Wow, the first half of Season 5 of [The Walking Dead](series:201193) has been a wild ride, packed with action, and the ending of the mid-season finale has left the second half of the season wide open for anything to happen.
Season 5A had a much different and interesting approach compared to the rest of the series, the group were never actually all united until the very final episode, and that was a moment tinged with the sadness of Beth's death. But what it lacked in unity, it made up for in action!
Check out the top 5 things you might have missed in the first half of Season 5:
1. Rick kept his promise
In the season premiere while he bound with his head over a trough, ready for the slaughter, Rick told Gareth, with some detail, how he would be killed:
There's a machete with a red handle. That's what I'm going to use to kill you.
Well, Rick Grimes is a man of his word and two episodes later in "Four Walls and a Roof" he came good on that promise and butchered Gareth's Bob-eating-ass with that very same red handled machete. Go on, take another look:
2. There were crazy amounts of references and nods through the episodes
There were too many to go into great detail about but, here they all are:
- Tara's mention of bikes was probably a nod to The Zombie Survival Guide, which lists bikes as the ideal mode of transportation in a zombie apocalypse.
- In the premiere episode Rick and the group walk past a crate with the words "ship to Horlicks University via Julia Carpenter" on it. This was a reference to Creepshow, the George A. Romero horror anthology written by Stephen King.
- There was a tip of the hat to the UK TV show In The Flesh when Officer Gorman refers to the walkers as "Rotters" in the episode "Slabtown." "Rotters" is what the zombies are referred to in In The Flesh.
- When Daryl and Carol were in the van with the statue of Mary on the dashboard, which tipped over the edge of the bridge in "Consumed," it was a nod to Lost which had a similar scene with a plane and heroin filled statues.
- In the mid-season finale, Rick and Daryl parallel the famous image from the film Boondock Saints, which Norman Reedus starred in. There were also a couple of other little references to the movie, including the floor number they were on, and the mention of a chapel.
3. The symbols are still appearing and still unexplained
By now it's pretty obvious that Morgan is trying to meet up with Rick and the gang and that he's been following a series of carved symbols to do so. The symbols have been shown in the areas that RIck and the gang have been through - just off the train tracks after Terminus and again outside Father Gabriel's church.
Rumors are rife not only as to who left them, (Rick, Michonne or Carl being the top suspects), but also what they might mean. Many people have suggested they're simply hobo marks carved into the tree to show nomads which ways might be safe or dangerous, while other theories suggest it's probably a call back to Season 3 when it appeared Morgan was using the symbol to show which areas had been 'cleared' of walkers.
4. The group is probably headed towards a new walled community
This season we were introduced to two new characters who look to be sticking around for the second half of Season 5, Father Gabriel and Noah. While Gabriel has had quite a big role so far, we don't know too much about Noah, except that he's a good guy, and he came from a walled community in Richmond, Virginia. Now that the group is once again making their way on foot, it seems probable that they'll follow the only decent lead they have for a safe place and go to Richmond. This theory seems to have been backed up by the trailer for Season 5B when the group come across the gates. check out the trailer below:
5. Rick and Daryl seemed to switch roles
We can't say we weren't warned, but Rick Grimes seems to have finished his transformation into the most brutal version of himself. While he seemed ready to compromise with Tyreese and Daryl over the police officers from Grady Memorial, he quickly showed that that compromise would only go so far when he gunned down Officer Lamson when he tried to escape.
But while Rick was going to the darker side, it seemed like Daryl had taken on the role of the protector and voice of reason. Early in the season Daryl didn't hesitate to go after the car with the cross when he thought it could lead to Beth, and while he and Carol were in Atlanta we saw his selflessness again when he burned the bodies of the walker children so Carol didn't have to. In the same episode, he took the book titled "Treating Survivors of Childhood Abuse," presumably so he could start moving on from his past.
This changing of roles will make Season 5B a extremely interesting - can Rick and Daryl still work together given these changes, or will the group start splitting?
Has Season 5 been the best season of The Walking Dead so far?