The Walking Dead Season:05

With the finale a week behind us, it’s time to take inventory of Season 5. I thought things started off very strong, on which I will expand later, but began to meander, then went insane, but came back around to an acceptable norm by the end. It was also literally all over the place. Where Season 2 was clearly “The Farm” and Season 3 was “The Prison/Woodbury,” Season 5 would be “Terminus-Church-Hospital-Road-Alexandria.” It’s not necessarily a bad thing to have the Group on the move, but it almost feels like too much was squeezed into 16 episodes, or it simply wasn’t connected strongly enough. Most particularly, the hospital.
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The Walking Dead S:05 E:16

The Walking Dead

Episode Title: Conquer
Original Airdate: 3-29-15

I was afraid I might be writing this post with tears splashing down my face. Alas, the season finale wasn’t as heartbreaking as Norman Reedus forewarned, but it was still an intense 90 minutes.

As I hoped last week, Morgan returned, and for much more than a post credits stinger scene. After disarming two scavengers calling themselves the Wolves, who happen to be the ones behind the ominous W’s seen carved into various Walkers’ foreheads over the past few episodes, Morgan makes it clear he is no longer insane and has become a ninja. Daryl and Aaron are tracking a guy in a red poncho for potential recruitment when they lose him, but find an abandoned food warehouse. Upon opening one truck to load up on supplies, a trap (which we later find out was set by the Wolves) is released and multiple trucks open to reveal at least a hundred Walkers. The pair take refuge in a tiny car, with little hope of escape, but as Daryl is prepared to make a run for it to give Aaron a fighting chance, Morgan shows up and saves them both.

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The Walking Dead S:05 E:15

The Walking Dead

Episode Title: Try
Original Airdate: 3-22-15

There wasn’t quite as much happening this week, as last week’s events were absorbed and next week’s finale was set up. Deanna and her family mourn the loss of Aiden, on the heels of Father Gabriel’s warning. Deanna also interviews Nicholas about what transpired on the ill-fated run, but he lies, as we all knew he would, to make himself look like a defeated hero and the others traitors, while Glenn tells Rick what really happened. Michonne and Rosita track down Sasha, who’s running through Alexandria’s surrounding woods hunting down Walkers. Daryl and Aaron are out at night and see a light in the distance, but find disturbing signs including severed body parts near the place the next day. Carl and Enid, another new Alexandria recruit, frolic through the woods together, being angsty teenagers. And, finally, things escalate when Rick attacks Pete over beating Jessie, which Deanna has known about but ignored because Pete is Alexandria’s only doctor.

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The Walking Dead S:05 E:14

The Walking Dead

Episode Title: Spend
Original Airdate: 3-15-15

A lot happened this week, setting up what will probably be two very intense final episodes of the season. Abraham is put on a construction crew to gather materials to expand the wall around Alexandria, during which the crew is attacked by Walkers. The foreman wants to abandon one of his fallen crew, but Abraham risks everything to save her. At the end of the day the foreman resigns and tells Deanna to put Abraham in charge. Meanwhile, Jessie’s son Sam, whom Carol threatened last week, follows her around, begging for more cookies, but Carol realizes he’s after more, like a gun for protection from his father. Carol mentions this to Rick and determines that the only way to handle a guy like Pete (Jessie’s husband, an abusive drunk) is to kill him.

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The Walking Dead S:05 E:13

The Walking Dead

Episode Title: Forget
Original Airdate: 3-8-15

Just when I thought we’d be taken down the dark alleys of Alexandria, instead we glimpsed the true darkness of our beloved group. As everyone tries to acclimate to life in their newest settlement, Rick, Daryl and Carol decide to get their guns back, “just in case,” and a party thrown by the town leader is the perfect distraction to do so. Deanna outlines her plans (hopes, more like) for Alexandria to Rick, Michonne and Maggie, which include government and industrialization someday. Daryl goes hunting with Aaron, and as the two get to know each other better, Daryl actually decides to try to make a life in the new town. At the party, Rick decides to get a little too friendly with the married Jessie, after, you know, two days in Alexandria, while Carol becomes every kid’s, and parent’s, worst nightmare.

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The Walking Dead S:05 E:12

The Walking Dead

Episode Title: Remember
Original Airdate: 3-1-15

This week’s episode finally starts pushing the story forward a little bit, as things have almost been at a standstill since the mid-season premiere. The group has arrived at Alexandria, a planned, heavily gated community run by a former Congresswoman that seems to have all the luxuries, including running water and electricity. Most of the residents haven’t been on the outside since the apocalypse began and have no clue what real survival is. After one-on-one interviews with Deanna, the leader, the group is GIVEN two large houses that they can spread out in, and jobs within the community. However, everyone is very cautious and continues to remain together for the time being. And even after showers and a set of clean clothes, they find it very difficult to “take it easy.”

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The Walking Dead S:05 E:11

The Walking Dead

Episode Title: The Distance
Original Airdate: 2/22/15

Since I saw very few Oscar nominated films of 2014, I took no issue skipping most of last night’s ceremony to catch my regular Sunday night addictions. Alas, this is no place for a Downton Abbey recap, so on to The Walking Dead. Newcomer Aaron is brought back to the barn by Maggie and Sasha as the group recovers from the previous night’s storm. Aaron wants Rick & Co. to journey with him to his safe community, promising all sorts of luxuries, like food, shelter and security. However, after the severe burn of places like Woodbury and Terminus, Rick is skeptical. In the end he consents, but makes the group take the dangerous route, by night, fearing a trap, which in turn causes more trouble from a boatload of Walkers in the dark. But the next morning the entire group, plus Aaron and his partner Eric, arrive safely at the gates.

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The Walking Dead S:05 E:10

Episode Title: Them
Original Airdate: 2-15-15

After two consecutive deaths, it was time for the group to have some quiet reflection. As they wend their way to Washington, D.C. (as decided the best bet since that’s where big, fat liar Eugene was headed), the group must deal with starvation, dehydration, and exhaustion, both physical and mental. Most of the grief focus is put on the deceased’s siblings, Sasha and Maggie, as well as Daryl. Sasha becomes a loose cannon wanting to shoot at anything to take out her anger over Tyreese’s death, while Maggie and Daryl seem to simply give up any hope of carrying on. After a massive rainstorm drives the group to take shelter in an abandoned barn, a horde of Walkers raids in the middle of the night, with Daryl, Sasha and Maggie being the first to hold the fort to keep them out. The next morning, Sasha and Maggie meet a stranger named Aaron, who has clearly been following them, because he politely asks to speak to their leader, calling Rick by name.
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The Walking Dead S:05 E:09

The Walking Dead

Episode Title: What Happened and What’s Going On
Original Airdate: 2-8-15

After the heartbreaking mid-season finale where we had to say an abrupt, though not surprising, goodbye to Beth, The Walking Dead returned to break our hearts once more, but in a far more shocking way. In the opening moments, Noah tells Rick his plan to go home to Richmond, VA where his community of survivors have walls to keep out the dead. Rick decides to go, though few of the group have any hope the place will still be standing. After all, in his premiere episode, Noah did say he hadn’t been there in over a year. With the Rick, Glenn, Michonne, and Tyreese accompanying Noah in one truck, the remainder of the group take a van and stay a good distance back. Of course, as assumed the once gated haven has been overrun for some time. As Rick, Glenn and Michonne do a quick sweep for supplies, a distraught Noah runs to find his mother and younger twin brothers. As Noah cries over his mother’s corpse in one room, Tyreese sweeps the remainder of the house and hears one of the turned twin boys clawing at a door. He decides to leave him be and finds the other dead in his bed. What the big man wasn’t expecting was that the twins had adjoining rooms and Tyreese turns around just in time for the undead brother to deliver a terrible bite to his forearm.

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The Walking Dead S:05 E:08

Episode: Coda
Original Airdate: 11-30-2014

Mid-season finales are no friend to the Greene family. I was never a huge fan of Beth, but only because I didn’t see much in her character, despite the show’s best efforts of pushing her more to the front after the prison collapsed. Be that as it may, that doesn’t mean I was praying for her death. Only now that she’s gone do I truly see how tragic it all is and I appreciate her innocence, hope and strength in the cruel world she was thrust into as a teenager. Above all though I mourn her loss for Maggie, who was on the verge of being reunited with the only blood family she had left, and for Daryl, who changed during his time on the road with her. The rest of the episode was on point, with some great action at the church for Michonne and Carl fighting off a mini-horde. The group headed for D.C. returned, reuniting (almost) everyone. And all the scenes at the hospital were incredibly intense until the last minute. As for Beth’s demise, I felt it coming. If anyone was going to die, she was a prime candidate, and once she tucked the scissors into her cast, her fate was sealed. And yet, I was still shocked because everything happened so quickly, that before I knew it Beth was dead and Daryl retaliated by killing Dawn, though I have to wonder what Beth hoped to accomplish by stabbing Dawn in the first place. I really wondered if Rick would just go ahead and kill everyone else in the hospital (he’s had a real bloodlust since Terminus), but he was able to walk away. And the closing moments were just heartbreaking. Though this episode wasn’t a game-changer for the group, like last season’s mid-season finale, I’ll be interested to see where things go when the show returns in February, because now the group has no home or goal with two recent deaths hanging over their heads. Mostly, I want this Morgan mystery resolved.