The Walking Dead: 5.03 Four Walls and a Roof

Warning; spoilers ahead. Do not read unless you’ve seen episode three of Season Five.

After the bloody opening episode a couple of weeks ago it was hard to think that The Walking Dead could get any more brutal. It has. It's also the most consistently strong run the show has had for a good while.

Four Walls And A Roof was the episode where Rick and the gang descended further than ever before. Their slaughter of the people from Terminus was violent and bloody but most of all it was shocking. There has always been violence and death but before there’s been a reluctance about it, and a sense that if it has to be done it’s done the right way. Not in the church, Rick, Michonne, Sasha, and Abraham slaughtered Gareth and his mates. Yes they probably deserved it, they were cannibals and going to eat people, but the relish with which our “heroes” butchered them was a first.

A quick word for Andrew J West (aka Gareth), in a short time on the show - just four episodes - he turned Gareth into one of the creepiest villains The Walking Dead has seen, helped no doubt by the tiny snippets of backstory they were given. Calculating, intelligent, and strangely sane, Gareth will be missed.

But where does it all leave Rick? He’s agonised over choices before, he killed his best friend, saw his wife die, think he’s lost his baby daughter, has he been pushed over the edge again? Well it doesn’t look like it, the final scene with Bob suggested that Rick is OK, that he’s more balanced than he’s been for a while. That only makes the violence more shocking. Interesting to note was the reaction from Glenn, Maggie, and Tara to all this, also telling is their leaving for Washington and choosing to split from the main group.

So what else happened, well Bob’s gone. And in another surprise it was more moving than you might have thought. For a long time Bob felt like a spare part, his story didn’t go anywhere and they just dropped the alcohol issue, but recently he’s felt like a strong moral centre for the group. Not anymore.

Then there’s Father Gabriel whose rather unshocking backstory is that he let everyone die. In a show with twists and turns, shocks and surprises this was distinctly underwhelming. Maybe he was lying. Maybe there is more to come.

And of course Maggie and Glenn are gone, they left with Abraham to take Eugene to Washington. I'm not totally sold on the reasons for the group splitting up again, storywise it doesn't make a huge amount of sense, but for the show it'll keep things interesting and allow for more than one plotline.

Then the final scene saw the return of Daryl and… who? We’ll find that out next week unless the show takes one of it’s diversions and we find out Beth’s story.

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