Ever since the Rick Grimes Gang found themselves en route to Alexandria, certain fans of the show have been noticing—some might even say complaining—about things being a bit too quiet in the world of The Walking Dead. Nothing is happening, they said. There’s too little action, they said. No beloved characters have been eaten alive lately by zombies, they said.
Let’s just start this recap off by saying: If you were one such fan, this episode was for you.
I hope you’re happy, you monsters.
For the past two weeks, we’ve watched our heroes struggling to acclimate to their new home inside Alexandria’s walls, with mixed results. Sasha is in the midst of a full-on nervous breakdown brought on by PTSD. Rick has reluctantly taken up the role of constable, and not-so-reluctantly taken up a little flirtation with the girl next door. Daryl enjoyed a delicious spaghetti dinner and a well-deserved promotion, becoming an official Alexandria Ambassador to the Outside World. And of course, Carol offered a 10-year-old child the choice to either enjoy a plate of delicious cookies, or die screaming in the forest while zombies slurped out his insides like tagliatelle bolognese.
But the one person we haven’t seen lately is Father Gabriel, who just sort of faded into the background after the group walked through the gate, and who you’d think would be settling in better than most, having never exactly gone pro at the whole “surviving in zombieland” thing.
Instead, he turns up in this week’s cold open, comfortably installed in a pretty new pulpit and a nice new priest’s collar, tearing pages out of his Bible like he’s gone stark, raving mad. Whatever Gabriel has been up to during his absence from the spotlight, he clearly hasn’t been working on making peace with his demons. But hey, I’m sure he’ll be fine. It’s not like the welcome basket of strawberries sitting on a table nearby is laden with ominous Biblical meaning or anything.
We also check in with a few more favorites: Daryl looks right at home as he departs on a motorcycle for recruitment purposes. Noah is being mentored by Deanna’s husband to become an architect and documentarian. Abraham is staring at his mustache like he’s thinking about following Rick’s lead and shaving it (side note, NOOOOOO!). Tara is totally ready to dive into Alexandria’s lesbian dating pool, if she can just find it. And Eugene! I’d almost forgotten about him: He’s complaining bitterly that he doesn’t want to go on a supply run, because as he himself will point out repeatedly during this episode, he’s the wimpiest, wussiest scaredy-cat ever to survive the zombie apocalypse.
There’s so much capable, comfy camaraderie happening in this scene, it almost seems funny—and not at all like obvious, terrible foreshadowing—when Aidan (still a douchebag, but substantially humbled by his interaction with Glenn last week) puts on some pumping techno music to accompany their supply run, which opens with a robot voice saying, “Now you are going to die.”
NEXT: The drunk next door wants to play doctor.