Final Thoughts from The Walking Dead Episode "Them"

by StevenHelmer

Thoughts from the season 5 television episode that first aired February 15, 2015.

Synopsis: Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his group are getting closer to Washington, D. C. but, after their vehicles run out of gas, forcing them to finish the journey on foot, they must contend with a shortage of food and water while still mourning the recent loss of Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman) and Beth (Emily Kinney).
Things get a bit more interesting when a stranger approaches them and claims to be a friend.

My Thoughts

1. Overall, I thought this episode dragged on a bit, with the characters spending a bit too much time feeling sorry for themselves. However, on aspect I found I really liked about this one was the underlying and subtle message about God. The group's belief in God has pretty much faded away. And, this even was starting to include Gabriel (Seth Gilliam). But, the episode managed to show evidence of God still being around. This includes an opportune rainfall and the fact a tornado appears to have struck just feet from the barn they were hiding in without doing any damage to the barn itself, just the walkers that were outside.

2. This may or may not include the introduction of Aaron (Ross Marquand) at the end of the episode. The fact the music box Carl (Chandler Riggs) discovered started working shortly after he walked up to Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) may be a sign he was sent by God. But, more than likely, he's going to be yet another bad guy, possibly related to that radio broadcast Tyreese imagined hearing when he was dying last week.

3. One part of this episode I'm still confused about was the scene involving the group trying to hold the door shut against an army of walkers outside. Did Maggie just dream this? Or, did it really happen and they were just saved by the storm outside? I'm leaning a bit toward the former, just because I think a bigger deal would have been made out of the fact they were saved at the last moment.

4. On that subject, why is it they didn't have someone stationed at the door in the first place? Given the fact the woods are full of the undead and the fact they have faced a variety of other enemies, you would think they would have had some watching outside and another person upstairs standing guard.

5. The part with the group having a pack of wild dogs for dinner was interesting and did a good job of showing the desperate lengths starving people would go through. But, given the fact the dogs were likely surviving by eating walkers, I think I would be worried about the potential for an infection that way, even if they did cook the animals first.

6. Personally, as desperate as they were for water at the time, I think I would have allowed Eugene (Josh McDermitt) to sample the water their "friend" left them. He did volunteer, nobody forced him. 

7. Of course, that being said, I would also question the timing of the water. If their "friend" had been keeping an eye on them all that time, you think they would have given them the water much sooner than that, especially since they had a baby with them.

8. The zombie Maggie found in that car also raises a bunch of questions. Was the woman captured, tied up and thrown in the trunk after she died? Or, did someone kidnap her and leave her to die? If it's the latter, then I would wonder about where that person is now.

9. Out of curiosity, is there a reason why everyone in this group appears to have time to shave except for Rick? I think it's time for him to lose the beard.

Final Opinion

As I said before, I thought the episode did drag on a bit and was honestly getting a bit bored through the first 30 minutes or so. However, the episode did manage to leave me with questions and, because of those, I am looking forward to next week.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 07/24/2017, StevenHelmer
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jptanabe on 02/17/2015

Yes, Rick should lose the beard! Maybe he will when he stops thinking he is "the walking dead". I also thought the sequence holding the door at night against the walkers was a dream - although the dead walkers outside in the morning seemed to suggest it was real. And as Chris Hardwick pointed out on "Talking Dead" that Aaron is just too clean!!

dustytoes on 02/17/2015

One more question, why didn't they eat those dead frogs? Surely Daryl would know how to cook up a tasty frog.

StevenHelmer on 02/17/2015

The thing that always bothers me about the water part of it is they rely heavily on streams/etc but ignore the various farms that are sure to have wells.
I think the gag in that walker's mouth was a sign she was alive when she was in the trunk. I could see tying up a walker if you were trying to transport it. But, the gag really didn't make a whole lot of sense unless you were trying to keep someone quiet.

dustytoes on 02/17/2015

I didn't think the holding of the barn door was a dream until my son said it was. I took it as a sign that they were all able to survive as long as they worked together.
I was surprised they hadn't devised a good way to catch rain water once it did pour, and I agree that I would have let Eugene be the guinea pig. He offered.
The writers don't seem to be able to handle interactions in a large group. They like dialog to be between two people or have one character off on his / her own. Maybe that is why in previous seasons each episode seemed to focus on a small fraction of the survivors. Or maybe it's just more dramatic that way.
Here's a question for you. Why would the woman in the trunk have to be tied up after she died? Locked in the trunk, as a walker she wouldn't be able to escape.
Yes Rick, please lose the beard!

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