Why Maggie and Glen were part of his demands was curious. Manpower, I guess, is a good reason, and they have proven themselves trustworthy, at least to Abraham. Or maybe, this is just an elaborate excuse on the part of the writers to put another wedge in the group. Either way, Abraham’s insistence at getting back on the road and Eugene’s hesitancy continues to solidify dubious feelings about the whole mission to cure the plague. It makes us wonder, is Washington a gong show overrun by the dead with nothing resembling a government structure, or is Eugene full of crap about having the cure? Both options are in play, and both are very viable theories.
On the other hand, we need some kind of drama now that Gareth and the other five or six survivors of Terminus are no more. It was pretty slick how Rick and others made it look like they had left the church to hunt down Gareth, while seemingly leaving Carl, Tyreese, Eugene, Rosita, Gabriel, Judith and Bob undefended. But nope, as a famous fish man once said, “Its a trap!” There was something satisfying about seeing the smarmy Gareth get his comeuppance, even if it means losing an interesting and charming villains in the process. I’m not sure what Andrew Lincoln was doing when Rick had Gareth on his knees. Was he thinking contempt? Was he thinking revenge? Gareth promised that if Rick let him go, he’d never bother the group again, but Rick already made him a promise.
The brutality with which Gareth and the others were dispatched was shocking, and it was hard to say if your own reaction should be relief, or to laugh, or to be downright concerned that our heroic lead just basically hacked a guy apart like he was trying to chop his way though a particularly tough vine. Glen and Maggie, who had no part of the massacre, looked fairly mortified, too. In fact, they probably thought that heading out with Abraham et al might not be a bad idea right about now. But, they both proved they’re still kind of jaded when Gabriel was shocked at the blood spilled in a House of God. “It’s just four walls and a roof,” Maggie says. More than that, the blood that Gabriel tried to keep outside had finally made its way inside. Perhaps it was someone’s or something’s, way of balancing the scales. Perhaps Rick and others really were “sent” to punish the reverend.
With the danger passed, it was time to say goodbye to Abraham’s group (for now) and Bob (permanently). Tyreese, whose dedication to humanity stopped him from killing the guy that threatened to kill a baby under his protection, did the grim duty of making sure Bob didn’t come back as a walker. In the wake of the loss, Rick is given some hope by the dying Bob that nightmares are impermanent, while Abraham leaves encouragement in a message on a map: “the new world’s gonna need Rick Grimes.”
The Walking Dead is working overtime to convince us that the dawn is coming, with the reappearance of Daryl and the scenes from next week’s episode promising to explain Beth’s disappearance and suggesting that things are looking up for our ragtag band of zombie apocalypse survivors. But we all know that this is not a show that rewards optimism, and with Gareth gone, you know there has to be a new unknown evil somewhere right around the next corner.
What is it they say about the devil you know?