This was my first question of episode 4. Understand: I live in San Francisco, where thousands of Gareth clones are now remaking my home city according to their own arrogant specifications. Yelling into their cellphones. Ordering four-star takeout food from their Minis. Planning to build condos on top of our world-famous Flower Mart.
I HATE GARETHS.
I think pretty people taste better. – Gareth
Of course you do, you freaking soulless bureaucrat of the post-apocalyptic South. But the natives of this place have a surprise for you:
You’re eatin’ tainted meat! – Bob to Gareth
The Terminus goons are understandably unhappy to learn that Bob did not provide them with the organic dinner they ordered. And perhaps the zombie virus is fast-acting, because Gareth and his storm troopers make a colossal strategic mistake: They drop Bob back off at the church door, grievously wounded but alive.
Did they really expect their dinner guest to go Full Zombie on his friends and family? That is just not a Bob thing to do!
I knew when I told you, it’d become all about the end. And I reallllly like the middle. – Bob to Sasha
Yes: Sweet, bright-side Bob gets about as dignified a death as a person can have in the post-zombie-apocalypse world, complete with loving goodbyes to all his people. This doesn’t go over well with Abraham, who insists on getting Eugene to Washington immediately:
Come high noon, we’re taillights. No waitin’ for the other damn shoe to drop. – Abraham
First, the survivor group has to hold the fort (or church) when the Terminus goons come for them. They don’t have long to wait: Soon enough Martin’s breaking into the church, and Gareth is running his damn mouth. What did this guy do for a job, before things fell apart? Pharmaceutical sales? Homes of the Stars tour guide in Hollywood? NFL commentator?
While Gareth’s making every possible bad choice — calling out the survivors by name, announcing that he and his pals are armed — the survivor crew is waiting. They let this fool burn through his bravado, until he and his team are as scared as they once were. They don’t strike until Judith cries, and then they move in. Quickly. Brutally:
Put your guns on the floor and KNEEL. – Rick
Three of the five Terminus goons die within seconds of the survivor team’s advance. Ballcap Hayseed (okay: “Martin”) and Gareth stick around for a little bit, if just to bargain with the survivors. Gareth thinks there’s a chance of getting out of even this alive, since Rick’s team had not returned to Terminus to finish them off. Rick’s explanation — their ammunition was worth more — is both beautifully simple, and the coldest thing in the dark new world.
We used to help people. WE SAVED PEOPLE. Then things changed … they came in and … Look, you don’t know what it is to be hungry. – Gareth
Rick doesn’t want to hear it. Any of it. “You would have done this to anyone,” he says, and that’s it for Gareth. Death by katana knife was way too good for this guy. I would have preferred to see his armless torso at the end of one of Michonne’s zombie leashes.
The killings in the church don’t appeal to all of the survivors:
But … this is the Lord’s house! – Father Gabriel
This cautious man of God, whose care for his church outweighed his love for any member of his congregation, has lost his bearings. This is clearly not the afterlife he expected, and his abundance of caution no longer works even as a survival strategy. It’s made him weird. When he later meets Michonne on the church steps, confessing that he can’t sleep, it’s clear who’s counseling whom.
I locked the doors at night. I always lock the doors at night. I always lock the doors at night … You see? It was my choice. I always lock the doors. I always lock the doors. – Father Gabriel
Final episode thoughts:
- The completely unofficial results of last week’s collective noun poll: A large group of zombies is henceforth a SWARM or a STAGGER; a small group of zombies is A DRAG or A DEPARTMENTAL COMPLIANCE MEETING. (pounds gavel)
- Baby Asskicker has the best Cry Timing of any child I’ve ever met.
- Daryl, do you and Carol have something to share with the class?! (Yes, I completely believe that Carol is with our muscled friend; he’d be a lot more upset if she were not.) You’d better have a signed note from someone at that hospital we’re going to visit next week, explaining your absence!
- Now that the team’s split up again, who here thinks Operation Get Emmett to Washington sounds like a complete waste of time and resources? (raises hand)
- What DID Gareth do for a living before the zombiepocalypse? I’m going to go with pharmaceutcial sales. Or! Pharmaceutical sales app developer.