Written by John Edward Betancourt
THIS IS THE EMERGENCY SPOILER ALERT SYSTEM...YOU ARE ADVISED TO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK...
It was an interesting episode of The Walking Dead last night in the respect that it put out one of its most shocking endings to date and how low key it happened to be after the awesomeness of last week. Doesn't mean this wasn't a great episode, because it was, it just happened to not be as prolific when it came to its views on the world and people as a whole.
If anything it stuck with simplicity in both storytelling and commentary this week, focusing on Father Gabriel a little more than we expected because this was an episode all about fear. In fact Gabriel was the personification of it. His inability to trust others despite being a man of the cloth. The pure terror that came to him at the mere sight of a walker and the past that is clearly haunting him. He fears the man he was, afraid he can be that man again.
For those of us who read the comics religiously, we all know why, for those who do not don't worry, it's an awesome payoff. But all of that aside this was an in depth look at what fear does to men. How it can break us, destroy us and leave us nothing more than a walking shell of what we used to be. There's no doubt in my mind that Gabriel was at one point a great man, respected and loved by his congregation. Yet here we are now, able to see that fear changed him, left him in hiding when he could perhaps be out there trying to help others and bring forth a little hope in a world devoid of it.
Granted that could get into a whole host of discussions about faith at the end of the world but we will save that for another day, especially if the show brings it up. But Gabriel was a lovely foil to Rick this week. For Rick is equally full of fear. Not around his group of course, but of the people they come in contact with and he has every right to be. Between the Governor and Gareth it's a miracle he isn't just shooting first and asking questions later, but that's only because he has learned to harness his fear.
Yes, while fear has made Gabriel all soft on the inside, Rick has used it to his advantage at last. Allowing him to deal with the monsters at Terminus and to function under pressure and he now knows he will use his fear differently. Yes he will fear you, fear that you're a piece of garbage and that he will have to put you down in a world where humans are in the minority. It was a lovely low key evening for the show, at least for 50 minutes before it filled us with fear as well. Can't wait for next week, until then.