Walking Dead: "Strangers" Ep. 2 Review

Walking Dead: "Strangers" Ep. 2 Review

Walking_Dead_Season_5_PosterThe Walking Dead

Season 5, Episode 2


Rating: A

After the tumult that kicked off our fifth season, our group of survivors deserves a moment of respite. Making their way to God knows where, our group is together again for the first time in a while. There’s a moment between Rick and Carol that is quite nice, where the shadow of her actions at the prison is finally cleared.

One of this show’s major themes, and a theme that translates into all the forms The Walking Dead takes, be it video games, comic books, or the show, is doing what it takes to survive, but holding on to your humanity at the same time. This world they occupy is ugly, dark, and dangerous in ways our world has never been. Rick and Carol have both done quite heinous things to protect the group, and Rick’s past actions made his decision to banish Carol a little baffling.

I mentioned this last week, but the development of Carol as a character sticks out the most to me in these later seasons. I recently went back and watched the first season again, and am working my way through the second, and there’s such a clear difference.

I’m really glad we aren’t still waiting in Terminus. Considering how trapped they were at the end of the Fifth season, I expected them to spend at least 2 episodes trying to get themselves out of that situation. I was pretty caught off guard by just how quickly our group managed to escape, but I’m happy we aren’t spending an undue amount of time with a group of cannibals.

When our heroes meet a priest in full-frock, unarmed and surrounded by Walkers, Rick asks him what he’s done. What he’s done to survive, what he’s done to lose his humanity, what he’s done to leave his old life behind. Father Gabriel seems genuine in his convictions and devotion to non-violence, but in this world there is no way to know for sure, usually you won’t find out you’ve trusted the wrong person until their knife is already sticking out of your friend. While Gabriel doesn’t seem to be violently insane, there’s something that makes me uneasy about anyone that decides to write out the entire bible in an apocalypse. Denzel  Washington in The Book Of Eli is a great example as to why that makes me weary, but again, that lack of trust in anyone we haven’t known for years is mostly to blame here.

We heard, through Father Gabriel, a small account of the beginnings of the virus, which is not something we’ve gotten a whole lot of information on. Since Rick was our doorway into this world, we’ve only seen it following his awakening from the coma, and other than a few wholly uneventful flashbacks, we’ve never seen the beginnings of the virus. I honestly think that’s part of the appeal of The Walking Dead, and part of the appeal of The Walking Dead’s main source of inspiration, George A. Romero’s ‘Living Dead’ series. The fact that we don’t know the virus’ beginnings, or even what it actually is, makes the threat of it all the more frightening. Was it a radioactive satellite that fell to Earth? Could be. Perhaps a mad cow kind of thing? Always a possibility. Whatever it is, the one thing we know for sure is that the virus isn’t something that one can defeat. It’s beyond any means of control, Darwin has won out in this world. Survival of the fittest takes on an entirely new meaning when there are hordes of flesh-eating monsters wandering the countryside.

The end of this week’s episode gives us another, albeit smaller, cliffhanger to get us through to next week. Though, the way that Bob and Sasha have been talking to each other makes it pretty clear what the result of this cliffhanger will be, there’s always the chance that The Walking Dead will come out of left field and catch us off guard.

Stuff and Things

  • – That was the most awkward apocalyptic fist bump I think I’ve ever seen
  • – Father Gabriel acts like he has never seen a walker before, much less killed one, and at this point in our story, I don’t think that’s possible.
  • – Washington is mentioned a lot here, along with the possibility of the world’s return to normalcy. “This is normal” Rick says to that idea. “No, man, this is a nightmare.” Bob replies.
  • – This Week In Awesome Zombie Kills: Michonne calls dibs on killing a Walker, then reaches for her missing sword and smiles at her own violent habit before taking the butt of her rifle and dispatching the walker.
  • – Daryl and Carol get some alone time! Honestly, while it would be a really nifty direction to take the character if he was gay, I’m honestly still hoping for something to happen between these two.
  • – “If the sewers could puke, this is what it would smell like”
  • – Waterlogged walkers are always the grossest by far
  • – It’s nice to know Michonne was still an all-around badass without a samurai sword.
  • – With Father Gabriel’s addition, on top of Eugene, Abraham, and Rosita, this season is boding very well for comic fans. We did hear surprisingly little from Eugene though, and he and his mullet were missed
  • – What would you do to survive this world? The Walking Dead loves making us ponder that question. I’ve always known I’d be good at taking out the walkers, anyone that knows me knows I have an emergency plan in place specifically for zombie invasions, but the question of what I’d do to the living to survive is one I can’t answer. Knowing me, I’d end up allowing a cannibal in for Sunday dinner.
  • – I read something about the Walkers in this show last week that I thought I’d share. Did you know you can tell the passage of time by the walkers themselves? If you go back to the beginning, they’ve been dead for a very short period of time, but as time goes by, as the weather changes and the sun beats down, the corpses rot, and at this point in time, they are decomposing worse than ever, and seeing a fresh looking Walker means they’ve not been dead that long. As it stands, the Walkers we see the majority of the time have milky white eyes, flesh hanging off their bones, and look so gross and falling apart that you can actually smell the gag-worthy stench that must permeate this world.
Categories: Entertainment