“You don’t know what it is to be hungry.”
While Gareth (Andrew J. West) did not survive long in the Georgian zombie apocalypse, his character certainly left a mark.
“Four Walls and a Roof” returns us to the sheer horror of Bob’s predicament as Gareth crouches down to a surrendered Bob (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.), taunting him and whispering sadistic notes on who would taste better in the group. He notes on the fact that when bears starve, they eat their young; and when the bear dies, the young dies anyway. You might have thought they were having a casual conversation on the human nature of individuals if it weren’t for Gareth munching off chunks of Bob’s leg.
Turns out, the joke’s on the hunters. Bob laughs as he pulls down a side of his shirt to reveal that he did indeed get bit and probably spread the infection onto the hunters. “TAINTED MEAT!” he yells maniacally. So much for Bob’s Burgers!
Back at the church, tensions are starting to run high as Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) becomes more concerned with Bob’s disappearance. Rick (Andrew Lincoln) mentions that this is the third one missing—Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride) are yet to be seen (AND Beth. Seriously why has everyone but Daryl forgotten about her?)
Thinking that maybe the pastor is the reason behind this, the confront him (ambush him is probably more accurate). Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) reveals to them, all the while shaking in fright, that he is a coward. The marking on the outside of the church “You’ll burn in hell for this” was when a group of survivors came across the church and begged to be let in. Unfortunately due to the pastor’s pious and rigid beliefs and routines (which include locking the door every night and keeping it locked), they were not saved.
In the meantime, Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) becomes increasingly impatient and decides on an ultimatum: the bus is gonna head over to D.C. now, or we’re leaving without you. Rick is affronted; as a leader, he’s gotta bring the pack together instead of just separating. A fight is about to broil between the two until Glenn (Steven Yeun) stands as the mediator and suggests a compromise: they stay the night to help with finding Bob, Daryl, and Carol, and then by daytime they leave. This part made me really happy because this was Glenn’s first big significant moment in a really long time (can we have a throwback episode of Glenn carrying around a baseball bat and calling walkers “geeks” please, Scott Gimple?).
Suddenly there’s a game changer: Bob reappears on the grass outside. They quickly bring him back in and observe his shitty predicament. He reveals to the group that it wasn’t so bad; he was gonna die anyway thanks to a walker. Sasha is in shambles, but is determined to avenge his pain.
Rick, Michonne, Sasha, Glenn, Maggie, and Abraham leave the church in search of the hunters, and just as they disappear into the fog of the night, the hunters show up. Turns out they’ve not been so far all this time.
They very easily break into the church and Gareth begins his usual taunting before the slaughter. He calls out all of the group’s names Judith’s doing a good job of staying quite as her big brother watches over with a rifle—until she starts crying. Just as it seems all hope is left, two of the hunters are suddenly blown apart by an unknown assailant.
It’s Rick and gang to the rescue! One step ahead of Gareth and the hunters, they hadn’t really left the church. Gareth tries to plead with Rick’s sense of humanity, begging him to keep him alive. “You don’t know what it is to be hungry!” Rick sees through the bullshit of his words and very simply says “I made a promise” (referring back to the first episode of season 5, when Rick is at the hands of the hunters in Terminus and details to Gareth how he will eventually kill him). Staying true to his word, he proceeds to hack at Gareth’s head and end his short-lived run individually as if he were a teacher doing roll-call. Inside one of the locked rooms, everyone holds their breathe and clutches themselves. Even on The Walking Dead. The other hunters share the same fate.
It’s quite a violent scene, actually. After it’s all done, the pastor emerges from his chambers, shaking as usual, and remarking that this is the lord’s house, not a slaughterhouse. But Maggie (Lauren Cohan) keeps it real. This is just four walls and a roof. There’s no such thing as beliefs anymore, when you put yourself in this kind of life.
In the morning, the survivors share their last moments with a dying Bob. Sasha stays with him until his very last moment, and hands over her dagger to Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman) once he stops breathing. Though he is visibly saddened, he swiftly ends Bob’s life.
Staying true to the compromise, Abraham, Maggie, Glenn, Tara, Eugene, and Rosita ready themselves for D.C., and leaves the group split yet again. As they drive away, Rick unfolds a map that they left, which has a little annotation scribbled: “The world needs Rick Grimes.”
As night falls, Michonne (Danai Gurira) relaxes outside when she hears a noise to the side. She walks over only to discover Daryl. There’s a moment of joy followed by tension: where’s Carol? As the episode comes to a close, Daryl beckons to a person off-screen to come on out.
Here are my top moments from this week’s episode.
G’bye Gareth: Man, I really thought Gareth was gonna be a much more significant character. He was seriously messed up in the mind, even more than the Governor. If it wasn’t for the cannibalism, I have a feeling he’d actually be a cool guy. His ability to hold a decent sense of humor was kind of inspiring. He had such a twisted view of humans, and the fact that he had absolutely no qualms about killing other humans in order to benefit from them is insane. Now that he’s gone, the main focus of villainry is shifted over to Beth’s captors, who we’ll definitely get a glimpse of next episode.
Abraham and Rick: It was a small but significant moment: fight of the alpha males in the group. There’s definitely a stark division and hierarchy between the members of the group (comparing Rick and Abraham to the likes of the pastor), even though we’re supposed to stick to Rick’s categorization of the beings from the first season: there’s only white and dark meat. While I am a bit upset that the group is yet again split up, I hope it help keeps the story moving forward. Reunion will hopefully be inevitable.
Pastor’s secret comes out: I’m not quite sure what I think of the pastor. It’s so easy to believe that Gabriel truly is an anxious and incompetent human being, thanks to his backstory and explanations. But not everything is as it seems, a lesson we’ve learned thanks to Terminus and countless other memories. I’m interested to see where his story takes the group.
Daryl and who? Daryl’s back after an episode, and we missed him so much! But seriously, I’m a bit concerned about Carol. Daryl looked pretty sad and downbeat when Michonne mentioned her name, and judging by the really gruff way Daryl shouts “come on out”, I’m betting that his companion is not Beth nor Carol, but a new character. It’s pretty typical of the show: once a character becomes super awesome, they have to die. Here’s to hoping Carol survives the season, because the survivors definitely need an ass-kicker like her.