We begin on a very interesting, silent scene that focusses on Father Gabriel Stokes. Gilliam is a fantastic actor, so good in fact that he managed to carry this scene without saying a word, his facial expressions say it all. When he looks over at the strawberries he has been sent and reads the sign that says: “we are so blessed to have you” he winces. This is clearly because he doesn’t think so. He is constantly reminded of the mistake he made in not letting the people into the church out of fear. He possibly fears he may be too weak to help and will once again inadvertently lead to the death of survivors around him. The ripping out pages of the bible was also a fascinating addition on the part of the writers. He is obviously having a crisis of faith and doesn’t know how he is going to be a priest to these people when he himself is angry at God.
Now that it is established that we are in a new environment with ongoing issues foreshadowed and hinted at we now have the time to explore the characters again. It is good for the show to occasionally take a second for slower scenes between the characters. The writing and acting are so good that you could happily watch these characters talk to each other for a full episode. The dynamic between Noah and Reg Monroe looked interesting. It gives the character of Noah something to do, which he desperately needed. It’s always fun to have a scene that involves Eugene, he is a fascinating character who needs more screen time in my opinion. His lines and delivery of said lines is often hilarious. But this isn’t all there is to the character which was proven by this episode.
The moment the group got trapped in the revolving door was effective but felt like something they could escape unscathed, despite there not appearing to be an immediate solution to the problem. However, it proved to be more significant than it seemed at first glance. What transpired in this scene may go down as one of the most shocking deaths of the show’s history. Noah’s death was incredibly uncomfortable. It seemed the character was going somewhere and he was really starting to connect with the audience. He was well written and played very well by Tyler James Williams. It is obvious how talented Williams is that he has made a big splash in very little time. Williams has a blatant likeability, this is clear when you look at his success on Everybody Hates Chris. Noah’s death was sudden and unpleasant. The character felt like it was going places which added a feeling of injustice to it, especially when Nicholas got to live. The cruel irony of what Noah wrote in the new notebook was poignant. The content of the scene itself was shocking not just the fact that a good character died. AMC seem to make the death of a major character more graphic and upsetting so that it packs an extra punch. It isn’t bad enough that a beloved character is being killed it has to be brutal to watch also, more so than if a minor character got taken by the walkers. The expression on Noah’s face when he pressed it against the revolving door just before the walkers ripped him apart, was haunting.
Father Gabriel turning on the group and telling Deanna that they are dangerous was an interesting development. That little bastard. What makes it more interesting is Maggie heard it. The final moment of the episode between Carol and Rick was crucial to events going forward. They are bringing in events that happened at Alexandria in the comics, things are getting interesting.