When TV shows have a strong premiere, whether is as season or series, one word that gets thrown around the second week is momentum. Was the show able to take the strength from the previous week and still keep the viewer engaged? Even though it wasn’t as action packed as “No Sanctuary,” I feel that “Strangers” was definitely a great follow-up. Here is my recap/review.
With smoke still rising from what is left of Terminus, the group slowly makes their way through the woods, not really sure of their destination yet. During a rest break, Rick talks with Tara, basically giving his approval for her being part of the group. They celebrate with a fist bump. Carol and Tyrese are at a stream getting water, and Tyrese tells her that the rest of the group will accept her back, even after knowing what happened at the prison. He will not tell them about the girls. Tyrese wants to forget it, and this is the best way to do that.
As they continue on, a walkers comes out of the woods. Michonne goes for her sword, but nothing is there, since it was lost back in Terminus. As she takes the walker out with her gun, Abraham whispers to Rosita, “Right there is why we’re waiting for our moment.” Not sure if that was to just talk about Washington, or something else (worse).
That night at camp, Rick and Carol are able to talk and make peace with one another. Later, she is on watch with Darryl, and tells him she doesn’t want to talk about the prison. They hear a rustling in the woods, and while they can’t see anything, someone walks around in the shadows, watching them.
The next day, Abraham suggests to Rick that it’s time to get out of the woods and back to the road, to which Rick agrees. Up ahead, Bob and Sasha are playing a game. Sasha will say something bad about their experience, and he will always try to find the good side to it.
Nearby, a man is heard screaming. After some pleading from Carl, Rick and the group save a priest from being attacked by walkers. After a somewhat awkward and tense introduction, the priest, Gabriel, leads the group back to his church, where he been living ever since everything started.
After doing some recon of the church, the group agrees that it is safe to set up camp there for awhile. Abraham found a church bus in the back, and said it can be ready in a day or two. Rick says the group is not going anywhere until they are able to get more supplies. Gabriel tells them there is a place for supplies in the nearby town, but it is overrun by about a dozen walkers. Rick decides to check it out with Michonne, Bob, and Sasha, and since he doesn’t trust him, Rick makes Gabriel take them there. Before they leave, he has a talk with Carl, advising him to always be on his guard. No matter how safe he may feel, he’s not. Carl, showing signs of really growing up, tells his dad that they may not be safe, but they are strong, and can handle anything that comes their way.
As they walk into town, Bob asks Rick about Washington. Rick still doesn’t know if that’s where they should go. Ever the hopeful one, Bob does his best to convince Rick it’s the right thing to do, and that with Eugene’s “cure,” the world can go back to the way it was.
Carol and Darryl are walking back to the church with some water they gathered. Darryl tries to convince Carol that it’s time to start over, and to forget the past so they can move on and attempt to be happy. Carol really wants that. They find an abandoned car with a generator in the trunk. They leave it there in case things go south at the church and they need to get away.
Glen, Maggie, and Tara are in another part of the town, looking for ammunition. At a gunshop, Glen was able to find three silencers. While not really needed now, I am 100% sure they will come into play by, hmmm, episode 13. That’s my guess.
Rick’s group arrives at the town food bank, but due to flooding and water damage, the floor holding the food has caved in, and is infested with walkers. Using shelving as a barricade, the group makes their way down into the sewage infested basement to get their supplies.
They manage to fend off the walkers, but one was “hiding” under the water and almost took out Bob. Gabriel also panics as a walker heads for him. Rick saves him, and questions him afterwards as whether or not he new the walker when she was alive.
Walking back with the food, Rick asks Michonne if she misses her sword. She talks about how she doesn’t really miss “things” anymore. Just people, like Andrea and Hershel.
Carl is waiting for his dad at the church, and has somethings to show him. One of the widows looks like it was scratched at with a knife, as if someone was trying to break in. On the back wall, he finds the words “YOU WILL BURN FOR THIS” etched into it. They aren’t sure what this means in regards to Gabriel just yet, but it’s definitely something to be concerned about.
That night, the group has their version of “family dinner.” Abraham gives a speech about how getting to Washington will not only save them, but possibly the world as well. Rick finally agrees, and they decide that D.C. will be there next stop. No longer wanting to hide anything, Tara tells Maggie she was originally with the Governor, and how he manipulated her. Maggie hugs her, stating “you’re with US, now.” All is forgiven. Rick approaches Gabriel. He knows he is hiding something. Rick doesn’t pry, but if whatever Gabriel hiding ends up hurting his friends, Rick WILL kill him.
Carol is able to get the engine to the getaway car started. Before she could runaway again, Darryl is able to stop her. Before they can discuss what she was doing, another car drives by, the same car that too Beth. Darryl and Carol hop in the getaway car and race after them.
Bob goes outside to relieve himself and finally breaks down. Days and days of being the positive one, getting THAT close to getting bitten was his breaking point. He doesn’t have time to recover, as someone knocks him out from behind.
Bob slowly comes to, and is horrified when Gareth is hovering over him. Gareth goes into this speech about how they don’t WANT to hurt him, but the group left them no choice. He continues to talk about how the Termites will get each and every one of them, as a montage of the group being happy is shown. Also shown is Gabriel, looking at an old picture of him with one of his parishioners, the Walker from the food bank. Gareth tell Bob that even though none of this is personal, they “still have to eat.” Bob looks down to see that his left leg has been amputated. As Gareth takes a bit of cooked meat, he is kind enough to let Bob know “he tastes much better than they thought he would.”
- This episode wasn’t about finding Gabriel. It was about the complete destruction of Bob. Act One: He’s always finding the good in every situation. Act Two: He is almost bitten. Act Three: He’s been kidnapped, his leg has been amputated, and his captors are eating it. It was a great character study of what it will take to finally break a person.
- Carol is still an outcast. Not in the groups eyes, but her own. That’s why she was leaving. Darryl is pretty much the anchor keeping her there.
- Tyrese still is not a killer. He was way too quick with agreeing to stay with Judith. The proof however, was in the last scene, as the Termite he supposedly killed was among the group that took Bob.
- I STILL can’t tell if that was a blooper or not when Darryl dropped the water jug. Both of them did a great job of not laughing, so if it was, I agree with the decision to keep it in, as it added a “real moment” to the episode.
- Carl. He’s really growing. He acts as Rick’s advisor, knowing that the group is strong enough to handle anything. He’s also getting WAY smart. Deciding to look at the church, finding the scratch marks and etching. THAT’S some decent detective work.
- I don’t like Michonne without her sword. Yeah, she can still fight, but watching her swordplay was visually pretty cool. I hope she gets it back. OOOH! Maybe that’s what the Termites used to cut off Bob’s leg. Gross and cool at the same time.
- Gabriel could not have made it MORE obvious he was hiding something. At least TRY.
While not the “I’ve come here to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and I’m all out of bubble gum” episode the premier was, “Strangers” did introduce us to a new character, let us know that the Termites aren’t only back, but they they never left, and got us a little closer to finding out what happened to Beth. Hopefully we’ll get to see her next week.