Musings on Season 5 of The Walking Dead

Morgan, Rick, Carl, Judith, Eugene, Carol, Mary - The Walking Dead

In this article I will be discussing events from the premiere episode of season 5 of The Walking Dead, so if you have not seen it and are averse to spoilers, you might want to read this after you watch it!

So, the 5th season of The Walking Dead finally arrived, and after being teased for months about how action packed the premiere would be, we finally were able to experience it in its full glory. And, I must say that it did deliver all the action I expected! It also set up what is likely to be a very intense and probably dark season. I would like to spend time talking about what happened in the episode and the possible implications for the rest of season 5.

The Destruction of Terminus
 

Terminus - The Walking Dead

It is likely some fans thought that we would be spending at least part of season 5 at Terminus. But, as we saw by the end of the premiere episode, Terminus was on fire and overrun with Walkers. Many of the inhabitants were either shot or eaten by Walkers, but it is likely that some escaped and some of the others could return as Walkers. We do not know the fate of Gareth – he appeared to have been shot in the arm, so I assume he escaped.

Terminus was the promise of sanctuary. As time goes on and more and more people are turned into Walkers, the concept of safety and sanctuary becomes hard and harder for our heroes to realize. Is there any place that is truly safe anymore? It seems unlikely. This will undoubtedly change how the survivors view the future. It is a bleak thought.

The Band is Back Together!
 

Rick, Judith, Carl - The Walking Dead

The one bright note of the episode, other than our heroes escaping being eaten, was that almost everyone has been reunited with loved ones. The one remaining person, Beth, is still alive; we the viewers know that because of teasers from upcoming episodes. Maggie and Daryl talked about her and the fact he last saw her alive being abducted gives hope to them that she is indeed still alive.

In the meantime, Carl and Rick have been reunited with baby Judith, Tyreese has been reunited with Sasha, and Carol and Daryl shared a long sincere hug. The core group we have been following is now back together, with a few more folks thrown in, thank goodness, because there is strength in numbers.

But, there are potential group dynamics issues. Rick and Carol have some unresolved issues – the last time they were together he banished her from the prison. Now that she is back, and responsible for saving them, will all be forgotten? Carol, for her part, was ready to leave Tyreese and Judith once she saw them safely to Terminus. Now that the promise of safety is gone, will she remain with the larger group?

Darker Tone
 

Carol, Mary - The Walking Dead

Because of the events at Terminus, Rick has taken on a new, harsher persona. He was ready to kill everyone at Terminus, and was only reeled in a bit by the others when they reminded him that was not who they were. In particular Carl, and now Judith, should have a moderating effect on his blood lust.

Carol has also stepped up her game and was awesome in the premiere, planning and executing a diversion that helped guarantee the freeing of our heroes. When she left Mary to be attacked by the Walkers and be eventually turned, we saw a darker side of Carol.

Is There Really a Cure?
 

Eugene - The Walking Dead

Eugene says there is a cure. From the dialogue, I took away the concept that there is some reasonably simple way to activate a kill switch on the virus. Perhaps I misunderstood, or perhaps that was all made up since Eugene was put on the spot by Sasha, but one thing is certain, nothing is ever simple on TV and especially on The Walking Dead.

Of course, they also must first get to Washington, D.C., a herculean task in and of itself. Then they need to find whatever lab allows them access to the computers (I assume?) they need, which may or not have power this long after the original apocalypse. Then the delivery system for the cure remains a mystery.

Morgan Jones Returns
 

Morgan - The Walking Dead

At the very end of the season opener, we saw a character we had not seen for a while. For those that don’t remember, Morgan was the man who helped Rick way back in the first episode of season 1. He and his son were hiding in a house in Rick’s neighborhood. His wife had become a Walker, but instead of ending her, he put her out of the house. He was the man who brought Rick up to speed on the apocalypse since Rick was unaware due to having been in a coma. We did not see him again, but Rick did talk about him and try to contact him via walkie-talkie in seasons 1 and 2.

Then in season 3 Morgan reappeared, when Rick decided to go back to his hometown to get some more weapons. We found out that his son had been bitten by Morgan’s wife and Morgan’s new mission was to clear the town of Walkers. Rick wanted him to return to the prison with them, but he refused. While we do not see it onscreen, writer Robert Kirkman has said that during season 4, Morgan decided to find Rick at the prison. However, he arrived after the battle. Morgan then found the Terminus signs, and started heading there until he found Rick’s altered sign at the end of the premiere episode. He then started following cross shaped markings on trees in his efforts to find Rick. I am definitely excited to see him again!

 

What did you think of the season 5 premiere episode of The Walking Dead? Are you excited for the season ahead? Is there anything in particular you want to see? Are you excited by the new darker tone the series is taking? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!