Since his introduction to Team Prison at the start of The Walking Dead Season 4, we’ve been very wary to trust Bob Stookey (Larry Gilliard Jr.). Until Season 4, Episode 13: “Alone,” all we really knew about Bob was that he claimed to be a former army medic battling alcohol addiction who Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) found on the road and brought back to the prison.
“Alone” started with a Bob-centered flashback, which showed us just how Daryl and Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) found him, and why they decided to make him a part of Team prison. In a behind the scenes video for Episode 12, the cast and crew weigh in on the importance of this peek into the past.
“We claim we don’t do flashbacks, but every once in a while there’s one thrown in there to really pull at the emotion of what life was like,” special effects mastermind Greg Nicotero reasons. Showrunner Scott Gimple continues, “Bob’s talked a lot about what he’s been through but for this episode it was important to see what he’s been through.”
When Bob, Daryl, and Michonne (Danai Gurira) ventured to the veterinary school for supplies in the first half of the season, we learned that Bob was the last remaining survivor of his previous two groups, which certainly informs how he acts and makes decisions with this new crew. “He’s been with a number of groups before, and everytime he’s the last one alive,” executive producer Dave Alpert points out. “It’s incredibly depressing.”
But as we saw for Bob, his luck changed the moment Daryl and Glenn found him on the road. “When Glenn and Daryl show up in that flashback, and that’s the moment when you realize it’s a flashback, it’s such a bittersweet reminder of what we’ve lost, ” executive producer Robert Kirkman says.
Throughout Episode 12, Bob seemed to have had a more positive outlook on life — which Scott explains stems from the fact that he is simply not alone anymore. “For him to survive, that isn’t a big deal to Bob. For him to survive with people, that’s the biggest deal, that’s the curse being lifted,” the showrunner says.
Bob’s portrayer, Lawrence Gilliard Jr., talks about what drives his character. “He has something to live for, Maggie has something to live for, it’s important to have something to live for and you don’t have to live in fear.” But as we saw in Episode 13, not everyone shares Bob’s optimistic outlook. “He’s excited to be alive, he’s ready for what’s in store, and Sasha’s jealous of that,” Sonequa reveals about what’s going through her character’s mind.
We clearly have a lot left to learn about Bob, but seeing how he came to be a part of Team Prison is a big help. Are you still worried that Bob is hiding something dangerous or sinister? Watch the video above and tell us what you think!
The Walking Dead Season 4 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.