Warning: This recap for the "Four Walls and a Roof" episode of The Walking Dead contains storyline and character spoilers.
This cannot be a sign of good things to come: Bob's "Good Out of the Bad" game, the one where Sasha named something bad about post-apocalyptic life and Bob countered with something positive? Bob and Sasha played that game again this week, but when she asked Bob to tell her something good that came out of all he had just experienced... well, Bob died before he could answer.
So yeah, that's where we are now. Here's how we got there:
Gareth and his Terminus crew are like animals gnawing away at the grilled remains of Bob's leg, as Gareth further torments Bob by telling him about his original plot. "It wasn't just a trap," he explains of his plans for Rick and company. "It was going to be a choice. You join us, or feed us." He goes on to tell Bob women taste better than men, so he's looking forward to grilling up some Carol — aka "that gray-haired queen bitch who killed my mom" — and Sasha, too, because "I think pretty people taste better."
"I'm being a human being! I'm talking to you. Perspective, Bob," Gareth says, as Bob's sobs turn into hysterical laughter. "He's lost it," one of Gareth's minions says.
"You idiots! I've been bitten, you stupid pricks!" Bob says, confirming something many viewers suspected — that Bob had been on the receiving end of a walker chomp in that food bank walker pond. "I'm tainted meat!" he screams, still laughing hysterically, as Gareth's people spit out big chunks of Bob and freak out that they're going to turn. Gareth assures them everything is okay, because they cooked Bob.
Bob's not having it.
"Tainted meat! You're eating tainted meat!" he continues to yell, until Gareth kicks him and knocks him out. And that is just the first five minutes of the episode.
"I Locked the Doors at Night"
"I Locked the Doors at Night": The Gabriel Stokes Backstory, as told by Gabriel while being held at gunpoint by Sasha. Bob's girlfriend, frustrated that a search for Bob turned up nothing except the knowledge that Daryl and Carol are also missing, demands Gabriel tell her how he's involved with the fact that three of their people are now MIA. Rick joins in, too, asking who the bespectacled walker at the food bank was (the one he clearly recognized and wigged out about), and why the inscription "You'll Burn for This" is carved into the outside of the church.
Gabriel: "I locked the doors at night," he says, explaining that when the turn happened, members of his community came to him seeking safety within the church. They banged on shutters and doors, which attracted walkers, and he still did not let them in, instead protecting himself and his food supply. "Entire families calling my name as they were torn apart... begging me for mercy, damning me to hell," he said, concluding Team Grimes had been sent by The Lord to "finally punish me."
"They Were Eating My Leg Right in Front of Me"
As the coward of the county — that's right, we just dropped some Kenny Rogers on you — finishes telling his story, the group discovers a body dumped in front of the church. It's Bob, who's carried in to tell his story. His leg? Gareth and pals took it, cooked it, and ate it right in front of him, he says. He also shares that Gareth said one of his men saw Carol and Daryl drive off together.
Sasha and Rosita want to give Bob some medicine, but he insists they don't; it would be wasted on him, because he was bitten at the food bank. Gabriel — in what is, according to his own admission, a rare act of post-apocalyptic selflessness — offers up his office couch to make Bob as comfortable as possible.
Rick and Abraham, meanwhile, are already off in Headbuttingville. Abe wants to vamoose with Eugene to D.C. and thinks everyone else should climb into the church bus and vamoose with them. Rick says his posse isn't leaving without Daryl and Carol, and until they've taken care of Gareth and his vittles-seeking brethren.
"I respect that," Abraham says. "But there's a clear threat here to Eugene. I need to extract his ass before things get any uglier."
A minor Grimes vs. Ford skirmish ensues, which is broken up by Glenn when he offers himself and Maggie to join the bus to D.C., if Mr. Ford will agree to stick around for 12 more hours to help take care of Gareth.
"Come high noon, we're taillights," says Abraham, in what should become the only way to announce your departure from here on out.
"They Think They're in Control"
With Abraham in for another half day, Rick unfurls his Gareth plan. "They think they're in control... but we know exactly where they are," he says after Bob said Gareth had set up camp (and grill) at a nearby elementary school. Rick and several other members of his group head out — we think — towards the school, and Gareth and his crew creep into the church.
"Well, I guess you know we're here. And we know you're here. And we're armed. So there's really no point in hiding anymore," Gareth announces in the dark church, assuming a handful of Rick's group are hiding inside two small rooms near the pulpit. "We've been watching you. We know who's here."
But they don't. As Gareth and company begin to move in on the small rooms, one of Gareth's men is taken out by a gunshot from behind them. It's Rick! He tells everyone to put their guns on the floor, and when Gareth begins to protest, Rick shoots him in the hand. Gareth, who has been largely unflappable to this point, tells his people to do what Rick says. Martin — Tyreese's nemesis from the season premiere — questions that, until Abraham steps out of the darkness of the church with his rifle aimed at him.
Gareth tells Rick he knows there's no point in begging. Rick confirms he's correct. "Still, you could have killed us when you came in," Gareth says, with the teeniest smidgen of hope left. "There had to be a reason for that, right?"
Rick: "We didn't want to waste the bullets."
A shaking Gareth makes a final pitch, again saying Terminus used to be about helping people, before breaking down when he starts to remember what was done to him and his people, when they were the cattle, before they were the butchers. "I know that you've been out there, but I can see it... you don't know what it is to be hungry," he tells Rick. "You don't have to do this. We can walk away, and we will never cross paths again, I promise you."
Rick, unfazed: "You'll cross someone's path... you'll do this to anyone. Besides, I already made you a promise..."
No bullets are wasted. Instead, Mr. Grimes, Sasha, Michonne, and Abraham savagely kill Gareth and his people by stabbing, crushing, and beating them to death. There is the sound of blades plunging into bodies, and of bones being crunched. Rick uses a giant knife to chop away at Gareth, Abraham hammers another man with the butt of his gun, Sasha stabs one of the men over and over again in the throat. It is as though Team Rick's members have momentarily lost control of their humanity, and are attacking like animals.
"That could have been us," Rick says, standing over the remains, almost as if he's trying to convince himself what he's done is just.
Gabriel, who watched the massacre unfold, surveys his blood-splattered church afterwards. "This is the Lord's house," he says.
"No. It's just four walls and a roof," Maggie says.
"What Is It, the Good That Comes Out of This Bad?"
The gang says goodbye — or "taillights" — to Bob, who asks to talk to Rick. "Before the prison, I didn't know if there were any good people left... Nightmares end. They shouldn't end who you are. And that is just this dead man's opinion."
"I'll take it," Rick says, with a rare smile, and grabs Bob's hand.
Bob gets a last smile from Sasha, too, who then asks him, "So what is it, the good that comes out of this bad?"
But he dies before she gets an answer, and Tyreese takes his sister's knife and tells her to leave the room so he can prevent Bob from reanimating.
Goodbyes: Abraham, Eugene, Rosita, Glenn, Maggie, and Tara are shoving off to D.C. Abe gives Rick a map that highlights the route they'll follow, and all agree the two groups will reunite in D.C. The church bus pulls out, and Rick opens the map, on which Abraham has written, "Sorry I was an a--hole. Come to Washington. The new world's gonna need Rick Grimes."
Hello: Michonne, sitting on the church steps with Gabriel, hears rustling from the woods. She smiles when she sees it's Daryl emerging from the dark. But he's not smiling.
"Where's Carol?" she asks.
Daryl turns, looks behind him, and tells someone, "Come on out."
* Who's in the woods behind Daryl? Carol? Beth? Maybe next episode — titled "Slabtown" — is a flashback to what Daryl and Carol did when they took off in the car last week? Maybe they rescued Beth. Or maybe Beth and Noah, the character who will be played by Everybody Hates Chris star Tyler James Williams, the character who can be seen fleeing somewhere behind Beth in the Season 5 trailer?
* Bob to Sasha, on why he didn't immediately tell her he had been bitten at the food bank: "I knew when I told you it'd become all about the end. And I reaaaally like the middle."
* Rick to Tyreese, while they're digging graves: "I never asked you how it was for you, getting to Terminus." Tyreese: "It killed me." Rick: "No, it didn't."
* Michonne has her katana back.
Now share your feelings with the group, Dead-heads: Who was Daryl talking to when he said "Come on out"? How much did you cry during Bob's final words with everyone? Are you bummed the Grimes gang is once again traveling in separate groups? And honestly, he was rotten, but he was an interesting kind of rotten... aren't you sorry to see Gareth say "I'm taillights" to TWD world?
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.