The Walking Dead Recap: Nothing Personal

 Posted by on October 20, 2014 at 2:36 am  The Walking Dead
Oct 202014

imagesThis is a nightmare. Nightmares end. – Bob to Rick

If the world of walkers has its own rules, this must be one of them: Any day that starts well is going to end really, really badly. Another: That guy you don’t trust today isn’t necessarily the one who will hurt you tonight.

Rick and his reunited band of survivors are on the road again, in search of their next shelter from the undead. It’s a nice day, as post-zombie-apocalypse days go: Everyone’s together again, getting reacquainted, making amends where necessary.

I owe you everything. – Rick to Carol

As the survivors proceed — chatting, joking, refilling their water bottles — they hear cries for help, and find a priest trapped on a rock, surrounded by zombies.

I should mention here that Anne B World has rules too: Never, ever, ever, EVER trust a priest. It seems that Rick and his team leaders (Daryl, Carol, Glen, Carl) are in agreement with me here, because they latch on to the good father (“Gabriel”) and don’t let him out of their sight, fearing that he is something worse than he seems. Poor Father Gabriel ends up accompanying them everywhere — even on a nasty errand to the flooded food bank near his church.

A word on that church: It is PRISTINE. There is not so much as a pane of stained glass broken in the entire place; even the children’s drawings on the wall look new. (If you have kids’ art in your home, you know how unusual this is.)

None of this does Father Gabriel any favors with his new neighbors. When Carl shows his dad the message he found scratched into the outside wall of the church, it really doesn’t bode well for the good father:


But Carl and Rick are wrong about this. I am too, matter of fact: because while I’m busy waiting for the hapless priest to make a false move, someone is hiding outside the church, watching the survivors. And that watcher in the woods is the last person I wanted to see alive on this show: Terminus’s own General Plenipotentiary of the Butcher class, Gareth.

I hope you understand that nothing happening to you now is personal. At the end of the day, no matter how much we hate all this ugly business, a man’s gotta eat. … You taste much better than we thought you would. – Gareth to Bob

Gareth’s calm little fireside chat with Bob is horrific on many levels. First, he is ROASTING BOB’S AMPUTATED FOOT ON THE FIRE while he pontificates. Second, if it’s my foot you’re preparing to eat, it’s fucking personal to me. IT IS.

Third, and finally: People who use the phrase “At the end of the day” in reference to the lives and livelihoods of other human beings? Those people are assholes. This is true whether they’re picking off survivors of the apocalypse in Georgia or taking over Peoplesoft.

There’s nothing left in this world that isn’t hidden. – Glen

Our friend Glen is right, in the worst way. If Gareth and Ballcap Hayseed are down with staying hidden for a while, that means absolutely nothing good for the survivors. You can’t fight an enemy you can’t see. My only hope, at the end of this episode, is that Spidey-sense Carol smells the Terminus campfire and has lit out in search of it.

Before the Final Episode Thoughts: the poll!

A SMALL gathering of zombies is a:

  1. Stub
  2. Drag
  3. Yawn
  4. Spill
  5. ______ (weigh in below)

A LARGE gathering of zombies is a:

  1. Lurch
  2. Stagger
  3. Groan
  4. Swarm
  5. ______ (weigh in below)

Final Episode Thoughts:

  • Even if he’s not the worst news in the episode, Father Gabriel is not good news. “The word of God is the only protection I need! I called for help. Help came.” SNAP OUT OF IT, GABE.
  • I appreciate the Sergeant’s fidelity to his mission. He wants to get Eugene to Washington about as badly as anyone on TV has ever wanted anything. I’m just saying: there are killers out in the woods, the priest isn’t right in the head, and all you’re focused on is saving humanity?! Dial it back a bit, Red.

To the SURVAHHHVURRS … That all you wunna be? – Sergeant Abraham

  • WHY BOB? Is it another rule of the zombiepocalypse that any sweet-natured optimist who still happens to be alive must soon be tortured or killed? Because I HATE THAT RULE.
  • Once again, the survivors’ ace in the hole is Carol. She saved our friends’ lives last week, and her watchful silence warned us of the threat waiting outside the church walls. I believe she will find a way to warn Rick of the intruders — if she doesn’t slaughter Gareth and Hayseed with her own bare, badass hands first.

  15 Responses to “The Walking Dead Recap: Nothing Personal”

  1. I like a drag. I like swarm, Melissa likes herd.

    Melissa’s thought: We never have more than 2 black men. As soon as they introduced Gabriel, we knew either Bob or Tyrese would buy it. Then Bob gave a little speech: Everyone who finally gives a little speech always dies. Think T-Dog or Oscar.

    I think TLo are right; humanity wouldn’t actually resort to cannibalism so quickly; I like the “hunters” better as a small group of deviants than as a whole community. Still, you can’t deny it’s VERY EFFECTIVE HORROR HOLY SHIT.

    • This was exactly what I told my fellow watchers last night. “Poor Bob. He forgot the One-Brother Rule. Shame he has to die now.”

      By the way, all three of my fellow watchers think Bob got bit. I did not see it, however. My question for the vibrant throng of the living: Does eating the foot of a zombie-infected survivor have negative health effects for the diner?

      Even if the diner happens to be Minister in Charge of the Terminus Four-Year Plan?!

    • Could the whole Terminus experience take place over one and a half years?

  2. Two thoughts that nagged me while watching last night’s episode:

    First, at the risk of being a jerk, am I the only one who thinks having a baby in the group is an anchor on the storylines? I can’t see the writers actually killing that character off like Cormac McCarthy might in one of his novels. So, it always seems like just a matter of waiting out any threat to the baby. Of course, watch me be wrong this season! :).

    Second, why the hell is Bob walking around alone? Isn’t the group somewhat on alert over Gabriel’s suspicious behavior and some weird “we’re being watched” incidents? And anyways, even novice campers know about the buddy system. I once got drafted for a camping trip because they needed “an even number of people.”

    Yes, I realize it’s because Bob probably wouldn’t have been captured as easily otherwise. Still.

    Personally, I like “a throng of zombies” for ten or more.

    • But “throng” sounds so healthy. How about “rabble”?

      As I mention above, my family members insist that Bob got bit. And he was acting a little bitten, come to think of it: The faraway look in the eyes. The “one more kiss.” That’s the kind of moony stuff people do in the movies and on TV when they’re really sick and they don’t even know it yet.

      On the subject of Baby Asskicker: As an out-and-proud Baby Enthusiast, I appreciate the touch of adorable humanity little Judith brings to the story. (Ty’s attachment to her makes me like him more.) But I believe that her role on the survivor team is bigger than that. She is, literally, Hope.

      If they lose her? There goes Hope. I think few of us would really want to see that.

      • Yep, Bob got bit. Everything that followed the sneak attack by the underwater walker seemed to point to that. “Are you alright?” “I am now,” facial grimacing, slight limp, lingering kisses, leaving the group, touching headstones, crying alone in the dark . . . that’s a man who knows he’s history. And I believe he was just bending to look at his leg when he was ambushed. I had the exact same thought about them eating his tainted tootsies. It’s a long shot, but it certainly would be interesting if the amputation saved Bob and killed everyone who had a Bob kabob for dinner.

        Loved Judith’s “line” last night and seeing Carl and Rick with her. No messing with the baby.

        My nagging thought was all the clothing that was just hanging there at the food bank/shelter. Grab some fresh clothing for pete’s sake! They could have cleared the racks, piled everything on top of the bins of food and brought some clean shirts back for everyone. I kept thinking how awful Rick’s shirt must smell when Judith was snuggling against his chest.

        I like “drag” and “swarm.”

        • Same thought about the clothes. RICK! CHANGE THE T-SHIRT!

        • I thought Bob was bit, too. If Gareth and his group were killed by eating Bob’s leg, that would make his comment about “cosmic justice” ironic foreshadowing. At the time I just thought it underscored how he takes it for granted that he’s in the right, and that it was an outrage to destroy his friendly, neighborhood cannibal death-camp.

      • “But “throng” sounds so healthy.”

        Fair enough. As Simon Pegg said (more or less): “Being a zombie is an impediment, not a performance enhancement”

        “As I mention above, my family members insist that Bob got bit.”

        Come to think of it, that thought occurred to me too (that Bob was bitten under water). So yes, it would be ironic if the Terminus boys end up with food poisoning.

        “On the subject of Baby Asskicker…”

        We’ll have to agree to disagree. I don’t doubt that she represents “hope.” But the “tense” situations that crop up involving her, for me, only dredge up the same level of drama as the days when I’d had to buckle three baby seats in my car. :)

        • You have triplets? Or, I dunno, Irish triplets?

        • As to hope for the survival of the species in the zombie apocalypse, it would take a community of at least 200 people to prevent eventual extinction through sterility. They could probably arrange that with some effort (Not to sound like Dr .Strangelove.) But there’s always the title, of course….

  3. […] For recaps and reviews of Season 5, Episode 2, “Strangers,” check out A.V. Club, Basket of Kisses,, Entertainment Weekly, HitFix, The Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, MTV, New York […]

  4. A SMALL gathering of zombies is:
    5. a departmental compliance meeting.

    A LARGE gathering of zombies is:
    5. the line for meatballs on a toothpick at COSTCO.

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