At this moment The Walking Dead is hopping between storylines every episode. Last week we saw what has become of Beth and this week we follow Eugene, Abraham, Rosita, Tara, Maggie and Glenn on their trek towards DC. However, unbeknown to anyone but Tara Eugene is sabotaging their efforts because he doesn’t want to get to DC before he can make his big revelation. In a badly needed episode we discover the background stories of Abraham and Eugene giving both more badly needed characterization. I hope Rosita and Tara will also not be left out because this episode proves they have a lot to offer as well.
The Walking Dead – Self Help – Review
Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) is driving the bus and Rosita (Christian Serratos) mentions he needs a hair cut. Tara (Alanna Masterson) makes a joke out of Eugene’s (Josh McDermitt) mullet and he replies by saying he is only focused on reaching D.C. as fast as possible. Maggie (Lauren Cohan) looks at Glenn (Steven Yeun) and mentions that maybe Rick and the others are right behind them; Glenn assures her they will surely catch up. Glenn asks Eugene why his hair is like that, Eugene says he loves it and no one will ever touch it with clippers. All of a sudden the bus suffers a major problem causing it to flip over, all the walkers near by, alerted by the noise, start making their way over to the bus with the occupants still trapped inside.
Flashback, We see Abraham beating someone to death with a can, he then steps on his neck and breaks it. It becomes apparent that Abraham has killed a group of security guards inside a grocery store. He yells for an Ellen.
Present day, he wakes up in the crashed, overturned bus yelling for Eugene. Abraham and Glenn decide to hold them off as the others make a run for it; Tara kills a walker and tells Eugene to hurry up and escape. Eugene is watching the group kill all the walkers and has a terrified look on his face; but he goes ahead and saves Tara by stabbing a walker who was sneaking up on her. Abraham makes sure that Eugene is fine and realizes the wound on his hand opened up; Maggie offers to find medical supplies on the bus but it sets on fire losing everything inside. Eugene says that they can just head back to the church instead without the bus, Abraham tells them there is no running back only forward; Glenn asks him if he is okay. Eugene walks over to the walker he killed and spits on it, Rosita tells him to hurry up and catch up with the others.
Flashback, We see Abraham in the grocery store looking for Ellen and finds her behind a counter with two kids hiding behind her, apparently scared of him. Present time, Glenn and the group are now in a library, they barricade the doors and make a fire by burning the pages of books. Rosita is stitching up Abraham’s hand. Abraham thanks Glenn for coming with him to D.C. still after the bus crash, Glenn tells him he doesn’t break a promise. Abraham says it’s at the point where everyone alive now is strong or else they wouldn’t be alive. Abraham and Rosita start having sex on a table, Eugene can be seen watching them. Tara tells Eugene to go move away from them and Eugene says that he enjoys he female form. Tara thanks Eugene for saving her; Eugene says the bus crashed because of him that he put crushed glass in the fuel line. He wanted the bus to stop and have to go back. Tara asks him why he did that, Tara tells him he messed up and not tell anyone about or do something like it again.
Glenn gives Maggie a kiss and the two hug, Abraham is standing watch at the window just staring at the walkers passing by again.
Flashback, Abraham is back in the grocery store telling Ellen and two kids that they are safe now, they don’t have to be scared now but they look terrified of him. Present time, Rosita is mending Abraham’s hand; she mentions that they should stay for one more day but Abraham says he wants to keep moving. Abraham decides that the group is going to move on, he heads over to check on a fire truck which can be seen outside. Abraham gets it started and all of a sudden it stops on him. Abraham gets out and then a group of walkers come out; the group start killing them all. Eugene gets on top of the fire truck and uses the hose to kick them all down; Abraham is very impressed by it. Abraham gets on top of the fire truck and starts laughing after reading what is written on floor by the truck: “Sick inside. Let them die.”
Flashback, Abraham wakes up in the grocery store and realizes that Ellen and the two kids are gone and chases after them. In the present, Abraham tries to fix the fire truck again in the middle of nowhere. Maggie tells Eugene the she likes his hair too and knows he likes it for a reason; she believes nobody knows who he wants to be. She tells him he is not like everyone else. Glenn says the wind is picking up and they smell something disgusting. Abraham says they wont stop, they begin moving on foot. Up ahead is a herd of walkers; they want to go the other way but Abraham tells them to hold up and refuses to take a detour. Glenn tells him that this is not something they can get through.
Abraham tells him that they can’t go back. Rosita says that the others are right and he’s just being stubborn. Abraham moves back and starts dragging Eugene with him. Glenn goes over to stop him; Eugene yells at him and announces to the group that he lied. He is not a scientist and he doesn’t know how to stop all this.
Eugene says that he knows things, but he is not a scientist. He knows he’s smarter than others and is a good liar; he just needed to get to D.C. and he speculated that it was the best plausible place for survival. Thinking if he could get people to get him there, it would be fine. Rosita says people died to get him there. Eugene says he knows this and confesses what he did to slow down their roll. He admits that he is screwed either way whether he confessed or not, he confesses he’s smarter than them and that he knows they will leave him there; Abraham beats him up and slug him in the face several times. Abraham sees his bloody hand and stops; Eugene’s face is completely swollen and bleeding. Abraham moves away and, in solitude, falls to his knees.
Flashback, Abraham has run out of the store and finds Ellen and the kids dead. Abraham hears screaming outside, a man is being chased by 3 walkers. The man is revealed to be Eugene. Abraham saves Eugene but begins walking away. Eugene requests Abraham’s continued help but Abraham has a despaired mental state of purposelessness. Eugene lies and announces to Abraham he’s on a mission (giving Abraham a reason to exist).
‘Self Help’ is the first episode since their introduction to give Abraham and Eugene some character-building. We always knew that Eugene had been lying about knowing a cure for the zombie plague and so the showdown between him and Abraham hardly came as a surprise. That said, if you take into account Abraham’s own dark history then you know he needed Eugene’s important mission more than anyone else. I am glad this episode gave both Abraham and Eugene more character but that makes it all the more strange that their history wasn’t expanded before. Both Rosita and Tara’s also get some important development, though I cannot as of yet fathom what Rosita sees in Abraham. There are at least hints of a love hate relationship when Abraham argues against her suggestion to stay for a day at the bookstore while in the next scene she agrees with him that they should move on. Tara remains like Eugene the odd one out of the group of six survivors. As Glenn and Maggie form the other couple she is somewhat left out. She is the first to discover that Eugene is withholding something, but thinks that it is because he fears he can’t look after himself. A scene whereby she catches Eugene trying to spy on Rosita is made funny when she herself briefly spies on her. ‘Self Help’ did little wrong, though the connection between Abraham’s bleeding hand and the loss of his family was not so subtle.
Score; 8.5 / 10. A excellent episode TWD that proves the best strategy for survival is still self help. This was The Walking Dead – Self Help – Review.