Quote of the week: “Nightmares end, they shouldn’t change who you are.” – Bob
So far every episode of The Walking Dead’s fifth season has been an action-packed and emotionally charged spectacle, and ‘Four Walls and a Roof’ is no exception. Last week’s episode ended with Gareth and his pack of cannibalistic ‘Hunters’ snacking on Bob’s leg whilst they taunted him about it, saying: “at the end of the day, a man’s gotta eat”. However, this week Bob has a surprise in store for them: he’s “tainted meat”.
Just as many fans had speculated, Bob had been bitten during the raid of the food bank. Sadly, this means that his fate is sealed and in true The Walking Dead fashion, just when a character is getting some much needed development they are swiftly taken away from us. This kind of stylistic foreshadowing is rather frustrating; however, in this case Bob’s death does allow for some fantastic poetic justice to be done unto the Hunters. Strangely, Bob then returned to the group in what is probably an attempt to psyche them out, which, as well as serving to inform them of the Hunters’ existence, allowed for an emotional goodbye at the end.
Now that it’s clear that they are being targeted, the the two alpha males of the group – Rick and Abraham – finally come to blows. Abraham’s chief concern is getting Eugene to Washington safely so that he can find the cure and rid the world of the Walkers, and he wants to leave immediately as it is no longer safe for Eugene to be at the Church. But Rick refuses to leave because Daryl and Carol are still missing. Having both taken the role of leader before the events of Terminus, they are both used to getting their own way, but now the group dynamic is different and it is clearly going to be difficult for them to adjust.
However, the threat of the Hunters isn’t just going away and Glenn convinces Abraham to stay and help the group fight them on the grounds that he, Maggie and Tara will go with him to Washington. This results in the final face-off between the two groups. Rick, Abraham, and some others leave to supposedly to hunt Gareth down. In the meantime, the Hunters think they have the rest of the group trapped in the back of the Church, but this was all a part of Rick’s plan, and he forces them into submission. Gareth pleads for his life, promising that they “will never cross paths again” but Rick says he has already made him a promise, revealing his machete with the red handle mentioned in the season premiere.
Having only been introduced towards the end of Season 4 it feels like the Terminus/Hunters antagonists haven’t been around very long and that their demise is somewhat premature, especially since The Walking Dead usually has a tendency to drag storylines out – Season 2, I’m looking at you. However, they have provided us with some of the best episodes to date and Andrew J. West has done a fantastic job of making Gareth so perfectly hateable. The way he spoke in a false rational way whilst maintaining a cruel, mocking undertone was fantastic and the way that his character was developed made this ending particularly enjoyable.
The episode ends with Abraham’s group leaving for Washington whilst Rick and the others wait for Daryl and Carol’s return, when they intend to follow them. It is slightly frustrating that the group is already splitting up after the second half of Season 4 essentially being about them trying to reconnect, but hopefully it won’t be long until they do so again. Then, following this we see Daryl returning to the Church with a supposedly concealed Carol. Next week promises to tell us about what has happened to them in their search for Beth and leaves us with plenty of questions. Did they find Beth? Who had taken her? Why does Carol have to be hidden at the end of this episode?