One of AMC's most popular shows ever is back for their 5th season! Rick, Darryl and the gang roar into what seems to be their most intense season of adventures yet. Warning that if you haven't seen the premiere or any of the previous seasons, be prepared for spoilers! Also, for those comic book fans I do know some of those spoilers but I'm specifically looking at this as the television series. Please don't spoil others!
If you've read any of my reviews for other movies or television shows you probably have seen I usually talk about the Goods and the Bads of that movie/episode. I'm going to probably keep that same format for this season of The Walking Dead but try to break it into a list format. Let's dive in! I'll talk about the three bad things about this episode then, move onto the goods.
3. No Mention/Update on Beth
This marks the 4th episode we have yet to see where Beth has gone. Season 4 episode 13 we saw Darryl chase after her as a car drove off with her. Now don't get me wrong I'm not like a diehard Beth fan or anything like that. I just think that last season her few episodes with Darryl towards the end had done more character progression than we had seen in the entirety of seasons 2 and 3.
I guess it's because we've been left wondering for the entire off season who took her and why. I would've appreciated at least one scene just as a brief check in so that the audiences wouldn't lose interest. We don't want a repeat of what happened with Sophia. I'm not doubting that she's alive but I'm curious about her captor and how long it'll take for her to reunite with the rest of the group.
2. Barely any Gareth
In the finale of season 4, we were introduced to the leader of this "sanctuary" known as Terminus. Gareth. We only got to see a short bit of him before hell broke loose and we found Rick and the gang trapped in a train car. All off-season I wanted to know more about this Gareth. Would he become the new Governor? Would he be a psychotic killer or just someone trying to help save his people? Lots of questions. When the 5th season came around I was hoping to learn a whole bunch about this guy to kick off the season. What did we really learn though?
We learned that he has no issue discussing mundane tasks in front of men who are being killed and those who are about to die. Is that because he's a little off and doesn't care about the violence or has this brutal world left him desensitized? He had a quick little interrogation scene with Rick trying to find his bag of guns stashed in the woods. When Rick threatened to kill him, Gareth didn't seem to even care. Again, is it because he's so confident in how he runs things or is he just threatened all the time? Sure, it's good that I'm interested in this character but I wanted something to really get my attention so I don't lose interest. We did see at the end that some of his men and women seemed to be beaten and raped by whoever they took Terminus from but does that mean we should sympathize with cannibals? I personally don't think so.
1. The Escape was Rather Simple...
For those who don't know you can go and check out a couple episodes I reviewed towards the end of season 4 earlier this year. Those were "The Grove" and the finale "A". If you saw my review of the season 4 finale you noticed I wasn't too pleased with the anti-climactic ending. I especially hated how Rick seemed so confident that the Terminus people didn't "know who they were messing with" even though they were totally outnumbered, unarmed and trapped in train car. (See season 4 finale review below.)
We've been left wondering for 7 months how the group was going to plan and execute their escape from Terminus. However... it was rather simple. Here is the simplified version. Carol caused a major distraction which allowed walkers to enter Terminus' fences. Rick broke free of his restraints and grabbed some guns. The end LOL. Talk about a huge build up only to have the group escape with a lot of ease and no casualties of major characters. This may sound like I'm really being nit-picky but I would've enjoyed an episode or two at Terminus before it went up in flames like every other places Rick's group has been. Let's count real quick by the way. The CDC in season 1, the farm in season 2, Woodbury in season 3 and the prison in season 4... RICK PLEASE STOP GOING PLACES BECAUSE EVERYTHING ENDS UP IN FLAMES. Totally kidding, but really. Everything ends up burned. I don't want to sound like I'm trashing the show so let's move onto the goods!
3. Carol has become truly Badass
That's right. Carol really is a badass now. She's a character that has transformed over the course of the four seasons. Way back in season 1 she was an abused wife/mother who was simply in the background. Slowly but surely she has become a strong, fierce woman who is just as kickass as any of the guys. She's someone who can be one of the leaders with Rick.
In season 4, we saw a huge moment where we saw her reveal to Rick that she killed Tyreese's girlfriend and burned her body. That was her biggest moment to date. However, in this premiere we saw that she was a real force to be reckoned with. She's good with a weapon but also intelligent to back it up. Anyone could think to blow up a propane tank but she was smart enough to cover her self in guts to camouflage herself too. If Carol is going to continue to be like this then Carol is going to move up the ranks of one of my favorite characters.
2. They Didn't Drag Out the Re-Grouping / Those Reunion Scenes
Almost the entire second half of season 4 we saw the group completely spread out. There was Rick, Carl and Michonne, Tyreese, Carol and the kids, Maggie, Bob and Sasha, Beth with Darryl and Glenn with the Washington group. We spent many episodes where everyone was looking for everyone. Sure, for some of it, it was entertaining and fun but if they continued it for too long it would've been boring. I'm glad they decided to not drag that out for another 5 episodes and just have Rick and the gang find Carol and Tyreese with baby Judith.
Of course we still have Beth missing but for the most part the rest of the group has been reunited. This now leaves us time to finally move onto a new story hopefully and not drag things out any longer. By the way if you weren't even close to shedding a tear when Darryl gave Carol a big ol' bear hug of joy, you may not have a soul! Norman Reedus not saying a thing was great. All he had to do was hug her and you knew all of the emotion running through his head.
1. Morgan is Back
I'll admit when I first watched this episode I didn't see this scene! Then, soon as I went online everyone was freaking out and I found it. I was so jacked to know that Morgan is not only back but will hopefully be back for a little longer in the series. Maybe a recurring role instead of just a guest star. I don't know what it is about Morgan but I really enjoy whenever he's around. Perhaps it's the performance from Lennie James but he's someone I just love to watch. I hope he finds Rick soon and we can see those guys bond again.
Overall, I think this was a pretty good season premiere. The Walking Dead really tries to make their premiere's, mid-season finales and season finales big so they didn't disappoint. This was not a perfect opener and there were flaws but it was fun to watch and tugged at the heart strings towards the end. It was effective in making me want to continue watching the rest of the season. Hopefully starting next week I can start also doing video reviews to go along with these written ones.
What did you guys think though? Was this a fun premiere or did you feel let down? Please comment below so we can discuss! Thanks for reading and have a tremendous day!
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