With the season five of The Walking Dead beginning in less than an hour, I found myself pondering just how we (and by “we” I mean both the audience and the characters) ended up the current predicament. Now this won’t be a complete rundown of the past four seasons, but I think it’s worth reviewing where folks are and how they got there.
Now, let’s briefly look at who we’ve got and where there are.
Season one was about Rick getting to his family, which ended up being successful, though fraught with drama (doesn’t it feel like forever ago when Lori having slept with Shane was the most dramatic aspect of the show).
Though incredibly short (only six episodes), the season was amazing at making a zombie apocalypse and its inhabitants feel real, and viewers were hooked ever since.
Season two was all about finding Sofia at the farm (it still aggravates me that she was in that stupid barn), and the group failing at finding ways for everyone to get along (again, remember when Shane felt like the protagonist’s biggest problem).
If nothing else though, season two was about showing us that you cannot stick your head in the sand, and hope for the best. by now we’ve learned that there’s no cure, no going back AND that you should always have effective communication and escape routes planned.
Season three was all about trying to rebuild and reconnect. Unfortunately with casualties at the prison, and kidnappings by those at Woodbury, it was hard to get a “normal” life started. For the most part, I recall feeling annoyed that Michonne wasn’t just more talkative with Rick and Co.
And while I won’t take up space here, rehashing my thoughts, I still don’t like Andrea’s choices, but I’ll never hate her like other fans did. I also, never hated the Governor, come think of it… but I like to play devil’s advocate.
Now, season four, and thoughts on season five.
At the beginning of season four we saw that it just *might* be possible to return to some kind of normal living, as long as you have a safe location, and a safe group of people. Unfortunately neither of those lasted. I still say it was something in the water that killed the pigs, and got people sick.
By the end of the season though, the flu felt pointless, thanks to the Governor finding new recruits. Remember what I said about needing effective communication and escape plans after what the characters went through at the farm? The viewers learned that the characters never learned that. So, despite all best efforts to keep safe within, and keep enemies like the Governor out, once again the team gets split up when all heck breaks loose and it’s taken half of a season for everyone to almost get back together.
Rick and Carl spent a bit of season four on their own, until tracked by Michonne (love that she’s a part of the family now) who had to go through a bit of an existential crisis. And to be fair, who wouldn’t in a zombie apocalypse. Just before getting to Terminus, the three found Daryl, when Daryl’s not so awesome group of new friends tried to kill Rick and Carl.
At Terminus they found… in a sad creepy trailer, Glenn and Maggie who had recently been reunited, along with a few of my favorite newbies, Abraham and Dr. Porter. I’m going to be unkind right now and say that other than our core group, they’re the only characters I care about. If the others end up as either zombie or Terminus chow, I’ll be grossed out, but not devastated.
To be honest all of the lets-find-our-group stuff wasn’t incredibly interesting because again, a nicely planned rendezvous would have prevented half of it, and the dangers our folks have faced now seem like nothing compared to Terminus.
Let’s take a look at Terminus, because despite already knowing that they’re cannibals, the group there disturbs and fascinates me in equal measure. It would be one thing if they just ate people and that was it. And to be fair, the question of how far people would go to survive within the circumstances of the show, is asked a lot, but not always clearly answered. Cannibalism though brutal is something that even reasonable people would conceivably partake in. After all Rick (quite justifiably) behaved just like a walker when he bit a chunk out of Joe’s neck in the season four finale. However, despite the fact that when Rick and his gang were being herded to the trailer they ran past human entrails and remains that had been just left out, they also ran through the “Candle Room” (for lack of a better label), which was a shrine to the dead. Whether or not the dead honored there were part of Terminus’ group, or those they had slain is yet unknown (at least for those of us that haven’t read the comics).
Outside of Terminus we still have Beth, who’s somewhere that only the comics readers know (and I’m ok with that), and of course the reconciled Carol and Tyreese with baby Judith along for the ride. If anyone might be able to get to Terminus and save Rick and the others I’m betting it’ll be Carol and Tyreese. And, if anyone’s storyline between the prison and Terminus was amazing it was Carol and Tyreese’s because I swear, I’ll never look at flowers the same way again.
Now Walking Dead hasn’t always been perfect. And at times it’s been a bit of a bumpy ride, but if the first 4 minutes of season five that AMC shared are anything to go by, things are going to get bumpy in all the best ways.
Are you excited for season five, let us know in the comments!