The cold open kicks off with a glimpse at pre-Prison Bob Stookey. A haunted, tortured soul with a shady past, Bob has been an enigma for most of this season. Here, he’s scruffier than we’re used to seeing him, armed with a machete and his signature canvas/leather backpack. (AMC is sitting on a goldmine of replica character gear sales. Unrelated, I’m obsessed with canvas/leather backpacks.) Like Michonne immediately after the fall of the Prison, Bob trudges along as slow and aimless as a Walker. His survival skills and will to live remain, but one look at his vacant eyes shows that he has put life on cruise control. Why? He’s alone.
That is until a pickup truck and motorcycle appear on the road. Glenn and Daryl approach Bob, weapons at the ready. Daryl asks Bob the Three Questions as per the rules of the Prison community. (Aw, remember those?) Bob answers that he’s killed a couple dozen Walkers and only one person because she asked him to. Bob is eager to join them, and Daryl asks if he subsequently has any questions for them. Bob shakes his head, stating, “It doesn’t matter who you are.”
Unlike the other characters riddled with guilt and despair over their actions and losses since the Turn, Bob remains unfazed. He’s just happy to not be alone. After everything that has happened, does it matter more to build community and structure, or is it simply enough not to be alone, regardless of the company?
I still don’t fully trust him, but I’m probably being over-cautious. The questions of trust and vulnerability are prevalent throughout the back half of season four and the series at large. At the start of this episode, Sasha is unwilling to lower her guard and express her fears for Tyreese’s fate. Maggie has lowered her guard to find true love with Glenn and is hellbent to not lose that connection. Daryl lowers his guard with Beth — just long enough to lose her and any hopes of stability, joy, and maybe even love!
Maggie, Sasha, and Bob
First, there were the Walkers of the Corn. Then, there were the Walkers of the Storm. Now, there are the Walkers in the Mist. Maggie, Sasha, and Bob miraculously hold off a brood of Walkers, as they find themselves surrounded in a particularly foggy patch of the never-ending Georgian forest. With a broken compass and only six bullets left, their options are thinning. At first, I thought Bob was lying in saying that the Walker didn’t get him, since a Walker biting a bandage rather than skin sounds highly suspect and convenient. Maybe my Bob bias is showing.
Bob and his optimism are undeterred. He suggests they simply use the sun for guidance and continue on their plan to reunite Maggie with Glenn. Back on track and sporting new backpacks (indicating some time has passed since we last saw them), they reach railroad lines. Maggie notices a sign, another ad for Terminus, “SANCTUARY FOR ALL. COMMUNITY FOR ALL. THOSE WHO ARRIVE SURVIVE.” Bob confirms that this place is the same described in the radio message heard back when they went on the meds run. (One mystery solved! 100 million to go!) Ever determined and desperate, Maggie asserts that they should journey to Terminus, as Glenn would mostly look for her there. That is, if he’s still alive. Bob is on board, suggesting others from the Prison including Tyreese may be there. Sasha, on the other hand, is suspicious. Bob insists that they can’t split up, and with a tacit vote of two to one in favor of Terminus, they follow the tracks.
NEXT: One is the loneliest number…