The Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 10 “Them” Review

the walking dead season 5 episode 10 them

After the loss of two major characters in back to back episodes, “Them” slows down the pace to focus on the aftermath. The survivors, without fuel, food or water, continue their way to D.C. while an unseen stranger is mysteriously helping them.

Continue reading for a spoiler filled reaction and recap of The Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 10.

We Ain’t Them

The long, slow procession of The Walking Dead. That’s what it looked like on the highway with Rick’s group sluggishly plodding along not too far ahead of a bunch of walkers.  Image wise, this more or less encapsulated Rick’s speech near the end of the episode about “This is how we survive” and Daryl declaring “We Ain’t Them”. This isn’t exactly a new revelation for the show but the episode made its point clear. Not dissimilar to the walkers, the survivors are looking for food in order to keep on surviving. It’s an ‘Eat or be Eaten World’, literally in the case of those pack of wild dogs that got turned into dinner.

Rick’s gang are surviving so that one day they can start living. If there’s any truth to that statement then there needs to be an element of hope. Not just hope on a personal level but for the world. Season Four dealt with the notion of whether a character could come back eg. morally, mentally etc. To take the notion one step further, the bonfire discussion with Rick, Michonne and Glenn alludes to whether some semblance of a civilization or the world they used to know can ever come back. In a roundabout way, it’s the belief in hope that separates the dead from the living.

The Barn

The spiritual beliefs and internal conflicts of faith within characters is an on-going element of the show. After all the deception and betrayal the survivors have experienced it’s perfectly understandable that they wouldn’t put their faith in an unseen helping hand that’s given them the very thing they’ve been looking for ie. bottles filled with water. 

Similar to the hallucinogenic scenes from the previous episode, the scenes in the barn had a different feeling from what the show has previously done. Even if it wasn’t for the not very subtle shot of the bible as the first thing shown in the barn, these scenes can clearly be interpreted as allegorical. From the rain storm of biblical proportions raging outside to the toppled over trees crushing the walkers but miraculously sparing the barn, it can be viewed like an act of god.

They say that if you seek, you shall find as is the case for Gabriel who as quickly as he was to renounce his faith he believes the rain to be a godsend. Other characters like Maggie and Sasha who have lost their faith likely see these events as mere coincidences like when the broken musical box begins to play just when Aaron introduces himself as a friend.

Stranger Danger

One of the focuses in “Them” is how three characters deal with their grief in different ways. Sasha is filled with anger, externalizing her rage on those walkers when the plan was to conserve energy by pushing them off the road. Maggie’s grief is making her withdrawn, a very dangerous thing since loosing your will to survive in the post-apocalypse is like inviting death. Daryl is numb to the pain of losing Beth, going off on some side-trips to be alone, until finally letting himself feel it. It’s noticeable that these three characters didn’t express any joy when the rain came down unlike the other survivors who smiled.

Focusing on these characters’ grief made sense after what happened in the previous two episodes but it didn’t make for the most entertaining hour of television. At times, “Them” had a meandering pace which in some scenes like with Carol & Daryl worked well because I’m invested in those characters but other times with Maggie & Glenn finding a walker in the trunk of car it didn’t resonate on any level. While we know that the group is making their way to Washington D.C., what introducing Aaron, friend or foe, does at this point is give this half of the season a more concrete direction story wise.

What do you like or dislike about this episode? Do you think the group should give Aaron the benefit of the doubt?

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Posted on February 16, 2015, in Television, The Walking Dead and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. I actually liked the episode. It was very introspective and as a result, nuanced as it showed a wide variety of things. Like how the Rick doesn’t bat an eye the moment the dogs are shot, and begins breaking the sticks almost immediately. Or how no one seems to care about eating dog meat, effectively showing how they’ve shed certain forms of morality to better survive.

    There were of course head scratchers. I was almost convinced that the scene with Maggie and the trunk zombie was a hallucination – that Glenn would open it and there would be no zombie – due to how it was shot. Can’t tell if it was intentional.

    Even the barn scene was trippy as hell. From Daryl waking up, walking to the doors and seeing the zombies (amazing lighting and special effects), to the group attempting to keep the doors shut while the sequence was shot like it was a nightmare, and to how it cuts straight to Maggie looking at Judy in a moment of peace and quiet the next morning. I was questioning whether it had even happened, until Maggie and Sasha head out.

    There was also the baffling scene where Sasha knicks Abraham with the knife she was stabbing zombies with, and the entire moment isn’t brought up at all afterwards. Isn’t that deadly? Shouldn’t Abraham be infected since the knife was moments earlier in the skull of a zombie? Or did the alcohol stop him from turning?

    Still a good episode. Not all have to be about action and mutilation.

    • I liked how the dog scene played out. It may sound inhumane but I’m glad there wasn’t any moral debate about whether to bury or consume them. It would be foolish to let it go to waste. Better than eating worms.

      That would have been interesting if that trunk zombie was all in Maggie’s head. The way it was shot seemed like it was building up to something more when it was Glenn’s turn to open the trunk.

      The barn scene was trippy and surreal, probably my favorite part of the episode. I liked the imagery of the Living holding back the Dead from getting inside. Funny that Daryl didn’t scream out for backup, everyone just took their turn to get up and hold the door. I think that added to the dream like feeling and also when it cut to Maggie sleeping in peace.

      If I recall, they’re all infected so getting zombie blood in them doesn’t turn them. Any way of dying, except for head trauma, will reanimate the dead. Zombie bites can cause death, unless they chop off the limb in time. What I also like about the fight scene on the road is the zombie’s scalp peeling off it’s head when Daryl pulled it back from biting Rick. I like details like that heheh.

  2. Talk heavy episode. Not bad but I need action and maybe a change of scenery.


  3. I hate to say it because this show has really grown on me over the last year or so, but I was bored watching this one. I’m not one that needs constant action or anything, but I don’t think they did a lot of interesting things with the characters this week either. Oh well. I feel this way about episodes in even my most favorite shows. The ending means it will likely pick up again next week though, so that is a plus.

  4. Kind of a blah episode but also a reflection of the way life is going for the group – sometimes crazy action, sometimes nothing but utter desperation and sadness. Agree with Mark V above about the barn scene. Seemed almost dreamlike and had me thinking it would be a dream sequence. Maggie and Glenn have reached the why bother status to me. Nothing compelling or interesting about their relationship. Being a dog lover I was slightly disturbed by the dog scene but can’t blame them for doing what they did.
    I too thought it was noticeable when Maggie, Darryl, and Sasha didn’t express any joy when it rained. I liked they didn’t allow these three to stray from their state of mind just because of a bit of good timing in the weather.
    Looking forward to when they get to DC. I’m at this point in the graphic novels so will be interesting to see how it’s treated in the show.

    • Judging by fan reaction online, a lot of people didn’t care much for this episode and not a whole lot happened until the very end. I hope next week’s ep will picks things up, but like you said this episode reflects their grief, hopelessness and desperation. It’s goes to show how vulnerable they are and how quickly events can turn for the worse and sometimes, if they get a break, for the better.

      It’s hard to get caught up in Maggie and Glenn’s drama. I know she said something about thinking Beth was dead even if Daryl said she was alive or whatever, but I just tuned out that explanation. I

      So much happens at DC, it’ll be interesting to see how they adapt it for the show. I’m guessing they’ll make it there by the end of the season.

  5. I love this show. I really do. I think the show deserves a movie treatment. Wouldn’t that be something? No matter if it’s heavy on drama or heavy on the walker brutality, TWD certainly keeps me entertained for an addition couple of days after its first airing. Just great!

    • A movie treatment would be so awesome. I could just imagine all the carnage and craziness they could do on a movie budget. Of course, like you said, the dramatic stuff is entertaining too. It’s one of those shows that so many people watch and can’t get enough of.

  6. interesting episode, but was a bit slower than we’d all like from TWD.

    cant wait to see what happens with the stranger

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