.”
Sasha heads off to join Rick on a hunt for the hunters but gives Tyreese a knife before leaving, telling her big brother that if Bob passes while she’s gone, he needs to put him down. It’s what Bob would want. Tyreese is awfully gun shy these days, but he promises to follow through.
While all of this is going on, Abraham is ready to suit up and head out before anybody else gets killed. He’s got a mission to complete and battling a group of cannibals doesn’t have anything to do with getting to Washington D.C. Just before Abraham and Rick get into a measuring contest, Glenn and Maggie find a solution. If Abraham stays for another half day to help them finish this problem, they will pack up with him and head to Washington with Eugene and Rosita to give them some additional support. Abraham agrees and they all suit up to go out and find Gareth and his people.
Turn About Is Fair Play
With Rick and his team walking up the path to the church a good 10 minutes away, Gareth and his people pop out from the bushes just outside. They had been waiting for Rick to leave while taking all of his firepower with him. Now they have free reign to take out the remaining souls inside the church and wait for Rick and everyone else to return so they can join the slaughter.
Gareth knows the hiding places in the church are minimal so he shouts out any number of instructions for the people inside to reveal themselves. He even offers to spare the preacher and the baby if they come out immediately. The only problem is nobody is complying — except Judith, who picks now as the time to have a good cry. Gareth smirks and turns to the door that currently shields the baby and the rest of the survivors left behind. He’s ready to blow a hole through the door when his fingers explode off his hand hot dogs left in the microwave for too long. Two more of his henchmen are cut down by bullets and as Gareth turns, he sees Rick behind him using the silencers that Glenn found a week ago.
It was all a ruse. Rick never went anywhere except just far enough away to allow Gareth to show his hand (no pun intended). Gareth begs for mercy while trying to reason with Rick. He’s not a bad guy, the world just made him this way. Rick doesn’t want to hear any of it.
“You’d do this to anyone, right? Besides, I already made you a promise.”
~ Rick to Gareth
Rick pulls the machete from his belt and begins hacking away at Gareth’s neck while Abraham, Sasha and the rest of the group kill the rest of his people in the most brutal way possible just bashing their heads in until it looks like bloody oatmeal. There was no saving Gareth anymore. When the zombie apocalypse started, Rick might have felt there was some small chance at redemption, but now there’s no coming back. The world made him this way.
When Father Gabriel walks out into his hall, he sees the slaughtered corpses of the cannibals from Terminus and looks at their beaten and broken bodies in horror and disgust. He cries that this is a house of God to which Maggie replies no it’s not — it’s just four walls and a roof. On a positive note, Michonne did manage to get her sword back in the massacre thanks to one of the hording Terminites bringing it when them on the hunt.
The Long Road to Washington
With the Terminites exterminated, Abraham is now free to head off to Washington to get Eugene to the powers that be so he can solve this whole ‘dead rising from the grave’ problem the world has right now. He packs up Glenn, Maggie, and Rosita as well and they head off to Washington, but not before handing Rick a map to show the exact route they’ll be following so he can eventually catch up. Inside the map, Abraham even attached a special note to make up for their near fight the night before.
Everyone also says a final goodbye to Bob before Tyreese takes it upon himself to finish the job once he officially passes from this world. Prior to his death, Bob has a heart to heart with Rick about what happened with the Terminites and the profound impact he had when they first met. Bob was destitute. He was sure his life was over. Considering there was no one left alive around him, Bob wasn’t even certain life was worth living anyways. And then Rick came along and offered him a place to stay. He offered him food. But most importantly he offered him a sense of belonging again. Bob reminds Rick that person still exists.
“Nightmares end. They shouldn’t end who you are. And that is just this dead man’s opinion.”
I’m going to miss Bob.
Rick and the remaining survivors stay in the church so they can continue to wait or hunt for Darryl and Carol, who are still missing. Rick also has a heart to heart with Tyreese while they are digging graves together where he asks what he endured on the road to Terminus. Tyreese responds that it killed him. Rick promises that it didn’t, no matter how much whatever happened hurt.
Later that night with Michonne on watch, she gives Father Gabriel some words of comfort when he can’t stop hearing the screams from the tortured souls he left to die outside the church. She promises they never go away, but they will quiet down. At that moment she hears a noise in the distance and when she goes to check it out, Darryl pops out from the shadows by himself.
“Where’s Carol?” Michonne asks, as Darryl turns and says it’s safe to come out now. And fade to black.
Three episodes into the year and this might already be my favorite season of The Walking Dead. The action has been high-paced and brutal, but not overdone. The dialogue has been crisp and sharp like a knife. The stories have moved quickly instead of being played out over half a season like so many previous plots have developed. If there was one gripe about this past episode it was the frustration over Rick’s group being separated once again, just a day after swearing they’d never break apart again. I’m hopeful this won’t become a painful trope of The Walking Dead, the constant split apart, back together melodrama that’s permeated so much of this series.
One thing I loved this week, however, was the subtle change in the show when compared to the story from the comic book. In the ‘Fear the Hunters’ story, Rick leads his survivors out to hunt for the cannibal group and once he has them surrounded, he surprise attacks and kills them all with no remorse. In the show, there’s a little bait and switch as it appears the same thing is about to happen until Gareth and his people pop up at the church and then moments later Rick jumps out of the shadows as well, springing his trap. While I always knew the TV series was going to deviate from the comic book, many of the differences have been frustrating and almost as if the writers were challenging themselves to try and outdo the source material. This season, the plot has stayed very similar to the comic with the small changes keeping avid readers guessing as well.
If this season keeps it up, The Walking Dead may very well become one of the best shows on television.
Next week on The Walking Dead, Beth’s fate is finally revealed as Darryl explains where the wayward Greene sister has been these last few weeks after getting kidnapped.