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THE WALKING DEAD: Harvey & Adair Seek HELP


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Season 5, Episode 5 “Self Help”

Dustin: Sophia II was on Once Upon a Time. I repeat, SOPHIA II WAS ON ONCE UPON A TIME!!!
And she has sisters. RUN GIRLS RUN!!

Curtis: And she’s playing the younger version of the Snow Queen… pretty apt casting.

Dustin: Yep. Yep indeed.

Anne-Marie: Where’s Tim?

Dustin: Slacking.

Curtis: Bastard.

Anne-Marie: Emma is having a moment. When did she get flame powers?

Dustin: During the commercial break.

Ann-Marie: This chicken & dumplings is great.

Dustin: Thank you, I do try.

Curtis: Didn’t we have chili mac last week?

Dustin: Yes. I tried damn hard on that chili mac.

Timothy: I’m here… is there any chicken & dumplings left?


Timothy: Through the door. Sorry I’m late, podcast ran late. Mmmmm… this is good. Much better than last week’s chili mac.

Dustin: HEY!!

Timothy: What?

Dustin: I thought you liked the chili mac?

Timothy: I did. This is better. OK folks, you know the drill. AMC’s The Walking Dead. Dustin recaps, I make comments, Curtis and Anne-Marie do the Twitters. There be SPOILERS and questionable content. And I brought fruit.

Curtis: Cool. I’m going to have some.

Anne-Marie: Me too.


Are… are we listening to Conway Twitty?

Of course we are. On an 8-track, one hopes.

Mustache is driving the bus, Rosita sitting behind him and she is all: Ohhh, I love your hair!! Mustache is all: Let’s all go get full body waxes!! It’s kind of cute, that they’re all having a great time.

Apparently after the Zombpocolypse, personal information is public information that straddles the line between cute and creepy.

Meanwhile in the back of the bus, Eugene is all: 0100011101101 and Tara is all: How are you Pudding Pie? And Eugene is all: 00101010111011010101010


I hate you, Eugene.

Everyone hates Eugene.

I am Eugene. Savior of Humanity.

Maggie and Glenn are wishful thinking the hell out of what Rick and the gang are doing without them. They ask Eugene a couple of very real questions about what will happen when Eugene gets to Washington and Eugene is all: 001011010110101010110 just enough to make Glenn want to change the damn subject.


You know, it really does stretch credibility that everyone just believes Eugene about all this. Abraham is clearly desperate for a reason to live, so I get him, but how does anyone else buy this?

I just hope you die tonight, Eugene.



Oh, also there are zombies.

Wait, what? Are there zombies in this show?

Why is it that no one on this show can drive?

Somewhere there is a driving instructor, probably shuffling his undead self around Atlanta, who had Abraham and Lori as students back in the day.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

Meanwhile, in the past: Mustache is beating the @#$% out of someone with a can of corn. Then he steps on the dude’s head and kills the @#$% out of him. He apparently killed the @#$% out of a bunch of people.

There was a sale on Hot Pockets and hot dogs, and clearly not enough to go around.

In the Nowtimes, everyone is okay. Even… Eugene.


The walkers want in, y’all and the engine is on fire.

Like engines always are, except for almost all the time.

Everyone gets out of the bus and gets to walker killing… well… except for Eugene. Eugene is too scared to get out of the damn bus!! GET OUT OF THE DAMN BUS, EUGENE!! (I hate you)

OK, c’mon. I realize that we’re supposed to understand that Eugene is just about incapable to survival in this world, but c’mon, even he has to not want to burn to death.

Tara basically has to be the Eugene Whisperer and coaxes him out of the bus. She gives him a knife and tells him to make himself useful already, damn it! So, Eugene is scared of the walkers, and he’s totally useless. He does try and help Tara by stabbing a walker in the back.

Brave. Resourceful. Here I’m saving Tara from the Undead. She’s a sweet kid, but pretty helpless.


Metaphor, anyone?

After the fray, Mustache wants to make sure Eugene is fine and Eugene is. Fine that is. Mustache is kind of having a breakdown, methinks.

Youthinks right. Abraham is coming apart folks… this is going to be interesting.

Mustache is hurt but it’s okay. It’s an old wound ((metaphor)).

And such a subtle one, too.

So… bus is on fire. That’s great.

Mustache is ready to move on.


Eugene wants to go back. The only made it 15 miles from the church before Mustache wrecked the damn bus!! FIFTEEN MILES!!

Because everything in this show is close to everything else and so we can never really go anywhere. But good news, everyone! Rick & Co. really are right behind you, catching up on foot!


Mustache is all CATCHPHRASE!!!

I think he wants to keep going. Maybe. Sort of get that impression.


And we’re moving on.

Eugene looks at a walker. He’s all: 001011011100001010110

In the Past: Mustache is looking for Ellen!! Who is Ellen? I don’t really know. But he finds her, huddled in a corner with a couple of kids.

Wife, I think? She looks more scared of him than anything else.


So we made it to a little town and break into a little book store. Glenn and Mustache do a sweep of the place. I don’t see the point of that, guys; no one even reads anymore.

Sigh. Sad, but true.

They make a safe place to sleep by moving a bunch of bookshelves into a little alcove. Meanwhile, Eugene is using that trick he learned from watching Orange is the New Black to turn a battery and a gum wrapper into a lighter.


They build a fire.

Maggie pulls the thread out of a book bindings and Rosita uses it to stitch up Mustache’s OLD WOUND.

Mustache goes to take a sweep of the place, Glenn finds him at a window. A walker walks right into the window and then wanders off.

Glenn and Mustache talk about how glad they are that they are on this magical journey together. Glenn says that when he makes a deal, he sticks to it.

Mustache soliloquies about how everyone left in this world is strong. Either you have to be strong and help out those around you, or you have to be strong and kill those who want to kill you. Glenn muses that killing is never easy, and Mustache is all like: What? Killing is the easiest thing in the world.

It’s a monologue! Gee, I’ve missed those.

Glenn has a pie in the sky moment about the mission they find themselves on. He practically asks for a slice of the pie and hopes it’s blueberry.

Mustache goes to @#$% Rosita…

And… Eugene WATCHES!!! He watches Mustache @#$% her until Tara comes and calls him on his creeping. Eugene is all 00001110101101010110101. Tara is all: Dude, put your @#$% back in your pants and stop being the worst. Tara tries to convince him that he’s more than the worst thing to ever happen.

And Rosita and Abraham know he’s watching, so that’s… a thing that has apparently happened before? Ew.


Turns out Eugene sabotaged the bus. Because he didn’t want to leave the group? Because he’s basically everything that’s wrong with the world? Tara asks him to explain himself. Eugene has enough self-awareness to now that if he wasn’t the savior of humanity, he would have no value in the world. Tara tells him that she will not tell the others he sabotaged the bus. And they will all move on? Okay. Sure.


I get that Tara is big on the power of forgiveness, having just had Maggie tell her that it’s OK that she was caught up in the Governor’s crazy, and that’s all well and good, but this is not the kind of thing you just hear and tell someone “Well… just don’t do it again.” It really isn’t.


Maggie and Glenn play the bright side game.. they’re not as good at is as Sasha and The Medic.

But they’re still cute.

Yes they are.

They are so in love, I hate that I expect something terrible to happen to them.

It’s something they’ve been teasing us with for the last couple of seasons. Not reassuring. 

Kisses and snuggles!!


Mustache is on watch in the dark. Walkers mill about.

Back in the past, Mustache is looking for Ellen and the children again. He tells her that they are safe now, but she and the kids look pretty damn scared. Mustache’s hands are covered in blood.


So when is this? Right when the Zombpocolyse started? Because if it’s after, by any amount of time, then you have to wonder just how much Abraham’s anger issues were showing up before this all went zombie.

Rosita and Mustache talk about his OLD WOUND and some of the other people that were with them at different points along the way on their mission to DC. Rosita asks if maybe they should take a day or two to rest and recuperate before heading out. Mustache says no. Rosita tries to put up a bit of a fight with logical arguments and everything, but Mustache is not having it.

Pretty sure Abraham has a bit of a death-wish, because he keeps ignoring really sensible suggestions that are likely to extend everyone’s lives. You kind of get the idea that he’s pretty much a bully, and that’s… not a sympathetic trait folks.

They argue, but clam up when everyone else arrives. Maggie mentions that it might be a good idea to stay for a couple of days stocking up on supplies and resting. Rosita tells her they are moving on.

Which is not good either, because Rosita could have used this to reinforce her very logical argument, and suddenly she’s coming across like just an extension of Abraham… which kind of gives me a battered-wife vibe. This is all going to end great, I can just tell.

There is a fire engine across the street, so I guess that’s happening now, I guess.

Because going with the gas-guzzler is a great idea, in a world without functioning refineries.

When they check out the fire truck Eugene is humming like an idiot, but the damn thing starts. Everyone is very happy. Good luck finding diesel, guys.

It does, of course, do no good to point out that all of the gas in the world would have gone bad by now, because that is something this show, and every post-apocolypse show for that matter, completely ignores. I’ll just point it out anyway.

Off they go… for 15 whole feet before the fire truck breaks down, just enough to unblock the door of the fire station… which had been blocked by the truck… aw crap.

Whoops. What’s behind door Number 2, Alex?

Mustache is all: ARG!! Let me use my man knowledge to be a man and be manly about fixing the truck!! Then Rosita walks up and is all: Actually this is how things work in the world when you don’t have ‘roid rage.

Heh. That was actually really funny. Good for you, Rosita.

Then walkers finally come out of the fire station. Everyone fights the walkers.

Walker - The Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Wait… who could it be, saving everyone from the zombie hordes?


Eugene saved the day?

Uh… yeah. Eugene saves the day. Huh.



So it would seem. Here’s a terrifying thought: Tara has inspired him to be a better man.

No. Just… no.

Probably means we’re going to get everyone thanking him for saving them, and that is just going to be awful.

That’s right. It is I… Eugene. Savior of Humanity.

In the past: Mustache wakes up, and Ellen and the kids are gone!! They left him a note that says: DON’T TRY TO FIND US. I bet he does, though, I just bet he does.

And they all will live happily ever… ahhh, probably not.

Turns out they didn’t get very far in the fire truck. Eugene is reading a book… or staring at a page of a book. I’m still not convinced he can read, you guys.

Gee. Choosing the giant gas-guzzling, hard to steer, completely impractical mode of transportation didn’t work out. Who could have seen that coming?

Maggie tells him he knows why he has the mullet. It’s camouflage so no one knows who he really is. Maggie tells him he’s not like everyone else because he doesn’t give up. Yeah, Maggie, he’s a real American hero.


Sigh. Again, this all worked so much better in the pages of the comic, because even though Josh McDermitt is actually really good at making Eugene be… the horrible thing that is Eugene, I juts never can believe that everyone is trying so hard to nice to him.

Maggie gives Eugene a full on Bible lesson about Samson.

Glenn sees a thing. Or smells a thing. It’s a gross thing. So Mustache decides it’s time to go for a little walk.

And it’s another up over the hill group shot.

Over the hill is a farm or something that is just CRAWLING with walkers. Everyone wants to not… to not go to there… except Mustache. Mustache wants to try and drive the broken down fire truck right through there.

Oh Eugene. ((Swoon))


You know, his death-wish – and he really does have a death-wish, it’s pretty obvious at this point, because anyone without one would look at this and say “Yeaaaaahhhh, I think we’ll go around the hundreds of zombies waiting to devour us all” – is actually going to get in the way of his getting Eugene to DC and saving the world. Just a bit.

He tries to bully them into it, but no one is having it. So then Mustache kind of loses it and starts to drag Eugene back to the fire engine.

Everyone tries to stop him, but Mustache is bigger and stronger and he basically pushes through everyone… then…

Then Eugene…

Here it comes…

Eugene says…

Wait for it…

That he’s not a scientist!!!


Wait for it…

And that he has no idea how to stop the plague.


And I… I just am so happy.


You are. Good lord. Your smile… I didn’t know you could smile that wide.

No one seems to know what to say.

It is one of those moments.

I do, it’s YAY!!!

Mustache is all…. Brain hemorrhage.

This would be the sound of the rug being pulled out from underneath absolutely everything that Abraham was using to stay sane in this messed-up world.

Everyone else kind of stares at Eugene.

Eugene tells everyone that he needed to get to DC because he thought it would be the safest place. Rosita freaks out a bit. She says so many people had died to get him this far and Eugene says he knows! Damn, Eugene lists off the people that have died. He’s got a bigger death list than The Governor.


Not quite, but in a way it’s worse, because at least with the Governor, there was this odd period where even though he was a monster, the people he led were actually safe. Safe-ish, anyway. Here though, Eugene has been watching people die around him and for him, and he doesn’t even have the excuse that he’s crazy… just horrible.

Suddenly, Mustache punches Eugene in the face. Everyone tries to stop him, but Mustache can’t be contained!! He’s like all the rage of all the fans of this show taking out their rage on Eugene!!

And the noise Eugene’s face makes when he, well, face-plants into the ground is… not good. Faces aren’t supposed to make that sound.

Mustache walks away as the others try to see if Eugene is… erm… alive? Yeah.

I know he’s going to live, at least long enough to have some more guilt applied from everyone around him, but I half expected him to be dead here. OK, maybe hoped. Just a tad.

Back in the past: Mustache goes to look for his family, and he finds them… in like… a bunch of pieces out on the lawn. They didn’t even make it past the front doors.


It can’t be good for the ol’ ego to think that your wife and children would rather brave the Zombpocolypse than be around you, and that possible death is better than your company. Just sayin’.

Mustache is just about to put a bullet in his own brain when Eugene hobbles up, chased by three of the sorriest walkers in all the land, begging for help.

And so the whole lie begins. And to recap this screwed up relationship, we have a man who has no reason or desire to live, convinced by a man who is desperate to live, to believe a lie that will give him reason and purpose in a world that has no reason and purpose, and who has just had that lie exposed and all its terrible, horrible and deadly consequences.

Yeah, I’m sure Abraham is going to be freaking out for a while.

I am so happy that we’re finally past the whole “Eugene will save us” thing, because Eugene is just the worst.

And yet here they were actually trying to make us have some sympathy for him. I’m not sure it worked, because it feels like we should have had something earlier to make us not hate him. This is actually too-little, too-late to work for me.

It doesn’t work. He’s still the most the worst. The fire hose bit was kinda cool though, and we’re finally past the whole awful lie.

You know, the thing that bothers me about Eugene…

The thing?

OK, one of the things that bothers me about Eugene. It’s that it’s been how long since this all started, and he’s still completely incapable of protecting himself in any fashion? I mean, Beth has become a crack-shot at this point, and Abraham never tried to teach him any self-defense? Does that remotely make any sense?

Are you really trying to apply logic to Mustache and Eugene? Really, are you?

Sigh. I know, I know. Anyway. Next week is Daryl and Carol, as we continue our series of splitting up Team Zombie to pad out the season, and that promises to be good.

Because Carol is the best. The best I say.

She is. We’ll see you next week, folks!

[Show site at AMC]    [Previous recap: “Slabtown”]



Timothy Harvey

Timothy Harvey is a Kansas City based writer, director, actor and editor, with something of a passion for film noir movies. He was the art director for the horror films American Maniacs, Blood of Me, and the pilot for the science fiction series Paradox City. His own short films include the Noir Trilogy, 9 1/2 Years, The Statement of Randolph Carter - adapted for the screen by Jason Hunt - and the music video for IAMEVE’s Temptress. He’s a former President and board member for the Independent Filmmakers Coalition of Kansas City, and has served on the board of Film Society KC.

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