The Walking Dead Season 5 was a big improvement over the strong start and weak finish of season 4. Since this is a review for the entire season there are some spoilers in the review.
I started watching The Walking Dead during season 3 after being caught up by watching the previous seasons on Netflix. I enjoyed the series so much that I began to read the comics and play the Telltale games. Season 3 and 4 had 16 episodes instead of the 6 episodes for season 1 and 13 for season 2, and I personally think both seasons 3 and 4 were great in the first 8 episodes and faltered in the 6 of the last 8 episodes.
Seasons 5 does mostly fix the starting strong ending weak issue of the past two seasons. I thought the first three episodes and last nine were very good. It started with the cannibal storyline where Rick’s group had to escape from Sanctuary and featured good action scenes and showed how much characters have changed over the seasons in ways viewers enjoyed. Rick went from not wanting to kill a young man that shot at him in season two, to brutally killing the cannibals in a church after they had already given up.
Rick’s group evolved from normal people to harden survivors capable of killing humans or Walkers without hesitation, and it is an evolution people in the zombie apocalypse must go through, unless they live in the Alexandria Community. A place with electricity and protected by walls that has mostly been spared the horrors of the zombie apocalypse. Watching Daryl, Sasha, and Carol adjust to a safe environment where the majority of the people are not trying to kill them was entertaining. It also showed that Rick was willing to threaten and possibly hurt innocent people, if it was the only way to make sure his friends and family were safe.
When Glen, Maggie, Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene went to take Eugene to Washington DC and Rick took the majority of his group to Atlanta to save Beth, the show went downhill for five episodes. Taking Eugene to DC storyline had the issue of me never buying into the idea that people would believe Eugene’s story about him being a scientist who knows how to cure the Walker disease. While I have read the comics before hand and knew how this storyline would end, I doubt majority of the people that only watch the show believed him and it just made the characters on the show look stupid for risking their lives to protect Eugene. The storyline was also dragged out with little actual progression, so when Eugene finally revealed he was lying it was not shocking and the characters should have found out without Eugene telling them.
First I never really liked the character of Beth. I felt indifferent towards her until the episode last season when she forced Daryl to risk his to help here find alcohol, so she could experience one drink before she died. The biggest issues with these episodes were Dawn and the bad cops were lousy villains and the conflict between Dawn’s group and Rick’s group did not live up to the several episodes of build up. The decision to have Rick’s group and Dawn’s group to agree to a hostage exchange was less interesting than them followings Rick’s original plan of them sneaking into Dawn’s base while they were unaware of Rick’s group’s presence. While in hindsight that would have been similar to the season 3 episodes were they attacked The Governor’s base, it was better than having Beth make the stupid decision to try and stab Dawn after she refused to allow Noah to leave with Rick’s group. It ended with Beth and Dawn’s death, but it could have ended with the majority of people in both groups dying. The hostage exchange happen in a hallway with no cover to hide behind, both sides had guns, and both sides had people grouped together. If both groups starting shooting at each after Dawn killed Beth, most of the main characters in The Walking Dead would be dead along with Dawn’s group.
The Walking Dead season 5 was the best season in the last three years.