This weeks The Walking Dead, “Four Walls and a Roof”, wastes no time getting to the meat of the story as we start right where we left off last week, with Gareth and the Terminus cannibals feasting on Bob. They are a twisted bunch, casually chomping on our eternal optimist, but Bob has some bad news for them, and a war seems about to erupt.

walking-dead-gareth-5.3Tainted Meat | Gareth and his entire gang are severely broken. He continues to stress how they were the good guys, that is until they were forced into this life simply to survive. Yet, when he tells Bob that “it wasn’t just a trap, it was a choice. Join us or feed us,” he makes it clear they did have a choice. It’s probably better to be eaten than travel the path of Terminus.

And that might have been a better choice when feasting on Bob, because he starts laughing hysterically. Gareth doesn’t take well to Bob’s laughing while he’s trying to spout his pearls of cannibalistic wisdom. But Bob shuts everyone up when he reveals what they’ve been chomping on.

“You idiots. I’ve been bitten you stupid pricks. I’m tainted meat! Tainted meat. You eatin’ tainted meat!”

The Terminus crew justifiably starts to freak out, puking and spitting food on the ground as Bob continues to laugh. Gareth has been almost psychotically calm through the events of the last few weeks, but it seems that things might be coming to a head between Rick and the group and Terminus.

I Always Lock the Doors | Back at the chapel they have realized Bob’s disappearance, as well as Daryl and Carol. They know that someone has been watching them and Sasha wants to know what Gabrielle has to do with the disappearances. Rick is on-board as well and drills the kind preacher on what he’s done, what sins he’s committed and what will he burn for, as seen scratched on the outside of the chapel.

Gabriel-The-Walking-Dead-Four-Walls-and-a-RoofGabrielle breaks down. His sins are weighing on him. During the opening days of the outbreak his parishioners came to the chapel looking for safety. The doors were locked, as usual, and Gabrielle would not open the doors for them. Their screams brought the walkers and he simply listened, doors locked, as entire families were torn apart begging for mercy. Gabrielle sees himself as damned to hell for his actions, yet continuously tries to justify his inaction with “I always lock the doors … I always lock the doors…,” as if following this simple rule abdicated him from any responsibility.

What he has actually done, by barring the doors and refusing entrance to the suffering masses is end the sanctity of the church itself. When Rick and company bring darkness before the altar later in the episode, it changes little since Gabrielle has already desecrated that hallowed land. God is leaving because of choices made, at a literal church like Gabrielle or within the cult of the cannibals at Terminus.

Bob Ain’t Dead Yet | But the tentative hold on humanity that Rick and crew still have is quickly tested when they hear a scream from outside the chapel. Sasha runs out to find Bob, lying in the grass with his one remaining leg. They quickly bring him inside as someone shoots from the trees. It is clear that these two groups are coming to a head sooner rather than later. Gareth knows Rick’s group has holed up at the chapel and Rick knows where the school is that the Terminus crew was holding Bob.

Bob quickly explains what happened to him, and begs off using any medicine on him. The chapel fell silent when Bob shows the walker bite he got while at the food bank. He hasn’t been with us all that long, but the crew takes his fate pretty hard.

Reality Check | But for Abraham, this attack is time for a “reality check.” He wants to head out immediately, in the dark. It is time to extract Eugene. This seems like a ridiculous plan, especially in the middle of the night, and even Eugene doesn’t want to go. Abraham insists on taking the newly repaired bus and we finally get a straight up confrontation between he and Rick.

walking-dead-5.3-abrahamIn comes the heavy staring contest, because Rick will not let him take the bus. Abraham is ready for him to try and stop him. Luckily for both of them, but not for Maggie, Glenn steps in. He is through with all the fighting and tries to make the peace. But Abraham is adamant about leaving, and Rick will not leave without Carol and Daryl.

Glenn finally breaks the stalemate by offering he and Maggie to join Abraham on the trip to DC in the morning if he will stay and help take out the terminus gang. Tara tried this same offer, but Abraham wants Glenn and Maggie. It seems that Maggie is fine with this plan. Does she remember Beth? It has actually been odd how Maggie hasn’t mentioned her missing sister at all, especially since we know that Daryl and Carol are chasing after her captors as this is happening.

That’s a Big Play | If they are going to stick around and wait for Daryl and Carol they are going to have to take care of the Terminus gang. In the chapel they talk about a plan, Rosita calling it a “big play.” Rick states that they know where Gareth is holed up and they need to end this now. They seemingly take off towards the school leaving behind a small group at the chapel.

Gareth’s group is not into subtlety and we see them walking slowly up the path towards the chapel. They walk in calmly, searching around. Gareth calls out to whomever is hiding in the church, saying that he watched Rick and the others leave with most of the guns. Two doors are locked and he continues to taunt them, calling them by name. He knows exactly who is there: Eugene, Rosita, Tyrese, Carl, Judith and the preacher.

Carl is clearly ready for whatever happens, his gun pointed at the door, while the preacher huddles in the corner. But it isn’t long before Judith begins to cry and Gareth knows which door they are behind.

walking-dead-5.3-michoneBut before they can do anything, the quick bursts of a silencer come out of the darkness and the Terminus thugs scream, falling to the floor. Out comes Rick Grimes and his gang of very angry survivors. You do not go about eating the legs of people and expect their friends to treat you well. No, in fact Rick doesn’t want to hear what Gareth has to say at all. He has heard him over and over again say how all this isn’t personal. Gareth would do this to anybody, and that just isn’t OK with Rick Grimes, nor his compatriots.

Rick, Michone, Sasha, and Abraham. They were the butchers in the chapel as the Terminus crew came to a final end. With a level of brutality that seemed to trouble most everyone, the four didn’t waste any bullets and simply crushed their skulls, or in Rick’s case, used the machete he promised Gareth he would kill him with when they were both at Terminus.

It’s unclear if this brutality is any kind of turning point. We have seen Rick skirt this line and fall over it a number of times. Just last week Michone seemed happy and spoke about not missing her lost sword, and the dark times it represented. Now she has that sword back, and last weeks small moments of hope seem to be dying. A sliver still remains with Eugene, but over and over again it seems like they can’t go back. Bob kept saying that one day the nightmare would be over, but I think the lesson is actually that it will never be over and they need to find a way to keep their humanity amongst the hell.

Or as Maggie responds when Gabriel mentions the violence in the Lord’s House, “No, it’s just four walls and a roof.” There is no going back, the Lord’s House has already been desecrated as has the entire world.

The Wisdom of Bob | In his final breaths, Bob continued his optimism. He speaks to Rick and thanks him for taking him in. Before the prison, Bob wasn’t sure any good people were left. But Rick proved him wrong,

“You took me in, because you took people in.”

walking-dead-bobThat is how Rick was able to save someone like Bob, because he simply took “people” in. Rick believed people could be good and welcomed Bob in. The terminus people learned the opposite. Gareth was focused on not letting people in and closing ranks. Is Rick going the way of the shepard or the wolf? It remains open, as Rick doesn’t hear Bob’s wise words, We see Bob awaken from a dream with Sasha next to him. Does this mean Rick doesn’t get the message? Let’s hope he does, as Bob says,

“Nightmares end .. they shouldn’t end Who you are … and that is just this dead mans opinion.”

Is Splitting Up Ever Good? | We close out with Abraham taking off to DC with Glenn and Maggie. Michone and others promise they will follow as soon as they find Daryl and Carol, which seems to be sooner rather than later. Michone is watching guard that night and hears a noise in the woods. Venturing out to investigate she sees Daryl, coming out of the woods. He looks haggard, and when Michone asks where Carol is he says “Come on out …” before we cut to black.

Next Week | It looks like we will finally get the story of Beth next week.

Walkerbits |

  • Has everyone forgot about Beth? Maggie hasn’t mentioned her at all, and then took off to DC without her. Nice job instilling the family values Herschel.
  • Did they really need Abraham to take out Terminus? They lured them into the chapel and took them all out with just four people. Anyone could have replaced Abraham and the plan would have worked fine.
  • Gareth talking about how women taste better than men was disturbing, and I wonder what the terminus women thought about this.
  • “Tainted meat – You eatin’ tained meat!”
  • “I always lock the doors.”
  • Glenn never really asked Maggie if she was OK with being offered up for the DC trip so Abraham would stay. Hey Glenn, that seems a big decision to make solo.
  • Carl was ready stead and the most well prepared of the trapped chapel crew.
  • Eugene looked even weaker this episode, surrounded by all the danger. Abraham is going to go ballistic when this DC plan falls apart.
  • “Sorry I was an asshole.”