The Walking Dead: Four Walls and a Roof Review

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By: Jonathan Pilley (@omnicomic)

Like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead is adapted from previous source material. This review is not meant to compare similarities and differences between the show and comic. It’s meant to be read purely as a take on the episode as it stands.

That being said, SPOILERS AHEAD.

“Just look at her and tell me the world isn’t going to change.”

Gabriel’s “sin” is pretty obvious based on his remorse and the messages scratched into the siding of the church. If it wasn’t obvious, though, he revealed it to the survivors, indicating that he locked the doors, barring entry to people seeking protection. Their plight is certainly nothing new in The Walking Dead, but it’s especially sobering to have it presented as the stark reminder of the world as it currently is. His point of view is definitely one that should be considered, as he and his group have been forced to survive just like everyone else in the world.

Another reminder of that world is Bob’s current predicament. He’s a character who’s seemingly overcome great personal odds to survive in the world, dealing with a debilitating alcoholism. His depression really dragged him down personally, but he fought through it to be a survivor, even taking a cue from Daryl on how to be a contributing member of the group. It’s somewhat poetic that he’s bitten by a walker and a human on the same day, in that life and death have both managed to figuratively bite him. His fate reminded the survivors again of loss and gave Rick a chance to actually speak with Tyreese. They had their beef in the past and it’s nice that the two of them got a chance to sort of confirm they’ve moved on and are good with each other. It was also a nice little nod to fans of The Wire, with Chad L. Coleman getting one final scene with Lawrence Gilliard, Jr.

Abraham’s stubbornness is a little off-putting. His motivation to get Eugene to Washington, DC, has always been admirable, as he’s putting the thought of a cure above all else. The problem is his militant nature still persists, despite the world losing really all sense of order. You could argue that’s all he knows or that maybe he has a point, but there’s not much tactically to his plan to just leave in the middle of the night when someone’s watching them. It would be in his best interest to stick around anyway and help the rest of the group, only because he’s at a disadvantage otherwise. Rick’s plan does need his expertise, though, and it’s the plan that feels like trademark Rick and the group.

Since Rick and the group know they’re being watched, it makes sense to them that they strike first to catch Gareth and the others off guard. Gareth does his best Rick impression and tries to outthink Rick, but little does he know that Rick has learned to be one step ahead more than he’s behind. While there was some tension with the cannibals stalking the remaining survivors in the church, the standoff that ensues doesn’t really go well for Gareth and his crew, but it did lead to a very poignant exchange between Gabriel and Maggie. Maggie’s response of, “It’s four walls and a roof,” was a pretty damning statement when pitted against Gabriel’s proclamation against violence in the church.

While the Hunters have now been dealt with, the next storyline is going to be all about Beth. It’s good to know that she hasn’t been forgotten, because she was actually becoming a pretty interesting character last season. Carol and Daryl went off after her last episode, with Daryl returning with a mysterious person joining him. It’s pitched as a deliberate tease, with the implication being that it’s likely going to be Beth and the outcome that Carol didn’t make it for some reason. It’s possible that there could be a rescue mission put together to go after someone, but they’re going to be down quite a few as Abraham and his group took Maggie and Glenn towards DC.

There are leaders and followers in The Walking Dead. Rick, Abraham and Gareth are all leaders. There are other characters (Michonne, Daryl, Maggie, Glenn, Tyreese, Carol) who are more than capable of leading if the situation calls for it, but they’d don’t necessarily gravitate towards it. Seeing the main leaders coming together and offering their takes on life, as it is acts as a pretty refreshing meeting of the minds so to speak. Abraham and Rick both acknowledge one another on that level, with Abraham insistent that Rick make his way to DC to see the cure come to fruition. Those interactions are always entertaining and remind the viewer of the difficult decisions that survivors have to make.

With the Hunters’ storyline done, Beth is the next mission for the group. She’s one of their own and will likely merit a rescue mission if she’s not saved, but it’s likely that she’ll end up coming back and Carol needs saving. So far though, this episode is another pretty strong outing for the season that’s offering a good mix of action and drama, moving the story towards DC slowly but surely. Rick has changed, as demonstrated by his means of dealing with Gareth’s ruthlessness. Tyreese has changed, as he’s essentially drifting through the world without finding much meaning. There just two of the many who have changed and it’ll be fascinating to see who else gets attention in the next episode. “Four Walls and a Roof” was a great episode that manages to oversimplify the complexities of the former modern world.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


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