The Walking Dead Episode Review: "Strangers"

by StevenHelmer

A review of the season 5 television episode that first aired October 19, 2014

Synopsis: Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the rest of the survivors take refuge with a pastor named Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) inside his church. However, Rick suspects there’s something the other man isn’t telling him and chooses not to trust him.
The survivors also have a decision to make. Do they continue with the status quo or finally agree to help Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) get Eugene (Josh McDermitt) to Washington D.C.?

Guest Stars

Guest stars include Chris Coy (Martin), April Billingsley (Theresa), Travis Young (Greg) and Chris Burns (Mike).

A Good Follow-up to the Season Premiere

After their near death experience at Terminus, I was somewhat curious to see how the group would be impacted. As it turns out, it appears Rick is, by far, the most affected. He is definitely reaching pretty high levels of paranoia when it comes to strangers and it’ll be interesting to see if that continues to escalate to the point he doesn’t trust anyone else at all. This includes Carl (Chandler Riggs) who, at this point in the season at least, seems to becoming Rick’s voice of reason.

This paranoia does have me curious about the newest character, Gabriel. I’m not sure if Gabriel really is hiding something and Rick is right not to trust him (based on past experiences with this series, I’m leaning toward this) or if his mistrust is mostly just him not believing someone could go as long as they have without killing a walker or another human. It’ll be interesting to see how that story pans out, especially since part of me wonders if he is somehow associated with the people who kidnapped Beth (Emily Kinney) last season.

The one thing I do find interesting about this season is how the group still considers Rick their leader. The man is definitely starting to come unglued and has made some questionable decisions yet, where he goes, they go. In fact, part of me wonders if that’s the real reason Carol (Melissa McBride) is anxious to leave again.

I’m going to give this episode some points this week because of the grossness factor. Fighting zombies, at times, can be pretty disgusting as it is. Fighting a group of them in a sewage-filled basement definitely added to that extreme, especially since the water had them decomposing to the point they were pretty slimy. Of course, the fact they were actually fighting zombies in this episode automatically makes it better than quite a few others from past seasons.

Oh, and let’s not forget the Terminus survivors cooking Bob (Lawrence Gilliard, Jr.) up at the end. I don’t know if this signals the last we’ll see of that character. But, if he does survive (and, since they already ate his leg, I’m guessing the odds of that are pretty slim), I have a hard time believing he’ll ever fully recover to the point he will be of any use to the group.

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Final Opinion

Final Opinion: After the season premiere last week, I had some concerns this episode would end up being a major letdown (like so many other episodes from previous seasons).  However, it was actually pretty decent and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

My Grade: A

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Days Gone Bye

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Updated: 09/19/2015, StevenHelmer
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