After viewing No Sanctuary, the first thought that came to mind was that the new season won’t have the stamina to keep up the same pace from this first episode. In a way, I was right, since the intensity decreased. However, from a different perspective, I was wrong, since an improvement can be seen from the previous seasons.
The second episode from this 5th season is called Strangers. However, I won’t talk about it as a whole, but I will reference only one character, which can be found also in the comic-books. And this character is a new addition: father Gabriel Stokes – the unlikely survivor. As he is depicted, he had no chances of surviving on own, cowering at the first sound that might announce that something bad will happen.
So he is a man of the cloth that remained alone for all this time. The obvious question is, now, not exactly how he survived, but where is his entire congregation. Where did they disappear? Is it possible that he is the last man standing in a zombie apocalypse? Even more, how come he was so close to Terminus and didn’t end up, well, cannibalized?
Of course, in the comics an answer is given for these questions, an answer which shows us the length a man could go in order to survive. But it wouldn’t be a surprise if the writers of The Walking Dead series twitch the original story here and there for a greater effect.
Of course, it is impossible for such a man to resist for so long without making a pact with the devil (which seems to me to bear a double symbolism). So an even greater question arises: how will the group handle this new situation? How will they welcome new characters into their ranks?
Another unnerving aspect of this show, which also concerns Gabriel in a way (of course, it is just a speculation at the moment), is not the easiness with pacts are made, but the easiness with which man emulates the actual living dead.
Strangers also saw the return of Gareth the cannibal. And, from my point of view, he is not eating just to survive, he is doing this with other thoughts in mind. In a scene, he actually eats a chunk of a man’s foot in front of that man. And this is again very suggestive. If the walkers eat because it is in their nature, the cannibals do have alternatives – however, they find pleasure in satisfying their appetite in such a way.
As a conclusion, I can say that in The Walking Dead not just the dead turn into walkers. Even the living have taken the same path. And this is the biggest twist of them all.