The group encounters Father Gabriel Stokes, a Man of the Cloth who has survived despite a suspicious lack of relevant skills. Something is clearly consuming our new character. And speaking of consuming….

Title: “Strangers”

Cast and Crew

Directed by David Boyd
Written by Robert Kirkman
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes
Melissa Suzanne McBride as Carol Peletier
Norman Reedus as Darryl Dixon
Danai Gurira as Michonne
Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee
Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene
Chad Coleman as Chase Tyreese
Alanna Masterson as Tara Chambler
Michael Cudlitz as Sgt. Abraham Ford
Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter
Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa
Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes
Lawrence Gilliard Jr. as Bob Stookey
Andrew J. West as Gareth
Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes

Additional cast and crew information may be found here.

Premise

The group encounters Gabriel, an Episcopalian priest who has survived despite a suspicious lack of required skills—and who obviously wrestles with some inner demons. He does, however, provide shelter and possible transportation.

Merle and Carol conspire again, before encountering the car that kidnapped Beth.

Some recent enemies nab Bob.

High Point

We had some small moments between characters that provided relief from the insanity surrounding them. Michonne has an interesting take on her new life.

Low Point

The character writing seems off in places or, at least, in need of further explanation. Shouldn’t Maggie at least occasionally wonder about her sister? And why is Rick so determined to take along a man who is likely to jeopardize the mission?

The Scores

Originality: 3/6 We have a new mystery in the form of Father Gabriel Stokes, and I’m hoping for some originality in the solution.

Effects: 6/6 Well While we’ve seen a waterlogged zombie before, these were a new wrinkle on the concept.

Story: 4/6 I’m still interested in their story, but some of the developments seemed forced. Carol and Darryl’s plot, in particular, happens because the show needs it to happen.

Acting: 5/6 Acting remains strong overall, even in the face of some problematic character choices.

Emotional Response: 5/6

Production: 5/6

Overall: 5/6 This season seems determined to hammer its themes. Rick delivers his “you are never safe’ speech and Bob expresses his positive outlook. Shortly thereafter, characters do stupid things that put them at risk and Bob has a leg knocked out from his optimism.1

In total, “Strangers” receives 33/42

1. The tasteless can peruse the obligatory online gags about this episode here.