The Walking Dead Season 5, Episode 5 proves no good can come of splitting up team Grimes. Abraham, the strong commando, struggles to hold it together after a poorly timed bus crash.
Sure the small sect manages to fend off a handful of walkers, but that’s no thanks to Eugene. Abraham, his protector, sets out to destroy the immediate threat, but his memories pose a greater danger to himself and everyone around him.
Eugene is paralyzed by fear and believes his sole value is his knowledge of the cure. Luckily, Tara kills her and Eugene’s share of walkers– she also gives Eugene some sage advice and promises to keep Eugene’s secret after he confesses to sabotaging the bus. We later find out that this isn’t the first time he slowed the mission.
Once the short-lived skirmish ends, the group must decide if it moves forward or turns back to the church. Glenn steps up and soothes Abraham. Abe, reassured by Glenn who promised to stand by him, says he’s “fit as a damn fiddle,” and the troops go marching on. Abe takes to humming a tune as he struggles to manage his stress.
Throughout the episode, Abraham is haunted by his brutal past. Could this be why he’s so hellbent on never stopping, to “never giving up the ship”? It’s clear he rescued his wife and two small children from a group similar to The Claimers– it is not hard to imagine the brutality the vulnerable trio survived. They are skittish, even with Abraham. After Abe saves them, they stay in the same location. When he wakes from a nap, his family is gone.
Abe’s madness is clear when he wants to steer his group through a decaying horde. The only thing that stopped him was Eugene’s bombshell, ” I’M NOT A SCIENTIST!” Was it the thought of more people dying for his lie or the fear of going up against the horde that forced Eugene’s second confession of the evening? Yes, the prospect of getting closer to D.C frightened Eugene, but why confess now when they are so far from D.C? Maybe he gained some confidence after Tara’s peptalk and decimating a mob of walkers with a firehose (seriously one of the most grotesque sequences of Episode 5).
This pushes Abraham over the edge. He’s brought back to the moment in his life when he stuck a barrel of a gun in his mouth. The only thing that kept him from pulling the trigger was Eugene and his mission. Abe needed something to live for and Eugene provided the hope and reason. What will become of Eugene now that the mission is dead? Will Abraham and the rest of the group forgive Eugene? How long now until Glenn, Maggie, and the others turn tail and head back to Rick?
Based on previews for next week’s episode, we will have to wait and see. The previews for The Walking Dead, Episode 506 will focus on Carol and Daryl’s efforts to rescue Beth. The preview implies Carol intentionally plants herself in hospital. Will Carol, Daryl, and Beth rejoin Rick next week? How cool would it be if Beth and Maggie reach Rick at the same time?!