After 56 episodes, The Walking Dead has more than proved to be a very successful TV franchise, and after only five episodes into season 5, it’s already managed to deliver some memorable moments. Even since the start, producers have proven that they’re able to adapt Kirkman’s comics in a way that holds true to the original stories, while still allowing the show to carve its own unique path.
If you’re reading this article after reading our 5 Things Wrong with Season 5 of The Walking Dead, you might be thinking, “Aren’t you being inconsistent with your feelings on the show? How can you like it but trash it at the same time?” – and those would be fair questions. Our answer: We don’t dislike everything about the show, and continue to tune in each week to see what adventures await our favorite characters in this new zombie-filled world.
To that point, we’ve picked 5 of the best moments, storylines, or character developments from Season 5 – elements that we think the showrunners have gotten right so far.
If you aren’t caught up on the show, we suggest you come back later – there will be MASSIVE SPOILERS below. You’ve been warned.
1. Carol’s Transformation from Victim to Leader
When Carol was first introduced in season 1 it was as the abused wife of Ed. Back then, she quietly just took the abuse to keep her daughter Sophia safe. But after Sophia’s tragic death, something changed in Carol’s character. She became cold, distant and calculating, while simultaneously treating Rick and the rest of the group as her surrogate daughter. With each episode that brings a new tragedy or obstacle into her life, you can see her determination to survive grow.
All that determination and love for her new “family” was on full display in the season premiere of season 5, as Carol singlehandedly rescued everyone from the cannibalistic members of Terminus. Not only did she manage to overrun the Terminus camp with zombies and give the Rick and the gang a chance to free the other captives, but she killed several bad guys – including Gareth’s mom.
Should Rick ever succumb to the bite of a walker, Carol is now in a place to easily take over leadership of the group. However, unlike Rick, Carol feels like she should be a loner. Not because she doesn’t want to be a member of the group, but because she feels it would be the best way to keep the group safe. It will interesting to watch Carol continue to develop over the rest of the season.
2. Tyreese the Nanny
After T-Dog died at the prison, the group needed another person to be their “muscle” – enter Tyreese. While viewers have always been aware of Tyreese’s softer side, they also knew he could easily snap at any moment and go off on whomever he felt was a threat. Both of those sides have been on display in season 5, as Tyreese has essentially become Judith’s nanny since getting split from the group after the Governor’s prison raid.
Tyreese may be exploring his more paternal side with Judith, but that doesn’t make him any less of a badass. When the Terminus sentry that Carol and Tyreese happened upon in the woods forces Tyreese outside of the cabin and into the arms of several walkers, he thought there was no way the gentle “nanny” would survive – he was wrong.
While we didn’t get to witness Tyreese’s “hulking rage”, we could hear it and saw the aftermath. The guy from Terminus made the mistake of assuming that taking care of Judith had made Tyreese weak – after all, choosing to raise and protect a baby in this new, dangerous world isn’t the wisest decision. You can tell Tyreese would do anything to protect Judith, possibly including going against Rick if he feels a decision is being made that could put the baby in danger.
3. Glenn and Maggie Finally Together
Glenn has come a long way since his scavenger days back in season 1. In a time when people are protecting their own interests, Glenn managed to find the love of his life, Maggie, on Hershel’s farm and it gave his life new purpose. Apart from Carol and Daryl’s relationship (which is more platonic), and the family dynamic of Rick, Carl and Judith, the Maggie and Glenn relationship is the only one that gives viewers hope that even in this horrible new world, true love can still be found.
Unfortunately, Glenn and Maggie were split up after the prison raid and they spent several episodes desperately trying find each other – no matter the cost. While Terminus was the destination in season 4, it was the storyline of Glenn and Maggie trying to find each other that gave things purpose. Now that they are back together, it would appear they intend to never part ways again – which is apparent by their agreeing to travel with Abraham to DC.
The show needs to keep these two lovers together. While one or the other could possibly die this season (Kirkman says he knows when every character will die), that would be preferable to them splitting up again.
4. Beth Is Back
Beth has been through a lot. She’s lost her mother, her brother, her father, and after the prison raid, is now separated from her sister Maggie. She’s a sweet character in the show, and watching her break down Daryl’s protective walls gave us some real emotional depth and made us really enjoy her character development.
Unfortunately, Beth was nabbed by a then-unknown assailant, and she just fell off the show’s map for several episodes – no one even mentioned her until end of episode 3 of this season. As we found out in the “Slabtown” episode, she was picked up by the remaining Atlanta police force and is currently being held against her will at a hospital in a type of indentured servitude.
While we wish the Taken-Beth timeline had been explored much earlier, it’s great to finally get some answers as to where she’s been all this time.With Carol being wheeled into the same hospital (presumably as a ruse to rescue Beth), it will be interesting to watch the development of the next few episodes. It’s time for Beth to be back with her remaining family.
5. Tainted Meat
Bob’s backstory was never really developed. We knew he had a problem with drinking and that he was basically a loner before joining the group at the prison, but that was essentially all we were given to work with. However, it wasn’t what Bob used to be that made his character interesting – it was what he had become. No more was he a loner or drunk, but had transformed into a reliable friend and had found a companion and partner in Sasha.
Most people assumed something happened to Bob in episode 2 when he was pulled underwater by a walker, but we had to wait until episode 3 for confirmation. In a scene filled with long, almost painful, exposition by Terminus leader Gareth, Bob learned the horrific truth – the group had chopped off his leg and were chowing down on his meat – which was “better tasting than they expected.” As Gareth waxed poetic about how nothing happening to Bob was personal, Bob began laughing. His chuckle soon turned into a cackle as he pulled his shirt over his shoulder to reveal a large bite from a walker and screamed, “TAINTED MEAT! YOU’RE EATING TAINTED MEAT!”
Besides the quick, but powerful, scene where Carol and Daryl see each other for the first time in months and give each other a long, silent and meaningful hug, Bob keeping quiet long enough for his attackers to ingest his body is our favorite moment thus far in season 5. Bob was taking pleasure knowing he had possibly infected the people who were hunting his friends, and even though he knew he was going to die, he also saw this as chance to not die in vain. He had truly become one of the group and was no longer a loner.
Like every show, The Walking Dead will continue to have its ups and downs with the story and character development, but with Kirkman already planning the show out through season 12, there’s little doubt that we will continue to have moments like these that we really enjoy.
Do you agree with our favorite moments from the show so far or do you have any of your own? Let us know in the comment section and be sure to read our 5 Things Wrong with Season 5 of The Walking Dead for an opposite viewpoint.
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