‘The Walking Dead’ Season 5 Comic-to-TV Comparison: “Self Help”
‘The Walking Dead’ season 5 shambled out its 5th entry with Sunday’s latest "Self Help” but how did it hold up to the comic book continuity? Abraham's past is revealed as Eugene lets slip a shocking secret about their mission to D.C., 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 Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard 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 5, “Self Help,” in the comments below!
Business in the Front, Party in the Back
AMC: Tara first pokes fun at Eugene’s choice of hairstyle in a larger conversation about Abraham needing a trim, though Eugene insists on keeping the look, largely because he likes it. Moreover, before Eugene’s lies come to light, the survivor claims that a respected scientist of the Human Genome Project had previously commended his choice of hairstyle, though he downplayed any allusions to the biblical Samson.
THE COMICS: In the books it was Andrea who first commented on Eugene’s unusual choice of hairstyle, though Eugene had a more sensible explanation at the ready. Concealing his intelligence affords an advantage over strangers out in the wild, though as we’d later learn, Eugene had been misrepresenting himself as a scientist. All the same, Eugene kept the hairstyle after the truth came out, and further down the line would reshape his hair into a ponytail (losing a few pounds as well).
Going In For a Closer Look
AMC: Following the overturn of the church bus and a subsequent walker battle, Eugene pauses to examine a walker’s corpse, ultimately spitting on the dead undead and walking away.
THE COMICS: On multiple occasions, Eugene was seen to examine the still-active bodies of dysfunctional walkers, fascinated by the revelations about their biology and need to sustain themselves. Eugene would document the findings and expound upon his plans to compile the work after arriving in Washington D.C. though this was eventually exposed as support for his lies about inside knowledge of the zombie apocalypse.
AMC: Multiple times throughout the hour, the narrative flashes back to Abraham’s last encounter with his family, where he was seen to pound on the bodies of multiple men he’d murdered in a grocery store. The violent display terrified his wife Ellen, as well as his children, who left him behind the following day with a note asking not to be followed. Sometime later, Abraham would find their corpses eaten by walkers, before sticking a gun in his mouth. The timely arrival of a distressed Eugene stayed Abraham’s suicide, as well as the man’s subsequent claim that he had a “very important mission” that necessitated his help.
THE COMICS: We never specifically saw the events of Abraham’s past, though he did confess the truth to Rick on route to Rick’s old Kentucky hometown (the conversation was mirrored by Rick and Daryl in season 4’s “A,” while the mission itself was given to Rick and Michonne in season 3’s “Clear”). There, the story took a much darker turn, as Abraham revealed that the men they’d holed up with had raped his wife (Beth, whose name was understandably changed for AMC) and daughter, forcing his son to watch.
Abraham’s brutal and bloody revenge similarly terrified his family into leaving him behind the next morning, and Abraham would subsequently find their bodies. Worse than the scene on AMC however, was that while his wife and son were too far eaten to reanimate, Abraham had to put down his zombified daughter. It wasn’t specified exactly how Eugene or Rosita entered the picture afterward, though.
Eugene Likes to Watch
AMC: After holing up in the library for a night, Abraham and Rosita decide to take advantage of the privacy afforded to them. Rosita notices and points out Eugene watching them from the titular “Self Help” section, though Abraham brushes off the voyeurism and keeps going. Tara catches Eugene in the act, after which Eugene admits that the three seem to have a bizarrely unspoken agreement that allows him to enjoy the distraction
THE COMICS: Eugene was similarly seen to observe Abraham and Rosita having sex in a truck one night, though in the books it was implied that Eugene held deeper feelings for Rosita. Both Abraham and Rosita acknowledged Eugene’s presence as well, with Rosita adding it’d be amusing if Glenn caught Eugene spying on them.
Eugene Exposes Himself
AMC: Seeing Abraham’s unreasonable determination to press on through a ranch overrun by the undead, Eugene finally admits that he lied about being a scientist, and has no means with which to stop the zombie apocalypse. Rather, he believed Washington to hold their best chance of survival, and decided he couldn’t carry on with the lie any longer, given how much danger it had all put them in.
THE COMICS: High school science teacher Eugene had similarly made up his tale of working for the CDC, believing himself incapable of surviving without someone like Abraham to protect him. In the books however, Eugene only confessed the truth after Rick dropped the man’s radio and revealed the device had no batteries, after which Eugene poorly attempted to cover by saying the batteries had only run out recently.
Abraham Loses Control
AMC: Understandably enraged by Eugene’s lies, Abraham knocks the so-called scientist out cold, and is only dissuaded from killing him outright by Rosa’s hand on her holster.
THE COMICS: In the books it was Rick who held Abraham back from attacking Eugene any further, though Abraham’s issues with anger had been well-documented. After a previous quarrel with Rick, Abraham privately confessed to Rosita that he feared himself losing control and killing the man, while Rosita reminded him she’d been there to curb his worse impulses in the past.
Well, what did you think of ‘The Walking Dead’ season 5’s latest, “Self Help”? What will Abraham lead his group toward now? Whatever happened to Daryl and Carol on the search for Beth, and who did Daryl come back with? 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 6, "Consumed" on AMC!