“The glass is going to break sooner or later.”
Cannibal Gareth makes this observation as he watches a horde of walkers pound on a window, their collective hunger and mass building and building to the point where the window’s collapse is only a matter of time. He’s calm, collected. He accepts the new world order, and devours it accordingly — quite literally, in the case of Bob Stookey, and many other unnamed individuals who he and his fellows from Terminus have feasted upon along the way.
Little does Gareth know that the new world order is about to turn the tables.
Rick Grimes, killer of men, more and more Governor-esque with each passing day.
But Gareth’s insatiable appetite blinds him to the fact that Rick and the others are lurking nearby in the shadows, waiting to pick off each and every one of these cannibals. And that’s exactly what they do. Gareth pleads for his life, to no avail. Rick ends the cannibal king exactly as promised, burying a red-handled machete into his face and neck, shortly after shooting off all the fingers on his right hand.
Gareth isn’t the only one to fall. Martin, the gum-snapping goon Tyreese was supposed to have killed in the cabin some weeks ago, survived long enough to die inside of Father Gabriel’s church. The other Terminus survivors die here as well, as Sasha and Abraham beat their brains in with the butts of their guns.
“This… this is the lord’s house,” an outraged Gabriel says upon seeing all the carnage inside his church.
“No,” Maggie Greene responds. “It’s just four walls and a roof.”
The mass-execution of the Terminians is a breathtakingly brutal choice that the Rick Grimes of old could never fathom. But since those comparably sunny days of season one, Rick’s lived through the nightmare world of losing his wife, losing his home, losing his ability to trust in the goodness of man. This is the result: Rick Grimes, killer of men, more and more Governoresque with each passing day. In killing Gareth’s people, Rick adopts one of the great hitman Mike Ehrmantraut’s famous mottos: “No more half measures.”
The glass breaks for Gareth. The glass breaks for Rick. It breaks for Bob, too, slowly dying after suffering a zombie bite. But Blue Sky Bob always looks on the bright side of life, even in the midst of a nightmare. For Bob, nightmares end — they don’t end who you are.
“Just look at her, and tell me the world isn’t going to change,” dying, smiling Bob tells Rick from his deathbed, fixated on the baby girl Rick cradles in his arms. But the world’s already changed. The optimists die, and the pessimists live to die another day. At least Bob no longer has to live to see such atrocities.
Or, as the late, great Gareth would tell him: “Perspective, Bob.”