The Walking Dead Episode 505 ‘Self Help’ Recap and Poll

by on 11/10/2014


This episode starts with 10 minutes of Maggie crying, worrying about Beth and rationalizing her decision to go along with Glenn on a possible fool’s errand to Washington, D.C. when Beth might possibly still be a live and could be rescued.

Kidding. None of that happens.

Instead, we start with what passes for a fun church road trip in the apocalypse. As they roll down a rural two-lane highway the gang is listening to gospel tapes and chatting. Rosita says Abraham’s hair is getting shaggy and she wants to cut it, which naturally leads to a discussion of snipping Eugene’s mullet.

Eugene seems very uncomfortable with Tara’s joke that he doesn’t want to cut it because he’s like the Biblical Samson and his hair is his “source of power.” He also admits to her he’s been thinking about Father Gabriel, how he sacrificed so many of his church congregation by locking them out of the church, just so he could be safe himself.

Maggie optimistically tells Glenn that maybe Rick and the others are “just behind us.” Eugene again explains the plan to cure the zombie virus, which sounds like something out of a video game and maybe involves launching missiles.

Glenn asks him about the mullet he says he just likes it, and “no one is taking scissor or clipper to it.

The bus passes a small herd of walkers in the road. Then something blows in the engine and Abraham flips the bus like he’s the third Duke Boy from the Dukes of Hazzard. The walkers close in on the wreck. End of teaser.

We see a flashback of Abraham in a grocery store killing a man with a can. The can is too bloody to see what’s inside, but I’d guess yellow cling peaches because those have a good killing heft. The man is the last of an apparent killing spree, the aisle is littered with dead people and bloody cans. Again, assuming peaches. Abraham’s hands are covered with blood.

Abraham remembers he has a wife, Ellen, and says her name and heads to her.

We cut to Abraham waking up in the wreckage of the bus. At first he says Ellen’s name, but he very quickly switches to yelling for Eugene.

Everyone on the bus is mostly okay but the engine is on fire and a herd is pressed against the emergency exit. Our guys do what they do, smashing open the door to push the walkers back and then killing up close and personal.

Eugene is too scared to leave but Tara gives him a knife and encourages him. Eugene actually returns the favor, stabbing a walker that sneaks up on Tara in the back and distracting it long enough so she can kill it.

When the fight’s done Abraham has a wound on his hand, sustained in the church massacre, that has broken open during the walker fight. It’s sort of a literal metaphor for the blood he has on his hands and get used to it, because you haven’t seen the last of it. Maggie goes to get the first aid kit, but the bus bursts into flames at that moment.

And now the argument begins. Eugene wants to turn around and go back the 15 miles to the church. Abraham goes nuts, saying there’s no retreat. Glenn plays peacemaker, just as he did before when Abraham and Rick nearly came to blows in the church, and they all agree to head on.

Before they leave Eugene stoops before the walker that he stabbed and spits on it. It’s weird. He’s weird. What can I say?

Another flashback to the store. Abraham finds his wife Ellen and their two kids cowering behind the counter.

The group enters a bookstore at night. They show why they’re still alive this far into the ZA, quickly gathering water from the toilet tank, making a fire to boil it so it doesn’t kill them, and setting up a perimeter with the bookcases. Rosita cleans and patches Abraham’s bloody hand with a first aid kit found in the store.

Abraham gets up and joins Glenn on his watch. He thanks Glenn for going along on the mission and for staying after the crash.

“I made a deal,” Glenn says.

“You could’a broken it. What was I going to do?” Abraham said.

Abraham talks about how at this point in the ZA everyone is strong enough that they can either help you or you have to kill them before they kill you. His voice trails off. He says that he’d like to say it’s never easy to kill, but that’s not true any more.

“It’s the easiest thing in the world now,” he says.

He reassures Glenn that the world is going to change. Glenn says he should turn in because he’s got a late watch, but he says “I really need some ass first.” Always so plainspoken, that Abraham.

And so there’s a sex scene with Abraham and Rosita. Rosita notices that Eugene is standing nearby watching them do it from the Self Help section, and they laugh it off because he he’s harmless and does it all the time.

Tara also notices and is a little more freaked. Eugene admits he does like to watch, but says it’s a victimless crime that “provides both comfort and distraction.”

Tara thanks him for saving her life, although he’s reluctant to accept it. He says that if he saved her she provided the “context” for him to do so, which he has to explain.

“I was screwed either way so I went with the choice that helped someone. I thought it trite but it turned out to be true. So point to you,” Eugene says.

Tara tries to encourage Eugene, saying he can do this even if he doesn’t know it. And then he drops a bomb.

“The bus crashed because of me,” Eugene says.

He put crushed glass in the fuel line. He says he intended to stop the bus right away, not crash it.

Tara demands to know why.

He says he knows “empirically and definitively” that he can’t survive on his own, so he killed the bus because he knows people won’t keep him around if he doesn’t fix the virus. Tara says they will help him because they’re friends. She agrees to keep his secret if he doesn’t do anything like that again and seals the deal with a fist bump.

Tara sneaks one quick peek at Abraham and Rosita herself before going to bed.

There’s a quick scene with Maggie and Glenn, where Maggie agonizes about Beth. LOL, no. She does worry about leaving everyone else behind at the church, though and says she feels guilty for leaving and for having something to believe in.

She says it’s not about what was, like the massacre last night, but about “what’s gonna be”

“Don’t feel guilty about that,” Glenn says, and kisses her.

There’s a flashback to Abraham approaching Ellen and the kids. It’s pretty clear that the men Abraham killed were bad guys, and he tells her she’s safe. But she and the kids are still scared of him and his bloody hands.

We cut to Rosita bandaging Abraham’s hand. She wants to stay in the book store and heal for a day, but Abraham won’t go along with it. She gives in and supports his side, even shutting down Maggie when she also suggests resting and gathering supplies.

Abraham plans to take a fire engine which is backed up against the door of a nearby building. It’s weird, huh, that someone would block a door with a fire engine?

The fire engine starts and moves just far enough to unblock the door. That’s because it was used for zombie killing during the outbreak and is covered in gore. It’s got guts clogging its air intake. Abraham starts cleaning what he thinks is the intake, but Rosita corrects him and tells him it’s for the radiator and the engine intake is on top.

And then the walkers who were being held back by that blocked door pour out. There’s a hellacious fight. It looks like a losing one until the walkers get hit with a high pressure blast of of water from the engine, which breaks them apart like rotten cantaloupes. Manning the hose is Eugene, he’s saved the day.

“I been to eight county fairs and one goat rodeo. I ain’t never seen anything like that,” Abraham says.

He climbs up to clear the intake. On the ground he notices amid the wet pile of mutilated walkers that someone had written “Sick Inside. Let them Die” on the sidewalk near the building in red paint. He laughs like it’s the funniest thing in the world.

“What? This s**t is screwed up!” he tells the others, then starts clearing human intestine from the intake.

Another flashback. Abraham wakes up and finds Ellen and his kids gone. He finds a note left by Ellen which says “Don’t try to find us.” He leaves to look for them.

The fire engine didn’t make it far before breaking down. Abraham tries to fix it.

Eugene sits on the fire engine bumper and reads a book he took from the store, The Shape of Things to Come by H.G. Wells.

Maggie comes to him and tells him she knows why he has a mullet. She says he likes it because he’s “not the person people think you are” and he wears it so people will know he’s not like everyone else in the lab. She says the proof is that he didn’t give up, but Eugene just says there were a lot of people along the way that made sure he didn’t.

“It wasn’t me remotely,” Eugene says.

Maggie says Eugene is not like Samson, because Samson was kind of mess. She recounts how Samson got his powers from God and killed a lion. He went back and found a beehive in the lion and that was the basis of his famous riddle.

“Out of the eater, something to eat; out of the strong, something sweet.”

Maggie points out that the riddle is nonsense, at least to everyone except Samson.

“How the hell are people supposed to know the answer, when it’s just about his own life? When the only place the answer is is in his own head?” Maggie says.

This Bible talk gets interrupted by an overpowering stench. They head up the road and check it out. It’s an entire town filled with walkers, thousands of them. Maybe tens of thousands. It’s the walker national convention.

Everyone who isn’t insane wants to detour around the walkers, even Abraham-loyal Rosita. Abraham considers this surrender and starts ranting. His plan is to somehow plow through them even though Eugene points out that of course the filter will get clogged again.

It’s finally too much for Glenn. The deal wasn’t to commit suicide, after all. When Abraham tries to march Eugene back to the fire engine it gets physical. Everyone is fighting. Rosita gets knocked down, and it looks like someone will get hurt.

“I’m not a scientist!” Eugene screams above all the other yelling.

He explains he doesn’t know how to stop anything, he made the whole thing up so people would protect him.

“I know I’m smarter than most people. I know I’m a very good liar and I know I needed to get to D.C.,” Eugene says.

He figured that D.C. was the best chance of survival, and if he could cheat some people into taking them there he reasoned that he’d be doing them a solid too.

Abraham’s entire world is crashing down as he says this. Rosita tearfully tells Eugene that people died on the mission.

“I’m aware of that. Stephanie, Warren, Pam, Rex, Roger, Josiah, Dirk and Josephine. And Bob,” he says.

He admits tried to sabotage the mission because he was scared of what would happen when he got to D.C. and revealed the truth. But he realized that if Abraham was going to make him drive through a mega-herd or his protectors were going to die in a fight “I was screwed either way,” repeating the phrasing he used with Tara.

Eugene tries to argue that Abraham should take him along when they head back because “I am smarter than you.”

Abraham takes this quite poorly. He pushes Eugene up against the front of the fire engine and beats him brutally. The last punch knocks Eugene out and he falls. His head smashes into the highway with a sickening sound.

Abraham, goes to finish the job. But Rosita puts her hand on her pistol and stops him. He looks down at his injured hand, which has broken open and is once again bloody.

The group turns Eugene over. Eugene’s nose is broken and his face is bloodied. He seems to be alive but he’s unresponsive.

Abraham walks a little down the road and falls to his knees in despair.

Final flashback. Abraham finds his mostly eaten family not far from the store. He rips off his dog tags and tosses them down. Then takes his pistol and gets ready to kill himself.

Then he hears Eugene calling for help and running from walkers. Abraham kills them all. He ignores Eugene and starts to walk off.

Eugene calls for him to stop.

“You can’t leave,” Eugene says.

“Why?” Abraham asks angrily, not turning around.

Eugene thinks for several seconds.

“I have a very important mission,” he says.

Abraham to face him. End of episode.

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