Thus far, the young season 5 of AMC’s hit zombie drama The Walking Dead has been, not necessarily a nice surprise—the final 8 episodes of season 4 were the strongest of the series, so I was hoping for high quality—but a solid showing. The action-heavy season premiere, “No Sanctuary,” was a hell of an attention grabber, and they followed that up with last night’s quieter, more pensive episode, “Strangers.” This introduced a new character—Father Gabriel Stokes (Seth Gilliam), who fans of the comics know well—and a nasty group of new survivors, all building up to what is sure to be a vicious, nasty time on the show. We’ve got a promo and new clip from next week’s episode, “Four Walls and a Roof,” and some additional looks at “Strangers.”
In “Strangers,” the group of survivors, recently reunited after the mayhem at the prison and Terminus, encounter Father Gabriel, and while they’re more than glad to take refuge under his roof, they’re not about to trust him yet. He’s obviously hiding something, they just don’t know what, and how dangerous. Is he alone, does he have friends, does he know who is watching them? There are a lot of questions to be answered, and they’ll be keeping an eye on their new friend, as you can see in the promo tacked on to last night’s chapter.
At the end of the episode, three members of the group go missing, though for very different reasons. In this clip, Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) confronts Father Gabriel, sure that he has something to do with this turn of events. She’s not fucking around either, as you clearly see when she pulls that blade out at the end.
Though we’re still not sure about Father Gabriel ourselves, we know that isn’t directly connected to the disappearances of Bob (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.), Daryl (Norman Reedus), and Carol (Melissa McBride). Daryl found Carol about to hop in a car and hit the road on her own, but before they can fully discuss the matter, that car with the cross in the back window, the one that took Beth (Emily Kinney) last season, zooms past and they give chase.
Bob, as you know if you watched “Strangers,” was taken by a group of the leftovers from Terminus. The series is setting them up as the Hunters, a group from the comics, and as you learn, they’re not up to anything particularly nice. More on this in a moment.
There’s not a lot of zombie action in “Strangers,” but what does occur is quite memorable. While on a supply run, Rick and company have to navigate a flooded basement full of waterlogged walkers. This allowed the special effects team to have a field day, and this video shows you just how they went about creating this particularly disgusting scene.
This next video discusses the overall episode. After Terminus, and being separated on the road for so long, these people, all of whom have secrets, are trying to figure out how to interact with one another again. Carol keeps her distance, unsure of what Rick told the others about her banishment; Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman) keeps quiet about what happened to the young girls last season; and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) is driven to get to Washington, and to maybe put an end to all of this. And there’s a lot more going on for you to check out.
And though “Strangers” is more low-key and contemplative that its predecessor, it builds tension throughout, culminating in a harrowing scene that is going to lead to a violent, ugly clash of groups. While Daryl and Carol are missing for one reason, the Hunters, led by Gareth (Andrew J. West), are the ones who took Bob. They’re not just cannibals, they keep their victims alive as they gradually remove and consume body parts over time, keeping their meat fresh as it were. And if you want to see what they’re capable of, or just relive that moment from the end of the episode, here it is, in all it’s horrific glory.