Airdate: November 9, 2014
Directed by: Ernest R. Dickerson
Showrunner: Scott M. Gimple
Written by: Heather Bellson, Seth Hoffman
After last week’s departure from the main group, this week we’re going to get a second episode that deals with things away from Rick and the gang. Unfortunately for pretty much all of us, it won’t give us any of the burning questions left from the last two weeks; fortunately, we get to spend time with a couple of fan-favorite characters before rejoining the main story. Click through for my full preview of Episode 505.
<<Spoiler Warning: This Sneak Peek of The Walking Dead Season 5, Episode 5 “Self Help” includes promotional material from AMC, discusses recent episodes, and will speculate on future events.>>
Those unanswered questions, of course, are these: Who is in the bushes behind Daryl? And how does Carol end up at Grady Memorial Hospital? These questions may, or may not, be answered in Episode 506, but they won’t be answered this week. For now, we’re heading north with Abraham and co. as they try to get Eugene to D.C., and the apparatus he needs to implement a cure for the zombie virus.
The plot synopsis over on IMDB says: Abraham and the group run into problems on their way to Washington, D.C. Not exactly the most descriptive synopsis we’ve had so far. It would be rather useless to make any hints or suggestions regarding what the group is going to run into; after all, they’re entering into new territory, the first time we’ve seen that happen in four plus season, and therefore anything they run into will be completely unknown to us.
To be honest, I have some concern that Gimple and the other producers intend to somehow keep us in Georgia a while longer. When you think about, they’ve got a lot invested in the local area, and picking up and taking the production on the road is not going to make their already large per-episode budget any smaller. Of course, based on the numbers quoted in this article from last year in Variety magazine, they’re still making tons of money. According to The Hollywood Reporter, each episode is budgeted at $2.75 million, so with about 18 minutes of ads, AMC is making almost $9 million per episode. No wonder they’re spinning off another series beginning next year! But more importantly to us, the viewers, this means that they should be able to support a modest increase in budget, so that we can literally get this show on the road.
Back to the preview. Let’s take a look at this week’s official preview video:
What’s this? A bit of humor in the post-apocalypse? Well, it’s good to finally learn the “secret” of Eugene’s hair. Maybe he should ask Glenn how he manages to always be so clean-shaven in turn. The interesting stuff here is a bit of a reveal regarding how Eugene intends to save the world. He hints at missiles being used to spread the anti-virus, based on his comment about “target sites” and walker density. There’s also a nice little aside regarding CO2 emissions and how their reduction has changed weather patterns. See? The Zombie Apocalypse will solve the Global Warming crisis!
Eugene is his usual deadpan, but he’s very quick with his answers. Either he’s being completely honest, he’s rehearsed his lies well, or he’s a complete sociopath with a lightning wit. Readers of the comics will have their own suspicions, but don’t forget: despite following events from the comics pretty closely in a couple of episodes this season, the other two were completely new and unconnected from the books – there’s no telling which way Scott Gimple and his writers intend to take the show, which is one of the reasons (along with the excellent overall production quality) that people keep coming back, week after week, year after year.
Tomorrow night’s episode may not answer any questions left over from the first four, but it will give us a chance to spend some time with Glenn and Maggie, not to mention Abraham, who has a ton of unrealized potential. This episode may also give some of the sidekick characters – Tara and Rosita in particular – a chance to establish themselves, and show us why they deserve our sympathies. Here’s hoping that Episode 505 is a return to the form established in the first three episodes this season.