(Don’t read unless you are caught up through the first two episodes of season 5 of “The Walking Dead.”)
Bob. Bob. BOB.
The theories this week are mostly all about our now stumpy friend, who is (literally) being eaten alive by Smirking Gareth and his cannibal buddies. You knew Bob was doomed when he and Sasha started playing kissy face, but the main question has been: Did he get bitten when pulled underwater by a walker? Is that why he was outside Father Gabriel’s church, sobbing in the dark, when Gareth’s crew knocked him out and drug him off to the campfire? Are Gareth & Co. eating….tainted meat? Will that turn them into walkers?
It’s an interesting zombie science question, but WE’VE GOT SOMETHING BETTER. Friend of the blog Roger Newkirk posits a doozy of a theory that appeals to our crackpot heart: Was Bob originally a member of Terminus, or even…..the hostile crew that was raping and pillaging Terminus and got kicked out?
Let’s consider. When Daryl and Glenn came across Bob last season, he was a drunk who said he was the last survivor of a couple of groups and he drank to dim the memory. But the backstory never showed those groups — just him wandering the woods solo.
But there’s no getting around that the leader of Terminus, Gareth, seems to know him. In the first episode this season (“No Sanctuary”) Gareth and crew are about to slaughter some of our gang, but Bob yells through his gag. Gareth takes it out and addresses him by name (“Can’t go back, Bob.”) How did he know the name? He talked to Rick just after that, but didn’t call him by name. At the end of last season, in fact, we see him calling Rick “ringleader, ” so he clearly doesn’t know it. It’s never explained how he knows Bob’s.
In last week’s episode (“Strangers”), once Gareth has Bob tied up and is munching on his leg, there’s some clever word play. He again addresses him by name, twice, and then monologues.
He says “you and your people took away our home.” That seems to refer to Rick’s crew … but could also be referring to the first group that violently took over Terminus. He says “we didn’t want to hurt you … before.” There’s no doubt he puts a pause there. And how could that refer to Bob’s time at Terminus with Rick? They were slaughtering them like cattle! Of course they wanted to hurt them. But we know from the backstory that Gareth’s crew initially wanted to help people at Terminus, putting up all those signs to help strangers find the way. Men came in (including Bob?) and betrayed them. That would qualify as “before.”
Finally, Gareth says, “I just hope you understand that nothing happening to you now is personal. Yeah, you put us in this situation…and it is almost a cosmic justice for it to be you.” Again, the emphasis is Gareth’s. He could be referring to Bob as any member of Rick’s crew, but that seems weird. This encounter is happening apparently less than 24 hours after Rick’s crew destroyed Terminus. There’s nothing particularly “cosmic” about trailing Rick’s group through the woods and picking one of them off. But tracking down a member of the group that initially savaged Gareth’s group and motivated them to turn into cannibals? And then eating one of that group? That qualifies as “cosmic justice.”
There are bugs in the theory. Bob advocated for his sub-group to head for Terminus after they saw the signs. Why would he do that if he had a bad history there? Maybe he thought Gareth’s group had left or was dead, and the place was empty? Revenge? And while we didn’t see his sub-group (Maggie, Glenn, Sasha, et al) get taken into Terminus last year, we know from Abraham that it was initially peaceful. Seems odd that if Gareth and Co. recognized one of their former tormentors walking in that they would have kept a poker face about it.
So, hey, this theory may not be true at all. But if it isn’t? It should be. See you Sunday night.