BySergio Andres Prieto, writer at Creators.co
Writer/creator and avid video gamer.
Sergio Andres Prieto

SPOILER ALERT:

This article will contain information from "Four Walls and a Roof," the latest episode of The Walking Dead. If you have yet to watch it, or are not yet fully caught up, stop reading now!

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We are now three episodes into season five of AMC's hit zombie apocalyptic drama, The Walking Dead. A lot has happened in just three weeks, but one thing is clear above all else - this season is amping up the brutality and barbarism to a whole new level! Any concerns the makers of this show might have had before about what is, or is not, appropriate to display on the show have been placed aside for the sake of continuing to portray the effects of living in a zombie apocalypse as believable as possible.

Last Sunday night's episode, titled "Four Walls and a Roof," was very dark, both visibly and actionably. It certainly was no less brutal and barbaric. In fact, from my perspective, it either equaled or surpassed what we saw during the first scene of the season premiere ("No Sanctuary"), in which the "Termites" were whacking people across the back of the head with a baseball bat, and then slitting their throats and washing out the blood into a trough. What made that scene even more vicious, in my opinion, was the easiness with which the "Termites" were butchering their victims.

Gareth threatening the group in "No Sanctuary"
Gareth threatening the group in "No Sanctuary"

Well, episode three officially marked the end for those "Termites," who were so preoccupied with being the butchers all this time that, when the end was near, they instead realized that they were actually the cattle. And so, Rick's last line in the season four finale ("A") finally came to fruition, Gareth and co. were indeed "screwin' with the wrong people." Gareth may have had more weapons and more fighters from the beginning, but Rick had the smarter, more dedicated group. To combat the zombie apocalypse, it cannot just be with brute strength and tactical thinking, it has to also be with intelligence, teamwork and strategic thinking.

And not only did Rick prove that, he also proved that his is a true man of his word. Remember during the season premiere when Gareth interrogated Rick as to the whereabouts of that hidden stash of weapons, which Rick had placed in the outskirts of Terminus during "A?" Rick did reveal some of the heavy firepower that the bag contained, but he also revealed just how tough-minded and unfazed he can be, even when in the midst of being savagely murdered. Rick promised Gareth that he would kill him using the machete with the red handle. At the time, Gareth merely smirked and ignored the threat.

See the red handle?
See the red handle?
Goodbye, Gareth
Goodbye, Gareth

Well, you know what? Gareth really shouldn't have! He learned the hard way that you should never underestimate anyone:

So, the good news is that Gareth and his band of cohorts are finally done for, and therefore will never eat anyone ever again. However, the tragic news is that Bob was bitten, but not on the amputated and eaten leg; rather, on his shoulder. By the episode's conclusion, Bob was no more, unfortunately. But, he did get his revenge upon confessing to Gareth that he was infected, which meant that Gareth and co. had just eaten tainted meat. Watching their horrified reactions surely gave Bob a hysterically good laugh - the last laugh.

Also, we now know Father Gabriel's dark secret: he was a coward who turned his back on people that needed to escape the wrath of the walkers. He simply locked the church doors and ignored the pleas for help, but he did hear the screams and yells of those people being attacked by the walkers right outside St. Sarah's. As you can see, he chose to go against one of the most important teachings of the Christian faith - help those in need of help.

However, during "Four Walls and a Roof," not only did Gabriel confess his secret, but he seemed truly remorseful and devastated for what he had done. For a second or two, Gabriel was in deep trouble with Rick and his group. But, they listened to what he had to say, and decided to allow him to live with his guilt, something he clearly cannot hide from, as Rick has asserted to him.]

Did he seem sincere to you?
Did he seem sincere to you?

And finally, we witnessed the very brief return of Daryl, after he and Carol had gone chasing after that car with the cross in "Strangers." But, he was not alone. When Michonne asked him about Carol, since she was not seen with him, Daryl responded, "come on out." That ended "Four Walls and a Roof."

So, we are now left the mystery of who is with Daryl. Is it Carol? Could it even be Beth? Could it be someone belonging to the hospital group Beth is with? Or, is it a completely new character, one that is in no way derived from the comics? We will have to wait and see.

Daryl telling mystery person to show himself/herself.
Daryl telling mystery person to show himself/herself.

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And now, it is on to "Slabtown," the fourth episode of this already-incredible season. Here is a brief synopsis for said episode, via The Walking Dead Wiki:

[There is] a whole group of other survivors, but what looks safe and nice on the outside has a bit of a dark side.

As you will see in a bit, this "whole group of other survivors" is the one Beth now finds herself with, unwillingly. We have not seen her since she was abducted and taken from Daryl during the season four episode, "Alone." The person who kidnapped her at the time was driving off with a car that contained the same cross sign as the one Carol and Daryl noticed in "Strangers." In fact, the car the two of them were pursuing seemed to have come from the church, though it was not made perfectly clear. This has led some viewers (myself included) to theorize that Father Gabriel might know about the group that took Beth. It might even be a possibility that whoever is with Daryl now knows Gabriel as well. But, like with everything else, we just have to wait patiently to know more.

Car w/ cross sign in "Alone".....
Car w/ cross sign in "Alone".....
different car w/ same cross sign in "Strangers"
different car w/ same cross sign in "Strangers"

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Here are two interesting clips from next Sunday's episode:

Promo:

Seriously, who the f**k took Beth? I mean, how dare they take her from Daryl when the bond between the two was starting to grow a bit stronger?!?! Well, the good news is that "Slabtown" will definitely be a Beth Greene-led episode, complete with long-awaited answers, hopefully.

My theory is that Carol and Daryl will not be able to retrieve Beth right away, at least not without more help. Her return has been teased ever since she was taken, but this show would not be "The Walking Dead" if it did not present conflicts for her to overcome first. Besides, she appears to be inside of a hospital, which is by no means an easy place to just sneak in and find someone.

Furthermore, this leads me to opine that the mystery person that is with Daryl now at the church has to be from this hospital group. It cannot be Beth because the expression on Daryl's face would have been very different when Michonne (and we the viewers) saw him during the latter moments of "Four Walls and a Roof." He was not at all joyful; rather, he seemed concerned, and even a bit disappointed. As a result, he might have wanted to return to the church with someone from the hospital who will know how to best raid it without confronting too many enemies. Or, the mystery person could even be Morgan, though I am not certain about this considering that special effects guru and executive producer Greg Nicotero has explained that Morgan cannot really be too close to Rick just yet. That post-credits scene at the end of "No Sanctuary" was set several weeks after Rick and co. had left that exact same area.

Morgan following "X" mark on tree in "No Sanctuary"
Morgan following "X" mark on tree in "No Sanctuary"

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Sneak Peek:

Out of all the places she could have been held hostage, she just happened to be in a hospital. A new viewer who just came across this show might be of the mindset that Beth has nothing to worry about - that female cop and that male doctor are perfectly good people willing to help her recover from whatever is hurting her. And plus, she is in a hospital, which should be one of the most innocuous places, right? Wrong!

Let's remember the last few words from the synopsis for this episode, "... but what looks safe and nice on the outside has a bit of a dark side." That, my fellow passionate and loyal 'TWD' viewers, is one of the main themes of this show, in general. The Governor appeared nice and friendly on the outside, but we found out later that he was really a sadistic murderer with the following mindset - "in this [zombie apocalyptic] world, you kill or you die." Gareth also hid under a veil of friendliness and compassion when he first met Rick, Daryl, Carl and Michonne in the season four finale. And what did he reveal himself to be later? A menacingly calculating cannibal who would rather be the butcher than the cattle; a man who lures survivors to his home just to kill them, and then eat them later.

The Governor after killing Hershel in "Too Far Gone"
The Governor after killing Hershel in "Too Far Gone"
Gareth looking completely harmless in "A"
Gareth looking completely harmless in "A"

If this trend continues (and it surely will), then this hospital group is nowhere near as friendly and nice as they are portraying themselves to be. In the promo, you clearly see the cop about to give Beth the most vicious slap ever given on this show thus far. If this group was willing to force Beth against her will to join them, then there must be a reason, a sinister one, most likely. They need her for something, and because they are in a hospital, my theory is that they need her for some sort of experiment or operation. What that could possibly be I do not know, and I will not venture a guess because I am no medical aficionado.

Up to this point, Beth has always been very healthy, thank goodness. She has never been the strongest or smartest, but she has been able to go through it all and come out practically unscathed, mostly physically. This hospital group no doubt noticed that, though not in the way we know it to be true. They probably were spying on her and Daryl when they got separated from the rest of the prison group after said prison was re-taken by walkers, thanks in large part to that villainous Governor.

Promo images for "Slabtown"
Promo images for "Slabtown"

Speaking of which, remember the funeral home they both found in "Alone?" Daryl found it to be clean, too clean for the average abandoned home in a zombie apocalypse. What happened might be that one of these hospital members were out and about looking for new recruits, and so they used that very clean and food-filled house as bait. They then lured walkers to the house to force Beth and Daryl to abandon it. When that occurred, Beth made it out first, as Daryl was stuck trying to get away from the walkers that had entered the home. That was when Beth was taken; Daryl was unable to get back to her quickly.

Funeral home....
Funeral home....
appears too clean, from Daryl's perspective
appears too clean, from Daryl's perspective

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Do not forget that "Slabtown" debuts Sunday, November 2nd!!!

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Poll

Give the recently-aired episode, "Four Walls and a Roof," a grade:

Sound off in the comments section below! Tell me what you thought of "Four Walls and a Roof," and what you expect will go down in "Slabtown."

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[Images from: The Walking Dead Wiki, Screencapped, Comicbook, Entertainment Weekly]

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