The Walking Dead has never been fearful to execute major individuals if the narrative demanded it, but the responsibility is then on the writers to introduce compelling new figures who can hold and keep our attention just as readily as Jon Bernthal's Shane and Jeffrey DeMunn's Dale and Scott Wilson’s Hershel. Not suggesting that every new addition to The Walking Dead this year and years to come has been dead weight. Michael Cudlitz’s Sgt Abraham and his team have significant potential. The manipulator, mullet wearing alleged scientist Eugene and Abraham grabs and maintains the attention of the fans - but there's certainly a surplus of indifferent characters on the show. Jon Bernthal's Shane performance as the disturbed survivor was utterly astonishing and a huge part of what made The Walking Dead's first two seasons so winning.
David Morrissey's Governor wasn't quite on the same level as Shane, but did prove some respectable scares without ever becoming a one-dimensional nasty piece of work, boasting plenty of shade and complexity. The Walking Dead after the Governors’ demise was absent of a real villain. Jeff Kober's Joe temporarily revealed the factual nature of his sick-evil in season four finale. Rick and his group need a menace to struggle against in addition to the ever-present walkers, so let's hope that new series regular Andrew West’s Gareth steps up to the train car in season five.
I think we can take for granted in season five, Abraham’s group joins Rick’s group and all sign on for the mission to get Eugene to DC. But Rick finds out that Eugene is a fake and lair by the simple request of wanting to use the phone that Eugene has been closely guarding. Eugene tries to stop him but the phone breaks and guess what; battery is missing. Finally, Eugene’s deceits come undone, Abraham becomes furious, gives him a beat down like a redheaded step-child…oh I forgot Abraham is redheaded. In any case it’s revealed that our mullet devotee was only a high school science teacher. Eugene will never have answers on how the epidemic started unless it’s in his dreams or nightmares.
Finally, I cannot wait for the start of season five; rehab has been difficult but will enjoy the marathon set to air July 4th.
My suggestions for The Walking Dead:
Let Daryl be Daryl, making him a lovesick puppy is not befitting. Let Daryl be Daryl a devoted friend, formidable foe. Daryl needs to be Daryl. The wisecracking, poncho-wearing, squirrel throwing Daryl that we all grew to adore, heck even worships to the point some will riot if he dies.
Don’t kill Rick, kill Rick and you remove one of the central reasons to watch. Not to mention you'd lose Lincoln, who's been an absolutely phenomenal actor these past four seasons.
Cut away the dead flesh, still befuddled by the character of Bob; what is his back-story, really? Did he run chicken when the fighting started at the previous groups or is he just bad juju? Does anyone really give a stone about Beth, regardless of the point she wanted a drink? Or Sasha? All three are on my list as prime candidates to become walker rations in season five.
Give us a menace to really fear, Rick and his group need threats to fight back against in addition to the pervasive walkers, so let's dream that new series character Gareth (Andrew J West) steps up to the home-plate.
Keep Rick’s group on the road, stay in one place too long; be it Hershel's farm or the prison and the show grows sedate. Not only that, but after Woodbury and now Terminus, how many more times can the writers/producers play the safe place turns out to be anything but otherwise? On the road, the danger of walkers feels more abrupt, the risks are higher plus it permits for mesmerizing one-off diversions like season one's 'TS-19' & season three's 'Still' - it simply promotes the show on all levels.
Bring Morgan back for season five; even have him rescue Rick and his group. Be a good way to bring in an extremely under used character. As for season 5 it proffers so much new direction for the series. Without a doubt the group will escape Terminus hastily for the first episode but find themselves after a while back in old terrain like Atlanta before the journey to DC.
As always feedback is welcome in my neck of the woods.....