Whilst watching the second half of season 5 of the Walking Dead I have been pleasantly surprised at how the show seems to have turned itself around and is heading back in the right direction (I know ever the optimist). One thing which I have recognised about the show however is that there are a lot of characters, many of whom no longer serve a purpose. The Walking Dead needs to start killing more than walkers.
I’ve been thinking about writing this since the episode where the group are walking down the road exhausted, if I remember correctly I counted 13, and that was before we added in anyone from Alexandria. Ok maybe it isn’t the best time to write this because we have just seen the passing of Noah and maybe Tara is on her way out too (I’d guess not) but the point is still pretty valid. Yes we lost Noah and Tyreese so far in the second half of the season (one thing the Walking Dead does very well is killing off their black characters on a consistent basis, I’d watch my back if I was Michonne…) but the show has added Aaron, Deanna, Jessie, Nicholas, Pete, Sam, Eric, Reg as well as a number of others. In many ways I’m glad that they have made bit roles for people in Alexandria rather than just introducing us to three or four however we’re now talking about a cast of around 20+ people and the Walking Dead is no Game of Thrones.
One of the major problems with the Walking Dead is that there a finite number of characters who you would actually care about if they were to die. Yeah I liked Everybody Hates Chris and Cutty but I wasn’t really attached to them, in fact the only characters that I’m really attached to are Rick, Daryl, Glenn, Carol, Maggie, maybe Michonne and I guess Carl (although I’m not a fan), that’s at best 7/24 if you’re counting.
You may be wondering what the whole point of this post is and I’ll get there I promise, I’m just laying some ground works for what I’m going to go on and say.
Imagine how much more effective the finding of Alexandria would have been if they had lost a number of people on the way there, that would truly have sold the whole ‘we’re on our last thread’ dynamic which they were pushing. The thing is that a number of characters are no longer needed in the story; people like Sasha, Eugene, Rosita, Tara and to a lesser extent Gabriel and Abraham are all expendable and their deaths could have been more effective elsewhere. Some of these characters have barely been on screen in this half of the season and many of them feel like they’re heading into T-Dog territory. The Walking Dead struggles to write consistently good content for its main characters so you can only imagine some of the scraps that the supporting characters are feeding on.
That’s the point of the whole post, why keep characters who have served their purpose? There is a core number of characters who are key to the show but the Walking Dead has become bloated and they need a really good raid out. Maybe by the time the end of the season comes I will be eating my words and it is harsh to criticise the show because I think a lot of the stuff they are doing in this half of the season is pretty good and a nice change of pace for the show, however you can’t keep telling us something is super dangerous and then never show us that thing happening on a regular basis (granted Noah’s death was pretty gruesome but that’s the first in a couple of seasons).
Anyway who’d you like to see get killed in the Walking Dead next? Do you want it to be a character that would have a huge impact (Daryl, Rick etc) or would you rather it was one of the many faceless supporting cast? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.