Bob Stookey (Lawrence Gilliard, Jr.) has been with us for all of four episodes of Walking Dead Season 4, and while we know all his dirty laundry, we still feel like we don't fully know the army medic. Still, he certainly had a tense moment with Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) right as it seemed like they were going to become friends in Season 4, Episode 4, “Indifference.” While on a medicine run at a veterinary hospital with Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Tyreese (Chad Coleman), Bob almost loses a backpack to a horde of walkers. When he recovers it, the group finds out that it's not full of medicine — just a single bottle of liquor.
Bob has been upfront with how addiction has affected his survival in the past. He fessed up this detail to Daryl in "Indifference": When he resolutely set (read: slammed) a bottle down after fighting off the urge to imbibe, the shelf crashed down, trapped his leg, and allowed walkers to infiltrate the shelter. This admission seemed like a true bonding moment between Bob and Daryl — until Bob risked his life for a drink during their latest supply run. Daryl must’ve felt betrayed because he got in Bob’s face about it, almost knocking Bob off the roof they'd been using to escape.
We understand Daryl's no-tolerance policy. His brother, Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker), struggled with addiction — and it's possible addiction factored into his traumatic childhood, too. Plus, The Walking Dead's world is a super-dangerous place — one can't afford to let their guard down and let problematic people in.
We have the luxury of judging TWD's characters from our couch while not being chased by zombies. So let's figure out Bob!
He's a former army medic, which is insanely useful. Flu-ridden Dr. S might very well die soon, not to mention Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson), who's pretty much doomed from spending so much time getting coughed on in the quarantine cell block. That aside, Bob's background gives him specific training in combat medicine and trauma. We wouldn't be surprised if he's a pro at amputating a limb, either.
As selfish as his decision was to carry the backpack of booze — like, seriously, he couldn't even fit some medicine in there next to the bottle? — we could see him making some serious sacrifices for #TeamPrison. It seems like he's not especially afraid of death, after having dodged it twice being the only survivor of his past two groups.
Then again, as we witnessed in "Indifference," Bob's also willing to make some pretty serious sacrifices for the bottle. And how useful will his medical knowledge be if he's super drunk? He could do more harm than good. Not to mention all the other potential liabilities that a perpetually drunk person can cause in a life-or-death situation.
What do those close to the character have to say? TWD creator Robert Kirkman did drop a note on Bob's trustworthiness — but nothing that really helps us out. “Maybe they can trust Bob, maybe they can't, but it's that question that drives things and shows that there are so many dangers to this world," said Robert. "Maybe the situation with Bob is going to blow up in their faces, or maybe he'll end up being a very valuable member in the group for a good long while. So we'll just have to wait and find out.”
While Larry notes Bob's "demons," he doesn't help us out any more than Robert. "Should we trust anyone in this world? It's hard to trust anybody. You never know where people are coming from," he told The Hollywood Reporter. He later continued, "At the heart of Bob, he's a good person, but he's battling demons and sometimes the demons get the best of you. That's another thing that I like about the character, and what I get to do as an actor is to portray someone who is battling things and show his human side, because no one is born bad."
What do you think? Should we trust Bob? Weigh in below!