Monday, November 10, 2014

The Walking Dead: Season 5 Episode 5 - Self-Help

Hello everyone and welcome back to our Walking Dead chat!  Well, chalk up another hour of excellent television in the books.  This episode focused on our Washington-bound crew, most specifically giving us a peak behind what makes Abraham tick.  Now, I usually don't spoil anything in the opening paragraph, but I just have to ask.  We didn't REALLY think they'd make it to Washington did we?  Let's dive in!

Discussion Points

  • I guess the best place to start is at the end because it informs everything else!  Eugene lied!  If anyone was really paying attention (or apparently read the comics), they probably could've figured it out.  I think he was reluctant to leave the church and then in this episode he certainly seemed to be sabotaging the effort.  Glass in the gas tank!?  Crazy.  He certainly picked a good time to let them know he was lying.  If he didn't they were going to be racing into a another farm full of walkers.  
  • Abraham was pretty P.O.'d at the news as we learned it was his whole existence for living in the post apocalyptic world.  We were informed a little of his backstory throughout the episode. Basically, his motto is "only the strong survive".  We saw him murdering many people to keep his family safe.  We don't know if those people were threatening his family or he was just killing anyone who came close to them to ensure their safety.  What we do know is that he freaked out his family and they left him in the middle of the night.  Abraham found his family turned and dead with their insides eaten out.  He was about to end his own life when Eugene showed up with an emergency and a "mission".  I'd imagine if anyone traveled halfway across the plagued country after facing that kind of trauma only to find out his important world-changing mission was a sham, yeah I think they would want to lay the smackdown on Eugene as well! 
  • I would say that it was questionable if Eugene survived that beatdown, especially given the flashbacks, but they were pretty bad at keeping it a secret on Talking Dead.  They kept talking about the future of the season and Eugene.  About 40 minutes in, Eugene was talking about his character then hesitated and said something like, "oh wait, is my character alive?   'IF' my character is alive, he'll have to do such and such..."  So, I'm guessing Eugene will be fine but he's going to have to start pulling his weight.  My guess is he won't be on anyone's favorite people list! 
  • Glenn and Maggie discussed feeling guilty for leaving Rick and crew.  I know it was structurally important to separate the crew to make the story more interesting this season, but logistically I don't think Maggie would've left without looking for Beth first.  They just lost their father not too long ago in the story timeline.  Of course, they were probably following Spock's advice in Wrath of Kahn and were on a mission to save the world.  
  • Creepiest scene of the night had to be Eugene watching Abraham and Rosita get their business on and both Eugene and Abraham being cool with it.  It was a segueway into a scene with Tara where she pretty much indicated that they're all friends and would get each other's back.  Eugene was confessing that he only thought he was alive because of his "mission" which in his head was a lie.  He was reflecting on Gabriel doing what he thought was necessary to survive too.  A big theme of the night, which I already mentioned, was that only the strong are remaining in the world.  But, maybe that's only partly true.  There are the "smart" ones too.  And Eugene claims to be smarter than any of them.  Of course, that claim earned him a nice few shots to the face!
  • The commentary on the mullet was bound to happen and was awesome when it finally did.  
  • Lots of good walker kills in the episode, but the winner had to be Eugene grabbing the fire hose and spraying them down.  The power from the hose was strong enough to deactivate the brains.  Crazy!  This was pretty much Eugene's "coming out" and "repurposing" party.  His mission was a sham, but he's starting to show that he can help with their survival.  We'll see if that sticks!
  • I probably would've forgotten about this detail, but our frequent commenter MJ was frustrated with Talking Dead not bringing it up!  So, what's up with Abraham's wound on his hand?  It keeps bleeding?  I took from it that it spoke to his rage issues.  He kept brutally punching things/people with it and reopening the wound.  I don't think it has anything to do with a walker bite or anything.  Surely it would've killed him by now if it was.  But, maybe it's signifying something else! 
I think that's all I have.  I'm still really enjoying these focused stories each week.  The show is finally living up to its potential under the Scott Gimple direction. With the way they are telling the story now, it is generating more excitement and anticipation for the next episode.  

I'm only putting this in its own section because I know some don't watch them.  It's not spoilery, I just speak to what characters/storyline we'll return to next week

As we discussed last week, there is a piece of the puzzle missing in the Daryl/Carol/Beth story.  It appears that we'll be focused on that next week.  Maybe it'll finally catch us up to where Daryl shows back up at the church.    

I hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I look forward to yours in the comments!  See you next week!


MJ said...

OMG. how did no one on talking dead bring up Abrahams non-healing hand wound? Is he the patient zero who is the cure - like from The Last Ship this past summer ??

Mike V. said...

lol, guess you didn't read my post yet. I gave you a shout-out in the last bullet! Though, I didn't think much about it either outside of emphasizing Abraham's rage issues. I didn't watch The Last Ship, but that certainly would be an interesting theory.

I just think the whole thing about this show/comic series is that they never really focus on what caused the plague or how to stop it. It's all survival. So, I'd be really surprised if Abraham ended up being a sign of hope because he's potentially the cure.

The minute Eugene was introduced as someone who knows how to stop the outbreak, I just assumed something would go wrong. I figured he'd either be killed or they'd keep getting delayed from their trip to Washington. (I believe the show/comic never really leaves the Atlanta area) I never considered he was lying. lol

Mike V. said...

I should say I really have no idea what happens in the comics, but I do remember Kirkman talking about how it was designed to never end. (Now, he mentions though that he knows how it would end)

MJ said...

Swamped at work today so just getting to your recap now. Pretty much everyone I know thought he was lying - but I wasn't so sure until recently. I didn't think they'd get to DC any time soon - but not sure I knew the books never leave Atlanta. You are right about TD basicly saying Eugene survived - but I pretty much assumed he would any way. Maggie doesn't seem to be too worried about Beth - never even mentions her. it's assumed that Daryl told her she was taken - but Maggie never even ponders if her sister is ok or not. Eugene will be fine - Rick's group is more accepting if fighting isn't your strong suit but you have something to contribute. Agree about Gimple's direction - but each ep is almost a cliff hanger now ! LOL Wow - I was in a bullet ! ;-D

Guess it's possible the lingering on this cut that won't heal just points to his aggression - I immediately thought it really meant more though. But since it was not brought up you are probably right.

Mike V. said...

I'm not sure I know that either about the Atlanta thing...I just feel like that's the case. With the spinoff show they're doing, it's probably going to focus on another part of the country/world and maybe with a totally different type of focus. (i.e. they could focus on what caused the outbreak or people looking for a cure, etc...)

Agreed on Maggie. That's kinda my point in the recap. They made some sacrifices in the writing to support splitting the group up into different plot threads.

Yep...cliffhangers galore! I guess there always were cliffhangers, but they're a bit more impactful now. lol

You could be onto something with the cut. I just didn't pick up on it. And from listening to the Nerdist Podcast with Hardwicke it's not like he has any insider knowledge when he's doing those talk shows. He watches it immediately before Talking Dead and figures out what he thinks the main talking points are on the fly. So, it could be why no one brought it up.

Leslie said...

Fire hose - New gross way to kill walkers! Good job, Eugene, right up until you told everyone you were lying, and then, emphasized to Abraham that you were smarter than he is! lol I never believed that they would get to DC, but it never crossed my mind that Eugene was lying until last night when he was talking to Tara in the library.

MJ, I've been surprised also that Maggie hasn't even mentioned Beth. Seems out of character.

Hand wound - I had the same thoughts you guys did. They obviously kept showing us his hand for some reason.

Michael & Josh cracked me up on Talking Dead and then Chris trying to get #dolphin smooth trending on Twitter! Pretty funny! I figured Eugene survives, but Josh definitely blew it with his comment.

mj said...

Lol. i forgot dolphin smooth