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Episode 505: Self-Help – Recap and Discussion

Who does Daryl meet in the woods?! Is Carol ok?! What’s up with the Grady Bunch? All of these questions and more will be answered… after tonight’s episode. Tonight we spend some time with Abraham and his crew, so let’s get to it.

The group travels down the road as the topic of haircuts comes up. Eugene watches Rosita and Abraham flirt with a real stink eye. He’s sulking a bit after the events at the church.

Maggie asks Eugene how long it will take to fix everything once he gets to DC. He spouts a lot of seemingly scientific jargon. To which Glenn asks, “Why the hair?” “Because I like it.”

As the bus goes around a group of walkers the engine blows, the bus veers out of control, and it flips onto its side. As the walkers approach we hit the credits.

Post-credits it’s time for a flashback. Abraham is beating a man to death with a soup can. He steps on his throat and finishes the job when he’s done. The camera pans up to reveal three other men, all dead.

Back to now, the group is beat up inside the bus. Abraham yells for Eugene. Everyone’s ok. Abraham and Glenn lead the charge out of the bus into the walkers. Eugene stays behind and Tara saves his life when a walker breaks through a window (and spills its guts when the broken glass cuts his stomach open, which is awesome). Tara hands Eugene a knife and he stumbles out and watches in a daze at the killing around him. Tara saves him one more time before he in turn helps her.

When the fighting clears, Abraham orders Rosita to check Eugene, even though he insists he’s fine. Abraham is obsessed with keeping Eugene safe.

Abraham’s knuckles have started bleeding, a recurring injury that won’t heal.

Eugene wants to head back to the church. Abraham is insistent that they continue toward DC, no matter how hard the trip. He’s close to coming unhinged. Glenn checks him and calms him down and they continue.

Back to Abraham’s past. He stumbles through an office, calling for his wife. She stands up with their two kids, looking very shaky.

Back to the present, the group takes shelter in a book store and makes it secure. Eugene uses a battery to make a fire, so he’s not without value. Maggie pulls a string from a book binding and Rosita uses it to stitch Abraham’s hand.

Abraham and Glenn stand watch. Abe thanks Glenn for coming with them, saying he knows he could have taken off. And then he says that only the strong are left alive at this point.

Abraham goes to bed and he and Rosita get intimate (really intimate). Rosita points out that Eugene is watching from the self-help section (get it?!). Real pervert. Tara catches him. He admits to watching and makes some excuses. When Tara thanks him for saving her, he admits to sabotaging the bus by putting crushed glass in the fuel line. It wasn’t supposed to blow the engine though. He won’t tell Tara why he did it, but that he’s worried about his value if he can’t cure the disease. Tara agrees to keep his secret. After he walks off, Tara takes a peak at Rosita and Abe as well.

We’re back to Abraham’s flashback. His wife is terrified of what he did to those men. He’s in shock. He looks at his bloody hand and understands her fear. “It’s ok,” he says.

The next day Rosita bandages Abe’s hand and suggests they stay put for the day to recover. Abraham is not interested. When Maggie and Glenn come in and suggest staying for the day, Rosita tells them that they’re moving on. She has Abe’s back.

They head across the street for the fire truck parked there. Engine looks good but it craps out just after starting. Clogged air intake. Clogged with what? Walker guts. The truck gets just far enough to unblock a door it had been backed up against. Uh oh.

Walkers come out in a droves from the building. There are a lot of them and the group is getting surrounded. Just when they’re about to be overwhelmed Eugene turns on the fire hose from the top of the truck. The high power spray destroys the walkers. Abraham is pretty pleased (and slightly manic).

Abe climbs up to the intake to clear it out, cracking up as he looks down at Eugene’s handiwork.

We see more of Abraham’s past. He wakes up to find his wife and kids gone. There’s a note: DON’T TRY TO FIND US.

Back in the present the group is back on the road but the truck has broken down. Abraham hums as he works on it. Eugene reads HG Wells’ The Shape of Things to Come. Maggie tells Eugene she thinks he rocks the mullet to throw people off, that he’s different than the other scientists he worked with that maybe gave up. She tells him about Samson’s Riddle. Before she can get to her point, a stench hits them.

Abe wants to continue on foot. Before long they come over a rise and see a veritable army of walkers in the distance. Glenn starts to walk away but Abraham refuses. Everyone argues with him. He keeps making excuses. Rosita finally sides against him in public. He marches back, grabs Eugene and continues toward the truck. When they try to stop him he starts shoving everyone, including Rosita and Tara. Just as he’s about to come to blows with Glenn, Eugene erupts:


This brings the group to a halt. Eugene finally comes clean in the moment comic fans have been waiting for. Stunned silence greets his admission. Smarter than most and a good liar, Eugene knew that DC was the best chance for survival, so he tricked people into helping him.

Abraham reacts calmly. And by that I mean he hits Eugene so hard that he face plants into the pavement. It looks and sounds awful. They stop Abraham, Rosita ready to draw her gun. Abe looks down at his fist, knuckles once again bleeding. With Eugene probably concussed and unresponsive, Abraham walks away and falls to his knees, crying.

Back to Abraham’s flashback, we see him at the end of his rope. He rips his dog tags off and throws them. He pulls his sidearm and puts it in his mouth but just then Eugene come stumbling toward him, walkers in tow, crying for help. Abe makes quick work of them, walks off, and then Eugene says, “I have a very important mission.”

So the Euge dropped his bomb on the crew! What happens to him now? Once he shakes off that knock out punch and the concrete sandwich he ate right after will the group accept him or what? How does he earn their trust back? What happens to Abe now? He was suicidal when Eugene gave him a purpose. What happens with that purpose gone?

  1. Neutral-Grey November 9, 2014 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    Eugene went down like a sack of God damned potatoes.

  2. BillyHo November 9, 2014 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    Eugene’s balls finally drop and then he gets his ass handed to him. I am pretty sure he is going to have some conflicting emotions on his personal growth if he wakes up?
    Note Eugene looks like he is in need of some serious medical attention… now I wonder where the nearest hospital might be on the map? Hhhhmmmm…

  3. BillyHo November 9, 2014 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    “Tara takes a peak at Rosita and Eugene as well.” – did you mean Abraham? Or did Eugene quickly jump in on the action and I missed it?ha

  4. jmoore711b November 9, 2014 at 10:06 pm - Reply

    Great episode. Love Abraham. I wish he had explained a bit more in the show about what happened in the flashbacks. Comic readers know the story but it was weird that he would spell it out on “Talking Dead” but not expand a little on it in the show. I thought it would come when he was talking to Glenn at night. Anyway, fantastic.

    Now what for these guys? Hmmmm

  5. .BASTET November 10, 2014 at 1:43 am - Reply

    Abraham Beatdown Ford! I don’t think I ever looked forward to seeing a TKO more!

  6. GovernorPhillip November 10, 2014 at 3:29 am - Reply

    Tonight’s episode was great. The flashbacks to Abraham’s past were small but provided enough information to provide a general picture. Eugene was his usual annoying self. And then there is the truth bomb. I knew it was coming but I still couldn’t help but think “no way!”. Eugene deserved everything he got. Abraham risked his entire life to keep him alive. Keeping Eugene safe was the only thing left that was keeping him going.

    • seanmathews1 November 10, 2014 at 3:38 am - Reply

      I’ve been waiting so long for the non comic followers to find this out.

      • BillyHo November 10, 2014 at 4:22 am - Reply

        As one of the many non-comic followers… it was obvious the moment he spoke that he was full of crap. So we knew it from the start. Not sure how the comic told the lie, but the TV show made it seem like it wasn’t even a secret and everyone was in denial in an obvious ruse for him to protect himself. Really… i can’t picture anyone having even an inkling that his story was believable?

    • RandomDicussion November 10, 2014 at 2:34 pm - Reply

      I actually disagree, Eugene may be annoying but he did actually safe Abraham at the start. He stopped him committing suicide and gave him a purpose. He is a coward but I think if he wakes up he will prove a useful aspect to the group in terms of logic. They need to just train him up a bit to man up and kill the walkers

  7. seanmathews1 November 10, 2014 at 3:37 am - Reply

    That scene at the end where Eugene finally spilled his secrets reminded me of the scene in Saving Private Ryan. They had just released the German prisoner and were fighting when all of a sudden Tom Hanks (CPT Miller) Blurts out he was a school teacher and everyone just stops. Don’t know why it made me think of that, but I guess it was pretty similar how it went down.

  8. .BASTET November 10, 2014 at 3:56 am - Reply
  9. marcy58 November 10, 2014 at 4:25 am - Reply

    I was not expecting Eugene to spill the beans this soon. I believe most fans like my son and I knew from the beginning that Eugene was lying. I personally think Abraham should have killed him. Eugene has caused people to die and caused so many problems. When they go back to the church I hope Rick banishes him from the group. He deserves it. He of no use to the group. He can’t even kill a walker. Such a coward and a pussy!

    • BillyHo November 10, 2014 at 5:25 am - Reply

      If it wasn’t for Eugene then Glen and Tara would be dead in the tunnel. He has a good heart and cares about others. He just doesn’t know how to take care of himself in this new world and had to quickly come up with a reason for others to take care of him.
      And Abe also would have bitten a bullet if Eugene had not given him a purpose to live. I understand his anguish over the entire situation… but this is a screwed up world now and he has at the least found a woman willing to follow him and a reason to go on living.
      And the people that did die didn’t die directly from him or his mission. They died in a world that would have taken lives anyways at some point.
      The biggest thing he has to bring to the group is humanity. The need for them to continue looking out for those that find it difficult to be able to look out for themselves. His intentions aren’t evil. And once he gets the hang of defending himself and protecting the group then he might turn out to be as much a new character as Carol became?
      Either that or he kills everyone in their sleep? ha

  10. marcy58 November 10, 2014 at 4:33 am - Reply

    Plus I feel so sorry for Abraham! He has lost what was keeping him going. I just really hate Eugene. What a useless piece of skin!

  11. marcy58 November 10, 2014 at 4:34 am - Reply

    Plus I feel so sorry for Abraham! He has lost what was keeping him going.

  12. Drewnasty November 10, 2014 at 9:59 am - Reply

    he pacing of this show is absolutely killing me. Is spending 3 episodes away from the main group necessary? Doing singular episodes on small groups has to be the dumbest thing in this show’s history. Of course I want to see them sitting in a library boiling toilet water and bullshitting about the theme of the episode for a half hour. There has been zero plot progression. Absolutely nothing has happened. It seems if the writers got really lazy and didn’t have anything creative to think of to fill in the gaps between places. These 3 episodes (including the solo Daryl and Carol episode next week) could have all been weaved together to keep plot moving forward. GOT has double the amount of characters and what it does well is jump from group to group or person to person and keeps people interested. I have loved this show since day one, but I really think TWD has hit an all time low. I can forgive the earlier seasons while it was trying to find it’s footing, but after the season 5 premiere (in my opinion the best episode in the series) it has been such a disappointment.

    • .BASTET November 10, 2014 at 10:07 am - Reply

      Opposite Day! Cool! I HATE The Walking Dead!!

      • Drewnasty November 10, 2014 at 12:02 pm - Reply

        Not saying that I hate the show at all, but in my opinion last night’s episode was abysmal. It is frustrating to have 3 straight character episodes while being left on 2 separate cliff hangers. Nothing has happened! There is no reason that they couldn’t jump from group to group. Having solo episodes halts the plot completely. You are obviously free to have your own opinion but I am not just trolling.

        • BillyHo November 10, 2014 at 12:34 pm - Reply

          “Nothing has happened!”…? I am clueless as to how you thought nothing has happened? 5th show and 5 major things have happened.
          1st: well duh… they escape terminus in a big way!
          2nd: They meet up with a new character at the church, termites show up and bob loses a leg!
          3rd: Termites die ib a big way, Bob dies, Daryl and Carol go chasing a vehicle that might lead to Beth… the group splits up, Daryl comes back… cliff hanger who is with him?
          4th: Beth!!!! We finally find out what happened to her! We get new characters!! Beth is a bad ass! cliff hanger Carol is wheeled into hospital unconscious!
          5th: Finally backstory on Abe! Eugen’s balls drop!!!!! Biggest herd of Walkers we have ever seen! Eugene comes clean on his big lie… Abe is devastated. Eugene is beaten badly! What is going to happen to them now??? Did I tell Eugene tells everyone he lied!!!!!!!!!!!????

          What do you mean nothing has happened?

        • .BASTET November 10, 2014 at 12:54 pm - Reply

          Seriously, I do respect your opinion, Drewnasty; I’m never gonna be one to tag any opinion as right or wrong, including (especially) my own. I was just so blown away by yours because my reaction has been totally & extremely the opposite & yours is the 1st I’ve seen that has reflected so much disappointment! The premiere was OFF THE CHAIN & I feel the season has been hitting its mark, nonstop. I see nothing but plot progression with action in every episode this season so far & cliffhangers to die for. Yes, 505 did have its quiet time, but we need the quiet moments of boiling toilet water, of man-to-man talks, of joking, of connecting on a more personal level, of having sex, etc. because that’s what people would be doing. It’s realistic. It also makes the more action-packed scenes/episodes more powerful. I hate the split of the group but I don’t feel it’s gonna last long at all & it will certainly serve a purpose. And as for the “solo” eps, as you call them, sometimes it helps to hone in on a character (or pair) so that their dynamic is more pronounced when they’re all together. I think the show established its foothold long before a lot of people give it credit for doing so & has fine-tuned its quality on a steady basis . The production crew is KILLING it this season… I just can’t see how anyone could disagree!!

    • carlyyougoonie November 11, 2014 at 5:51 pm - Reply

      Anytime I hear someone complain about the character development episodes I am totally baffled. This is exactly what makes the show so compelling.

      I seriously love that we have gone three episodes and still have no clue what the fuck happened with Carol and Daryl. These are the kinds of episodes that drive a lot of discussion and debate–and since they have no basis in the comics it is a huge teaser for every fan, not just the non-comic fans. I fucking love that.
      -Basically, everything you are hating is what is making me absolutely love this season. Cheers!

  13. Ghetto Gator November 10, 2014 at 11:03 am - Reply

    I thought last week’s The Walking Dead episode with Beth was step down in my opinion, but after seeing this episode..I thought it was one of the best episodes yet. I loved Abraham’s and Eugene’s performances the most, along with the long awaited by comic fans Eugene’s lie revealed. I thought Abraham’s flashbacks were good too, but I’m curious to see if he will talk with Rick about it like he did in the comics.

  14. RandomDicussion November 10, 2014 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    Literally one of the best episodes, didn’t want it to end. Am I the only one who’s heart maggie and Glenn tugs on? Missing the old group though, hopefully they will reunite soon. Although I’ve heard Beth’s going to die. That sucks, but what sucks more is its the mid season finale soon. I’m literally going to be lost without it on my Monday’s!

  15. Vegaiti November 10, 2014 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    I do not know what to say, last year story line after the prision was so slow, this year is being faster so far ( a chapter is not an issue but is not a volume either) This chapter was very good and I really love the new way to kill the deads with the water, nothing like that in the comics. I was shock first time I knew about Eugene and I feel so sad about abraham, get this feelings back after the comics with the tv series is nearly impossible but I quite enjoy with the surprises and the small little details that make both different, being the same.

  16. samM November 10, 2014 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    The big thing I got out of this episode is how life can be based on a huge series of small coincidences. Morgan and Duane walked past at the exact time Rick was stumbling around… Glenn saw Rick go into the tank in Atlanta, and he happened to have a radio on him… Daryl and Carol were outside at the exact time that a Grady hospital car drove past… Eugene stumbled upon Abraham seconds before he was about to kill himself… I don’t know why I thought of all this just now, but I find it very interesting… What was the likelihood that Rick would ever find Lori and Carl ever again? VERY, VERY unlikely, but it happened… Real life works the same way also. (Although, I am such an addict to this series that my real life is synonymous with TWD)

  17. carlyyougoonie November 11, 2014 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    I know it’s already been said above, but I do really wish they had shown more of the Abraham backstory. Hoping for a juicy deleted scene on the BluRay.

  18. Carnuck D zombie stomper November 12, 2014 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    They really need a better vehicle. I mean, c’mon! No-one else is driving the big rigs. Why not grab one of those? Gas is pretty much dead by now and diesel has a couple years left. Go in style with a military rig like the Landmaster from Damnation Alley.

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