Spoiler alert! The following contains details from "The Walking Dead" Season 5, Episode 3 entitled, "Four Walls And A Roof."
To say the Church that provided temporary solace for Rick's group of survivors on the previous episode of "The Walking Dead" is no longer "The Lord's house" is an understatement. It became more like a slaughterhouse by the end of Sunday night's episode, not unlike the one at Terminus. Only this time the ones being slaughtered had it coming.
The ending of last week's "Strangers" was horrifying, and "Four Walls And A Roof" wasted no time picking back up with the Hunters' grizzly Bob-B-Q. Gareth continues his endless monologuing and uses a sick bear analogy to offer some insight into how he convinced other survivors to be cannibals ("Join us or feed us") but insists it was never a trap. He also reveals that he knows that Carol killed his mother, Mary, back at Terminus and that he saw her and Daryl take off in the car. "I can't wait to try her," he says like it's nothing, as he expresses his taste for pretty women -- like, literally, his taste for them -- and tells Bob he's going to eat Sasha as well.
Now, cut to Bob, laughing his ass off. This guy doesn't let anything bother him! But seriously, Bob's laughter signifies something bittersweet: he was indeed bitten by a walker when they raided the food bank, but that means Gareth and his group have been feasting on... TAINTED MEAT!
As Gareth's group self-induces vomiting and generally freaks out, Sasha puts herself at risk to look for Bob outside the church until Rick informs her that Carol and Daryl are also missing. She takes it out on Father Gabriel, suggesting that all the disappearances are connected. Rick backs her up and confronts the priest, this time openly, about what he did to the person who wrote, "You will burn for this" on the church, presumably that bespectacled female walker in the food bank.
Father Gabriel doesn't take long to break down, finally admitting that he locked members of his congregation outside of the church while walkers attacked them, including some pretty gory details about them screaming his name as they died. "I'm damned," he says, clearly feeling bad about his actions. After learning this, Rick's group seems to pity him more than distrust him.
They don't have much time to discuss Father Gabriel's past because Bob is dropped off in front of the church, his leg bandaged but his fresh walker bite still concealed under his shirt. Gareth's group is nowhere to be seen, but there's a letter "A" written on the side of the church in blood. What does it stand for? Anarchy? The "A" train car from Terminus? A health inspector's grade? Or perhaps it was just Gareth's way of saying "Touché" to the tainted meat mishap.
Bob tells his friends about the ghastly feast on his leg, the school in which Gareth's group is hiding out, and the fact that Carol and Daryl took off in a car. He also reveals his walker bite to a heartbroken Sasha, after which Father Gabriel offers him his couch. The Father also says the school is just a 10 minutes walk away (but seriously -- what isn't in this show?) and it becomes clear that Rick meant business when he said, "They don't get to live."
Now that it's decision time, of course a testosterone-fueled argument has to break out. Sgt. Abraham says they need to leave for D.C. right away, or at least he and Rosita need to take Eugene out of there for his safety. Eugene doesn't seem too keen on leaving -- another hint that his character isn't being forthright about his plan to save the world. Rick says they need to stay put, if not for the battle then to wait for Carol and Daryl to return. Their screaming match is predictably broken up by Mr. Reasonable, aka Glen, who convinces Abraham to stay for half a day. Tara volunteers to go to D.C. and Glen and Maggie follow suit, promising to go with the Sgt. in the school bus if they stick together to take out the Hunters.
As the rest of the group discusses how to retaliate against Gareth, Bob is still being SUPER positive, smiling and asking Sasha to humor him. We haven't had a character die this optimistically since Hershel smiled in the face of a sword back at the prison. Sasha wants to avenge him, despite her brother Tyrese trying to drop some wisdom on her about spending as much time with your dying loved ones as possible. Sasha rebukes his advice by reminding him how blood-thirsty he was when he found out Karen was killed, hands him her knife and asks him to put Bob down if he dies before she returns. In shorter terms: BOSS B*TCH.
Rick's group comes up with a clever way to make it look like half of them left the church with all their weaponry as the Hunters approach the Church and let themselves in. Gareth puts on a show, speaking in his signature, "charming super villain" cadence to the rest of the group who are locked in the Church's back room. Baby Judith gives away their location by crying, but not before having one of the most badass shots of the episode:
Before Gareth can make his move, Rick's posse emerges from the darkness, blows off Gareth's fingers and kills two of his men. Now Gareth is the one on his knees, pleading for his life and saying, "You don't have to do this." Rick reminds him of the promise he made back at Terminus before killing him, just as promised, with the red-handled machete, while Sasha, Abraham and Michonne go to town on the rest of the "Termites," as they were. Glen, Maggie and Tara's looks of semi-horror capture the unsettling feeling in the room. It's not like they're used to slaughtering non-walkers at close range. But hey, Michonne is finally reunited with her Katana and Rick reminds everyone that, "It could have been us."
Everyone gathers around Bob, who is barely hanging on to life yet in impossibly good spirits. He thanks Rick for being a "good person" and leaves him with some positive words for baby Judith. When Sasha comes in to sit with him in his final moments, he's still smiling and being coy. But just as she asks him what "good" will come out of this "bad," per their cute little game, he takes his last breath. Tyrese comes in to put him down before he can turn. As far as deaths on this show go, it was one of the most cathartic.
After burying Bob in the church yard, the group splits up. Now, I don't know how I feel about this, considering how long it took to get everyone together and that Maggie still doesn't know where Beth was taken. On the other hand, Rick has both of his kids, Sasha found her brother, Maggie is reunited with Glen, and the two of them have bonded with Tara, so it makes some sense for the group to split off so that there are more people to accompany St. Abraham, Rosita and Eugene to D.C. (even if Eugene's behavior indicates that the trip may not end in saving the world). Yet, it still feels really uncomfortable seeing them pack up and leave. Even THEY don't look too cool with it.
Rick, Carl, Judith, Michonne, Sasha, Tyrese and Father Gabriel remain at the church. Before departing, Sgt. Abraham gives Rick a map that shows the route they will take to D.C., with a note that says, “Sorry I was an asshole. Come to Washington. The new world's gonna need Rick Grimes.” Amen.
The final shocker of the episode leaves us with a cliffhanger. As Michonne and Father Gabriel sit on the porch and chat because they're unable to sleep, a rustle in the leaves catches their attention. Michonne goes to see what it is when BOOM: Daryl. He's back, but he doesn't look too happy. We can't see who he's with through the darkness, but his less-than-enthusiastic, "Come out," doesn't bode well for Carol or Beth. Could it be someone new? And when exactly his Morgan going to catch up?
The preview for next week's episode, called "Slabtown," shows Beth waking up in a hospital. With her sister on her way to D.C. and Daryl back at the Church, who knows how long it will take for Beth to be reunited with Rick's group. Based on the payoff of that months-long search for Sophia on the farm, the sooner that happens, the better her chances.