If you’re at all familiar with AMC’s The Walking Dead, you know this formula by heart.

Season 5 starts off with a daring escape from the extra-savage butchers of Terminus. We also learn from Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt) that there may be a cure to all this undead tomfoolery but that he would need to get to Washington D.C. in order to execute said cure. We get introduced to not-so-godly priest, Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), who, not surprisingly has some dark secrets of his own. The Terminus story arc from the previous season gets wrapped up with a mostly-predictable bow; proving that maybe you should ask your victim if they’re infected before you start consuming them. We catch up with the previously missing Beth (Emily Kinney) at a foreboding hospital in Atlanta where we also meet some fresh meat in the person of Noah (Tyler James Williams).

En route to D.C., we find out a little something more about Eugene that elicits a healthy knuckle sandwich courtesy of Abraham (Michael Cudlitz). Beth gets tracked down by Carol (Melissa McBride) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) but Carol ends up as a patient there, leaving Daryl and Noah needing to regroup and bring in reinforcements. The eventual, inevitable showdown at the hospital, which marked the halfway point of the season, results in the end of the line for one long-time cast member.

The second half of the season begins with the mostly still shell-shocked group arriving in Virginia to try to find Noah’s family. Instead, we find only death for another of the all-stars; some interesting cameos from past dead abound. The trek to D.C. then resumes and we learn who the “walking dead” really are. Now on foot, the exhausted group comes upon a possible “friend” named Aaron (Ross Marquand) who eventually convinces them to head to a “safe community” in Alexandria, VA.  Once more-or-less settled there, the group takes jobs in the sanctuary; Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) becoming the town constables. Requisite tension and scuffles ensue, and eventually a power struggle comes to its explosive head, just as Rick’s old pal Morgan, played by Lennie James (remember him?) shows up.


The verdict: If you read my season four review, you know of my already dwindling interest in the show. Season 5 was unfortunately a lot more of the same. There were some good moments interspersed here and there, but overall I enjoyed only slightly more than last season. I liked the darker turn some of the group took, which is understandable, given the situation; Melissa McBride as Carol was a particular highlight and her performances regularly stood out. It was good to see some of the cast get cycled out; though one of the most annoying characters remains (I’m looking right at you, Sasha). The hospital story arc in episodes 4-8 gave me hope that we’d be getting back to some good old urban zombie warfare and shenanigans, but from episode 9 on it was rural business as usual with a pinch of suburbia thrown in. I only used fast-forward sparingly this season, so that’s a tally in the positive column, right?

With the new season slated to premiere in October, and the spin-off prequel, “Fear the Walking Dead” debuting later this month, we’ll have no shortage of zombie-related fun to fill our lonely nights with. Will it be any good? That’s a question that can only be answered once the rotting walker dust settles and I’m stuck riding this train until the bitter end, for better or worse.



AMC’s The Walking Dead Season 5 gets a generous 2 ½ Bob legs out of 5.


La Jiggy Jar Jar Doo,


Greg Poppa