The Walking Dead: Season Five Wrap

The sixteen-episode season, which began in October and concluded this week, was perhaps the series’ most consistent since season 1. Kicking-off with tremendous momentum, the show quickly resolved the confrontations between Rick’s group and the Terminus cannibals early in the season’s first half, allowing time for further character development.

This season also felt a lot more stylistically defined and nuanced than previous seasons – some episodes rendered sequences filled with dreamlike qualities. It felt like the show finally figured how to say a lot without saying anything, using subtext rather than dialogue.

For the first time, the two-part season (separated by a nine-week mid-season break) actually felt warranted, thematically and narratively. Part one ended at an appropriate intermission, leading into a second half in which Rick’s group dealt with the aftermath of the foregoing events.

Hopefully season 6 is just as strong, and hopefully we finally get to Washington.

Season highlights:

  • Carol helps Rick & the gang escape from Terminus and the clutches of cannibals (Ep 1)
  • Rick & the gang dispose of said cannibals with surprising efficiency (Ep 3)
  • Eugene explains the mullet, and admits he is a fraud (Ep 5)
  • Carol and Daryl navigate the streets of Atlanta (Ep 6)
  • Rick & the gang arrive at Alexandria and meet Deanna (Ep 12)
  • Rick finally cracks and lectures the town, covered in blood (E 15)
  • Rick shoots Pete, only to inopportunely reunite with Morgan (E16)

Character highlights:

  • Rick finally joins the Dark Side, gets his hands dirty, learns to trust again and teaches a reluctant community how to survive.
  • Carol continues her badass streak; saves Rick & the gang at Terminus, threatens to kidnap and leave a little kid for dead.
  • Glenn resists the Dark Side, despite severe trauma.


  • Supporting character deaths have always been problematic for The Walking Dead; the showrunners have struggled with peripheral characterisation. With the exception of Beth, the deaths of Bob, Tyreese, and Noah failed to produce the impact intended.
  • Similarly, when the showrunners attempt to develop these supporting characters the results are often hit and miss. Gabriel the priest offered little interest throughout the season, remaining a nonsense character, while the exploration of Sasha’s mind-set was largely dull. There’s plenty of groundwork underpinning these characters, but they’re motivations and psychology aren’t convincing enough to be interesting.

Pivotal episode:

Episode 3 – “Four Walls And A Roof”

  • Bob’s “tainted meat”, the revelation of Gabriel’s past, the group’s slaughter of the cannibals, and Abraham’s apology to Rick.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s