November 16, 2014 The Walking Dead – Self Help (Season 5 / Episode 5 Review)
In the latest episode of The Walking Dead, titled Self Help, the story returns back from Beth and the shady hospital she is captive to the the rest of the group on the outside. The episode begins with a portion of the crew continuing their travels to Washington D.C., while the others stay behind awaiting the return of Carol and Daryl. Abraham and a few others from the group have taken off in the bus from the church, but unfortunately do not make it very far. The bus suddenly backfires, causing it to turn on its side and catch fire, right by a herd of walkers. Instincts quickly kick in, including Eugene, who makes his first kill. Finding sanctuary in a library, for the time being, the team regroups and prepares for the next plan. Clearly feeling guilty for something unknown at the time, Eugene decides to confide in Tara that he in fact sabotaged the bus to delay the mission, as he would not be important anymore once it is all over. Sympathetic to Eugene, Tara agrees to stay silent about the disturbing news and carry on like normal.
The next morning, they try to start up a fire truck, which moves a few feet, unblocking a door that was apparently barricading another herd of walkers. They quickly swarm, but to no avail, as the group hold their own, Eugene able to finish them off with the intense stream of water from the fire hose. To their dismay, the truck does not make it too far either, and argue which direction to carry on foot, as straight ahead would lead to hundreds of walkers. Abraham, refusing to listen to anyone, grabs Eugene to march on and then the unthinkable happens. Clearly faced with the idea the end was near with doom ahead, Eugene finally reveals a big secret – he is no scientist, and there is no operation waiting for him in Washington D.C. A selfish lie to keep himself protected, Eugene rambles on about how he is still smarter than everyone enticing an enraged Abraham to pummel him before dropping to his knees in disbelief.
Throughout the episode, there is a series of flashbacks involving Abraham. It starts with him brutally killing a man, beating him senseless with a can of food. There are others already lifeless on the ground, his family in another room, cowering in fear. No longer seeing him as the father and husband he was, his family runs from him in the middle of the night, leaving a note for him to not follow. A determined man even then, he does find them soon after sadly devoured by walkers. About to end his own life, Eugene comes into sight, about to be attacked by walkers. Abraham swiftly saves him, and goes back to carry out the attempted suicide, and in this moment, the audience learns of the false mission to Washington D.C.
There were many questions surrounding Eugene, as it became more clear which each passing episode he was in no rush to get to Washington D.C. He also had many open ended answers, mostly saying everything was classified, which did not seem to sit right with most of the group, but went along with it anyway, as Abraham and Rosita did. The flashbacks involving Abraham were interesting, telling his story simply and metaphorically. Most scenes revolved around a wound on his hand, which began with the man on the floor getting beaten to a bloody pulp. After Eugene came right before him pulling the trigger, it can be noticed that he in fact saved his life, although later realizing it was using a lie to do so. With Abraham’s attack on Eugene reopening an old wound, flooding back were memories of his family and possibly once again having nothing to live for. Eugene’s lie being exposed came at a good time, for the constantly failing mission to Washington D.C. had certainly exhausted its story. Hopefully the group can reunite soon, possibly with Beth as well. For those who have seen the sneak peeks, the next episode should hopefully bring on another exciting rescue mission. CrypticRock gives Self Help 4 out of 5 stars.