The Ninjabot

It’s Just “Four Walls and a Roof” – The Walking Dead Review [SPOILERS]

Posted on October 27, 2014 at 7:00 am by Amanda Andonian

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Wow, what an episode! I haven’t been this amped and excited about The Walking Dead (or any show, for that matter) in a very long time. It got off to a bit of a slow start with Gareth going on and on about Terminus and their lives and blah blah blah; but then the show really upped the ante right away and didn’t release the tension even up until the very end. Not only did we get a deeply satisfying episode that tied up a ton of loose ends, but we’re also going to find out what the heck happened to Beth soon!

Spoilers Ahead!

Picking up from last week, Bob was captured by the remaining Terminites, and they cut off his leg and started eating it right in front of him. Although we already knew that Gareth and the others were pretty insane, it becomes even more apparent how far off the reservation Gareth really is. Not only does he really enjoy hearing himself talk, but he’s so detached from his humanity that he doesn’t even realize how inhumane he’s become. His testy snapishness at Bob for not paying close enough attention to his lecturing is so completely tone deaf and bizarre, which makes Gareth all the more terrifying as a completely merciless enemy. Even though it’s important for understanding his character, I got really tired really fast listening to him go on and on about his philosophy.

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I was really happy to see that I was right in predicting that Bob was bitten at the food bank. I got way too much satisfaction out of the thought that Gareth and the others had eaten tainted meat (and Bob did too). Bob’s death was really heart-wrenching, and The Walking Dead did an amazing job of making us care about him in such a short time. Last season, Bob was just kind of a weird alcoholic who seemed super awkward and that he might be a liability. In the space of three episodes, we’ve come to see him as an uplifting and positive presence in their lives, and his budding relationship with Sasha was a sweet bit of happiness in an otherwise awful situation. It really got me when Sasha asked him one last time to tell her the good in this bad, but he had already passed away.

The big event of the episode, though, was the scene in the church. I thought it was masterfully done, from Rick and the others leaving in numbers to the slow buildup of tension between the Terminites and those hiding in the backrooms. I was a little surprised at how much talking Gareth did, rather than just storming the church and taking those who were left inside, but I’m not sad that they took their sweet time, giving Rick and the others ample opportunity to swing back around and flank them. It was a terrifying scene, and while I was definitely hoping that Rick was smart enough to do what he did, I wasn’t completely sure that that’s how things would play out. The fact that they did keep their heads and anticipated what the Terminites would do was probably the best thing I’ve seen on this show since Rick killed Shane in cold blood.

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It’s another major turning point for the group. Maggie, Glenn, Tyreese, and Tara might have believed in what they were doing in slaughtering the Terminites, but they weren’t prepared for the brutality that it would take to kill other human beings in cold blood. The group did have a choice in deciding whether to kill the Terminites or not—they could have run and tried to forget about it, although it would have been a bad tactical decision. Rick made the decision that ridding the world of them was the better choice, however, the slaughter in the church was slightly crossing the line for them. The brutality that Rick, Michonne, Abraham, and Sasha show was beyond the pale. It wasn’t just about preventing worse happening to others later; it was about revenge and exacting a price from Gareth and the others. The Terminites might have deserved it, but Rick didn’t have to do it the way that he did.

Despite the gruesome way he kills Gareth, I don’t think that Rick has lost his humanity in the way that Gareth had. Where Gareth is open about the fact that he would do what he did to anyone, Rick carefully considers his response and reaction to people he meets on the way. He could have written off Father Gabriel immediately, but he gave the man a chance, and that makes Rick good on some level. When Bob dies, he thanks Rick for teaching him that there are still good people left, and I think that moment was an important reminder for the viewers that while the slaughter in the church was really grim, Rick still does have his morality. It’s just a morality that’s tailor-made for this new world.

It makes me really nervous that the group is splitting up again. Only bad things happen when they split up. I’m especially sad that Glenn and Maggie are leaving; they’re my favorites. I was hoping that since Daryl is back so soon, that they might be on the road after them quickly, but I have a feeling that it’s not as simple as that considering the way that Daryl greeted Michonne at the end. So what happened to Beth? What did Daryl and Carol find when they followed that car? Who did he bring back with him?!? I can’t wait for next week!

“Four Walls and a Roof” – A+

The Walking Dead, Season 5 Episode 3, “Four Walls and a Roof,” aired on AMC October 26th, 2014.

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

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