The following review contains spoilers for the Walking Dead season 5 Episode “Four Walls and a Roof”
The Walking Dead Rolls On
The previous two episodes of the Walking Dead have taken tension and terror to new heights and they kept this momentum going in the third episode of season 5, “Four Walls and a Roof”. Director Jeffrey January opened the episode with a chilling comparison of the dead and the living as he showed the Terminus survivors eating Bob’s cooked leg mixed with images of very hungry walkers. Bob will be missed but he got his moment in the sun when he revealed to everyone that he was bitten and that they had consumed “tainted meat”. A great adaptation from the comics.
Bob essentially book-ended the episode as he offered some meaningful parting words to Rick, coupled with his emotional goodbye to Sasha, to basically close out the night. It was hard to buy into Bob’s moments with Sasha, however, as their relationship seemed to pop up out of nowhere and their love was ending very abruptly. Seth Gilliam also gave us a solid follow up performance as Father Gabriel Stokes, his big moment was confessing to Rick and company what he had done and why he would burn for it. Another excellent adaptation from the pages of Robert Kirkman’s comics and Gilliam deserves a lot of the credit.
While the episode sputtered a bit and hit several high and low points, it was hard not to remain on the edge of your seat as the night moved on. Rick’s conflict with Abraham was well done and it’s easy to forget the humor that Abraham and Eugene bring to such a serious show. On the other hand, we have another awkward moment with Tara who comes up with a self proclaimed great plan. What’s the plan? That she would leave with Abraham if he stuck around to help them one last time. Who could turn down such an offer? I guess she deserves some credit for opening the door for Glenn and Maggie to make the same, but way more enticing, offer that is eventually accepted.
Rick Grimes is a man of his word
Sunday’s climax was possibly the most tense and brutal moment of the Walking Dead’s entire history. January threw a curve ball at the fans of the comics by having Gareth and the Termites move into the church after half the group left to find them. The camera slowly panned from one group to a center point where we waited for what seemed like an eternity until shadowy figures finally emerged from the woods on the opposite side of the screen. What happened next is a great lesson in how to execute a slow burn. Just gradually turn the temperature up until the water reaches its boiling point. Gareth slowly moving through the church was the rise and the bullet to his hand was the first sign of bubbles.
The water was completely out of control and flooding from the pot when Rick delivered on his promise from “No Sanctuary” and absolutely slaughtered Gareth with the red handled machete. Rick had some help from his friends who dispatched the rest of the Terminians as the show jumped back in line with the comics. Some key players (mainly Glenn, Maggie, and Tyreese) watched on in horror and the actors all did a great job setting up and selling this scene. This was, by far, the highlight of the episode and maybe even the season so far. Fans won’t be able to get this scene out of their heads for a long time.
Four Walls and a Roof final takeaways
- We basically were given a three episode season premiere, it would have taken at least 8 episodes to unfold all of these events in previous seasons. Will this pacing continue?
- Even as a big fan of the comics, Gareth’s execution was surprising. I thought for sure they would switch up the plot to keep him around longer. His final scene was excellent but I can’t help but feel a little disappointed we won’t get to see him around any longer.
- Tyreese was given some significant character development amongst the chaos. He tried his best to get Sasha to stay with Bob and I must say, I agreed with what he was saying. I was kind of upset Sasha was so willing to risk missing out on her final moments with Bob just to get revenge. Tyreese stepping up at the end to finish off Bob for Sasha was also huge.
- It’s pretty common for the Walking Dead to use a quick twist to create a cliffhanger but Daryl’s return just seemed a little off. We’ll see next week how big a cliff we’re actually hanging from.
While a solid episode overall, I was left with some concerns moving forward. It looks like we are getting a Beth-centric episode next week which I can’t say I have much faith in. We are left without a main villain and lost a significant lingering threat for the group, we all saw how this played out in the second half of season 4. It seemed forced and even a bit silly for Glenn and Maggie to just offer to leave and take the bus with Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene. I was really enjoying the entire group being together and they hinted at some great conflict between Rick and Abraham. It was odd to see the new Rick simply be told by Glenn that he had no say in the matter and that was it. At least we got Abraham’s lighthearted apology to Rick.
Those concerns, however, are on hold until the rest of the season airs. For now, “Four Walls and a Roof” has season five batting a thousand. Do you agree? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to rate the episode!