Cruz: The world after the zombie apocalypse may be lawless, but I’d argue it’s not necessarily consequence-free. To be sure, people are far more likely to get away with committing horrific acts and goodness isn’t always rewarded, but in a way The Walking Dead now occupies a space where virtually every action or failure to act can have dire consequences. In other words, what doesn’t kill you (or what you don’t kill) just might hunt you down and eat your leg. In the last episode, Rick warned Carl to never let his guard down, to never assume he’s safe, because vulnerability can kill.
After a legless and sputtering Bob is delivered to the front steps of St. Sarah’s, creepily tagged with a red letter “A,” Rick rallies the strongest fighters of the group to hit back at Terminus. In an utterly unnerving shot, Rick and the gang trudge off into the woods, and the camera holds still—patiently and almost predatorially—for several seconds before Gareth and his henchmen emerge from the trees. The standoff inside the church lasted just long enough to be tense (I loved how the guy Tyreese didn’t quite kill asks Gareth, “Are we done?”). Rick got to deliver some poetic justice when he hacked Gareth to pieces with the red-handled machete, as promised (I think I had some Red Wedding flashbacks).
And so now it seems the show is set to follow two diverging storylines: the group en route to D.C., and the church folks, who I (as a non-comic reader) speculate will likely be involved with figuring out what happened to Beth.
Sims: Yes, diverging plots seems to be the direction things are heading in, which is not unusual territory for The Walking Dead these last few seasons. I’m a little sad considering it was nice to get everyone back together, but the cast is a little unwieldy and watching all the alpha males fight can get a little tiring. What do you make of Abraham and his crew? I think I’m willing to believe anything Michael Cudlitz, who plays Abraham, says because I have a lot of respect for the actor (I loved him on Southland) but there’s a lot of faith to go on there.
The Eugene character is particularly compelling because of his unwavering certainty about everything, but I'm only buying the line he’s selling because he blurts out complicated science-y gibberish from time to time with a completely deadpan expression on his face. Are you more compelled by the trip to D.C. or the group staying behind? And what to make of that final moment with Carol and Daryl emerging from the woods? Was I to take that as a grudging confirmation for fans who are cheering for their romance? I have a lot of friends who were annoyed when Carol and Daryl’s budding relationship was split up through plot circumstance last year.
Cruz: I like Abraham, Eugene, Eugene’s mullet, Rosita, and Tara, but I’m way more invested in their collective survival now that they’ve got Glenn and Maggie in tow. Of course, I’d love nothing more than for them to make it to D.C. and find a cure, or as Eugene calls it, fighting “fire with fire.” But I’ve got a sneaky suspicion The Walking Dead isn’t going to make it that easy to give the world back to the living. Don’t ask why, I just do. I'm also very much in the anti-Daryl and Carol romance camp (I shudder to think what Brangelina-type nickname viewers would give them. Darol? Caryl?).