Talking Out The Dead: “Four Walls and a Roof”

Thomas Crawford: So a church is not a safe place to hide in TWD world?  You’ve got to be joking.  I think everyone knew that this episode was going to bring some things to a head.  However, the route that it took was more then a little shocking.  Bob, our favorite good natured cup half full guy, is out.  Surprisingly, so are the cannibalistic Terminites.  I’m sure there are mixed reactions on that aspect.  What makes me wonder is what greater evils will Rick and the crew face in the upcoming episodes?

I have to admit, Bob has more grit than I would ever have in that situation.  If someone is devouring my leg right in front of me, I think I would be begging and crying.  What does good old Bob do?  “TAINTED MEAT!”  He actually taunts the Terminites by showing them the bite he had received by a walker.  I guess they should pick their food a little more carefully.

Seriously though, taunting the people that have kidnapped you, cut off your leg, and eating it in front of you.  He still had the stones to taunt them for him being infected.  I don’t care what anyone says, I like Bob.  Sadly, he wasn’t long for TWD world.  It wasn’t as noble or dramatic as Herschel in season 4.  However, the man went with some style.

I also like how he got to say goodbye to Sasha, and even thanked Rick for bringing him into the family.  Most deaths in the show are horrific.  This is one of the first in a long time that seemed peaceful by comparison.  It was sort of weird, the whole family gathered around Bob after saying goodbye.  Bob slowly faded out with Sasha next to him.  Tyreese came in, and then ended it with a knife to the head.  It was interesting that they didn’t show a change to a walker, or even focused on the knife thrust to the head.  What it was about was an almost normal experience, loved ones saying good bye to someone not long for the world.

In the end, I think there will probably be some people who hated it.  Why did Herschel have to be so violently slaughtered? Why did Bob get to go out surrounded by people he cared about as he breathed his last?  Those are the types of questions that no one can answer in TWD or in real life.  I will say I liked that the death showed more about the family coming together, than focusing on the death itself.  I have a sinking suspicion that upcoming episodes will have enough tragic deaths to satisfy those with the taste.

Ah the Terminites, we hardly knew ye.  Actually we all knew enough to know that you were going to be royal pain in the necks to the group.  I guess part of me felt sorry, as the Terminites were cut down like rabid animals by Rick and the group.  Then again, I didn’t feel that sorry.  The Terminites wouldn’t have spared any of Rick’s group if the roles had been reversed (Actually the roles had been reversed in the first episode, and it was obvious there was no remorse in the Terminites for slaughtering innocents for food).

I guess I wasn’t that sad to see it, maybe it was just that glimmer of hope in Gareth’s eyes, as he pleaded for his life.  It was just something that begged for humane treatment even though it had not been earned.  If Gareth had met Rick a season or so ago, his pleas might have moved Rick.  I doubt it would have changed the outcome, but there might have been at least a hint of hesitation.

That is the most disturbing and awesome thing about the change in Rick this season.  I think he has fully realized what it takes to survive and keep his family alive.  I can almost see the memory flickering in his eyes.  “What if I hadn’t let the Governor get away without searching more?”  One could almost see the parallel between Gareth begging for his life, and Rick begging the Governor at the prison gates in season 4, so everyone could live in peace.

There is no doubt… that Rick is gone.  He said the next time he saw Gareth, he would kill him with the machete.  The cold delivery of that line with the quick swipe down on the kneeling Gareth sent chills down my spine.  Yes I cheered, yes I was shocked, and yes it was an awesome and brutal moment.  I have to honestly say it was a stronger moment in some way than when Rick killed Old Joe and stabbed the Claimer for threatening to rape Carl.

Yes, I can hear it now, it was brutal.  Yes, it showed a change in character.  However, there was a slight difference that most people tend to forget.  The Claimers had Rick, Michonne, Carl, and Darryl dead to rights.  It was fight and kill or die.  The Terminites at the end of the episode?  They were on their knees, without their weapons, and begging for mercy.

I’m not saying that what Rick and the group did was wrong.  Far from it.  I am only stating that it takes a certain mentality to be willing to kill in self defense, though I’ve heard everyone has that in them.  It takes a completely different mindset to kill an enemy that is weaponless, on their knees, asking to be let go.  Finally, to kill a man on his knees, who has asked for mercy… with the machete, as you told him you would… that is a level I have trouble comprehending.

I bet a lot of people probably think they could do what the group did to the Terminites easily.  Was it that easy for the entire group?  Abraham didn’t have a problem, he’s obviously seen a lot of things and is driven to survive.  What about Glenn?  Anyone notice the change on his face?  I think he would have been prepared to shoot the Terminites if they had been firing back.  However, defenseless and asking for mercy, it was obvious that he was shaken.

What about Tyreese?  Yes, the man has issues with killing, however the more I get to know him the more I think it is because he is a good man trying to come to terms with what the world has become.  Finally, what about Maggie?  She uttered the words, “This isn’t a church, it’s just four walls and a roof.”  It’s a great line, but the truth was she came from a religious upbringing.  Has she changed so much?  Has the change been for the better or worse?

I’ve been rambling, so I’m going to kick this over to Kelen.  What do you think?  I mean let’s be honest, Rick has come to a new level of bad ass.  However, is that a good or bad thing?  Yes, him trying to be a farmer might have been too extreme.  However, is this new Rick who kills in cold blood (I don’t care how you split it, yes, it’s cold blooded murder) any better?  I’m not sure, though it makes for some interesting thoughts about the future of the show.

Anthony Sellers: Not so fast, you mind if I interject before Kelen? Well, I’m going to interject with a few quick thoughts before Kelen. Sorry, bro! I personally like the obvious change in Rick. I wonder if it’s something that is a short-term change until they find a new safe haven they can settle into like the prison. No matter if it is or not, it eases my mind to see that he doesn’t mind being stone cold and ruthless.

Also, can you really blame him? Gareth and the Terminites were going to slaughter and butcher him and his family and not think twice. Then look at what they did to Bob. Eating his leg right in front of him, it was an obvious torture move that completely backfired on them. Gareth also killed his own brother before Terminus was essentially destroyed. Gareth deserved the machete and slaughter that he received, although the group may be hexed now for doing it in a church.

There are also similarities for Rick in both the Claimers and Terminites situation. The Claimers had Rick kneeling in front of their main guy, then again kneeling in front of Gareth. Add to that the fact that Carl was in danger in both situations as well, then everyone should understand why he’s gotten so cold. It was personal for Rick in both situations. I don’t think you can say you wouldn’t do the same to protect your family in TWD world.

Did anybody else find some gratitude when Michonne was reunited with her sword? She may want to turn a new leaf, but that sword gives her a sense of identity and security in my mind. As for Maggie, her “four walls” line could have been an in the moment line. Unlikely, but still a possibility. I think in a normal world, her change would be for the worse, but in TWD world… I think it’s a good change for the moment. Until the group finds a safe place to call home for a while or they get Eugene to D.C. to cure the world (which by the way, I think is total bull-honkey. I get a vibe he has a bigger plan) then she needs to be this way. You already have Tyreese as the softie of the group, no need for Maggie to be that way.

Glenn is the group’s stabilizing force in my mind. It’ll be interesting to see how the group acts without him being a voice of reason for Rick. Abraham definitely sees the asset that he and Maggie are when in combat, which is why he wanted them to join his small force on their mission. Add to the fact that Glenn and Maggie were able to have similar minds to find each other when they were apart, and I think he realized how strong they really are.

Does that make any sense? I hope so, if not, at least I know what I’m trying to convey, ha ha.

Finally, Bob. Poor Bob. They took too long letting him die! Although I personally like that Tyreese took care of business (yes he’s still the softie of the group) and they didn’t let Bob turn, unlike Daryl’s brother back in season 3. Don’t get me wrong, I like that he got to say goodbye to everyone, but to drag it out over basically the whole episode was overkill. If they do that scene about halfway through then that gives reason for the church slaughter in my mind. It then makes their “Terminate the Terminites” mission that much more justified.

That’s all I have, thanks for letting me interject (that’s my word of the day for some reason). Now off to Kelen.

Kelen Conley: Welcome to Talking Out The Dead Anth. I hope you’ll stick around for a while. I’ll tackle your thoughts first and then make my way back up to Thomas’.

I felt like you about how long it took Bob to die during the episode. But now that I’ve had time to think on it, I know exactly why the writers decided to prolong his death. We’ve seen many members of the group die in some way or another over almost 4 and a half seasons now, but no one has ever gotten to say goodbye like Bob did. Amy died immediately and Andrea waited for her to reanimate. Ed and Dale and T-Dog got torn to shreds. Sophia disappeared and then showed up in Herschel’s barn. Shane got stabbed. Lori bled out and got eaten. Herschel decapitated. TWD universe has never offered us a character on their death bed. It was a very “normal” thing for the group to deal with I thought. And anything near “normal” is something the group as a whole is always craving.

I think it showed how much Bob’s character had grown from the alone alcoholic to the positive thinking man in love. It was a nice character arc for him, even if it didn’t come with a happy ending.

Tyreese gets no points for mercy killing Bob. It was a sweet thing to do for his sister but that man is a LIABILITY.

I hadn’t picked up on it, but Glenn is definitely the group’s moral compass now. He just really respected the hell out of Herschel and Dale and to be able to take up the role is probably comforting for him.

Maggie meant every word of what she said to Father Gabriel. She was brought up by Herschel and while nothing has been mentioned, I’m sure she’s still very religious. But bottom line, her husband was about to get hit in the head with a bat and have his throat slit, a day or so ago?. He was seconds away from this happening twice before Carol’s assault on Terminus. She had no mercy for the Terminus survivors. She was shocked by the brutality sure, but she didn’t regret it.

Plus, since she didn’t lose it on the road trying to find Glenn, I’d say she’s one of the more levelheaded members of the group. She will do what needs to be done, but she has a moral code too.

Michonne getting her version of Excalibur back was super rewarding for me. It’s definitely become a third arm for her since the outbreak and I’m glad this wrong has been righted. She’s really been pushed to the back burner this season though. Hopefully she’ll see more storyline time by the midseason finale or when season 5 returns in 2015.

Was Rick too hard on the Gareth and the survivors of Terminus? Has Rick went down a road he can’t get back from? Was the fact that his family was in danger (again) the trigger for the violence?


Anth touched on the point that if the shoe had been on the other foot, Rick’s entire group would be feeding the Terminites for weeks. Not to mention what they would’ve done to women in the group first and then Judith and Carl. Rick showing mercy in that moment would’ve shown he’s learned nothing since the prison.

The worst part about the prison for Rick was the fact that they tried to look for the Governor and couldn’t find him. We of course learned what the Governor was up to since his first prison attack but it had been months since he was last seen. Rick probably even started letting himself believe that he was dead. If Rick had opened the right door on a run one night and saw the Governor begging for his life, even farmer Rick would have killed him. And yeah, Rick did plead with the Governor to share the prison but he had no moves left. The Governor had Michonne and Herschel and a small army and a TANK. Even if the Governor accepts Rick’s offer, one of them would’ve been dead by the next day.

It goes back to something that’s brought up a lot in today’s comics: why let the villains live? Why didn’t Spider-Man beat the Green Goblin to death after he killed Gwen Stacy? Why hasn’t Batman killed Joker especially after what he did to Jason Todd and Barbara Gordon? Why doesn’t Superman kill Lex Luthor while he’s sleeping one night? If they’re dead, they can’t cause any more issues. In the comics, if any of these super heroes where to do so, they’d be no better than the villains they killed. If Rick lets Gareth go, how long until they attack again and someone else (if not all of them) dies and gets eaten?

After the prison, Rick’s realized everyone has to be a villain sometimes in order to survive. Herschel wouldn’t allow himself to believe that and that’s what he preached to Rick after the first prison attack. Rick now believes that Shane’s way of thinking was correct. Unlike Shane, he still has his wits about him (though it was touch and go there in season 3). Rick murdered Gareth the way he did not just because of the fact his family and group was in danger but he did if for all the people Terminus killed and ate.

People came down those tracks to Terminus looking for what the signs said: sanctuary. While Gareth did mention that they gave people a choice upon arrival, how many people wandered miles and miles and survived but just didn’t want to eat people? How many people met death at this supposed sanctuary? Rick, Sasha, Abraham, and Michonne were 150% correct to murder the Terminites in cold blood for what they did to them. For what they did to people like them who just wanted to find a place to live a day longer maybe.

As I sit here typing this, I know I wouldn’t have it in me to murder them that way. I still might not even if I had been with Rick’s group and escaped Terminus. But I wouldn’t fault them for what they did or how they did it. This may be the first time in the series where I feel like true justice was served. I liked Shane but I knew he had to die. The Governor’s death wasn’t gratifying as Michonne left him to suffer and turn and then Lilly shot him in the head. This just feels… right.

Rick hasn’t changed for the bad. In fact, I think he can still be compassionate when the time comes. Yeah, Carl prodded him to go check on the screams they heard from Father Gabriel last episode but the Three Questions still exist. He threatened him at one point, but Gabriel was being sketchy as hell, and you don’t have to be nice to someone who keeps his secrets in TWD universe.

I fully endorse Rick Grimes taking his machete to skulls when he has to do it. That’s a leader I can get behind.

TC: Very good thoughts all around honestly.  By the way, I do agree that it felt like justice is what the Terminites got.  I’m just throwing out ideas about possible themes for the rest of the season.  A few more thoughts about this episode:

First, the showdown between Rick and Abraham was quite anticlimactic.  I think everyone knew that the two leaders were going to butt heads eventually.  However, Glenn stepped up and stopped it before they were about to throw down.  Is this the last of it between the two?  It’s possible.  I especially liked the note Abraham left saying sorry for being an asshole.  He also wrote that the world needs Rick Grimes.  I think for foreseeable future they will be more brothers-in-arms than clashing on leadership decisions.

It is good to see Michonne with her sword.  The warrior woman just didn’t look right without it.  Actually, she is more on the back burner, which leads me to believe one of two things:  Either she is going to get way more story time the second half of the season, or she may be up on the chopping block.  At this point the show is dealing with a lot of characters and back stories.

Speaking of back burner, what is with Carl?  I have to admit, I do like that they pulled back on the story between him and Rick for awhile.  However, he’s been pretty much a piece of scenery.  Was it me or did Walker Bait get more lines than he did in this episode?  I’m sure they will get back to him and Rick and them dealing with staying alive and trying to have some kind of father/son relationship.  Another one of those just have to wait and see.

Who is with Daryl?  Obviously it is not Carol, because they would have both just walked out together.  At least I think so.  Next week’s episode seems to focus on Beth (finally).  Could it be her?  I’m not sure because Daryl didn’t look too happy when he showed up at the end.  Maybe it could Morgan?  We did catch a glimpse of him at the end of the first episode but since then he has been a no-show.

Overall, I loved the episode.  It was violent and gory, and it showed the continuation of the story while most of it took place within four walls and a roof (I can be clever when I want to be.)  The ending with Daryl showing up made it even better.  Sadly, we probably won’t find out who he is with for at least another two episodes.  That’s all I got, I’ll let Kelen wrap this up.

KC: And to think I would’ve wrapped this without getting to my theory I’ve been yelling about since episode’s end: Carol doesn’t make it back with Daryl. You mentioned how he looked pretty bummed and if anything could do that, Carol’s death would be it. They went chasing after a vehicle like the one that took Beth, it’s not a stretch to think that she sacrificed herself for Daryl and/or Beth. This goes along with my idea from “Strangers” that she feels like she’s better off alone; what better way to fulfill that by saving people she cares about while taking herself out of the equation?

They did a really great job making it hard to tell who was with Daryl. I don’t think it’s Morgan because if Carol and/or Beth doesn’t make it back with Daryl, I doubt he’ll be the friendliest person if he ran into Morgan. Rick, Carl, or Michonne could have told him about Morgan from their last encounter with him but chances of a battle weary Daryl putting two and two together are slim. The real payoff for Morgan is to see him reunited with Rick. How long the reunion lasts is up in the air though.

After all of the character building they did with Carl and Michonne at the end of season 4, I’m not too surprised they aren’t doing much. Michonne is learning to embrace the living again and Carl knows that while he’s becoming more independent, he’s not ready to be on his own. I’m glad the writers aren’t beating us over the head with that so far this season.

I don’t think three episodes makes Michonne killable, so I’m hoping they’re just saving her stories for the end of season 5. Still hoping for a Richonne hookup at this point though. Rick hasn’t gotten laid in at least 2 seasons and it’s been longer for Michonne.

Abraham and Rick aren’t finishing clashing in my opinion. Abraham is so obsessed with his mission that he’s not going to let anyone alter his plans if he can help it. Just because Glenn diffused this situation and Abraham offered up a halfhearted apology doesn’t mean anything. Plus, I think Abraham is a little crazy which never helps when you want to coexist with others.

Kill Watch anyone?

Kill Watch 5.3
Father Gabriel

Leave a Reply