Holy crap - that was by far one of the best episodes TWD has done in a really, really long time. "We didn't want to waste the bullets."
We pick right back up where we left off, with Gareth and company noshing on leg du Bob in front of a campfire outside of an elementary school. Inside the school: dozens of walkers, pressed up against the windows, clamoring to get out. Gareth is very talky, charming and psychotic - he's a good villain because you like to hate him. The Terminusians usually prefer to eat women but Bob is, surprisingly, very tasty. After a while, Bob starts weeping. Then the weeping turns to sobbing, which turns to laughing maniacally. The Terminusians gather around, saying that he's cracked. Still cackling, Bob pulls his shirt away from his shoulder, revealing a suppurating walker bite (that he got at the food bank). "I've been bitten, you stupid pricks! I'm tainted meat!" The cannibals spit out their mouthfuls, some of them vomit, panicking that they're now infected. "TAINTED MEAT!" shrieks Bob. Awesome.
Sasha, Tyrese and Rick wander in the woods around the church, looking for Bob, Darryl and Carol. They go back inside and confront Father Gabriel, sure that he's hiding something that has hurt their missing people. After some badgering, he breaks down, coward that he is, and confesses his guilty conscience: he locked himself inside his church and refused to open the doors to his parishioners when the zombies swarmed. He listened to his flock get ripped to shreds and eaten and then, afterwards, he buried all the remains. Rick et als., especially Carl, who wants to believe that people are good, look at him with disgust.
Then they hear something outside: the Terminusians have left Bob out on the lawn. They run out, drag Bob inside, and cap a few walkers just for the hell of it. Back inside, Bob brings them up to speed, including telling them that Gareth said he saw Darryl and Carol drive off. He also shows them all his bitten shoulder and everyone sort of collapses in on themselves. Death is such a constant on this show but it's still devastating when it's slow and peaceful, as peaceful as the aftermath of a bite during a zombie apocalypse. Gabriel says there's a couch in his office and they move poor Bob in there.
Abraham speaks up: the "get Eugene to Washington, D.C." contingent is bugging the hell out of here before things go to shit any further. Rick's like, you can't take that bus. Abraham: the hell I can't. After some back and forth macho posturing between Rick and Abraham, a compromise is reached: Abraham will stay for twelve more hours to try to fight against Gareth's group, but then he and his leave, and Tara, Glen and Maggie go with them. (It seems a little sudden that Glen and Maggie would agree to go except that Glen has more history with Abraham than the rest of Rick's people, and he's begun to be troubled by Rick's growing brutality. That's why Glen agrees to go.)
Bob and Sasha scene. Very sweet and sad. When Bob dies, he's going to take most of the hope and optimism and humor out of this group.
Out in the main part of the church, the gang makes a plan. "Plan's got stones, I'll give you that," says Abraham. "It's a big play," notes Rosita, getting a tiny line at last. Rick, Sasha, Abraham, Glen, Maggie and Michonne head off into the nighttime woods, leaving Carl, Eugene, Rosita, Tyrese, Bob, Gabriel and baby Judith huddled in the church office. And then, terribly, just as Rick's group fades from sight, Gareth and his crew sneak out of the woods themselves from where they have been hiding and watching and break into the church. Oh shit.
Gabriel gets to talk and talk again, taunting the hiders as the other five pull their guns and advance through the church. It's actually quite tense because, quite frankly, any of the hiders could conceivably get killed off (although probably not Carl or Judith). Just then, Judith gives out a wail before Carl can shush her. The gunmen move over to the office door, ready to bust it down. And then BANG BANG the heads of two of them splatter all over the wall.
It was a trick! Figuring that Gareth was watching, Rick and his group left and then circled around behind, silently coming back into the church. Rick tells them to drop their guns and kneel and when Gareth doesn't immediately respond, Rick shoots off all his fingers. Gareth tries to convince Rick that they'll leave and never come back, never bother Rick's group again. But Rick is done with mercy. He pulls out that red-handled machete and hacks the kneeling Gareth to pieces; behind him, Abraham, Michonne and Sasha take care of the other three. It is brutal and horrible, the Terminusians screaming, Glen, Maggie, Tara and Tyrese looking on in shock and horror. When it is done, Michonne lifts her sword off one of the bodies, her face unreadable. Gabriel staggers out of the office, looking at the gore splashed around his church. He whimpers, "But this is the Lord's house," but Maggie interrupts him with a curt, "No. It's just four walls and a roof."
The next morning, Bob is still hanging in there. Everyone says goodbye to him. He asks Rick to sit with him for a minute. Rick does, Judith on his lap. Bob says that before the prison, he didn't know if there were any good people left but Rick took him in. "Nightmares end - they shouldn't end who you are. And that is just this dead man's opinion." Later, Sasha sits with Bob. He wakes from a restless sleep, smiles at her and then breathes his last. She bows her head, crying quietly, then pulls out her knife to make sure he doesn't rise back up. But Tyrese comes in, takes the knife from his sister and, after she leaves the room, gently, sadly, slides the blade into Bob's temple. He's broken his vow not to kill again but he couldn't let Sasha do it herself.
Abraham, Eugene, Rosita, Tara, Glen and Maggie drive off in the bus, Abraham leaving Rick with a map of their planned route and eliciting a promise that they'll come to D.C. after they get Darryl and Carol back. After they've gone, Rick helps Tyrese dig some graves to bury the Terminusians out in the woods (Bob being already interred in the church's cemetery). He says to Tyrese that he never asked him how it was for him, getting to Terminus. Tyrese: "It killed me." Rick, after thinking about it a bit: "No, it didn't."
That night, Michonne is up keeping watch on the church's front steps, her sword sitting across her knees. Gabriel can't sleep and he joins her, saying that he still hears his congregation. Michonne: "Yeah, that won't stop - but it won't be all the time." They hear some rustling in the underbrush. Gabriel scurries back inside but Michonne draws her sword from its scabbard and walks towards the woods. After a tense moment, Darryl steps out. Michonne grins at him, then: "Where's Carol?" Darryl just looks at her for a second or two and then looks back into the dark woods behind him and says, "Come on out."
Previously on The Walking Dead / next time on The Walking Dead
6 minutes ago