Blogging Dead: Self Help (s5ep5)

Posted: November 10, 2014 in Television, The Walking Dead

6a0515cb-7ce3-1446-3d49-53eb2710bdc6twd505gp06200079jpg-eb5f07_960wOut on the road in the bus, Abraham and his half of the group are chatting about his plans prior to the fall. Rosita and Tara joke about cutting the guys’ hair, while Maggie tries to stay optimistic about Rick’s half of the group catching up. Turning toward Eugene, he continues to try to stay confusing about his classified information while defending his hair style. Just after passing by a group of walkers, the bus falls out of control and crashes against a car, flipping onto its side. The pack of walkers begin to make their way toward the bus.

Abraham has a flashback, where he killed several men. When they finally come to, they check on everyone, but they are disoriented and are surrounded by walkers. They barge out of the back door and start to take down the walkers. Eugene slicks to the background but is given a knife by Tara and told to be brave. After a few moments, the walkers have been dispatched but Abraham worries about Eugene and any potential injuries. Abraham begins to bleed but claims the blood is from a past cut. Abraham demands that they continue onward, but there is hesitation from the rest of the group. Glenn checks on his mental state and agrees to continue to roll on. Eugene takes a moment to stare at and spit on the walker he helped kill before rejoining the group.

Back in his flashback, he is yelling for a woman named Ellen. He finds her with two children. Back to the present, they break into a building and start to set up camp for the night. Humming a song to himself, Abraham continues to set up their safety measures. The rest of the group sets a few fires in trash cans for light and warmth. Rosita works on Abraham’s hand just before he heads out for a security sweep. Glenn goes with him, as they start checking surrounding vehicles. Abraham thanks Glenn for his involvement and talks about how the remaining survivors are strong, leading to a game of either joining with the strong or defending against them. Glenn questions whether the world will change, but Abraham assures him that it will. He then heads inside to have sex with Rosita while Eugene watches from the shadows. Tara catches Eugene watching, where he feels he has to explain himself. Tara thanks him for saving her, but he admits that the bus crashed because of him. He explains that he put crushed glass into the fuel line, which must have torn through. Tara challenges him but agrees to keep it a secret for his sake. In another room, Maggie feels guilty for leaving the rest of the group. Glenn tries to console her with a little humor, but Maggie admits that she feels good just because they are actually starting to think about their future rather than their past.

047ce0fe-ce8d-07d6-0df2-2b779403815etwd505gp06260164jpg-eb5f08_960wIn another piece of flashback, Abraham is talking with Ellen, saying that he saved her and the children. They are all frightened of him and the fact that he is covered in blood. The next morning, Rosita checks Abraham’s wound and clears it. She suggests they stay for the day, but Abraham refuses to listen to her. Maggie and the rest walk in and say that they could stay for the day, but Rosita falls in line with Abraham’s gusto. He leads the group to a fire engine and starts to get them set up to leave. The ignition struggles to turn over but he gets it working. He only gets it moved forward a few yards before it fails, leaving a door open behind it. Walkers start to flood out of the building and overwhelm the group. Eugene grabs the fire hose and starts to power spray the walkers to the ground. They survive and Abraham heads up to the roof of the engine to clear the intake. Taking a moment to take it all in, he starts laughing while the others watch with confusion.

Another piece of the flashback appears, with Abraham waking up to Ellen and the kids having taken off while he slept. In the present, Abraham continues to work on the engine, which has stalled again outside of the town. Eugene is reading H.G. Wells when Maggie approaches him. She tries to have a conversation with him and let him know that she understands his mullet. She quotes a biblical story about Sampson and how it relates to his situation of standing out and being seen. Abraham gets the group moving forward when they come up to a large stretch of farms with zombie herds in the distance. The group wants to detour and find a way around, but he refuses to turn back and continues to fight for his goals. He grabs Eugene and starts to drag him. With everyone fighting, Eugene finally admits that he is not a scientist and leaves the group stunned in silence. He starts to speak up and admits that he is a good liar. He figured that Washington DC held the greatest chance for survival. Rosita reminds him that people died because of his lie. He starts to list the people he remembers and continues to admit his lie. Abraham looks up and takes three strong punches to Eugene’s face, sending Eugene to the ground and busting up his hand again. He begins to walk away and falls to his knees. Eugene lies on the ground unconscious. Falling back into a flashback, Abraham continues to look for Ellen and the kids. He rips off his dogtag and almost commits suicide. A frightened Eugene walks up with three walkers following him. Abraham dispatches the walkers and starts to walk away. Eugene yells to him that he has a secret mission and wants to go with him.

Reaction: The human danger of last episode has been replaced by the dangers of being back out in the wild again. The bus crash at the start of the story reopened the dangers of being within the open world. Even so, the true danger from this new world actually continues to be from within the living.

the-walking-dead-censored-111944Eugene’s lie was revealed, an element that people who read the comics knew about but were not sure when it would come out. Throughout the episode, he continued to put up a front and try to convince everyone that he was smarted than he looked and that a cure was out there. At the moment that the group turned on Abraham’s violent drive to push forward, he knew that he no longer could keep the secret and keep the group safe. He had let many people die in the past and likely had the guilt hanging over him. As a brief part of Abraham’s flashback, he was vital in helping Abraham still be alive at this point of their story. He was relatively physically helpless, but he knew that he could manipulate Abraham if he had something that made him too important to let die.

Abraham’s past was also revealed. It was violent and awful for so many reasons. He had to become brutal to save his wife and kids because the group he traveled with turned on his family and sexually assaulted them while he was out on a run. Scared by the violence, Ellen and their kids ran off while he slept and met their end at the hands of the walkers. Abraham discovered them and was more than ready to give up on life, as he thought he was the only one left alive. In the present, he was confronting these memories because of the conversation with Eugene and the others about haircuts and what he had planned to do before the fall. Eugene essentially saved him from shooting himself, but Eugene’s big reveal made him feel like it was all in vain. He is now left to try to make sense of their future and whether the trip to Washington still makes sense.

The group is at a crossroads. They had made some movement forward but the church is relatively far behind in their rearview mirror. They told the rest of Rick’s group that they would meet in Washington, but now there is no reason to continue forward. What to do next?

In Memoriam: many, many walkers (super-soaked or decimated); Abraham’s victim in the grocery store; Ellen and the kids

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