The Walking Dead 5×03 Review: Four Walls and a Roof

Last week’s episode of The Walking Dead may have been vague about how much time had passed since the group left Terminus at the end of the season premiere, but “Four Walls and a Roof” picks up where “Strangers” left off, with a closer – and grosser – look at the Terminus cannibals gnawing away at roast leg of Bob. That may not have been actual human meat, but it was still a cringe-worthy scene throughout…and I did love the nod to comic book readers with Bob’s eventual reaction (hysterical laughter and cries of ‘tainted meat’ as he reveals he’s been bitten).

Unfortunately, despite a great opening scene and some decent moments throughout, the episode as a whole seemed to drag; that said, my main complaint is that I simply don’t understand what the writers are doing with Sasha. She’s always been a badass, but for a long time it was in her own quiet way – this season, though, she’s just constantly causing problems. From her interrogating Eugene in the premiere to her wandering around by herself at night, immediately followed by her freaking out on the Reverend, it’s as if they’re going out of their way to portray her as a troublemaker, possibly even a loose canon. While her actions/reactions generally make sense – we all want to know what Eugene knows, and yeah, the Reverend seemed more than a bit shady – the way she’s going about things is simply over the top.

One thing that wasn’t dragged out was the secret about Gabriel’s past, and at least we do have Sasha to thank for that. While it’s clear that he didn’t mean to be such a coward, considering he was just following his normal routine, he clearly hates himself for not letting his parishioners in. Will this come back to haunt the group later? Or will it be a throwaway storyline that we weren’t supposed to pay much attention to?

Regardless, it was pretty convenient that just then Bob was dropped off at the church, still alive and not only able to tell them where the Terminus people were hiding out, but also able to explain that Carol and Daryl ran off of their own accord. What followed Bob’s story is one of the scenes that lasted far longer than it needed to. The back and forth between Rick and Abraham, along with the fact that Glenn actually had to step in not once but twice to stop them from fighting, was awkward as well as drawn out.

Speaking of awkward, no matter how much I’ve tried to lose myself in the idea of Sasha and Bob’s relationship, I don’t feel that the show gave it enough time to develop. That, combined with the fact that Bob wasn’t presented very well the first few times he was featured last season, made it difficult for me to really care about them as a couple. I had warmed up to Bob a bit, though – at the very least he’s had some great lines this season, including this episode’s “I know when I told you that it would be all about the end, and I really like the middle”. In the end (his end, that is), I was a bit sad to see him go, if only because a little more time with his character could have ended with my outright liking him.

One thing I mentioned in my review of “Strangers” was the odd moment where Daryl tried to hand Carol a water jug, because it seemed more like a blooper than something they actually meant to include. In “Four Walls and a Roof” there was another questionable moment like that – the strangely drawn-out scene showing the church sign and nothing else for much longer than was necessary, before the Terminus crew finally popped out of the woods just beyond it. Honestly, if it wasn’t a mistake it was just bad editing…though what happened next made it a bit easier to brush off.

There was a moment there when I actually wondered if it was going to be up to Carl, Abraham, Rosita, and maybe even Tyreese, to protect themselves from Gareth and friends…but whether they planned this way it or it was badly written timing, Rick and the rest of the group entered the church just in time. Rick, Sasha, Abraham, and Michonne’s brutal killing of the Terminus crew was more than a bit disturbing, mostly because Glenn, Maggie, and Tara stood back and watched it happen with horror writ plainly on their faces.

One of the things I’d wondered was whether the show would really allow Michonne to lose her samurai sword, and it isn’t all that surprising that she now has it back. I couldn’t quite tell if she was pleased to find it or merely resigned about doing so, but perhaps it’s a combination of both. I hope this will eventually become more clear.

The ending of “Four Walls and a Roof” certainly had its fair share of plot twists. Glenn, Maggie, and Tara left with Abraham and company in the school bus while everyone else remained at the church in hopes that Daryl and Carol would find their way back…and at the very last moment, Daryl did appear, though the episode ended before they revealed who was with him. Is it Carol, Beth, or someone else – Morgan, perhaps? My money is on ‘someone else’ (and to be honest, I do hope it’s Morgan), but at least it looks like next week we will finally find out where Beth has been all this time. Maggie may have forgotten to ask about her sister, but plenty of viewers – myself included – have definitely been waiting for her to reappear.

One thing I have to say about this season so far – though it’s had its slow moments (and many of them occurred in this episode), the writers are actually doing a great job with moving the story along. This show really picked up its game with the second half of season four, and it’s still on a roll. I’m certainly going to keep my fingers crossed that it continues in this fashion!

Author: Tara Lynne

Tara Lynne is a fandom and geek culture expert, public speaker, and character cosplayer who is best known for her Cersei Lannister (Game of Thrones), Starbuck (Battlestar Galactica), and Andrea (The Walking Dead) cosplays. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.



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