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The Walking Dead Takes the Easy Way Out

October 14, 2014

ALERT: MAJOR SPOILERS WITHIN

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I, along with many others, eagerly anticipated the return of The Walking Dead this past Sunday. However, I was extremely disappointed by the Season 5 Premiere.

Last season was a mixed bag for most fans. The first half of the season saw the return of the Governor (David Morrissey), the attack on the prison, the final battle with the Governor, and the tragic death of Hershel (Scott Wilson). It was the show we knew and loved. Then, the second half of the season was spent with the separated group wandering around the woods, all following signs that led to a supposed sanctuary called Terminus. Now, naturally, fans were all suspicious of Terminus from the outset, after what had happened in Woodbury. But the journey there wasn’t interesting. Other than Glenn (Steven Yeun) meeting up with some folks that claim to know of a cure in Washington DC, and Beth (Emily Kinney) being supposedly lost, there was only one episode that was truly excellent. I think we all were affected by Carol’s (Melissa McBride) decision to kill Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino).

Mostly, though, the second half of last season was boring. All setup, with very little payoff. Once most of the group arrives at Terminus, they are welcomed with open arms…right into a locked up train car where they’re going to stay until it’s time for them to be butchered and cannibalized. That’s where the season ends: with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) promising the group that the Terminus people have messed with the wrong group and they’re all going to die.

Long story short, Rick is right. With a little unexpected help from Carol, Rick and the gang set the town on fire, let the walkers in, and kill a bunch of Terminus people in the process. What’s disappointing is that it all felt a little too easy. Carol blows up a tank, Rick, Kevin, Bob (Lawrence Gilliard Jr), and Daryl (Norman Reedus), who were about to be slaughtered, free the others, and they all make it out to the woods, where Carol reunites Rick and Carl (Chandler Riggs) with baby Judith and Tyreese (Chad L Coleman) with his sister, Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green). And just like that, the entire main cast (minus Beth) is together, ready to travel on to DC.

Are you freaking kidding me? We spent an entire half season trying to get to Terminus, and we only spent two episodes there? They got captured, and they got out. That pisses me off so much! I wanted to see a struggle. I wanted politics played. I wanted a heck of a lot more screen time for Michonne (Danai Gurira). I wanted Rick and the gang to kick ass and take names in a grand way. I wanted them to take over Terminus. But instead, they got lucky, set it on fire and ran away. And no one died. Really, Walking Dead? Walkers everywhere, Terminus folks shooting at them, fire all around, and not one of the main group bit it (pun intended)? I’m disappointed in you.

The Walking Dead has already been picked up for a sixth season, so the show can do pretty much whatever it wants this season. Here’s hoping it’s more interesting than the second half of last season and less of a copout than the premiere.

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