The Ninjabot

Abraham Could Use Some “Self Help” – The Walking Dead Review [SPOILERS]

Posted on November 9, 2014 at 9:00 pm by Amanda Andonian

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This week was an Abraham-centric episode, which makes it a little difficult for me to judge whether it was a good episode or not. I don’t particularly care about Abraham and his past, and I’m not interested in Eugene’s mission to get to DC and find a cure. Moreover, as a viewer, I don’t really believe that Eugene will ever get to DC and cure the world because I know that The Walking Dead comic is well into its 100th issue. Since that particular story doesn’t appeal to me, I wasn’t excited by the prospect of “Self Help” and its focus on Abraham and the journey to DC.

SPOILER ALERT

We’ve seen so many backstories on The Walking Dead where people lose their families and those most important to them that Abraham’s story is not particularly compelling. It seems callous and uncaring to say that; but in a story sense, we’ve heard this one before, so it doesn’t really resonate as strongly as it did when we heard Morgan’s story in the first season, when we saw Carol lose Sophia, or even when Lori died. We barely know who Abraham is, so not even seeing him at the lowest in his life is enough. Every single character has lost someone important to them. Abraham is no different.

In fact, Abraham’s story is very similar to Rick’s. They’re both men who were trying to protect their families and keep them together, and they both went to extremes in the effort to do so. Unfortunately for Abraham, his wife and kids weren’t quite as forgiving (or strong) as Lori and Carl. I suppose that Abraham works as an effective foil for Rick in the same way that Morgan did last season. Here’s a man who was on a very similar path as Rick, but he ended up in a very different place. Where Rick found a community to give him strength and purpose, Abraham was living for the mission to get Eugene to DC.

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Speaking of DC, how about Eugene’s big fat lie? Full disclosure, I was actually surprised that Eugene had been playing them the whole time about knowing how to cure the sickness. His shifty-ness and awkward behavior was easy to chalk up to him being a genius who didn’t know how to relate to regular people; but in retrospect, it was the guilt of a man who knew he was a fraud. It also lends even more weight to the fact that he sabotaged the bus. Yes, he admitted that he did it because he was afraid that if they got to DC and he couldn’t find a cure because then they wouldn’t protect him anymore, but it there was an even deeper level of truth to that confession. The whole reason he came up with the lie was because he knew that Abraham wouldn’t help him unless given a compelling reason. He just managed to come up with the very reason that would drive Abraham forward.

If not for losing his family, Abraham probably wouldn’t have helped Eugene at all. It seemed a little heavy-handed to be that Eugene happened to stumble across his path just as Abraham was about to shoot his own brains out, but I suppose that it was necessary in order to drive the point home that Abraham was living for Eugene’s mission. It was very literally the only thing that he had been keeping him going, but it was all a lie. That realization breaks him, and it may just have cost Eugene his life. Part of me hopes that Eugene actually did bite the dust because I think it would be more interesting to see how the rest of the group deals with that horrible eventuality, but I doubt that the show will go there. More likely, Eugene will recover, and he and Abraham will have some kind of heart-to-heart where they apologize to each other.

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Although this week’s delving into Abraham’s past was interesting, especially when juxtaposing it with his current circumstances, I was still mostly impatient with “Self Help.” It’s not until Eugene’s confession that he was trying to slow them down, and then that he completely lied about why he needed to get to DC, that I felt like the episode was picking up. On the other hand, kudos to The Walking Dead for coming up with more and more creative ways of taking out walkers. The fire truck scene wasn’t too gory, but it was definitely weirdly fascinating to watch Eugene spray thousands of pounds of water pressure at all of those walkers. Oh, and there was some sexy time between Abraham and Rosita. If I didn’t think he was kinda gross, I guess that would’ve been fun to watch too.

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Tell us in the comments!

“Self Help” – B-

The Walking Dead, Season 5 Episode 5, “Self Help,” aired on AMC November 9th, 2014.

You can follow Amanda on Twitter at @reiko516 for more geek news.

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