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Recap / The Walking Dead S 05 E 05 Self Help

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Abraham pushes his group forward on the journey to Washington, while Eugene tries to see a way out.

Abraham is driving Father Gabriel's bus along their marked path to Washington, D.C. Everyone is having a good time, loosening up and it's all smiles around. Abraham drives past a herd of walkers on the side of the road, but everything is fine. That is, until the engines give out and Abraham loses control of the bus, the vehicle popping a wheelie and crashing on its' side. The noise attracts the herd of walkers they had just passed, who quickly surround the crashed bus.

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After everyone confirms their survival, they realize that the bus will soon be ablaze. The group makes its way out of the bus and begins to battle the surrounding walkers. Tara gives Eugene a knife so he can help out, and Eugene is just barely able to muster up the courage to hold a walker in place so Tara can kill it. The walkers defeated, everyone pauses to take a breath, and the bus sets on fire, destroying their first aid kit and supplies they left inside. Disappointed but otherwise unfazed, Abraham orders the group to move on, losing his temper when Eugene suggests returning to the church. After a brief cool down with Glenn, the group pushes on.

In a flashback, Abraham finally finishes killing the last of several unknown men, calling out for his wife, Ellen.

The group sets up camp for the night in a store that was boarded up and thankfully not looted. While changing guard, Abraham thanks Glenn for sticking to his promise to follow Abraham all the way to Washington. While Abraham and Rosita have sex, Eugene reveals to Tara that he sabotaged the bus before they left the church, but had intended for the bus to never be able to start, not for them to crash on the road. Appalled, Tara sternly warns Eugene to never pull such an act of sabotage again, seeing as it almost got them all killed.

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In the morning, Rosita and Maggie try to convince Abraham to stay in town for the day to scavenge supplies, but Abraham refuses, revealing he's found a fire truck with plenty of water in its' tanks. The truck has a less than auspicious start when it comes to starting up the engines, but the work from attaining the truck unleashes a pack of walkers that were trapped inside the fire station. The group moves to attack, but Eugene comes to the rescue by climbing atop the engine and opening fire on the walkers with the engine's water hose. Delighted, Abraham gets to work on fixing the engines so they can roll out.

In another flashback, Abraham finds his wife and children, who are shaking in fear after his killing spree. Much to his despair, Abraham finds that they won't even let him come near him.

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The fire engine doesn't get far before it breaks down again. While repairs get under way, a horrible stench blows through. The group walks up a hill to find a vast stretch of land completely overrun with a massive herd of walkers, including the one road through. The group tries to convince Abraham to turn back to find another way around the death trap, but Abraham stubbornly refuses to turn around, ordering them to push forward through the walker herds. Eugene's objection gets him a throttling from Abraham, and the group erupts into chaos as they try to calm down Abraham. Amongst the chaos, Eugene shouts, "I'm not a scientist!"

In a flashback, Abraham wakes up one morning to find his family gone, having left a note instructing him to not try to find them.

Eugene reveals that he isn't a scientist, has no way to end the apocalypse, and that he's been lying all this time simply to get protection from the walkers. He does admit that he believes Washington is still their best bet at security, believing that he was doing any traveling companions a favor by traveling with them there. The group is in shock and despair, hurt that people died trying to get him to Washington for nothing. Eugene tearfully admits his guilt at that, but says the wrong thing to a fuming Abraham when he once again asserts his superior intelligence. Abraham lays into Eugene, rendering him non-responsive before he's pulled away by the others.

In a final flashback, Abraham finds his family mutilated and half-eaten by walkers. He's roused from his despair when Eugene comes running, begging for help against some walkers chasing him. Abraham dispatches the walkers and turns away, but Eugene informs him he's on a critical mission, getting his attention.

In the present, the others panic over Eugene's non-responsive body, while Abraham collapses to the ground a small distance away, weeping.


  • Absentee Actor: Only Abraham's group is featured in the episode.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: In a good mood after Eugene's water-takedown of the walkers, Abraham has a good laugh about a message that was scribbled on the pavement: "Sick inside. Let them die."
  • Adaptation Name Change: The name of Abraham's late wife in the comics was Beth. Since there's already a main character named Beth in the show, it was changed to Ellen.
  • Adult Fear: Abraham sees the corpses of his family.
  • Alone Among the Couples: Eugene and Tara to the Abraham/Rosita and Glenn/Maggie couples.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: While coming clean about his lies about being part of the Human Genome Project, Eugene admits that he lied about the Project's director liking his mullet, explaining he never met the man.
  • Battle Couple: Abraham and Rosita.
  • Consummate Liar: Turns out Eugene had been lying to Abraham since they met.
  • Covert Pervert: Averted; Abraham and Rosita are well aware that Eugene is watching them have sex, but it doesn't bother them too much. Tara on the other hand catches a quick peek.
  • A Day in the Limelight: For Abraham and Eugene.
  • Determinator: Abraham, who won't even be stopped by a herd of walkers so massive they stretch as far as the eye can see.
  • Downer Ending: Eugene lied about having a cure for the apocalypse, and the group has no way to progress through a massive field of walkers.
  • Driven to Suicide / Interrupted Suicide: In flashback, Abraham puts a gun to his head after finding his family (who had already abandoned him and told him not to follow) eaten by walkers. Eugene's arrival snaps him out of it.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • The Heart: Glenn makes an effort to make sure Abraham is okay after he explodes in anger after Eugene suggests returning to the church.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": Abraham and Rosita are amused that Eugene's spying on them from the self-help section.
  • Heroic BSoD: The group hits it when Eugene reveals his deception, but no one hits it more than Abraham.
  • Manly Tears: Abraham gets them both in his flashbacks, and at the end of the episode when he learns Eugene has no way to save the human race.
  • Mood Whiplash: The episode starts inside Father Gabriel's bus, and everyone is loosening up and cracking jokes and smiling… suddenly the bus crashes and they're surrounded by a herd of walkers they had just passed.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Abraham's children were nameless characters in the comics. Here, they were named A.J. and Becca.
  • Non-Action Guy: Though Tara helps him start to grow out of it, Eugene reveals he's lied about needing to get to Washington because he knows he needs protection in the apocalypse.
  • Not So Stoic: Eugene's stoic facade melts during this episode when on the front lines against walkers, and when he has an emotional breakdown, confessing his lies.
  • Odd Friendship: Tara forms one with Eugene. Until The Reveal.
  • The Peeping Tom: Eugene watches Abraham and Rosita having sex, apparently not for the first time.
  • Posthumous Character: Abraham's family.
  • Protectorate: Eugene lied to Abraham, Rosita, and all of their fallen friends just to get this from them.
  • The Reveal: Eugene had been lying about knowing a way to save humanity since he met Abraham.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Abraham's wife and children abandoned him, terrified of him after he brutally wiped out a group of people who had attacked them.
  • Second Love: Rosita is revealed to be this to Abraham, after his wife was killed after abandoning him.
  • Shout-Out: After yet another motorized ride bites the dust, Tara suggests they find bicycles because "bikes don't explode".
  • Too Much Information: How Glenn feels when Abraham casually mentions he's going to have sex with Rosita before he goes to sleep.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Eugene makes his first kill-assist in this episode, then turns the fire engine's water cannons on the walkers, wiping out a sizable pack for the group.
  • Wham Line: "I'm not a scientist!"
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