The Walking Dead Season 5 Review “Self-Help”

The Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 5 Self Help (1)

The Walking Dead returned tonight with the update on the people that I cared about the least in “Self-Help.” We were left on a cliffhanger two weeks ago with Daryl returning to Rick’s group, and Carol showing up at Beth’s hospital last week, but those will have to wait for now. Instead we caught up with Abraham’s crew, plus the new additions of Glenn and Maggie.

Despite how well done the episode was, and we’ll get to those positives in a minute, there’s always been two big problems with this entire storyline. First, we had no reason to believe that Eugene was telling the truth at all. He hadn’t shown any credentials, or given anyone any indication that he’s not completely talking out of his butt. He sure sounded like a smart guy when he’s using big words and talked about airborne pathogen dispersement and the like, but I would need a heck of a lot more than some guy with a mullet spouting some five dollar words to make me want to risk my life protecting him. Speaking of that mullet, I was glad that they at least addressed how ridiculous it looks. They even had a weird Samson motif going through the episode.

The second problem with this storyline is the bigger one: We all knew this plan was not going to work. Even if Eugene did know what he’s talking about, and he really was a member of this Human Genome Project, we know they’re not going to solve the zombie apocalypse. There wouldn’t be a show anymore, and AMC wouldn’t be getting great ratings every night it’s on! It’s hard to get invested in a plan that we know is going nowhere. The only real question was how close to DC would they get before they turn around.

Well, towards the end of the episode we find out what most of us had suspected all along. Eugene really was full of crap and there is no Human Genome Project. He was just using those big words to impress people into escorting him to DC. Not only does this make this whole storyline seem like a waste of time in retrospect, it makes all of these characters that believed in Eugene look gullible. The only lasting result from this whole plot was that Eugene is (probably) dead, and the rest of the team is probably going to turn around and try to find Rick’s group. Even if Eugene’s not dead, there’s no reason for his character on the show anymore. It’s hard not to feel a little cheated when we have other storylines on this show that we really care about.

Oh, and speaking of Eugene, why did Tara keep Eugene’s secret? The dude watches people have sex, sabotages their vehicle, and freezes up whenever a walker is around. How many red flags do you need?! Oh, and pipe up about him sabotaging the bus when you all hop on the fire engine! Wouldn’t you assume he’d try to sabotage that one too? After knowing all of that about him, you’d think she could have guessed that maybe this whole scientist thing might not have been true either.

That’s not to say that this little diversion wasn’t fun to watch, and it certainly was at times. Having some characters on a road trip does at least give you a nice of change of venue, which has been a problem at some points for this show. The zombie fight in the middle of the road was really cool, complete with a great crash scene with the bus shooting straight up in the air. The town was pretty great too, with the death by hose being one of the best zombie kills on this show so far. All of this was fun, but again, it’s hard not to feel like it was just a filler episode. We only have three episodes left in the year. There’s no time to waste!

I will say that my favorite part of the episode were the flashbacks of Abraham, as we see him lose his wife and kids. Right after losing them and almost killing himself, he finds Eugene and gets his “mission.” At least this gives Abraham a good reason for believing Eugene. He’s just lost everything he’s ever cared about, so he’s desperate to give his life meaning again. However, there’s no reason why he wouldn’t wise up after getting over the shock of the loss of his family and start to question the BS coming out of this chubby mulletted guy’s mouth. There’s also still no excuse for everyone else to believe everything he said!

What did everyone else think of the episode? Sound off in the comments section below!

Random Thoughts:

– Had we seen any evidence before tonight that Rosita and Abraham were even a thing? At first I thought she was just flirtily picking at his hair, but then they start humping in a library for everyone to see.

– I wonder how many country backroads of Atlanta they film on? They could probably just drive up and down the same one every time and we wouldn’t notice.

– Is anybody else getting those super obnoxious notices about satellite customers possibly losing AMC? Last week they were only on the bottom of the screen, but now they’re on the top and bottom! I hope this gets fixed sooner or later.