Emotions ran high in this weeks episode of The Walking Dead, Four Walls and a Roof. As we say goodbye to Bob, a character always full of hope, and always on hand to give us a much-needed laugh, we are left pondering what’s to come for the rest of the group. The episode, which once again balanced violence and death with warmth, humanity, and strong character work, saw the official end of the Terminus cannibals and a separation for members of the group (this time by choice). Maggie and Glenn have gone on the road with Abraham (played by acting gold Michael Cudlitz, and fast becoming a beloved character), Rosita and the quiet, but rather adorable, Eugene (who is the key to saving the world, or rather, saving what is left of the world). Despite Bob‘s departure being all too sudden, and something which certainly wasn’t expected so early on in this new season, this was not the moment that held the most strength emotionally. As is usually often the case in WD, it was a moment of words, short and simple, that left one feeling a tug of the heart strings. The words, left from Abraham, for Rick, read ‘Sorry I was an asshole. Come to Washington. The new world’s gonna need Rick Grimes.’, this was so poignant because it feels as though WD is at a seminal point now. Five seasons in, the end, in a positive way, is almost in sight; there’s hope of a return back to the life the group all once knew, Rick finally found Judith, the group are as strong as they’ve ever been and the glimmers of hope get stronger and more frequent. While it feels as though The Walking Dead could last for another five seasons (the graphic novels are still going and producer David Alpert has hinted at seven more), I hope, and I think this is a hope shared with many of the WD fans, that this consistently captivating show doesn’t over-stay its welcome.
If there was any fault to pick with Four Walls and a Roof (and this is pretty much just being picky) its that we aren’t seeing enough of Michonne, a character with a compelling back story and one who holds great interest with viewers. She’s tough, but sympathetic, and Danai Gurira plays her with an almost mothering warmth. If you were in this walker-filled world, you’d want Gurira’s Michonne by your side. Despite the lack of dialogue or screen-time given to her so far this season, the moments where she is on screen, she shines. Whether its a close-up to represent a reaction to a particular moment, or a few words between her and a friend, Gurira manages to bring both vulnerability and strength to Michonne. On a final note, Gareth (Andrew J. West), the leader of Terminus, said many a thing in this weeks episode that got the rage boiling inside and the hope that he doesn’t meet a pleasant end even stronger. While these moments reminded one how involving this show can be, it also represented Rick, Glenn, Maggie and the rest of the group as completely individual to those left in the brutal world they now live. That difference is one of the most interesting elements of the show, and something that lends to fascinating back-stories and tales of woe when they meet these harsh antagonists. Keep going Walking Dead, because you’re doing just fine.