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TV/Film

Episode 502: Strangers – Recap and Discussion

It’s time for another Walking Dead episode! What will this week bring? Will we learn Beth’s fate? Will Morgan show up? Will Father Gabriel be introduced? Will Eugene cut his mullet?! Let’s find out!

After some very ominous music and a slo-mo shot of Rick appearing over a slight rise (we’ll revisit this shot throughout), we see the group at camp. Rick tells Tara that Glenn told him that she saved his life. Tara: “He saved mine.” Rick: “That’s how it works with us.” Then they fist bump. Awkward.

Now over to Tyreese and Carol, getting water at the stream. Tyreese is telling her how he’s talked to some of the people in the group about how he’s explained what she did at the Prison and it’s ok. But he doesn’t want to tell them about the girls. He says he just wants to forget it.

The group continues. When they pass a walker, Michonne offers to take care of it and then comically overacts reaching for a sword that is no longer there. I get anxiety seeing Michonne without her katana. Will she get a new one? Is her old one buried in the rubble at Terminus? What the hell?

Abraham watches as Michonne stomps the walkers head in and goes “Right there is why we’re waiting for our moment.” I guess he’s upset about Michonne losing her sword as well. Kidding! I think he’s uneasy about how hardcore Team Rick is. Rosita agrees but her heart isn’t in it. She loves this ragtag group as well.

That night, Rick talks to Carol. “I owe you everything,” he tells her. Carol responds, “You owe Tyreese, he was at the prison.” Carol pulls Rick’s watch out of her bag and gives it back to him. He offers her watch back. She refuses. Rick kind of admits regret at sending her away and then notes the irony of kicking her out and then having to live with her on the road. “Will you have us?” he asks. She nods.

Carol sits with Daryl and tells him that she can’t talk about “it,” she just needs to forget. Daryl hears something in the woods but then… nothing. But ominous music plays and a shadow crosses the screen so… probably wrong.

After the opening credits, we see that Daryl’s been squirrel hunting. He tells Rick that he couldn’t find any tracks or anything, but he had a “feeling.” It shows how much Rick trusts Daryl that he orders the group to tighten up.

Abraham asks Rick if he’s ready to find a road and vehicle. Rick agrees.

Sasha and Bob play a game where she points out the bad aspects of a situation and Bob finds the silver lining. This couple is too happy. Even Tyreese is happy about the two of them.

It’s not long before screams for help are heard. Sheriff Carl urges them to action. Enter Father Gabriel. He’s climbed up on a boulder and surrounded by walkers. The group takes care of them and Rick asks him if he’s ok. He throws up.

Father Gabriel tells the group that the word of God is the only protection he needs. “I called for help, help came!” Then he asks for food. Carl is quick to offer pecans or something that sounds like pecans. The group just kind of stares at Gabriel. He tells them he has a church. Rick frisks him while he asks the three questions.

“How many walkers have you killed?”
“Not any, actually.”

“How many people have you killed?
“None.

“Why?”
“The Lord abhors violence.”

(Bonus Q) “What have you done? We’ve all done something.”
“I am a sinner, I sin almost every day. But those sins I confess them to God, not strangers.”

Rick can tell that something isn’t quit right. Father Gabriel takes them to his church. He denies having watched them and he says “Nowadays people are just as dangerous as the dead, don’t you think?” Daryl: “No, people are worse.”

Gabriel jokes about leading them into a trap. It doesn’t go over very well. They arrive at the church. Rick insists on checking the church before letting Father Gabriel in. Everything checks out. No one else there, no evidence of anyone else there. Lots of empty cans of food. Lots of churchy stuff. Rick whistles the all-clear.

Abraham says that there’s a bus out back that he can fix and they can use. But Rick and his crew want to resupply and rest while they can. Abraham is against it. “We take a breath—we slow down—shit inevitably goes down.” Glenn tells Abraham that they’re doing what Rick does and they’re sticking together. I think Abraham is getting annoyed that there’s a leader everyone is listening to instead of following the mission.

Gabriel tells Rick that he’s survived this long because the canned food drive happened to be just before the world went to hell. He tells them about another stockpile of canned food but it’s overrun with a dozen or so walkers. Bob and Sasha volunteer to go with them, Tyreese stays behind with Judith. He’s Mr. Nanny and it looks like he loves it.

Rick pulls Carl aside and says he doesn’t trust Father Gabriel. Rick asks Carl why he trusts him. “Everybody can’t be bad.” The things kids say! Rick tells Carl to stay alert. “You are not safe. No matter how many people are around or how clear the area looks, no matter what anyone says, no matter what you think, you are not safe. It only takes one second. One second and it’s over. Never let your guard down. Ever.” Carl tells him that they’re strong enough that they can still help people.

The group (Rick, Bob, Sasha, Michonne, Father Gabriel) heads out for supplies. Bob tells Rick that he wasn’t wrong about wanting to take out the Termites, but he cautions him against losing his humanity. Things will get back to normal, he says, and you can’t give up who you are because you won’t be able to get it back.

Carol and Daryl go for water. Daryl says that they can start fresh, but Carol seems reticent to let go of what she’s been through. They come across an abandoned car. The engine won’t turn over but there’s a battery charger in the trunk (correct me if I’m wrong here, it was a quick look). She starts it and says that they’ll leave it there just in case. Hm….

Tara, Glenn, and Maggie hit the gun store. Glenn finds three silencers in a mini fridge. “Rule number one of scavenging: there’s nothing left in this world that isn’t hidden.” We’re reminded that scavenging is what Glenn was best at back in Atlanta.

Rick’s group arrives at the Food Bank/donation center. There’s a large hole in the middle of the floor. Water had been leaking in through the roof all this time, rotting through the floor and flooding the basement, which is now swarming with waterlogged walkers. They’re pretty disgusting. The plan is to jump in, create a barricade with the shelves, and kill through the openings. What could go wrong?

A walker keys in on Father Gabriel and he flips. It’s wearing glasses and it has him really disturbed. Does he recognize her? He panics and bolts for the stairs, which of course snap off and fall.

The group breaks their formation to go get Gabriel. They push the shelf over on top of three walkers and fan out. As the spectacled walker advances on him, Gabriel grabs onto the wall and looks away in a very Jesus-like pose. Rick kills the walker (brutally, of course) before she can reach Gabriel.

With things seemingly calm, Bob heads for supplies. BUT, a walker reaches up from the water and pulls him under. He pops back up and impales the walker on a rod, where Sasha smashes it’s head in with a crate. It’s all delightfully disgusting.

As they leave, Gabriel apologizes and Rick calls him out for recognizing the walker with the glasses. Rick suspects it has something to do with Gabriel’s secret and walks off annoyed.

As they make their way back Rick asks Michonne if she misses her sword and they talk about how she found it and how she got so good with it. Yes, she misses it, she picked it up at the outset, and she got good because she was on her own in the early days.

When they get back, Rick finds Carl out back doing some sleuthing. Seems like Encyclopedia Grimes has found some clues in the Case of the Furtive Father. Some people had tried to break into the church and then wrote “YOU’LL BURN FOR THIS” on the wall. Rick could be a little more supportive. Maybe give Carl a houndstooth cap and a jaunty pipe or something. But Rick just looks concerned. Who have they teamed up with now?

That night as they sit around eating and talking, Abraham makes a toast. “I look around this room and I see SURVIVORS. Each and every one of you has earned that title. To THE SURVIVORS!” Then he goes on and challenges them. He tells them that they can survive. They’re good at it. But wouldn’t they rather get to DC and save the world? He has Eugene lay out what’s waiting for them in DC: Infrastructure. Civilization. Safety.

“Come with us. Save the world for that little one. Save it for yourselves. Save it for the people out there that don’t got nothing left to do but survive.”

Rick smiles, Judith coos. Rick says “She’s in. I’m in. We’re in. Let’s do it.” The group claps and gives out a couple whoops.

Sasha gets up to hold Judith and Bob kisses her and gives her a longing look before heading outside. Hmmm…

Tara goes to talk to Maggie. You can tell this has been weighing on her. She tells her the truth: that she was with The Governor [remember that Glenn had lied to Maggie about how he found Tara]. She doesn’t want it to be a secret. Maggie looks at her. “You’re here with us now.” And then she hugs her. That Maggie!

Rick goes to talk to Gabriel. He thanks him for letting them in. He confronts him again about hiding something. “These people are my family. And if what you’re hiding somehow hurts them in anyway, I’ll kill you.”

Outside and through the woods, Carol is prepping the car they found earlier, getting ready to leave when Daryl shows up. Daryl: “What are you doing?” Carol: “I don’t know.” Daryl says “Come on,” does he mean back to the church or that he’ll go with her? It doesn’t matter because right then a car with a white cross drives past (not the car that scooped up Beth but the same symbol). Daryl busts out the taillights of the abandoned car and they take off after it.

Bob stands outside the church and watches the people inside. His big smile slowly fades and he walks off. He starts crying against a tree and then SMACK! Knocked out from behind.

Bob comes too next to a fire. It’s the Termites. Gareth, Tyreese’s hostage, and some others. Gareth goes into another rationalizing speech about why they HAD to take Bob. “Now [after the destruction of Terminus] we’re out here like everybody else, trying to survive. And in order to do that, we have to hunt.”

His speech plays out over a montage of Rick’s group in the church. One of the shots is Gabriel looking at a photo of the walker in the glasses (when she was alive obviously).

Back to Gareth as his speech wraps up: “As much as we hate all this ugly business…” wide shot and we see Bob’s leg has been amputated and wrapped, “a man’s gotta eat.” Gareth takes a bite of Bob’s cooked leg. “If it makes you feel any better, you taste much better than we thought you would.” We see a shot of Bob’s foot on the grill and the episode ends.

Woohoo! The Hunter’s storyline has circled back to its origins in the comic! How gnarly was it seeing Bob’s foot there on the grill while they all eat him? SO GROSS.

Comic fans! Let’s try and keep spoilers down below to a minimum for people that aren’t familiar! I don’t want Father Gabriel’s secret revealed just yet! Maybe we’ll get that next episode, or maybe… something else! Find out next week!

Comment below! Our favorite comment will win a two-pack of our Skybound minis!

UPDATE: And our favorite comment belonged to lisama, who pointed out some of the awesome Biblical motifs hidden in the episode. Congrats!

  1. cbigger October 19, 2014 at 10:06 pm - Reply
  2. cbigger October 19, 2014 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    Good episode really is shaping up great. Hate really hate what’s going on with Bob. Damn but I love where the show is going . Gonna give Rick zombie kill of the week

    • carlyyougoonie October 19, 2014 at 11:34 pm - Reply

      Man, I knew in my heart we were going here but I so didn’t want it to happen to Bob!!

      • lisama October 20, 2014 at 12:26 am - Reply

        I know! He was so happy and optimistic before the attack. If he was infected, and I think he was, he is hiding it, but I got the feeling that he was doing so to spare the group. They had just gotten back together, and were celebrating. He has grown so much as a character since we first met him. Then his death wouldn’t have been a big loss to the group or even himself (or the audience), but now his loss is going to devastate them.

  3. cbigger October 19, 2014 at 10:25 pm - Reply

    So hard to talk about this episode without giving away too much . Gotta say it looks like we are in for one heck of a ride

  4. imsheldon October 19, 2014 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    “Honestly, I came here to have a good time, but I just feel so attacked right now.” The walking dead is doing an astounding job with Season 5. I was not expecting that ending, it’s like Bob’s burger, bob’s buffet, Bob’s etc. I was also expecting Beth to pop up but guess I’ll have to wait for that. Hopefully the same situation that happened to Sophie doesn’t have to Beth.

  5. cbigger October 19, 2014 at 10:40 pm - Reply

    Can’t wait to find out about Beth

  6. ib2n10se4u October 19, 2014 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    Those walkers were Da Bomb!
    I hope Gareth has Michonne’s katana. Seeing her without it is like having cornflakes without milk.

  7. lisama October 19, 2014 at 11:38 pm - Reply

    I thought the allusion to the quest of the Jewish people to the promised land through the children’s drawings was both clever and ominous. Abraham (certainly a significant name in the Abrahamic religions) or Rick may be toast if we assume one of them is to fill the role of Moses leading God’s chosen to the Promised Land, though it may be a stretch to compare Washington DC to the land of milk and honey. Post zombie Washington may be an improvement though. I have no doubt that a zombified Congress and White House would accomplish more than they do in their current situation.

  8. carlyyougoonie October 19, 2014 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    Oh my god, how can we keep this comic spoiler free!? Brian make us a separate thread please! I’m bursting at the seams to discuss comic specifics

  9. carlyyougoonie October 20, 2014 at 12:31 am - Reply

    If there’s anyone that can save Beth it’s Car-yl! I almost feel sorry for whoever it is that has her. Their day of reckoning (and probably a sloppy, juicy Carol-Daryl-Beth-love-sandwich) is COMING. Uh huh, that’s exactly what I mean.

  10. djg21333 October 20, 2014 at 2:08 am - Reply

    Man this was a kick ass episode, season is starting out great! Love how they are now doing the fear the hunters story line. One thing I find funny is all the people on fb that seem to watch the show but dont read the comic and come up with all these whacked out ideas about whats gonna happen. Awesome show and kick ass comic!!

  11. carlyyougoonie October 20, 2014 at 2:37 am - Reply

    I bet Bob could really use a drink about now…

  12. Nate Wilder October 20, 2014 at 3:25 am - Reply

    My biggest complaint about this episode is that Daryl didn’t just use the damn night scope they have when he thought he heard someone.

    Other than that, spectacular episode. Really how the slower episodes should be.

  13. Detroit_Rox October 20, 2014 at 9:51 am - Reply

    Wow. It is so great to see these episodes that basically jumped off the pages of the comic and onto the screen (with some slight changes). I love everything that is going on right now. The season is starting out on such a high. Hopefully the momentum can be maintained going forward. Great job.

  14. mrjwhit October 20, 2014 at 11:15 am - Reply

    Nagen and the Saviors attacked Terminus before. They’re rolling around in cars with a cross in the window. Maybe found a car club or a just a bunch of cars with that logo. The Cemetery was their supply place. Daryle and Carol are going to meet him and get Beth. Not sure who’ll meet their demise there.

  15. mrjwhit October 20, 2014 at 11:17 am - Reply

    Why are they making Tyrese so soft? He didn’t kill the guy in the cabin? Maybe he lead the Hunters to the group on on their trail? What’s up with him being the designated baby sitter? Not a good look at all.

  16. miked72795 October 20, 2014 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    Cheers to the survivors! “Each and every one of you has earned that title. To the survivors!”
    Really love how the show is coming back around to the comics but with the little twists here and there. I’ve been calling it that Bob would [spoiler removed] especially after seeing how happy he was this episode, once you start giving those background characters a lot of lines you know things can’t be good. I don’t really want to see Bob die but I wonder if they will do the whole peg leg thing again? Also I’ve been telling all my friends that I don’t think Tyreese killed that guy and he didn’t! I really loved Tyreese in the comics but in the show he is, for lack of a better word, a pussy. I really hope they give Tyreese a more interesting arc soon but I hope he is not a traitor

  17. dgncollins October 20, 2014 at 7:43 pm - Reply

    The most beautiful moment of the episode was when Bob and I simulatenously wept. Him, in the woods, out of pure sadness for secret reasons. Me, on my living room floor, out of pure joy for realizing my comic dreams of [spoiler removed] are coming to glorious fruition.

  18. mrjwhit October 20, 2014 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    What did Bob do specifically to make Gareth say he had done this to them (Terminus) and that it was some kind of cosmic justice that it was him they captured? Is there any possible back story there? Maybe Bob lead the survivors to Terminus on purpose? Maybe he was marking the trees? Remember that one tree wasn’t complete when Bob got knocked over the head. Plot twist.

  19. GovernorPhillip October 21, 2014 at 3:24 am - Reply

    “Strangers” was a great episode and a great way to kick off the introduction of Father Gabriel as well as the Hunters! Seth Gilliam did an amazing job portraying the lying, cowardly priest and Andrew West once again made sure that we continued to despise him as he continued to feast on the living. The show’s ending was phenomenal! It was the perfect way to end it and it was a great homage to the comic. I can’t wait to see what happens to Rick and the gang next! If I could give Rick one piece of advice it would be “Always watch your back. You never know if something or someone is about to pounce!”

  20. Agenta521 October 22, 2014 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    I believe that perhaps when Bob was pulled underwater by that Walker, he was scratched, not bit. The Walker that grabbed a hold of him was very much skeleton like and around the hand/arm it was just bone.
    We still don’t know how long it takes for it to spread if someone is scratched. Big Tiny got scratched in season 3, but Tomas killed him not even minutes later.
    I think that the Walker scratched him, it hadn’t had time to spread to the rest of his body, and when gareth and hunters chopped it off, they just saw a scratch (not thinking much of it, or just didn’t think it was from a Walker) and cooked the leg and ate it, causing Bob to be Walker disease free, but the hunters still ate the infected foot and are all eating tainted meat, just like in the comics. But this time with a little twist to the story.
    I really have a feeling this could be what happened but I also feel like this could just be totally wrong and Bob’s a goner. But after finally finding love and a stable group, and for heavens sake, loosing his leg, I think he deserves to live on for a bit longer.

  21. acornsmasher October 22, 2014 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    This episode was really good. I liked the actor that plays Father Gabriel because he’s good at it. I don’t trust Father Gabriel though because he’s definitely hiding something and I feel he has something to do with Beth. I’m excited to see the next episode! Also I hope we see Morgan soon.

  22. hamrhead45 October 23, 2014 at 2:33 am - Reply

    I’m wondering if Tryeese will get another opportunity to finish off the a**hole from the shack. I think it would be great for Tyreese to see what him not being through in killing someone who needed to die caused, that guy had info. that needed to die with him, and that would have been one less group member for the hunters.

  23. hamrhead45 October 23, 2014 at 2:43 am - Reply

    Also the guy from the shack was security for the terminians and had a particular skill set, he would have been a key loss for them now that they r hunting. I think he was the one that got Bob. We don’t know who survived the fall of terminus on the hunters side, and what type of roles they had. Clearly Gareth is meticulous enough to delegate his people to the roles that they r most effective at, with that said the less security people for the hunter’s, the better for Rick’s people, which are my people.

  24. hamrhead45 October 23, 2014 at 2:55 am - Reply

    Here’s what I think about Bob being actively infected, he’s outside crying for a reason, why would that be? things seem to B going good for him at this point. I think he is sure he is done for, and since no one has experienced someone turning do to a scratch it doesn’t seem definitive that being scratched would doom you, so I think he was bit and the hunters being out of their environment got sloppy and did not check Bob for bites. He is fully dressed and missing his leg so there’s that. It will be interesting to see if the hunters get sick or get distracted and turn their back on Bob zombie.

  25. Chestplates420 October 24, 2014 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    Great Episode all the way through! I really really enjoyed that last scene so perfectly done for the T.V show. I just hope next week or this sunday’s episode will contain a “TAINTED MEAT” homage to Dale in the Comics. Other wise some other big comic points i would like to mention are these-my favorite was when Rick is talking to Carl in the church telling him “You are not safe” These lines are directly quoted from the comic if nobody noticed that absolutely torn straight from the pages, and i really really love that part i always felt like it was this “turning point” for Rick and Carl’s relationship in the comic book and i also really loved the added lines Carl got which are not in the comic at all, where he says that they are strong enough to help other people and survive how they have been. All really good stuff not to mention Father Gabriel’s first appearance. Now if they don’t kill him off too quickly he could end up being a very essential part of the group as the symbolic representation of Faith and Hope and possibly the shows moral compass. However he is for sure hiding something and depending on how bad this thing is that he did it could wipe any hope of him being the moral compass, because lets face it Carl with the compassion hat is really all this group needs Morality wise…He will keep them in check. That’s the 2nd time we’ve seen Carl risk his own safety to go after somebody who needed his help. Hats off to Carl Grimes in this episode for that and for truly believing that not ALL people in this world can be bad….Right???? Much Love Skybound and AMC much love. Sincerely your fav walker stalker….Jake 🙂 talk to you guys on Sunday or Monday morn right after the new episode…”4 Walls and A Roof” ahhh cant wait.

  26. GovernorPhillip October 27, 2014 at 4:01 am - Reply
  27. Chestplates420 October 27, 2014 at 4:04 pm - Reply

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