Why The Walking Dead Season Five Episode Two is Kinda Awesome

 

Out of the frying pan?”

Previously, on The Awesome Update's weekly review of AMC's The Walking Dead...no, but seriously, last week saw the explosive first episode of the fifth season of everyone's favourite zombie show, and I absolutely loved it. This weeks episode slowed the pace right down (it kind of had to, given the shenanigans in the first) and dealt with the aftermath of the Terminus incident. We were also introduced to a new character in the form of a Parish Priest that just so happens to be named Gabriel, and there's already plenty of questions surrounding him to keep us interested.

From here on out, there be spoilers.

Oh, and from this week onwards, I'll be sharing the mic with Deedsy (he'll be the one talking in bold).

So, the recently reunited group run into poor old Gabriel as he's about to become zombie chow, and decide to save his life, even though the last strangers they met tried to kill them and eat them! Rick, who has recently rediscovered his badassery, leads the meet and greet, but is obviously sceptical when Gabriel claims he has never had to kill a soul, living or dead. From the first encounter with Gabriel you can feel that something is not quite right, and it shows in Rick's attitude towards him, even after he welcomes them into his quaint little church where he lives. It felt like a good way to slow the tempo down, by getting the group working together again like nothing had changed and by also throwing in a fresh problem for them to figure out.

Yeah, this episode definitely sets up the threads for the season; Gabriel is obviously one of them, but we've also got the whole Eugene/Washington/Cure thread going on at the same time. If this plan succeeds, it'd essentially be the end of The Walking Dead, so the smart money is on something going wrong at some point. Still, it doesn't have to be any time soon, and they could certainly milk it for a season or two, using it purely as the motivating factor to get the group – and the plot – moving. In other words, enjoy the rays of hope while you can.

When Eugene divulges a dumbed down explanation of his plan to save the human race, I thought it sounded a little too Hollywood for The Walking Dead - and something that I'm sure would annoy many devout fans – so I look forward to seeing things go wrong. Sergeant Abraham Ford, as the main driving force towards the group heading to Washington, continued to get his voice heard but it was subtly revealed that he also has something to hide. It could be out of the frying pan and into the fire for the group.

It's not just Gabriel and the cure that could provide serious problems for the group either; survivors from Terminus have come a hunting as well. The leader has survived, along with the guy Tyrese supposedly beat to death, so all sorts of questions surround this thread. I'm glad they're not done with this plot, either, as there was a whole load of build up towards Terminus throughout the second half of last season, and it would have been frustrating to see it all dealt with in the first episode.

This episode certainly wins the prize for the most grim moment we've witnessed so far in the show, when Bob gets captured by the Terminus gang and they eat his leg in front of him! This all came about after Bob wandered away from the group, in what appeared to us to be him going off to kill himself - hear me out! Earlier in the episode, Bob had an unfortunate run in with a walker that pulled him underwater and it's entirely possible that he was bitten. Later on, as the group are enjoying some well deserved R & R at Gabriels church, Bob adjourns himself from the room but not before getting “one more” kiss from Sasha; not an ironclad good bye, I'll admit, but it's something that could be interpreted as one given how he said it. It'll be interesting to see if he manages to keep the rest of his limbs and whether he's infected or not – and if he is, what's going to happen to the Terminus gang after they've feasted on his flesh.

All in all, the episode was another great one, but the (necessary) change in pace obviously means there were less momentous events. As long as you don't go in expecting the same frantic urgency of the first episode, then you'll enjoy the development and seeding of new plots.

Final Score: 7/10

This has been Blacksmith, and this has been Deedsy, writing for The Awesome Update, over and out.

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