Walking Dead 5.5 – Self Help

[knowing, smug smirk]

[knowing, smug smirk]

 I’m not one to say I told you so. But if I was? You feel me. Yeah, yeah, comic book readers knew what we find out, but no one is passing out badges for being a comic book reader. (That would be pretty sweet, though.)

So last week, and now we pick up with Abraham’s rag tag bunch on the church bus. If I remember church bus trips, the cool couple should be in the back making out, and the nerd will be up front chatting with the bus driver.

Instead, Rosita is running her fingers through Abraham’s hair as he drives. Oh, so it’s the sexy girl who grew too fast hitting on the bus driver, we had that one summer, too. Tara hears Rosita offering to cut Abe’s hair and is all “HEY BEAVER FLAP, how about a trim and a jump to current fashion trends?”

Eugene makes a Samson reference to himself, and hoo boy will we be talking about Samson. And it’s because Samson ultimately was a sad, pitiable figure in the Old Testament. He started off as someone who was purported to have great importance, ahem, and yet through pride and sin, ultimately met his demise. His weakness was sexual in nature, and look at how this happens a lot this episode with Eugene being a creepy creeper who creeps? And indeed from the first moment we meet him he’s been a nasty mouth-breather around the ladies. More on that later.

Maggie is trying to make themselves believe Rick & Co are on their way, too, thinking positive because she and Glenn are glass half-full types. Huh. Their optimism is important, though.

Eugene’s all, “Enough of that. LET’S TALK NERDY, AKA, allow me to assert my importance in the group. Now that global warming is going to be stopped (yay good thing to come out of all of this?) I will have to remodel my calculations on weather patterns affecting the spread of a cure for lo, I am the Dale Earnhardt, Jr. of this apocalypse sitch-ee-ashun and will bring us the Win.”

Eugene says his hairdo is like that because his old boss thought it made him look like a “fun guy.” I think that was sarcasm you heard, Eugene. He’s basically a complaining, self-important gross dude, and I haven’t liked him from Day One, and ugh. Yuck.

They drive past some Walkers, loo loo loo, and then OUT OF NOWHERE SOMETHING BLOWS and then HOSHIT THERE GOES THE BUS, STRAIGHT TO FLIP CITY. Abraham officially sucks as a driver, wow. Turn INTO the skid, Abraham! Aaaaaand Walkers approach. Great.

Eh, some WD-40 and duct tape should get you right back on track.

Eh, some WD-40 and duct tape should get you right back on track.

I realized that the intro’s images are all ones of transition—moving down the road, walking in a field, camping equipment, a wheelchair or bike, even the cross, if you think about it. Death just leads to the next stage, unless the brain is destroyed. Nice. This season we’re constantly on the move, nowhere to light, huh? I like it. It’s amping up the stress levels not having a safe place to call home.

But we immediately cut to: someone getting their head beat in with a soup can. It’s Abraham wielding the can, and he’s beating someone in military garb. There are… a lot of bodies in the hall. Lots of bloody cans, too. He calls for “Ellen” before snapping awake on the bus, wrecked and on its side. Eugene (of course) is pinned under a loose bench.

Glenn and Abraham are going the clear the way out of the door by sheer force of will. Tara tells Eugene to grow a pair and get his hands dirty, while insisting she’s watching his 6. She does, and everyone dispatches the Walkers easily as Eugene has a minor freak out and does nothing because he is the End Times Tits on a Warthog. [Dibs on country Christian metal band name: End Times Tits on a Warthog!]

That is, he’s useless until Tara gets taken by surprise. He stabs it in the back, leaving Tara to finish it for him.

Well now Tara's going to want to fistbump you, Camaro Cut. And no, that's not a euphemism.

Well now Tara’s going to want to fistbump you, Camaro Cut. And no, that’s not a euphemism.

Abraham insists Eugene gets triage even though he LITERALLY stood aside watching everyone else kick ass. Abraham, however, has a big cut on his hand covered in blood, but says it’s okay. Everything is going to be okay! Cue: the bus catching on fire. Well, great.

They’ll just push on, Abraham insists. They will not retreat. “Every direction is a question. We don’t go back!” He’s straight up in soldier mode.

Glenn: Hey, we get it, we’re here, chill out, maybe?
Abraham: I’ll rub some dirt in it and walk it off.

Ahaha! Thank you for reminding me of the glory that is Amanda Bynes’ “She’s The Man.”

Tara: HEY REMEMBER BIKES, THE BEST TRANSPORT IN THE APOCALYPSE?
Everyone: NO. FOSSIL FUELS ALWAYS.

Eugene walks over to the Walker he stabbed and spits on her. Yeah, you tell ’em! Jackass…

We’re immediately back to Abe’s past, him calling for Ellen and walking through an industrial kitchen. A woman and a little boy turn around, and it IMMEDIATELY jumps to Current Abe kicking into a building to check for Walkers. Uh… I get the jarring nature of memory, and it’s arty and stuff, but you have to do something to make the viewer not think their DVR is on the fritz.

They set up in a bookstore, using the water out of the toilet tanks (smart) and barricade themselves in, duct taping covers over the windows to block the light. DOUBLE SMART.

Eugene burns a piece of paper. Hmm. They’re all tearing up paper and burning it in trash cans. What.

PROTIP: HOW TO MAKE PAPER LOGS. You will need lots of paper (newspaper is especially good for this) a bucket, a dowel or some other rollable stick (fluorescent lightbulb will work in a pinch), a bucket of water, and room to lay out wet paper to work. Soak the paper for about an hour, after separating it into smaller sections. Lay out the folded paper (the normal north south fold), layering a new, wet section on top in a staggered pattern like dallen dominoes. Using your dowel, roll up the paper as tightly as possible, pressing out the water as you go, then slipping the dowel out once you’ve made your “log.” Lay these in the sun, near a vent, or near a fire for a day or so to properly dry. They’re dense, yet light and can be carried in your bed roll under your backpack.

There are now hangers over the trash can with the fire going as an impromptu stove (nice) in order to sterilize some water. Some thread from an old book gets pulled out and cleaned, and we’re going to have some great stitches sown in by Rosita to fix Abe’s hand.

PROTIP: SUPER GLUE, FOLKS. Super glue. Find it, hoard it, use it. It was originally created as “liquid stitches.” Plus, it seals off the wound to help prevent new infection.

Abraham and Glenn have a heart to heart that leads to Abe musing that anyone still alive by this point has to be strong by now. (Eugene? Um.) He knows that you gotta be strong and help if they’ll help, or kill if they’ll kill you. But it’s not easy. Well… “That’s not the truth.” Mm hmm. Looked easy in that flashback… “It’s the easiest thing in the world now.” Ha. See? Abraham has a daaaark past.

He goes off to “get some ass, first,” and Glenn is me, “I didn’t need to know that, cool, but…”

CUT TO TWO BACKED BEAST GRUNTING, AND EUGENE IS WATCHING THEM AND THAT IS AWFUL AWFUL NO NO DO NOT LIKE GROSS. That gee dee flat top mullet is peering over the books, and Rosita tells Abraham she knows he’s watching, but they don’t stop, and Rosita says he’s, “right there in the self-help section.” AHAHAHA, masturbation jokes. Still.

Tara: [hits him] NASTY BRO.
Eugene: I BELIEVE THEY LIKE IT. AND I LIKE LADIES. And this is a victimless crime that provides both comfort and distraction.
Me: EW EW EW I HATE YOU EUGENE.
Tara: Let’s uh… change topics. Thanks for the save earlier?
Eugene: Sure. By they way, I sabotaged the bus with crushed glass in the fuel lines. Theoretically it shouldn’t have started. I guess I forgot to carry the one.
Tara: UH WE COULD HAVE DIED. WHY??
Eugene: [waves hand down length of his pasty, weak, boil-riddled and cholesterol-filled body] I cannot survive on my own. So. If I don’t have value, I won’t get to live. If I don’t cure the world, I’ll die.
Tara: UH WE AREN’T LIKE THAT? Wow. Bleak much? Um, so, anything else you’d like to confess?
Eugene: …no? So we’re friends now?
Tara: Yeah! Sure!
Eugene: [whispers behind her back] You’re my first friend… [reaches out to touch her like Buffalo Bill in his Night Vision goggles I JUST REALLY HATE EUGENE.]

"bleuuuuuAHHHHHhehlaaaargh!"

“bleuuuuuAHHHHHhehlaaaargh!”

Glenn and Maggie are curled up, and Maggie can’t sleep because she’s feeling guilty about leaving the group. And not one mention of Beth. IT IS YOUR SISTER. I mean, I love Maggie and Glenn like nobody’s business, but come on, Mags. By which I mean, come on, writers! Family was everything to the Greenes.

Abraham’s remembering Ellen again, and we’re right to where that harsh jump cut was earlier: a woman, afraid, two kids clinging to her. They’re terrified. He says “I stopped them. You don’t have to be scared anymore.” And he looks and sees his hands covered in blood, saying “It’s okay…”

AGAIN, A HARSH CUT TO NOW (like, the music just shuts off, and it’s odd. Again, I’m a fan of jump cuts, but you have to let us know it’s not a GLITCH). Rosita’s checking Abe’s hand. She wants to stay another day, but he wants to keep going and is a real dick about it. Maggie wants to make the book store a base camp, but Rosita knows Abe, knows they’ll just push on, scavenging as they go. (I’m on Maggie’s side here. Shore up a fallback position, get supplies loaded up, rest, then push on.)

They’re going to take a fire truck, one which happens to have 500 gallons of water on it already. Yeah, but how much gas? Still, noice. I assume Abe has a Class C driver’s license—the engine starts up! And then knocks off. A fire engine is a great option, though, because firefighters keep their engines tip top.  The problem is all the brain matter in the air intake filters. Bleurgh. Fortunately Rosita knows her engines, but before they can get to it, Walkers pour out of the fire station. Like, LOTS.

And then JESUS CHRIST, EUGENE, he’s up on top of the truck blasting off Walkers’ heads with the hose (I guess they’re rotten enough), and THAT IS A WASTE, YOU ARE OUT OF WATER. Can’t you clothesline them with the hose and take them out as they turtle on their backs? It’s pretty cool watching them disintegrate, though.

Look at this wasteful summbitch.

Look at this wasteful summbitch.

Abraham is tickled by this—sees a sign painted on the ground: sick inside, let them die. Ahaha. Ha. Ha? Life’s shit, then you die, loo loo loo! Let’s get on the road, kiddos!

Flashback: Abraham curled up in his bloody regs, sees that Ellen and the kids are gone, have left a note “Don’t try to find us.” He of course goes running.

Now, though, he’s using his glorious arms to tinker with the engine again (I have a long-standing crush on Michael Cudlitz’s arms. See: every Southland recap and mention of Capt. Bull Randleman on this site), but this time they’re out on the road in the middle of nowhere. The fire truck doesn’t look so hot. You know, there should be some armed tanks at a police station somewhere.

Eugene is reading H. G. Wells’ THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME, a book about the world of the future (now) descending into chaos, a plague wiping out a significant portion of humanity, and ultimately becoming a world run by polymaths, which Eugene CLEARLY believes himself to be. I see what you did there, Show. And I like it. Hubris of mankind, yes, indeed.

Maggie says she knows why he has the haircut. And it’s because the mullet is a statement of personality. It made him a “rockstar” in the lab. So this whole ep is about making Eugene feel good about himself? BOR-ING.

“You’re not like Samson,” she says. “He was a mess.” She then breaks down the Samson riddle “Out of the eater, something to eat; out of the strong, something sweet,” and says what I always thought growing up: how the hell are people supposed to guess the damn riddle, Samson, when no one saw what you saw with the lion and the bees and the hive? This is a case of someone thinking they were far more clever than they were. AHEM.

Fun Fact! SAMSON was a judge meant to save the Israelites from the Philistines (another word for uneducated boobs in this day and age) and ultimately was undone by his pride (he thought he was super clever and got his bride and father-in-law killed, bragged about his strength to Delilah and got his eyes popped out for it) and finally tore down the very foundation of the Philistines (Abraham?) in the end. OHO.

Something wicked this way comes on the wind, but they’re moving towards it, because there’s no other choice. And Abe’s hand is bleeding through his bandage. (Out, out, damn spot!) They crest a hill, the smell is awful, and they’re faced with a small herd of Walkers and… is it a feed lot full of dead animals? GAH. No, it is a feed lot full of WALKERS, good hell.

Abraham: I will not lie down. I will not abase. I will not give up the ship.
Everyone: UH. You do have eyes, right? And a nose? COME ON, BRO. BRO. Bro.
Abraham: They can’t hear us and they can’t see us, not from here. Let’s go!
Me: YOU ARE BEING BULL HEADED, RANDLEMAN. (haha. I just love Band of Brothers, okay?)

Rosita isn’t going to agree this time. They have to detour, and he’s being really weird about it. He won’t detour ever again, okay?? He grabs Eugene roughly by the arm, and Glenn and Rosita try to stop him, but he freaks the hell out, it looks really close to a shoot out between Abe and everyone, and Eugene screams, “I’m not a scientist! I’m not a scientist! I lied!”

I FUCKING KNEW IT. Guys? Y’all need to trust Mama Stone’s instincts, okay? I WILL SEE YOU THROUGH THE HARD TIMES. I have yet to be wrong on picking out the good and the bad.

Eugene: I don’t know how to stop it. I’m not a scientist.
Me: You dirty, shady mothertrucker. Yeah, he can get Mozambiqued.
Everyone: UH………………………….. [internal horror]
Eugene: Oopsie? I’m like really good at knowing shit? But I’m mostly a very good liar. And I think DC is the best place to survive.
Me: PLEASE SHOOT HIM IN THE BRAIN MATTER.
Everyone: PEOPLE DIED TRYING TO GET YOU HERE.
Eugene: [rattles off everyone] I’m what you’d call a “coward?” So I tried to sabotage the bus, and now I’m just realizing what a monster dick I am. And no one ever liked my hair. But here’s what’s important: I am smarter than you, but–
Abraham: [COLD COCKS THE SUMMBITCH]

Oh, hell

Oh, hell

YES

YES! [tiny R2D2 conk noise]

no no, you did good, Sarge!

No no, you did good, Sarge!

He totally face plants onto the cement as Abraham sees the blood pouring off his fist, and Rosita looks at him nervously. Flashback city to his bloody soup can hand.

Maggie turns Eugene over, and it looks like it might be lights out for Camaro Cut. Abraham falls to his knees and has a massive freak out, remembering finding Ellen and the kids’ eaten and ravaged bodies outside their previous stronghold. In the flashback he tears off his dog tags and puts his pistol in his mouth when EUGENE shows up screaming for help with three Walkers on his ass. OHO.

They’re in Texas, maybe Killeen? Abe quickly dispatches them and walks past Eugene, who tries to entice him to stay.

Dr. Mullet: Don’t leave!
Abraham: Why?
Reddit Mudflap: I… have a very important mission?

You dirty mother…

So there goes Abraham’s reason to live. Right?

You know, the whole repetition of the bloody hand had me thinking of Lady Macbeth and “a little water clears us of this deed.” And in fact, when they all get doused from Eugene’s assistance, he laughs and feels good about their prospects, just like a certain Royal Scotswoman. And then his hand continues bleeding, everything starts falling apart, he’s haunted by his past deeds, and it’s awesome how he’s struggling with his two sides: the father who wanted to protect his family at war with his bloodthirsty determination to achieve a goal at any cost. (Just like Lady Macbeth.) Out, out, damn spot, by which I mean Eugene.

Life’s but a walking shadow, eh?

And let’s not forget that Samson killed everyone he was with in the end. IT IS TIME TO LEAVE ALABAMA WATERFALL FOR THE WALKERS. Right?

NEXT WEEK: CAROL AND DARYL: CLICK. Do it. TRUST ME.

Please like & share:
  • Katy

    All I have to say is that I hope the books they were burning were tax codes or Twilight or 50 Shades…..

    *shakes off Eugene’s ickiness*

    NEXT WEEK MY QUEEN AND HER POOKIE!

    • HAHAHAHA, RIGHT? Or weird, “How to knit a sweater from your cat’s shed hair!” how to books.

      UGH, HE WAS JUST THE WORST.

      Can.not.WAIT for next week!!

  • I will ALWAYS give kudos on a Baseketball reference! Now that the door is opened I’ll have to see how many quotes I can work into this…

    FINALLY a reference to Bikes in a Zombie story! Of course, it doesn’t get taken seriously and was just a psyche out. STEEEVE PERRY

    Boy… I am batting a thousand on missing stuff! Since when did we establish Rosita and Abraham were an item other than just companions? That threw me off for a bit. I thought Squeak had a better chance…

    The Missouri Compromise wearing know it all has been spinning a yarn huh? DUDE that’s so f’n weak! Seriously though… there was NO WAY he was going to solve it. I had a slight amount of hope until he started describing his method a few episodes ago.

    NEW WEEK!!!!! OMG Carol and DarYl (and my other brother Daryl?) You think you’re excited? Feel these nipples!!

    OK I’ve been too distracted by remembering quotes from a crappy movie that came out while I was in High School… Mind is blank. I’ll comment on more intelligent person’s comments. ;)

    • tsinivari

      I suspected about Rosita and Abraham, granted it was actual subtle – but it would have not surprised me if their relationship had also gone no further than their banter back and forth. But I always got the feeling from right after we met them that Rosita and Abraham were an item, mainly because of how she handles him and how he allows her to handle him. I know that doesn’t necessarily mean anything romantic, but it was my assumption.

    • HAHAHA, Baseketball makes me laugh every damn time. I can go toe to toe with the best of them when it comes to Mat-n-Trey reference, so be forewarned! :D

      Oh, when we first meet Abraham and crew, he introduces Rosita in a way that suggested it, then when Dr. Mudflap was trying to flirt with Tara, he explained why Rosita wasn’t a potential match for either of them. Just a tiny mention, though. LOL at Chodaboy. Hahaha.

      I am PROUD to have gone on record from Day One as not buying into what Eugene was selling. Not even for a second. SORRY, I JUST HAVE TO BRAG.

      You know, I don’t want to sound queer or nothing, but I think unicorns and compound bows kick ass! :D

  • Alison

    I knew it too! (But I’m a sucker for spoilers…)
    Stupid Eugene.
    So, my husband, who only watches 1 out of every 3 or 4 episodes and relies on me to verbally bring him up to speed, said something profound. I was again complaining about Maggie not freaking out over Beth and just leaving her behind. And my husband seyz, he SEYZ, “Does Maggie even know Beth was taken?”

    Um… maybe not? Maggie hasn’t seen Beth since the onslaught at the Prison a few weeks/months ago. Daryl only told Rick he was with Beth for a while, right? Did Rick and Daryl not tell anyone else? Because if not, then it only makes sense that Maggie thinks Beth is just gone and there’s no hope to find her. Just like only Carol and Ty only know what happened to Lizzie and Meeka.

    Good episode, nice to get a little backstory on Abe and Eugene (stupid Eugene). I’m really hoping they make their way back to the church though, before Daryl brings the rest of the group to Atlanta to get Carol and Beth.

    • tsinivari

      Re: Maggie not knowing.

      Er…I would like to think, after how things went down at the prison, if that were /my/ sister I might – I don’t know – ask someone…hey…anyone know what happened to Beth? This seems like something that should have…come up?

      Unless Maggie is just straight not talking about it and assuming the worst…but still it seems like something, someone…would have mentioned? Then again, sometimes these people do things I can’t even begin to try and explain lol

    • HA, spoilers do not count! ;)

      I would think Daryl explained to Maggie (or someone in the group, so it would lead back to her) that Beth was taken, not outright killed. IDK, I just don’t think they’re handling it well. It would be VERY EASY to add in a sentence where she was saying, “I bet Rick and them are on their way, I bet Carol and Daryl showed up, too” to add in, “and they found Beth and she’s coming home.” BUT THEN. WAIT. I’m going to assume that’s where the show is headed with Beth, so maybe they don’t want to telegraph that too much? IDK.

      My hope is that now DC is a fool’s dream, they’ll find a vehicle and get back to our group, figure out a new step together. PLEASE.

    • Karen

      Oh, Maggie knows Beth was taken. They had voice-overs in Cattle Car A back in Terminus, and we heard Daryl telling her that she was taken. Maggie said, “But she was alive?” and Daryl confirmed that the last time he saw her, Beth was indeed alive.

      I knew Mullet-head was no scientist. Glad that that’s finally out in the open. Abe is feeling rather stupid just about now, I guess. Glad to see Rosita seems to have some brains though, even if she was aiding and abetting Dr. No-Scientist with his D.C. scheme. But I’m rather fond of U-geen and Tara as comic relief, so I hope he survives Abe’s beat-down.

      Can’t wait for next week!

      • tsinivari

        That actually annoys me even more then. Maggie was ready to brave hell and any other obstacle to find Glenn, but she finds out Beth was kidnapped and…DARYL is more gung ho about retrieving her than Maggie?

        Really?!

        I know it’s not convenient with the current narrative to have Maggie scouring the land for Beth, but to have her actually ACTIVELY choose to leave GA knowing Beth was taken? I just…I have to actually just not think about this mostly for it to not bother me lol

        • Honestly though, if Daryl told you he was going to do something about it… wouldn’t you just sit back and trust that bad ass take care of it? Maybe that’s why she isn’t saying anything! 100% faith in Daryl

          • tsinivari

            lol sure – let’s go with that – it makes as much sense as anything given we know how rabid, laser focused Maggie can be about something.

          • Karen

            The only problem is that Maggie doesn’t know that Daryl is looking for Beth. Daryl and Carol were outside the church, discussing whether or not Carol was gonna make a break for it, when the white cross car sped past them. Daryl then broke the lights and hopped in his car with Carol, and they sped off. No one stopped to let the people in the church know what was going on. Daryl and Carol were just… gone. Much like Beth herself. And Bob.

            For all Maggie knows, Daryl and Carol went off to find a little quiet spot in which to have some nookie. Or were eaten by walkers. Or abducted by aliens.

      • Alison

        Crappola, there goes that theory. Stupid Maggie. I hope Beth beats her ass when they’re all reunited.

      • Karen, you are a majestic mongoose, saving us all with your whip-smart memory. THANK YOU.

        • Karen

          Oooooooooooh – I like the sound of that! Majestic mongoose. That’s gonna be the name of MY death metal band. Thanks!

  • tsinivari

    Okay… usually I don’t mind the flashbacks because they are well done, but this time…I wasn’t a fan simply because of how they were done. They weren’t as coherent as most of them are, and the loss of coherence hurt things here. With the Termites it was super vague but still obvious. With this, it literally took either a) knowing Abraham’s background because you’re a comic book reader or b) watching Talking Dead to know exactly why it was Abraham went completely batshit crazy and beat everyone to death with a can.

    And I just …can’t even with the wife leaving with the kids, and getting eaten like RIGHT outside of their hiding place. *shakes head* The whole thing was just really…I don’t know, weird and not played out very well. And knowing what had REALLY happened, the reason he went batshit on those guys, her leaving makes even LESS sense since the actual threat was gone. Yes, what Abraham did to those guys was scary, but given what happened…um…100% justified. In her place I might have HANDED HIM MORE CANS as the one he was using got too dented from slamming it into a raping POS’ head.

    *coughs* Just sayin’…

    As for Eugene…I always had my doubts, but unfortunately I had been spoiled (at least in relation to the comics) because not EVERY one that comments places thinks not posting spoilers is what you should do for a review of a TV SHOW where people watching haven’t read the comics. (And all ya’ll out there who think that’s ok because the comicis have “been out forever” …that doesn’t make it okay. I’m never going to read the comics, I just couldn’t get into them, that doesn’t mean spoiling major plot points is in any way OKAY!). Even before that though, I was side eying him and mainly thought he was full of BS (unless he got eaten) because…well…I DID know that to date in the comics Robert Kirkman had NEVER addressed what actually created the virus, etc – so there being a comic book character that ACTUALLY had any idea how to “fix” things seemed far fetched to me…

    And then there was the fact that EVERY time Eugene opened his mouth, it was total, pure BS and the “it’s classified” statement over and over. I don’t know about you guys…but I’d have beat this guy down well before now for being all “it’s classified” and “I’m smarter than you” after people had died to get him to wherever they are going.

    At least now Abraham’s blind faith and dogged determination make sense. There was literally no room in his world view to doubt Eugene because doubting Eugene meant…well…that his whole reason for continuing on in the FIRST place was false.

    You know…Tara WAS right about their group being willing to protect someone that was weaker than them. However, I think that little quirk can be tossed out the window when the DEPTH of that lie and manipulation was discovered.

    There’s not being an overly useful guy in the ZA landscape and then there’s what Eugene did. I’d have probably just let Abraham get his anger all worked out on Eugene’s face. Does that make me a bad person? lol The only reason I might stop him was to keep him from regretting beating (another) guy to death with his bare hands.

    I just…I can’t even. I’m giving the group (mostly) the benefit of the doubt for believing him in the first place because really, Abraham was so…CERTAIN and right and determined that it was contagious even though there were PLENTY of times any rational thinking person would have raised their hand and went “Um…question?”

    You don’t have to be a scientist to smell the BS that Eugene was tossing out to everyone.

    Overall I was kind of…oddly dissatisfied with this episode and I can’t fully put my finger on it, maybe it was solely because of how the flashbacks were done. I didn’t…hate it, but I’m glad it’s done and we can move on to Carol and Daryl. I find it completely shocking that I thoroughly enjoyed a Beth-centric ep and this one left me going “meh?”

    • The jump cuts were really off putting, right? I haven’t watched The Talking Dead yet, so if they talk about why Abraham went bananas, I don’t know it. I just assumed the men were being Gross Men and he was trying to save his family? IDK. If it wasn’t on the actual show, I try not to talk about it here because of the spoiler worry, so please keep that in mind when commenting. (I skimmed over those paragraphs so I wouldn’t learn anything not on the actual episode.)

      I really enjoyed being vindicated in my lack of trusting Eugene (and UGH, him watching them have sex was SO AWFUL) and really like knowing more about Abraham, but the editing left me rewinding and trying to see if my DVR had recorded it wrong. And I would have loved a closer shot on that farm with all the Walkers! But logistically I know they couldn’t really do that without spending big bucks/time.

      • tsinivari

        Ah sorry, I didn’t consider it overly spoily because it’s what they actually talked about on Talking Dead in reference to the episode (and I have no idea of it going into the episode which is why I found the flashbacks so jarring. You’re on the right track with the guys though).

        But yeah, for once they weren’t handled well at all – the cuts and flashbacks – they bookended nicely with the Termite stuff in the first episode; laying just enough groundwork for us to see what they used to be vs. what they became (but really you eat PEOPLE …I’m sorry, there were VERY MANY points from where you were to where you ended up!!!!) And for me that was the most offputting part of it, they just handled them badly.

        I know the show is based on the comics, but there has also been a LOT of deviation, and even if there hadn’t been – making it necessary to read the comics, or wait for it to be explained on Talking Dead (or by an actor interview) in order to grasp context isn’t a good path to start down. So let’s hope this was just a misfire and not something we’re going to be seeing a lot of when it comes to giving background to new characters (for us).

  • Eddie H

    God damn, Abraham! This dude needs some therapy and fast. He’s just the right mix of stubborn one track mindedness, veteran style flashbacks, and crazy beast mode to completely flip his lid and kill everyone he knows. I do have a lot of love for the Ginger Mountain though. Also, I realized that he’s a lefty this episode. So that’s cool (I mean, I would hate to think those lefts he was landing on Tubby Cyrus were just jabs.)
    I for sure thought that Maggie was going to finally break down with the “I just miss my sister so much and I’m so worried and what do we do…” sob this episode, but nope. That’s got my wife losing her mind every episode. Sorry babe. At this point I don’t think anything is coming on that front.

    • I love me some Ginger Ninja!! Mostly because I have a long-standing crush on Mr. Cudlitz (he’s just… unf. And a good guy, too. MY KRYPTONITE!), and he’s making Abraham such an interesting, layered character. I want more, I want to know more. There are people who I absolutely didn’t, like Bob. But Tyrese? Gimmie a Tyrese-centric episode, please!!

      LOL at your comment about his left hooks. Right? Man, if that was his “I am not left-handed!” moment, HOLY SCHNIKIES, RUN FOR THE HILLS!

      I mentioned above that maybe Maggie isn’t saying anything because the writers think it will telegraph what’s to come with Carol and the hospital? I DON’T KNOW, but it’s bugging me, too.

      • Eddie H

        He was phenomenal in Talking Dead, too!

        • I’m saving The Talking Dead for tonight! He’s fun on Twitter, too.

  • Danni W

    My first thought at Eugene’s confession was: OMG STONEY WAS RIGHT!! (there may have been some jumping up and down while making this statement LOL)

    I have to admit Eugene is weird and disgusting at times, but I don’t necessarily hate the character. I think it was that he’s completely incapable of surviving the ZA by force. He’s not like Abraham or Rick or Daryl. But he is smart, so he used the weapon he does have available to him to survive, cunning and deception. People acknowledge the need for strong fighters regardless of their asshat-ery. And a lot of things have been forgiven under the banner of ‘they did what they had to do to survive’. I’m having a hard time not putting Eugene into this category. Also, I don’t think the dude’s been properly socialized over his lifetime before the ZA. This character seems to have that disconnect from acceptable social norms. I would also add, Abraham his been ‘protecting’ Eugene since Texas, Eugene has been isolated from the fight as much as possible leaving the fighters to keep him safe. He hasn’t had to take an active role in protecting himself or even learning the basics of fighting until Tara puts a knife in his hand. Which is what, in my opinion, Abraham should have been doing all along. Easier to protect someone who can help protect themselves. In a ZA, it behooves you to take your weakest link and make them stronger.

    I’m so very annoyed that Maggie has YET to mention Beth. I kept yelling at the screen, JUST SAY HER NAME. Bad on you, writers, bad!

    • tsinivari

      That’s a very valid point; Eugene can’t defend himself because no one has actually taught him HOW. Granted, everyone else in this world for the most part was in a sink or swim situation when it came to learning to defend themselves, but none of them had been put in a “protect the princess” kind of position where the most important job of the group was keeping THAT person alive.

      That, for me, is why I’m having a hard time being okay with Eugene’s version of “doing what you have to do to survive”. While others have had to make very hard decisions in order to keep themselves (and/or their groups) alive…what Eugene did is different. It was motivated by PURELY selfish reasons that got people killed trying to get him to DC, when it was all a lie. A complete and total lie. Nor does he actually KNOW there’s any sanctuary in DC.

      If he hadn’t of lied the group could have done more like what Rick’s group was doing – instead of it being constantly “We have to keep moving to DC!” they could have actually tried to find a homebase. (Granted, Rick’s group has had plenty of causalities, but they are more in line with, generally speaking, what you expect in the ZA, not deaths due to a lie that put one person’s life as being more important than multiple others). So, I wasn’t necessarily full on HATING Eugene before now, he had his amusing moments, but that revelation…I’m totally on board with how Abraham reacted, to be honest.

    • DANNI, YOU ARE OFFICIALLY MY FAVORITE. *high fives you* Hahahaha!

      I applaud everyone’s break down of character, for whom they’re rooting, but Eugene and me are oil and water. My #1 rule for NOPE is lying. And wow, what a freaking lie! He split up our group because of that lie, not to mention getting people in previous groups killed. Plus, the whole attempt to justify being a creeper on people having sex grossed me the hell out. NOPE TIMES INFINITY.

      If he had used his cunning to say, “Okay. I’m not a fighter. But I can figure things out faster than most and I have a lot of knowledge on X, Y, and Z, so allow me to do this?” I could have liked him. Some. I mean, Milton wasn’t a fighter, but he proved useful to the Gov and got to keep his life!

      Eugene? You are no Milton. (Which… isn’t saying much.) Ha!

      • tsinivari

        *sighs* that’s the thing…that’s it exactly.

        The ONLY reason Eugene was even remotely useful is because he said he was; not because he ever demonstrated it. Perhaps if he had been in a place like Woodbury (not because of the Gov but I mean in general, a place ran more like a town) he might have had something to offer, but out in the real world it was just based on his lie.

        Instead it was “I’m smarter than you”

        The one thing I give him credit for (and which now makes 100% sense) was WHY he would insist they help others (like Glenn and Tara and then at the tunnel etc)…he knew he was selling them a lie, and it was nettling him enough that letting even MORE possibly die because they chose getting to DC faster over saving them wasn’t an option.

        But…I can’t really credit him for making a humane choice in a situation of his own choosing (though, it could be argued, if he had not lied, and set that plan in motion, they couldn’t have been there to find Maggie and crew to then go help save Glenn and Tara…lol)

  • Colleen

    Ok, how come we’ve had to go two weeks in a row with no Rick and Daryl? Who the heck is running this show?!

    LOL Loved how you called Eugene a creepy mouth breather. Sadly, I don’t think Abe pummeled him to death, even more tragic, I think Maggie (aka world’s worst sister), Glenn and Tara are going to insist on saving his disgusting self.

    Odd to think how Abraham kills to defend his wife and kids (comic book back story is tragic there), and then they wind up being so terrified of him they’d rather be eaten by walkers. Makes you wonder if Carl would have done the same thing after Rick ate a guy’s neck last season, if Michonne hadn’t been there to talk him through.

    Love the wrap up! Thanks Laura!

    • Hey, actors have contracts! They all have to get lines! ;D

      If Eugene didn’t die from that attack, then I totally agree with you that our Trio Of Good Deeds will help him/stick up for him. Feh. This is a good time to employ a little Carol-isms to the unit, you know?

      Thank YOU, Colleen for joining in every week! <3

  • Karen

    Okay, now I have to complain a bit. So after the canning by Abe, he, his wife and his kids lie down to sleep, yes? And when Abe next wakes up, he sees the note from his wife. And finds her and the kids’ bodies very near to where he was sleeping, yes?

    So why did he not wake up when Ellen and the Fordites were being chomped? Because I have to think that that hurts like heck, and at least one of them was going to do a bit of screaming, no? He slept through his wife and kids being eaten less that 50 yards from him? Erg! He sleeps like the dead, I guess.

    • tsinivari

      I’m actually okay with that bit of what happened; if you think about it…he went totally bananas on those guys and it’s possible that afterwords he just sort of …shut down. It could have been that his mind simply shut down to cope with the trauma of the entire awful situation and he was, quite literally, passed out like the dead at that point more than actually sleeping.

    • Well, we know that the former family was outside, but we don’t know WHERE. He could have been on their trail and then found them, you know? Vague, vague… Or maybe soup canning a gaggle of officers just really takes a lot out of you?

  • Alison

    Was it the Talking Dead or Story Sync that said “Abe caught up with them less than a day later…” I swear, one of them said that. So Abe’s fam wasn’t RIGHT outside.

    • IDK, but I didn’t get the idea that it was right outside, either, but that he’d tracked them down (since the children were in a grassy ditch with trees behind them, not a city street).

    • Eddie H

      That would be pretty lame if they only managed to walk outside. Still goes down as one of the worst ZA decisions ever.

  • MP

    My immediate post-watch reaction was “Somewhere in Texas, Stoney is cackling hysterically.” …And then sleep, because I watchd it at like, midnight.

    • Ahahahahah, M. This pleases me. BOTH THINGS. :D