Walking Dead: No Strangers Review (Season 5, Episode 2)

Bob says that nightmares end, but here they only ever seem to deepen…

Turns out that this episode was pretty much exactly what I wanted to see after last week’s action packed premiere. Things have slowed down somewhat for the characters here as they try to catch their breath, and that was most definitely needed after the escape from Terminus, but thankfully the pace of the episode refuses to slow down with them as this series continues to move along at breakneck speed. Before I move into the episode in some more detail I’ll just warn people again that, just like last week, this review contains a lot of spoilers.

So in Strangers we have plenty of characters catching up and checking in with each other – some of those exchanges are necessary, some aren’t quite so much. The best and most relevant of these must be Maggie and Tara’s. This was a conversation which had to happen sooner or later, and was genuinely exciting because I really wasn’t sure how Maggie would react. In comparison to that, Tara and Rick’s chat seemed a tad unnecessary… after all surely these things have already been worked out in the box car between seasons? One gets the feeling that Tara wouldn’t still be in the group if Rick hadn’t accepted her.

The other thing to say about Maggie is that she is taking a very long time to mention Beth’s name… in fact everybody but Daryl seems happy to ignore her kidnapping last season and head off to DC without her. I don’t know of a way to buy into the fact that nobody is talking about her, but in defense of Maggie, she could be being written to have an explanation as to why she is keeping quiet, perhaps she is psychologically damaged by the loss, or something else entirely… whatever it is, it had better be done properly whenever they do actually get around to talking about their missing member.

Walking_Dead_Season5_Sludge zombieDespite a few niggling questions hanging over certain characters I actually thought that this was another fantastic episode for the show. We are moving through events oh so very quickly here, I thought that it would take at least a couple of episodes for the Terminus people to make as bold a move as they did at the end of this episode, but instead we’ve already reached that point two episodes in! I have to say that the reveal of Bob’s fate was really well done, it was unnerving, repulsive and scary – and it’s been a while since TWD scared me. There is the question now of whether Bob was bit earlier in the episode, hence the crying etc, and if so how will that affect the cannibals who are currently feasting on his leg? That’s a fascinating question for the series to explore and I can’t wait to see it play out, if indeed he was bitten. The other two big mystery’s going on here are what exactly are Gabriel’s sins and who, if not he, is driving that car around? It’s actually really nice to have a couple of unanswered questions scattered around whilst everything else rattles along at such a speed. It gives us something to linger on and ponder between each week.

Talking about lingering questions… was that Martin at the Bob-e-que? As in Martin the guy who Tyreese was supposed to have killed in the last episode? If so I’m pretty put out by that as it was such a nicely handled transition for Tyreesse to have gone through. I guess we will see over the next couple of weeks…. This was certainly a well made, nicely paced episode that followed on exactly as I hoped it would from the premiere. Everything looks really good for the show this season, but there are just a couple of question marks hanging over certain characters and their actions. Here’s to hoping that we gain some more depth on them next week!

I’ll leave you, for now, with the Zombie Kill of the Week ! Also please do go ahead and let me know what you thought of this episode in the comment box below.

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14 comments

  1. “This was a conversation which had to happen sooner or later, and was genuinely exciting because I really wasn’t sure how Maggie would react. In comparison to that, Tara and Rick’s chat seemed a tad unnecessary… after all surely these things have already been worked out in the box car between seasons? One gets the feeling that Tara wouldn’t still be in the group if Rick hadn’t accepted her.” I do agree that Rick speaking with Tara didn’t add much. I called foul on Rick AND Maggie being so accepting of Tara despite what she was a part of. They have reason to be suspicious of Gabriel since they don’t know him, but they have even MORE reason to not trust Tara, given how she was in cahoots with the Governor. It felt like the episode glossed over that really quickly just to give them a sense of happiness. As for Bob, if the comics are any indication, I have the feeling that Bob WAS bitten and the Hunters are eating tainted meat. Nice post.

    1. Thank you!

      Hmm I get your reasoning but I think they can accept her because she stuck with Glenn when she didn’t have to and because Rick said he sensed that she didn’t want to be there back to the prison. Plus they have taken in the Governor’s people before after all.

      Ah yeah I read a little about Bob/a certain other character who Bob’s been swapped with.

      1. I just found it a bit easy is all, particularly given that Maggie apparently never asked Tara where she came from, despite her spending so much time with Glenn. And at least with folks like Bob, Sasha and Tyreese, we’d previously been introduced to them when Andrea and Michonne were at Woodbury before Rick and company came in.

        1. I do see where you’re coming from, there seems to be a friendship growing between the three on that run they did so you would think that Maggie might have asked some difficult questions. Perhaps they just stop asking about the past after a while…

          1. Difficult questions, yes. Granted, not EVERYONE has to be as suspicious as Rick, but some Q&A comes with new people. Hell, even the Governor questioned Andrea and Michonne when they first arrived in Woodbury.

          2. Yeah… OK, fair point. Questions should have been asked beforehand but in the context of yesterday’s scene I still think it was handled well between Maggie and Tara.

  2. On your point about nobody mentioning Beth, there was a short bit of dialogue at the beginning of S5E1 where Daryl says Beth was kidnapped, also where Abraham mentions how they were trapped into the boxcar. It leaves a lot to be desired of course, but it’s likely she isn’t being talked about by Maggie or anyone because of that. Maybe they think she’s gone for good. Trail went cold.

    That’s a good question too on how them eating Bob’s leg will effect them since (I presume) he was bitten. Since they have the virus in them anyway, I wonder if it will have any effect at all. Hmmmm.

    And if I can chime in on Tara being accepted so easily. Glenn vouching for her would carry a lot of weight with both Rick and Maggie.

    Nice review, mine us up as well.

    1. Oh yeah there is that, but it’s still very odd how little she has been mentioned… I guess it could be a case of the trail going cold. Still, it’ll be interesting to see how that storyline develops now that Daryl and Carol are off on the chase.

      Yeah… I really want it to affect them as I want to see them get their comeuppance!

      Yeah it certainly would. I think that combined with the fact that nobody asks about someone’s past apart from how many zombies and people they have killed now does kind of justify it.

      Thanks, I’ll take a look. Your site is particularly suited now that there is a religious presence on the show!

      1. Amen to that! About time! Hahaha. Yeah I’m anxious to see if they get into anything a little deeper theologically speaking with Gabriel. Nobody really trusts him as of yet so I doubt a heart-to-heart will come anytime soon. It would seem to me, a zombie apocalypse would cause some very wild variations on people’s faith. We had bits of the with Hershel, but nothing substantial.

        1. Haha, it certainly is about time! I’m not religious but it should add an interesting dynamic to the moral discussions that bubble away under the show.

  3. Great review! I was wondering if Bob was bitten too, but I don’t think he was.There was a question back in season 2 of whether or not Shane had infected himself with Walker blood, which caused him to go crazy and try and kill Rick. When they revealed Gareth and his group were eating Bob’s leg that scared and disturbed me!

    1. Thank you! Hmmm I didn’t’ thin he was at the time, not until he walked off crying near the end.
      Was there? I really don’t remember that Shane storyline, it was too long ago!
      Yeah, I knew they were cannibals but it’s another thing entirely to then see Gareth eating Bob’s leg in front of him!

  4. Boy those Zombies just disintegrated this episode 😀

    Anyway that ep took a real Hannibal Lector turn near the end didn’t it?

    1. Yeah they really did! I love how inventive they have been with the look of the zombies in this and last season!

      Yeah… that was seriously uncomfortable. I really wonder whether the cannibals are even the big bad of this season. They seem to be so far but… who exactly is in that car I wonder?

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