We just want to hold on to our squirrels. (The Walking Dead 5.02, “Strangers”)

keysmash television recaps the walking dead season 5 episode 2 strangers headerHail, hail, the gang’s (almost) all here, and they’re officially starting to regroup. Figure out where they’re going, and who they’re going with. Reuniting their family. Finding silver linings. Giving me feelings.

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We start out with some bad ass slow motion shots, our people moving on from the murder cabin. We’re not sure where they’re going yet, and neither are they. The DC crew are still conspiring, and I was very worried about what they were going to pull before the episode was over.

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Cut into these Reservoir Dogs shots were little scenes of everyone making things right with each other. All of these scenes were so heartwarming. Rick was doing the good leader thing, making the rounds, and generally doing the most in the way of emotions. He fist bumped Tara, after telling her that no matter who she was with before, she was one of his now. But when he got to Carol, there was no “we forgive you, welcome back” speech. No, Rick did it one better. He knew the only reason they were alive was Carol, and so HE asked HER for permission to join her. This was such a great moment to me, especially since she seems so unsure of her place in the group after everything she’s had to do.

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On their merry way through the woods, Bob and Sasha play what I’m calling the silver lining game. I should’ve known this was foreshadowing. Bob’s optimism is refreshing, but some might say he’s also naive, and naivete can lead to you getting killed. I thought it was cute, and hope his optimism spreads through the group. That’s one thing our people need more of.

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They hear cries for help, and Rick hesitates to run to the person’s aid. Over the course of the show their outlook on other survivors has gotten bleaker and bleaker, and with good cause. Carl, in his role as one of Rick’s Jiminy Crickets, convinces him to help, and they find Dr. Deaton – er, Father Gabriel – on a boulder surrounded by walkers, screaming his fool head off.

After Gabriel heaves into the grass, because apparently he’s survived this long without getting completely used to how grody walkers are, he tells our group that he has a church. Didn’t we just leave a place that promised sanctuary and was in fact NO SANCTUARY? I mean, I’m fairly confident that there are no cannibals in this church, but you just never know. Shit, now I’m as cynical and distrusting as Rick.

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The church is not full of cannibals, thankfully, nor is it a trap so that Gabriel can steal Daryl’s squirrels. And good thing, because Daryl ain’t fucking around about his squirrels.

Our people take a good look around, finding notebooks full of sermons (all seeming to revolve around the book of Genesis), tableaus of the last supper (fitting, eh?), and an altar full of canned goods. Preacher is not exactly a neat freak. There are also walls full of creepy hellfire and brimstone coloring book pages. What a fun Sunday school program they must have had.

Abraham is testing out his obviously rusty recruiting skills outside, and he’s told by one person after another: “One way or another, we’re doing what Rick does.” Better go to plan B, Abe.

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While the church is full of cans, none of them have any goods left in them. Gabriel has scavenged most of the surrounding area, but says there’s one place overrun with walkers that he hasn’t dared go yet. Rick puts together some groups to go out and poke around, and he tells Carl to stay behind with a whole speech that basically boils down to CONSTANT VIGILANCE. Carl has a speech of his own for his dad, about how the group being strong means they can cut down on some of the “trust no one” stuff.

One group heads off to the gun store to look for ammunition, and Glenn confronts a walker. Or really, he gets scared by a stack of boxes and a mop, trips over it, and then shoots it. Maggie is charmed by this, but uh oh, so is Tara. Does she have a thing for Glenn? I really hope they’re not going to throw a love triangle at us.

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Speaking of love triangles, are going to end up with a Beth/Carol/Daryl triangle? I don’t ship Carol/Daryl OR Beth/Daryl romantically at all, but there’s canon support for each relationship possibly happening. And now, after a scene where Carol and Daryl are getting water and see a car with a cross on it, they’re taking off to where Beth is being held captive together.

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Rick’s group is killing some of the grossest walkers EVER while scavenging for canned goods. We were shown some footage of these walkers at SDCC but I was still not prepared. Not only are they killing gross walkers, they’re doing it while wading through the water in which these walkers have been marinating for lord knows how long. YUUUUUUCK. While they’re stabbing their way through bloated undead things, Gabriel is striking his best Jesus-on-the-cross pose like he’s going to sacrifice himself to one. She’s clearly someone he recognizes, so whether this is actually dying for his sins or just him giving the fuck up, I’m not sure. I’m guessing sacrifice.

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On the way back to the church Rick asks Michonne if she misses her sword. She tells him it wasn’t really hers, and that was a bad time for her, wandering alone with her walkers. She misses Andrea, she misses Hershel, but she doesn’t miss what came before. And then my heart exploded, so I can’t really tell you what else happened. WHY CAN’T THEY JUST BE A HAPPY FAMILY? I JUST LOVE THEM TOGETHER SO MUH-HUH-HUCH.


Back at the church, Carl discovers scratches on the outside walls that don’t look like they were made by walkers, and several that spell out the phrase, “You’ll burn for this.” He tells Rick it doesn’t necessarily mean Gabriel is a bad guy, but liiiiiiiike. If there were people outside the church scratching at the walls and the preacher was holed up in there for months with his altar full of canned goods, I’m not really seeing how else we can read that situation.

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At least he lets our people drink the communion wine. After all, if there’s no one to take communion then the wine doesn’t get blessed, and then it’s just regular old wine. Abe gives a toast, which starts out touching and ends up in a persuasive argument for going to DC. It works, because Judith gives her coo of approval, Rick agrees with her, and everyone else follows suit. Looks like our people are headed to DC.

Or not. Bob heads outside to have a little breakdown, which I totally understand. It’s like that time we were trying for day of tickets to One Direction and I had to keep everyone calm all day, and then when we got the tickets I went out into the parking lot and called my sister because I had been bottling up my own anxiety all day and needed to let it out. That’s totally the same thing as only dying in a zombie apocalypse, right? Anyway, Bob is having himself a cathartic little cry when he gets whacked over the head. I really should have seen it coming from the beginning.

What I never could have ever seen coming is what happens to poor Bob after that. Or should we call him Bob-BQ? (You can thank Chris Hardwick for that awful pun.) Turns out the whackers were Gareth and Martin, who is unfortunately very not dead. And not only did they knock Bob out, they also cut off his leg and cooked it and ate it.


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Gareth tries to justify cannibalism AGAIN but still I say NO. NO NO NO. You’re still a terrible person. Go kill some bloated walkers and get your own canned goods, asshole.

Since the Termites don’t seem to ever die I’ve decided to call them the Cockroaches instead. So now we have to see how our people get Bob back from the Cockroaches, and what is happening to Beth. Hopefully next week everyone can really be reunited, and we can start heading towards DC.

Liz Keysmash
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Liz Keysmash

Liz has a ginger kitty named Thackery Binx who chirps like a bird and plays fetch like a dog. She reads a lot of slash, and writes a bit as well. She thinks she’s a good cook, she brews beer, she's a total nerd about baseball, she reads YA fiction, she has recently rediscovered her love of pop music, she swears like a sailor.
Liz Keysmash
Follow Liz
  • Leìah

    I thought maybe Bob was bitten, it looked like he was sweaty (fever) and was going out to off himself. His “one more” kiss request seemed rul rul sad. Also, isn’t Tara a lesbian? I hope they don’t make her have a thing for Glen. I need him and Maggie to be solid.

    • Liz Keysmash

      I thought he’d been bitten too, but then at the end it didn’t seem that way. They wouldn’t have eaten part of him if he’d been bitten, right?

      Tara had a girlfriend at one point but I don’t think she’s ever specified lesbian as opposed to bisexual. If she is, maybe I’m misinterpreting and she’s jealous of him because she wants Maggie. 😉

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