The Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 3 “Four Walls And A Roof” Review

The walking dead four walls and a roof

In “Four Walls And A Roof”, Rick faces off against the cannibalistic Hunters, Bob makes a surprise return to the church and Father Gabriel confesses his sin.

Everything after the break will contain complete spoilers and a discussion of The Walking Dead Season 5, Episode 3.

Four Walls And A Roof

When The Walking Dead has a point to make, the show doesn’t tip toe around the message; the writers like to repeat it again and again. Survival in the post apocalypse is about weighing the need for brutality against morality, of course what is moral is a big grey murky area.  What it comes down to is making decisions even when there doesn’t appear to be any other viable choice to be made.

Not shown very subtly is how there’s only a window pane that separates the flesh-eating Hunters from the flesh-eating walkers.  The Hunters don’t see themselves as evil which is a very scary kind of evil. They do what they do out of necessity or so Gareth believes. The Terminus is not an indiscriminate trap either, they give their prey the choice to either join them if they have useful skills or be eaten. Is that really a choice?

Back at the church, Father Gabriel is forced to confront a decision he made at the start of the zombie outbreak. His confession about locking out helpless people outside of the church is well acted and handled. Rather than leaving what Father Gabriel did as a mystery, the writers made a good decision to quickly provide answers and develop his character further. Now that he’s facing his demons, Gabriel’s self torment should ease off and the gang can start building trust with him, that is if he’s not scared of them after seeing Rick butcher The Hunters.

Tainted Meat

While the message of the episode was driven home, the logistics of why The Hunters dropped off Bob back at the Church is more interesting to examine. (This isn’t a comic spoiler since it already happened on the TV Show.) In the comics, dropping off an amputee was meant to be an intimidation tactic by the Hunters, to create a frenzy among the group, making them more vulnerable to attack and perhaps scaring one of them to leave the church for easy pickings. Of course being the badasses that Rick’s gang are it didn’t work.

The writers smartly didn’t try to replicate that scenario on the show because the Terminus people already met Rick’s gang and know they’ve been through so much that a partially devoured Bob wouldn’t unravel them.  Gareth’s sneak attack plan would have worked on an inexperienced group but Rick is way too clever to be fooled. Rick must have been thinking why are the Hunters sending back Bob instead of killing him? The letter “A” markings on the church and the Hunters’ gun shots that conveniently missed them as they picked up Bob off the ground was probably a big red flag too for Rick.

Because Bob is tainted meat Gareth decided that Bob is better used as a sort of bait than as food. We didn’t find out conclusively if eating infected meat that’s been cooked could turn people into walkers because there wasn’t enough time for the Hunters to develop symptoms before getting shot in the head or chopped up. Rick could have shown some mercy by giving Gareth a quick bullet to the head, instead he got personal using the machete to hack and slash.

bob-the-walking-dead season 5

Loose Ends

It’s understandable that Abraham believes the mission to find a cure to save humanity is more important than going after the Hunters (not sure why he wanted to go in the middle of the night). What’s weird is why Glenn and Maggie would leave Rick’s group to go with Abraham, especially since Daryl clearly said in the season premiere that Beth is still alive.  Doesn’t Glenn care about his sister-in-law and his other friends? Glenn also said last episode that he didn’t want the group to split up again so this is an unexpected turn around.

Oh Tyreese, the guy you left alive went on to eat Bob’s leg! Finishing off Martin in the premiere would have been an earned character moment. Afterall, Martin was about to snap Judith’s neck and forced Tyreese to go outside of the cabin to almost certain death.

In a round about way, doing away with Bob brings things full circle for Tyreese as he had to do what Carol did back at the prison. One nitpick though is how easy it was for Tyreese to stab Bob’s skull like butter. Since Carol wasn’t there to see that Tyreese lied about killing Martin is the show still going to address this in the future? It would be sloppy if they didn’t.

Most deaths on the show are quick and violent. Having Bob’s death drawn out is very touching. In part because Bob became a likeable character and the actress playing Sasha brought her A game. Their conversations were well written too and the call back to the “Good/Bad” game from the previous episode was sweet.

It’s a powerful, symbolic image seeing Michonne grasp her sword again. Last episode Michonne said she didn’t miss her sword but it represents a way of life she needs to be in order to survive and protect the people she cares about.

“Four Walls And Roof” was a weak line by Maggie but another strong episode in a row. By focusing the story mainly on events at The Church, it allowed the characters sufficient time and space to react to the unfolding events without feeling rushed. Gareth wasn’t intended to be a big adversary like the Governor, so putting a quick end to the Terminus story makes way for what happened to Daryl and Carol which should be intriguing. It looks like finally next episode we won’t have to ask “Where Is Beth?” anymore.

What do you like or dislike about this episode?

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Posted on October 27, 2014, in Television, The Walking Dead and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. I thought it was quite a good episode and am really loving what this showrunner is doing compared to the last bunch.

  2. Nice review and another very good episode. I would be quite surprised if Gabriel stays with the group, wherever they go. He’s a bit of dead weight right now unless he conquers his fear of facing walkers. You make a good point about Glenn agreeing to go with Abraham. The only reason I see is that if they didn’t agree to go then Abraham wasn’t going to help defend against Gareth. Maggie’s complete disregard for Beth’s whereabouts or safety is becoming more of a head scratcher to me.

    I think there’s more depth to the “four walls and a roof” line. Toward the beginning of this episode Maggie casually discards a bible. Perhaps that, plus this line is a sentiment to where her faith is right now. There’s also a biblical element to that statement that I unpack a bit in my review.

    • Other than the church as a shelter, Gabriel doesn’t have much to offer the group in terms of survival skills. When they hit the road, I guess Gabriel will need to decide if his chances of survival are better with the group or stick with them until they find a new community. To me it didn’t feel quite right how Glenn was so adamant on making that promise with Abraham with Maggie agreeing to it.

      Oh yeah there’s definitely depth to that line, I just felt the delivery was off. That’s a good point about Maggie discarding the bible. Thanks a lot, I look forward to checking out your review!

  3. This was a truly solid episode. I didn’t find anything disagreeable haha. Though I did find it weird how Maggie sort of… went off with Abraham when her sister is still missing. Either, this was a truly solid episode. Rick and the others going to Chop Town was definitely a dark moment for the other half of the group.

    • I totally agree it was a solid episode, I enjoyed it very much! Yeah, I feel the same about Maggie. If I remember right, last season Maggie went to great lengths to find Glenn and was hopeful he was still alive. Maybe she’s lost her faith now and thinks Beth is a lost cause? Chop Town was brutal, even Sasha ‘going to town’ on the Hunters!

  4. Glenn and Maggie agreeing to go with Abraham was the only way to keep the bus. Abraham was going to take the bus no matter how much Rick postured. Abraham’s particular way of staving off apocalyptic insanity is believing that there is a mission even as all evidence proves that his last hope is an utter fool. That guy is so incapable of saving the world, I almost expect him to do it. I hated the last episode. But a pattern has emerged. They set up a problem tackle it in the next episode and end with an emotional reunion (Last week Carol then Judith. this week Michonne’s katana). That’s cool. My favorite part of this episode was how close the group were to the (so-called) Hunters before they realize that they are there. Very satisfying. He doesn’t shoot Gareth in the head for the very reason he tells him. Why waste the bullet (also Sasha had some anger to work through). I love how Gareth was still thinking he was outsmarting Rick even when he’s on his knees. But again I didn’t like the ending. Even though it sets up at least one episode with just Carol & Darryl. (Remember when Darryl was the badass of that duo?) But if the pattern holds, they will end on an awful situation, wrap it up in the following episode and then have the reunion with Beth or Carol or both. I still don’t like the directing this season but as long as they keep throwing in satisfyingly brutal endings to cartoonishly evil characters I’m in.

    • So I guess the plan is for everyone to eventually meet up in DC? I thought that Glenn & Maggie considered their friends as family (Beth is family) and would want to stick together because that’s how they survived for so long. Oh well, we’ll probably get separate episodes of adventures on the bus to look forward to. Yeaah!

      Moustache and Mullet dude make quite the duo. I totally agree, something isn’t adding up. My favourite parts in this episode are the Bob and Sasha scenes, I’m really starting to like Sasha a lot. And I loved how Gareth went into the Church thinking he’s the badass then the tables are turned on him, getting his fingers blown off, then Rick gets revenge as promised … with that knife from the premiere right?

      Mmm, I think your on to the pattern. I also like how the conflicts are set up followed by resolution so I can picture the Carol/Daryl episode unfold pretty much as you put it. Remember in season 3 when Daryl and Martinez tried to out badass one another? That could be Carol and Daryl’s episode trying to top one another (not literally) as they search for Beth.

      • Sasha is awesome. I would have a hard time choosing between her and Maggie (pun intended). Everytime Mullet boy opens his mouth something incredibly stupid comes out. Every idea he has is awful and scientifically unsound. I would be surprised if he is able to save the world. Remember when he wanted to use a shell to blow open the train car door from the inside with all of them inside it. Sasha turns to him and says “Shut up.” It’s almost like they know he’s full of crap but realize that having something to do is better than just waiting to die.

  5. Great recap! Really enjoyed this episode. The brutality with which Rick, Michonne, Abraham, and Sasha set upon the termites was stunning. There was no way they could let a bunch of cannibals live. It was good to see that story-line come to an end that was quick and made sense.
    I’m kind of done with Glen and Maggie – they’ve lost any compelling (even if forced) story and their complete disregard about Beth is a bit mind-boggling not to mention the complete randomness of choosing to go with Abraham.
    The guy who plays father Gabriel did an excellent job and will be interesting to see how he fits in going forward or if he even does. I want Tyreese to be more of a bad-ass. He’s a bit too wishy-washy for me right now and I don’t think it does his character justice to make him so meek.
    Daryl looked so unsure and shell-shocked at the end so can’t wait to find out who is with him. Also, looking forward to whenever Morgan catches up with everyone else.

    • Thanks! The termites got what’s coming to them, it would have been a silly decision if Rick let them go. Totally brutal and loved how it all played out.

      Glad we’re on the same page with Glen and Maggie. I can’t wrap my head around why they’d go off and leave behind everyone including Beth. They didn’t even wait to see if Daryl and Carol returned safely. Also Tara’s plan was “I’m going with you” … how is that a plan exactly? lol.

      I read a review that pointed out how improbable it was for Gabriel to lock out his own parishioners. I guess he’s really messed up and wanted all that canned food for himself. I wish Tyreese finished off that guy in the premiere rather than going down this other path. I hope the writers get him back on track sooner than later.

      I liked how even though it didn’t end on a big cliffhanger, it’s a really intriguing one that gets me thinking what exactly happened and who is in the bush. So I guess Morgan is following the tree markings made by the Hunters … will this lead him to the church? For a character who only appeared in basically two episodes, he’s quite popular and I’m looking forward to his return as well.

  6. Great write-up dude, after last week’s episode I had to see whether Rick and company were gonna get revenge on Gareth and his nasty-ass cannibals and man this episode delivered. While I had problems with the slower pace of the episode, when the episode was on-point, it was awesome. I felt so bad for Gabriel, while he has, so far, looked innocent and incapable of violence, I was still curious to know if he was dodgy. I mean in this zombie-filled world there are bound to be double-crossers lurking around right and I feel like the show did a lot to make him look suspicious with all the questions he was asked by Rick, but it was that moment when Gabriel broke down and recalled his actions of the past. Man, I felt terrible for him, he really did have nothing to hide, except for shame. I seriously hope he isa good guy and not just acting, that would hurt me.

    Anyways those cannibals, I honestly didn’t expect their fate to happen in the way that it did. I mean I knew that they would die eventually, but I seriously thought that Rick would show mercy because so manypeople have gotten away in the past (silly Tyreese, letting that other guy go, couldn’t believe that, he lost browny points for sure), but nope, there was a full-on massacre in the church and it was friggin awesome. All I thought was, “Yes, justice!” As for the other little moments here’s others I remembered: 1) Glenn and Maggie are off? Well bye then, to be honest they’ve become very boring and irrelevant characters, so while I do question their logic as to why they would leave, at the same time I can’t say I’m sad to see them go. 2) Michonne getting her sword back felt like a beautiful moment in time (like seeing Thor get his hammer back after learning humility or something lol), I was wondering if she was gonna get a replacement or go without, but no, she got the original weapon of choice back and it was awesome! 3) Who the hell has Daryl got hiding in the bushes? I have a good idea as to who it could be, but I don’t wanna say unless I’m wrong lol.

    Oh and once again sorry for the long comment, I’m not the best at concise wording. 😛

    • This episode … killed it! Heheh. Nasty-ass sums up exactly how I feel about the Hunters. Gabriel got off to a bad start with the group. Bob might be still alive if Gabriel didn’t wander off in the flooded Food Bank. Gabriel seemed pretty genuine in his one on one talk with Michonne. She’s the only one that’s sympathetic to him right now. If he stays with the group, he’s going to have to earn his place. Or If he’s playing the group, he’s one hell of an actor. 🙂

      I couldn’t believe Tyreese let that guy go and fibbed to Carol about it. He totally lost brownie points haha. The way not only Rick but Sasha and the rest went crazy on the Termites was brutal. It was justice. Plus those Termites would have hunted others if left to live.

      Funny thing is the group didn’t exactly beg Glenn and Maggie to stay.
      And also like Thor’s hammer, Michonne’s katana comes back. 🙂 Loved that image of her and the sword. After they left Terminus I was wondering how she was going to get it back. After the episode my usual question goes from “Where is Beth” to “Who’s in the bush?” lol. Beth would seem like the most logical guess but I think the show has something surprising in store. Can’t wait to see who it is.

      Awesome points all round, great to discuss the episode with you!

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