The Walking Dead S5E5: Self-Help
Original Airdate: November 9, 2014
Recap by Sarabeth Pollock
We’re back with the rest of the gang this week. It was nice checking in last week with Sansa Stark, er, I mean Beth….
The bus is rolling along the road. Abraham is at the wheel and there is some music on the radio. Rosita is playing with his hair. She’s teasing that his hair has gotten long. He says he’ll let her shave him all over, “dolphin smooth,” if she’s good. Tara teases Eugene about his hair. He says it doesn’t matter how long his hair is in order for him to save the world. He’s lost in thought thinking about the church and the preacher. Glen asks him how long it will take to fix things. Eugene pulls the “classified” card again but Glen points out that if they save the world, secrets won’t matter. This gives Eugene pause, and eventually he says that there would be missiles deployed with the cure. Everything from there would depend on weather patterns, which they would need to recalculate because no one anticipated having the world free of planes, trains and cars for so long. And lastly he says that no one is messing with his hair. He likes his hair. Abraham smiles as he drives, as they pass a herd of Walkers on the road. Suddenly the bus hits something. There are cars strewn in the roadway and the bus catches one of them and flies up and over it, spinning onto its side. The Walkers slowly approach.
We flash back to a time when Abraham is bashing in a man’s face with a tin can. He stands up and looks at the mess of bodies lying in what appears to be a supermarket aisle. Back on the bus, the group comes to their senses and Glen says that he and Abraham will get off first, followed by everyone else. The bus’s engine is on fire and they’re surrounded by Walkers. Eugene is terrified but Tara tells him that it’s time to be brave. She gives him a knife and he looks at it like he’s never seen a knife before. They step outside and he watches as everyone around him fights the Walkers with their bare hands. He tries to kill a Walker but he misses the brain. Tara helps him out. Once they’re safe, Abraham says someone should check Eugene to be sure he isn’t hurt. He says he isn’t hurt but Abraham insists. A cut on Abraham’s hand opened up again, but as Maggie turns to grab the first aid kit from the bus, the bus catches on fire. Abraham says they have to keep moving forward, that there is no turning back. Glen asks if Abraham is okay. He isn’t questioning his authority, he just wants to be sure Abraham is okay. Abraham looks utterly lost, but he’s happy to know that Glen is on board. They all decide to press on, but before they leave, Eugene pauses to spit on the Walker he almost killed on his own.
Back in Abraham’s flashback, he’s walking through a store searching for Ellen. She rises and turns with a little boy. They’re both sick. In the present, the gang finds a book store and make sure it’s a safe place to crash for the night. They close up the windows and make a fire. The shelves provide extra protection. Tara boils water while Maggie rips books apart and gives Rosita the string inside to stitch Abraham’s hand. He caresses her cheek and then leaves to scout the perimeter. A Walker bumps into the window and Abraham watches. Glen walks up and Abraham thanks him for showing up. He stayed with them, which means a lot. Glen points out that he made a promise, and there wasn’t much Abraham could do if he broke it. Abraham says that they’re at a point where they need to stay strong. Glen can see that he’s battling some demons. “The world’s gonna change, right?” Glen asks. Abraham says it is. Glen suggests that he should turn in for the night, but Abraham says he needs some “ass” first. Rosita and Abraham get it on behind a shelf, and she looks up to see Eugene watching them have sex. She tells Abraham he’s looking over the shelf in the self-help section, which makes Abraham laugh harder. He assures her that Eugene is harmless. Tara walks up and taps Eugene, who quickly explains that he enjoys the beauty of the female form. She doesn’t want to hear that (especially considering that they can all hear the grunts) and instead wants to thank him for having her back today. He saved her life. (Easter Egg: There are three red books on the shelf behind Eugene in the self-help section. They’re all the same: We All Fall Down. I wonder if that means anything…) He says he wanted to help and she gave the context to do so. That’s when Eugene drops the bomb—he made the bus crash. He put crushed glass in the fuel line. He didn’t mean for it to crash, but he needed to stop it. He said that he did it because if he fails in his mission, he can’t protect himself and he’ll have no value. Tara tells him that they are all friends and they would certainly take care of each other. She tells him not to mention what he did to anyone else. He’s not sure why he told her in the first place, but she says it’s because he’s human. He walks away, and she takes a quick look over the shelf before leaving.
Glen and Maggie are cuddled together and Glen sees that Maggie is still awake. She says she feels guilty about Abraham and Rosita, and Glen says that they all deserve little vacations, even if it’s on book store floors. He points out that they almost died and they’re drinking toilet water. She says that the night before was about what it’s going to be like. They kiss and go to sleep.
Abraham continues his watch now that he’s gotten his ass. Outside, Walkers wander around aimlessly. He’s deep in thought.
In the flashback, Abraham tells Ellen and the kids that they’re safe now that he stopped the bad people. He’s covered in blood, so they’re afraid of him, too.
The next day, Rosita tells Abraham that his cut isn’t infected. She wants to spend the day at the store, but he doesn’t want to stop. She says that maybe they never get anywhere because they never leave at 100%. The rest of the gang comes in and Maggie says that this town seems to be in good shape. No one even touched the book store. They could restock for the day and then leave. Rosita looks at Abraham and says that they need to keep moving. She’s a good little soldier. Abraham has found them a new vehicle…a fire truck.
They go outside and check out the abandoned rig. Eugene is humming as Abraham starts up the truck. It starts up slowly but it gets going. Then it stops. Abraham is angry and tries to clear the intake, but Rosita points out that it’s actually on the top of the truck. A tire rolling across the street catches their attention. The truck had been keeping a door closed, and inside the station is a herd of Walkers. The group tries to take them out but there are too many. Suddenly an arc of water shoots out and decapitates the Walkers. When they’re all gone, the group looks up to see Eugene on the top of the truck with the hose. Abraham laughs and says that’s the best thing he has seen all day. Glen and Maggie suggest that they find some dry clothes, but Abraham doesn’t want to stop. He says they can air dry. He gets on top of the truck to clear the intake, and he spots a message painted on the ground saying to let the Walkers die inside. He laughs like it’s the funniest thing ever. “It’s screwed up!” he laughs. I think Abraham is cracking a bit.
In the dream, Abraham awakens to see that Ellen and the kids are gone. “Don’t try to find us” is written on a receipt.
Out on the road, the gang is stopped. Everyone scouts while Eugene reads H.G. Wells’ “The Shape of Things.” Maggie walks up and says that she likes his hair. She says that she thinks he keeps it so people don’t think he’s like them. He has a mullet to look different. She says he isn’t like the story of Sampson, and she tells him the story of Sampson in the Bible. Glen smells something awful, so they set out on foot to see what it is. In the distance there are thousands of Walkers in a valley, in what looks to be a huge farm. The group wants to leave, but Abraham says that they keep detouring and they need to keep moving forward. They can’t turn back and they have to keep going. He won’t listen to their ideas, but when Rosita says they’re right, he stops. He suddenly turns and grabs Eugene and walks him back to the truck. Glen tries to stop him and they all start tussling. That’s when Eugene drops the other bomb—he’s not really a scientist. He lied.
At the fire truck, the gang has no words Eugene. Rosita says that she has seen him do things. He says that he is smarter than other people. He says that he figured that Washington D.C. is their best chance for survival, so he lied to ensure that he was protected. Rosita says that people died to protect him. Eugene recites their names. Abraham can’t contain himself any longer. He punches Eugene over and over, and on the last punch Eugene bounces against the truck and falls face-first into the pavement. The group isn’t sure if Abraham is alive or dead. Abraham walks off and continues the flashback. After Ellen left, Abraham was about to kill himself, but that’s when Eugene comes running up. He’s being chased by Walkers and Abraham helps him. Eugene doesn’t want to be alone, so he tells Abraham that he has a very important mission. That was all Abraham needed to hear.
Wow. I didn’t see that coming. As I’ve mentioned, I haven’t read the comics so I don’t know that Eugene is full of crap.
What did you think of the episode? Next week we get to see what happened with Carol and Daryl, so stay tuned!