Written by John Edward Betancourt
THIS IS THE EMERGENCY SPOILER ALERT SYSTEM...YOU ARE ADVISED TO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK...
We have looked at many themes when it comes to The Walking Dead, and many an episode has been filled with an underlying meaning to the struggle our characters face week in and week out. But up until last night, religion pretty much stayed out of the equation. I understand why, it's hard to not place it into horror without igniting a major debate or offending some.
So when it came to last night, the show decided to pepper in a hint of religion by looking at one important theme, while applying it to the "real world" if you will because it is an aspect of the many good books out there that we all believe in whether we know it or not...atonement for one's sins.
Yes, we all want to see people get their just desserts in both negative and positive light. There are people we want to see emerge from the darkness they are going through, and there are those we want to see stumble and fall. We won't get into whether or not these views are right or wrong, they are simply part of the human adventure and last night, it was on full display. We of course had Father Gabriel admit to his horrific mistake of letting his congregation die outside of his church, but the rest of owning up to one's mistakes didn't end there.
Gareth oddly enough, not only received his punishment for the crimes he had committed, in the most brutal fashion of course, but he also took a moment to do his best to justify his actions. Not that it made him seem any less insane than he already was, nor did it make anything better for him in the end but it was incredible to see so much "confession" within the four walls and a roof of a church in a hopeless show about the end of the world.
Of course Bob found peace here as well, finding all the good he could before he passed on from his injuries. But either way, I was quite surprised to see such an interesting mix of dark television set not only in a church, but to see so much underlying religious symbolism that well...worked like a charm.
It was really was a cleansing of the soul for so many last night. Between Gabriel needing to confess the atrocity he was responsible for, for Gareth attempting to make peace with what he has done, this church has quickly served its purpose well, and I for one applaud the show for going this route. For handling it in gentle fashion to start with and well for oddly enough allowing for levity in an episode filled with darkness.