‘The Walking Dead’ Season 5 Comic-to-TV Comparison: “Strangers”
‘The Walking Dead’ season 5 shambled out its 2nd entry with Sunday’s latest "Strangers” but how did it hold up to the comic book continuity? Rick meets a mysterious new stranger as Bob has a deadly encounter with Gareth and the Terminus survivors, so what’s next for ‘The Walking Dead’ as the fifth season kicks into gear?
As AMC’s incarnation weaves in and out of storylines from the books and adds its own original characters and developments, we’ve compiled an in-depth guide for fans of the comics as well as AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ to enjoy! Check all the comparisons we found, and let us know your thoughts on ‘The Walking Dead’ season 5 episode 2, “Strangers,” in the comments below!
Not Out of the Woods Yet
AMC: Amid all the catching up and lost bonding time Carol and Daryl look to make up for, Daryl both hears and feels a presence among the woods watching them. Certainly nothing to get up in arms about for the moment, but it’s an important distinction to make for later.
THE COMICS: The hunters were observed to be spying on the group out on the road for some time, while it was Andrea who first sensed their presence as she broke off into the woods for a bathroom break later on. The panel went as far as to show us someone lurking in the background, though Andrea couldn’t confirm what she’d heard, even as it walked off at the sight of her gun.
Meet Father Gabriel
AMC: Out in the woods, Rick’s group is drawn by the sound of a man’s screams, finally encountering Father Gabriel cornered atop a rock by several walkers. Rick’s group takes care of the undead, before warily agreeing to take Gabriel up on his offer of a church shelter nearby. Along the way, Gabriel poorly jokes that he might be leading them into a trap to take Daryl’s squirrels, admitting that his congregation often found his sense of humor leaving something to be desired.
THE COMICS: Father Gabriel rather anti-climactically introduced himself to Rick’s group out on the road, simply walking up in the midst of a tense argument about putting down the murderous Ben. It wasn’t until some nights later that Gabriel countered Abraham’s threats about the supposed sanctuary of his church, joking that he might be leading them into a trap. Again, in poor taste, given the company.
Abraham, Man With a Plan
AMC: Having put in due diligence with the group along the road, Abraham capitalizes on the group’s good fortune with the supply mission to toast to their survival, and lay out his intended mission to get Eugene to Washington. The group had earlier waffled on the idea, opting instead to follow Rick’s leadership, though Rick takes Judith’s coo as a sign to follow Abraham, convincing the remainder of the group to take their chances on the purported mission
THE COMICS: The Abraham of the books had not only a very different introduction, but also in dynamic with Rick. Originally, Eugene, Rosita and Abraham arrived at Hershel’s farm in the dead of night, happening upon the reunited survivors in the aftermath of the prison’s fall. Rick agreed to follow with the rest of the group on Abraham’s mission, not solely for lack of anything better to do, but also for the notable insecurity of the farm, and the threat of an approaching herd.
Still, even with Rick agreeing to follow Abraham’s plan long before the group ever encountered Gabriel or the Hunters, Rick and Abraham frequently sparred with one another over leadership, and Abraham’s pragmatic approach to dealing with difficult decisions. It wasn’t until the two undertook the mission back to Rick’s hometown police station (as seen in season 3’s “Clear,” with Michonne and Morgan), and survived an encounter with roving bandits (as seen in season 4’s “A,” with Daryl and the Claimers), that the two began to truly respect one another.
Carl is Never Safe
AMC: Shortly before leaving with Gabriel on the supply mission, Rick takes a moment to remind Carl that he can never take his safety for granted, as it would only take a mere moment of letting his guard down for all to be lost. Carl accepts the pep-talk, but also reminds his father that they’re still strong enough to help others, and that not all strangers are necessarily evil.
THE COMICS: Almost word for word, Rick gave this speech to Carl just before the group left Hershel’s farm behind and joined Abraham’s mission. Unlike on AMC however, the group had not yet met Father Gabriel, and Carl had little to retort.
AMC: Following the supply mission, Rick asks Michonne where she’d originally obtained the sword, getting a non-specific reply as to its exact origins, though she notes that she lacked any formal training with the blade, and doesn’t necessarily lament its absence.
THE COMICS: Not only did Michonne first pick up the sword from her neighbors (she believed a teenager living there had mutilated their dog and destroyed a fence with it) in the early days of the zombie apocalypse, Michonne also had some experience with fencing in her youth, and again in college.
Father Gabriel's Backstory
AMC: Rick quickly suspects something to be amiss about Gabriel’s claims of surviving all this time in the church, given his ineffectiveness at taking out walkers. Later, Gabriel freezes at the sight of a particular walker from the supply store, forcing Rick to come to his rescue. Carl later shows his father the scratches and damning message etched on the church’s exterior, leading Rick to threaten Gabriel with any action taken against the group. Ultimately, Gabriel is seen contemplating a photo of himself with the walker from the store, during her life.
THE COMICS: The group was understandably distrustful of Gabriel from the start, and the revelations about his backstory ultimately followed a similar course. As seems to be the case with next week’s episode, the disappearance of Dale prompted Andrea and Rick to confront Gabriel about any possible connection to the hunters, something Gabriel counters by breaking down and revealing the true story of his survival.
Bob Becomes the Hunted
AMC: Following a close call with a walker, Bob seems mysteriously morose upon returning to the group, and ultimately slips out of the church into the wilderness. After being knocked out by an unseen assailant, Bob wakes to find Gareth and the other surviving Terminus cannibals chowing down on his severed leg, noting that the destruction of their sanctuary had “devolved” them into hunters, and that Bob tastes better than they’d thought.
THE COMICS: Bob’s fate has been transplanted almost verbatim from Dale, who slips away from Andrea into the woods (they’d not yet arrived at Gabriel’s church) one night after a close-call with a walker. Dale similarly awoke to find the Hunters’ leader Chris (there was never any Terminus) all-too-happy to explain their consumption of his remaining leg (Dale had already lost one in the prison, a la AMC’s Hershel), though Dale would soon reveal the reason he’d snuck away from the group.
Well, what did you think of ‘The Walking Dead’ season 5’s latest, “Strangers”? Will Bob survive long enough to hop back to Sasha? Will we ever find out what happened to Beth? Did we miss anything else from the comics you might have caught?
Let us know in the comments, and be sure to check back next week for our in-depth comic-to-TV comparison of ‘The Walking Dead’ season 5, episode 3, "Four Walls and a Roof" on AMC!