Written by John Edward Betancourt
It was a wild season when it came to The Walking Dead this year, one that made a point to shock us and leave us in awe and tears on several occasions. It was a season where everyone seemed to be at risk since let's be honest, I think we were all steeling our nerves to see who lived and who died in the season finale and well...it was one of many things that made this year so great. Now that we are a week removed from Season Five, let's take a look back at the season as a whole.
The Good: There were several things that kept me happy about this year and the first one was the storytelling. In prior season's, one big complaint about the show is how slow it moves to get where it needs to go. I heard that complaint about Season Two and the farm, and the first half of Season Four received the same criticism. But this year, there was not a moment or a second wasted on the show. Terminus was dealt with swiftly and quickly and come the midseason finale...we left Atlanta behind and were within the walls of Alexandria just like that a couple of episodes later. It was a first for the show and that breakneck speed of storytelling truly gave the show its most compelling season to date.
This was also the season that character development was at its strongest. In the past we have seen some characters grow to either serve as walker or Governor fodder but this go round, this vast ensemble cast received a complete journey for the year. There was no major character left behind and I'll be damned if it didn't make for some compelling television. It made the character deaths of Beth and Tyreese matter, and it brought each one of us closer to our favorites. However, this also served to bring out the season's only flaw, we will get into that in just a moment.
Otherwise, the last thing Season Five did extremely well was truly bring the comics to life. Despite minor changes as to who was involved in the story exactly, the show brought so many iconic moments to life and whether or not you've read the comics the best moments from those pages were front and center for all of us to see and chat about, and if you want a specific example, look no further than the Bob-B-Q. Also the effects work on the walkers this year relates to this point since Greg Nicotero and his crew continued to revolutionize the zombie by decaying them further, making for nightmarish and disgusting creations that blew me away week in and week out.
The Bad: Now, back to my earlier point. The only flaw that I felt Season Five had was the slight twist in trying to make Rick look like a villain. It was all over the web that the next big baddie wasn't coming from the comics, but the man who is the main character and well...at times the show didn't help it. Especially in Alexandria. I'm not saying Rick wouldn't be hardened by the things he has seen, but to insinuate that he would turn evil after spending so long trying to do the right thing is just silly and I'm glad his redemption in the final minutes of the season put this silly idea to rest.
The Verdict: I have to say that this is the show's best season yet. Everything was truly top notch and I love the fact that at last we have a central location for the characters to catch their breath in a place that looks like actual civilization. The storytelling should only get stronger as we look at the dynamic of the civilized world and Rick Grimes' experiences coming together and I can't wait to see what happens next now that we know the Wolves are coming. Until then, at least we have Fear the Walking Dead to look forward to.