PAST AND POTENTIALLY FUTURE SPOILERS AHEAD
The Washington Post’s Neely Tucker is running with a The Walking Dead theory on Bob Stookey that is being called “crackpot” by some, but it makes almost perfect sense. Once you put two and two together, it almost seems obvious. And no, I’m not talking about the suggestion that Bob was probably bitten by a walker last week (of which there is probably a 90 percent chance).
I’m talking about the fact that Bob Stookey used to be in Terminus.
Tucker gives the extended rundown here, but here are the bullet points.
— When Bob Stookey joined the survivors, he was a drunk who was clearly feeling some guilt about the past. He admitted that he ends up being the lone survivor of every group he’s been in. But we never got an explanation about this mysterious past or what group he belonged to.
— During the premiere episode, while Gareth didn’t seem to know anyone else’s names among the survivors (calling Rick the “Ringleader”), he did identify Bob by name. How did he know it? Gareth clearly seemed to know Bob.
— In last week’s episode, in his monologue to Bob, Gareth said “you and your people took away our home,” and that doesn’t necessarily mean the Rick and the survivors, who burned down their home the day before. “You and your people” could very well refer to the people who took Terminus away from Gareth when Terminus was a survivor colony, before Gareth took it back and turned it into a cannibal colony.
— The clincher, however, is this, from the Post:
Finally, Gareth says, “I just hope you understand that nothing happening to you now is personal. Yeah, you put us in this situation…and it is almost a cosmic justice for it to be you.” Again, the emphasis is Gareth’s. He could be referring to Bob as any member of Rick’s crew, but that seems weird. This encounter is happening apparently less than 24 hours after Rick’s crew destroyed Terminus. There’s nothing particularly “cosmic” about trailing Rick’s group through the woods and picking one of them off. But tracking down a member of the group that initially savaged Gareth’s group and motivated them to turn into cannibals? And then eating one of that group? That qualifies as “cosmic justice.”
When Gareth said last week that it would be cosmic justice for Bob, in particular, I scratched my head. How does Gareth know Bob, I wondered? Did I miss something?
Maybe not. Maybe that connection just hasn’t been explained yet.
And yes, there are some holes in the theory (foremost among them being, why would Bob lead the survivors back to Terminus if he knew what awaited them?), but it’s quite possible that Kirkman and Gimple simply devised this storyline for Stookey this season, and it doesn’t completely fit within his entire timeline (Stookey was a character in the comics, but besides being an army medic and a drunk, the television character has strayed far from the comics character, who did medical work on The Governor).
It’s a cool theory, and I honestly think it will pan out, probably as soon as tonight’s episode.