Do we need to retract our apology to Bob Stookey (Larry Gilliard Jr.)? Maybe it was too soon. The Walking Dead Season 4’s mysterious new character may have us thinking about him in a new way — again — in the second half of the season.
Comic book writer/executive producer Robert Kirkman teased some upcoming Bob action, telling SFX: “He’s kind of a linchpin to a lot of the storytelling and a lot of the storylines that [happened] early in the season, and his role will kind of emerge. You’ll get a bigger picture of who he is and what he’s been up to this entire time.”
What he’s been up to this entire time? That sounds ominous, and closer to what we feared about him from the beginning. There is a guy named Bob Stookey in the comics, but he’s very different from TV Bob. Comics Bob was part of the Woodbury group and he actually saved The Governor’s (David Morrissey) life. Earlier in the season, we wondered if Bob might be a spy for The Gov., working on the inside. Now that The Gov. is gone, and Bob was shot in the battle with The Gov.’s camp, we’re thinking The Governor spy angle can probably be retired.
But what if he has something to do with the rats at the fence, and maybe that dissected rabbit? We initially had him high on the list of rat suspects, but then it felt too obvious. We turned our suspicions over to “messed up” Lizzie Samuels (Brighton Sharbino), but what if that’s too obvious? (Can we please go back to blaming Carl for everything? It was so easy.)
Back to Robert Kirkman calling Bob “a linchpin” to a lot of stories in the first half. In what way? Did you see him as the rug that tied the room together or do we have to go back and figure out how he’s been involved in various threads. Is he tied to the Carol/Tyreese/Karen/David situation?
We know (or at least think we know) Bob has a thing for alcohol; he was the lone survivor of his past two camps before Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) found him on the road; and he was last seen exiting the prison with flu-recovering Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) and the healthy but bereaved Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan).
Are we going to see how he became the sole survivor of his past groups when he tries (or succeeds) to kill the people around him? That could be seriously bad news for Maggie and Sasha.
So what about Bob? Is he a zombie apocalypse Keyser Soze or something? How will his role emerge in the final eight episodes of Season 4? We’re all for a good tease — and this is an intriguing one — but it’s really getting hard to see how they’ll balance all the different stories and give everyone enough time to shine.
Do you have a new or old theory about Bob’s role that you’d like to recycle? Please share. The Walking Dead Season 4 returns with Episode 9 on Sunday, February 9 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.