Evan Slead ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
“It’s tainted meat!!” If each episode of The Walking Dead required a subtitle or catch phrase, that would be it. Last week’s brutal ending left viewers wondering about the fate of Bob (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) after learning about his barbecued leg. “Four Walls and a Roof” picks up right where the meal had left off; Gareth (Andrew J. West) and company still chowing down on Bobby’s meat. The odd response from Bob to start uncontrollably laughing was telling that something was about to go down: Bob had been bitten and was tainted which he revealed by screaming, “tainted meat”!
The amazing aspect of this episode in regards to the series as a whole, is that it truly brings the terror of the plot into view. Sure, the show is about a world inhabited by flesh eating zombies that could attack at any turn, but there’s more to it. Viewers tune in every week because they care about the characters. Seeing the hundredth zombie stumble out of a closet doesn’t strike fear now that the show is in its fifth season. At this point, the writers are channeling the inner fear of loss. Participants of The Walking Dead experience have come to love and care for these characters. The idea that they are in danger, apart from the zombie bites, is terrifying.
The writers have been building through the series overall that the humanity still left in the apocalypse is what is to be feared. A zombie only has one concept of need and that is to feed. The humans still left in the desolate world, however, have their own game plans and personas to spice up the landscape. Viewers were introduced to the Terminus cannibalistic group, but it was hinted that they were not always that way. In this episode, Gareth outright explains to Rick (Andrew Lincoln) that they used to be just like them. Once “they” came though, they were changed into this horrible, cannibalistic group. As Rick repeatedly drove his red handled machete into Gareth, a realization hit the atmosphere of the show. Rick and his group had killed these Terminus baddies, but what about the “they”? Technically, “they” are worse than the Terminus bunch. That was a chilling moment for the future of the season. This is why The Walking Dead is such an excellent zombie show: it can harness the terror of the lack of morality left in the world through its human characters. Evil is running rampant and viewers are forced to watch people they love endure it all. Sadly, this brings the episode to the loss of Bob. He was only a character that came into the show last season, but he left an impression. He was a good man.
In the end, Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) agree to join Sergeant Ford (Michael Cudlitz) and Rosita (Christian Serratos) as they transport Dr. Porter (Josh McDermitt) to D.C. for the creation of the cure. Once again, the group is fractured with their departure. Its understandable as to why they would leave, but it is a tad upsetting that Maggie won’t know the fate of her sister Beth (Emily Kinney) while she travels. After they leave, Michonne (Danai Gurira) comes across Daryl (Norman Reedus) emerging from the woods. She asks for Carol’s (Melissa McBride) whereabouts, but he just responds “come on out”. This left viewers wondering who he was referring to and if Carol was okay. This season is having fun with leaving each episode with a cliff hanger. Its a writing style that can be cheesy, but at times very effective. Only three episodes in, this style has been hitting all of the right notes.
The Walking Dead airs at 9/8c on Saturday on AMC.
Overall Episode Grade: A