October 2, 2023

The Walking Dead – Strangers (S05E02)

The Walking Dead.Tyreese, Tyreese, Tyreese.

The Big Man (Chad L. Coleman) is easily one of my favorite characters. He’s like a younger Santa, or he has that look anyway. Then again, when he’s pissed, he gets shit done. But something broke along the way. As I mentioned last week, I think we started to see some of that in last season’s “The Grove,” but I thought for sure Tyreese got his stuff together in S05E01!

He took down that annoying, yappy guy from Terminus when he threatened baby Judith – not only the cleanest baby in a zombie apocalypse, but easily the quietest baby EVER! He roared into that house with its cardboard walls and went to town on the annoying guy’s face. And when he told Carol (Melissa McBride) that it was taken care of, I thought for sure Tyreese had finally got his groove back.

Apparently, I was wrong!

At the end of last week’s episode, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) tried to rally our band of merry survivors and tell them that the people from Terminus don’t deserve to live, that they needed to be taken down. It was pretty clear that no one agreed with him. They just wanted to bolt.

And they were wrong!

Side Note: Frankly, when it comes to The Walking Dead, I just dive in and enjoy the show. No notepads or laptop to keep notes. Just me, a snack, drink, and my TV. I also want to go on record, and say that I’m strictly a show girl. (No. Not that kind.) I haven’t read any of the graphic novels, though my older boys have read many of them.

Note: There are potential spoilers throughout this review, so you may want to stop here and return after watching the show. It’s clear that most of you already watched it since this is the second week in a row that the show beat Sunday Night Football in the key ratings demo. Wow!

Back to the show. In this episode, “Strangers,” of The Walking Dead, The Husband found himself bored, but I found myself enchanted by Bob (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green). Bob’s such a happy guy. He joined the group last season, and we saw him battle his own demons – in the form of alcoholism. He had been with two other groups, and in both cases he was the lone survivor. We saw him reluctant to join the group, afraid he would jinx them, but slowly he came out of his shell and became a valuable member of the team. Somewhere along the way, after the Governor (Bastard!) destroyed the prison, he ended up with Sasha, and I found their romance sweet, and joyous – something very much needed in this Hell on Earth. Add in Maggie and Glenn, and it’s a regular Rom-Com. Okay, that’s stretching it, but I enjoy these moments of simplicity in the show.

The Walking Dead.I enjoyed Bob and Sasha’s game. She would say something bad, and he would counter with a way to make lemonade out of lemons. At the end of their little exchange, he asks her for a kiss, and then just one more. LOVED IT! So sweet!

And then, we hear screaming. Carl (Chandler Riggs), who is slightly less annoying as the show progresses, tells his Dad that they need to go and help whoever is yelling. And here is where we meet the very sketchy Father Gabriel Stokes (Seth Gilliam). I’ll go on record right now, and say I don’t like this guy. Rick doesn’t trust him, but I flat out dislike him. Something isn’t right about him. Rick asks him his usual two questions:

  • How many walkers have you killed?
  • How many people have you killed?

He says none and none. And to that I say, “Bullshit.” Or he’s a complete coward and has been hiding somewhere.

Oh wait… he takes our group to his church. Yeah, he’s a coward and has been hiding in his church. The church had their annual food drive right before the poo hit the fan, so the good (I say that with extreme sarcasm.) father sat around stuffing his face and writing/rewriting the bible. He tells the group that he hasn’t really ventured out, and when Rick asks if there is anywhere around to get supplies, Father Sketchy tells them of one place that is overrun with walkers.

The Walking Dead.Only 12. NO PROBLEM! They can handle that. So Rick, Sasha, Bob, Michonne (swordless), and Father Sketchy head out, while Glenn, Maggie, and Tara go to see if they can find anything useful. Glenn does in the form of… SILENCERS! Nice! And Daryl and Carol head off to fetch a pail of water.

Now, I read that this might possibly be the grossest episode of the show. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, but the next few scenes came fairly close – though I don’t think this is what the article I read was talking about. The group’s destination was a basement that was flooded, and some walkers were hanging around, practicing their freestyle.

The Walking Dead.Waterlogged zombies! NASTY! Skin dripping off, all swollen and gooey. YUCK! The Husband mentioned that they looked like the Toxic Avenger.

The crew climbs down into the water and maneuvers shelves around them as a way to fend off the nasty things. Father Sketchy clearly knows one of the zombies and freaks out. But Rick saves him – barely. Then a mushy zombie came out of nowhere and grabbed Bob. (Okay. Really. How did they not see the bubbly water where the zombie was? Better yet, why does a waterlogged zombie bubble under water?)

“NO!” I yelled at the screen, and then Bob popped up, and his lady love came to help him. When Sasha smacks it with a case, it’s face just slides off.

It would seem that all was well. The group loaded up their booty on rolling carts and headed back to the church.

Once back at the church, we see Carl checking out the building. The window panes have deep scratches on them, like someone was trying to get in. He shares this with Rick and then shows him what he found scratched into the side of the church:

You’ll burn for this.

Hmm! Curiouser and curiouser! Did the good father ignore the cries of other survivors to save his own ass? My guess is he just didn’t want to share any of his stewed tomatoes. Asshole.

The Walking Dead.It’s night time, and our friends are throwing a little shindig when Abraham (Michael Cudlitz, who has some suspiciously red hair) starts preaching. Stuff like:

“Let’s go to DC.”

“We can not only survive there, but rebuild.”

“DC has better beer!”

Or something like that. (Okay, maybe not that last one.)

The gang looks to Rick, and when he (and baby Judith) agrees that DC is where they should go, everyone cheers.

More sweet togetherness from Bob and Sasha.

After the speech, the smooches between Bob and Sasha, and a few conversations, we find that 2 of our crew need some fresh air – Carol and Bob (after he smooches with Sasha).

We flash to Carol preparing a car that she and Daryl found while fetching water, and it looks as if she is going to take off. Of course, Daryl catches her, and while trying to draw her back to the safety of the group, a car zooms by. The car sparks Daryl’s interest as it’s a car that displays the same symbol as the one that drove off with Beth. Daryl and Carol take off after it.

Then, it’s back to Bob at the church. Bob gets up and goes outside. At this point, I’m yelling at the TV.

“What is he doing?” I asked The Husband.

“Did he get bit? Why is he crying?” I might have smacked The Husband at this point. I was so invested in the show. “NO! Who just hit Bob? What the hell is going on?”

The Husband pointed out that it might be Morgan. Oh, that would be okay. Morgan would have to have a good reason, right?

BUT NO, it’s the Governor-wannabe Gareth.

“NO!” I yelled, possibly flicking off the TV. I get really into my shows. “Go away! Let Bob go!”

During Gareth’s monologue, we see flashes of the group – smiling, laughing, drinking communion wine.


The Walking Dead.In his own way, Gareth tells Bob it’s nothing personal, but we’re going to eat you. WTF! I’m guessing this was the grossest part. Gareth and the foul people he leads actually cut off Bob’s leg, and cooked it! And then sat around enjoying it. HORRIBLE people! And look, that’s Bob’s foot roasting over the fire.

Back to my disappointment in Tyreese. I’m 99% sure I saw the jerk we thought Tyreese took care of last week sitting around enjoying Bob’s leg! I’m pretty sure that was the first person Bob saw when he woke from being knocked out too. WTF!

So what did we get? A sketchy newcomer, a few sweet romantic moments, Michonne without her sword, and Bob looking suspiciously like Hershel!

While I enjoyed this episode, I didn’t like it as much as last week’s, “No Sanctuary.” On the other hand, I don’t expect each week to be wall-to-wall action. There needs to be character development. We need to see our group working toward something. But I don’t like to see my favorites disappoint me or become dinner for a bunch of cannibals. I suppose one could argue that it’s somewhat more realistic to encounter these obstacles, and if our group had an easy time of it, it just wouldn’t make sense.

There was some movement toward something of a goal – DC.


  • Where the hell was Morgan?!
  • Will Bob survive?
  • And what’s Father Gabriel’s deal?

That’s just a few of my questions. I am annoyed that I will have to wait at least a week to find out the answer too!


Hello, fellow horror fans! I grew up watching horror, and my love for the genre is still going strong! Slasher films are sort of my secret-well, probably not so secret-obsession, but I'm up for anything-zombies, creature features, B movies, D movies-you name it, I'll give it a shot. Sometimes to the annoyance of my husband. I'm on twitter @Xina143, send me a tweet and tell me what I should watch next!"

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8 years ago

Once again a tremendous recap / review. I didn’t realize that you hadn’t read the comics – LOVE that you’re coming to the show without that knowledge. While I’m not current with the comics (I think they’re at 125 and I’ve read just through the mid 80’s) the show hasn’t caught up to where I am and I’m still seeing some similarities between the story lines. It’s super cool to read these recaps from someone who hasn’t read them!

Hated to see the Bob-B-Que but I don’t think it surprised me that Gareth made his return so soon. And boy oh boy… is Tyrese going to have to answer for not killing White Glen!

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