Season Five of The Walking Dead kicks off in style with the group captured at Terminus and about to be killed by the cannibalistic brutes that live there. After they escape, they remember just how horrible everything is, and everyone suffers horribly for the duration.
Every plot point recently seems to be the same one: the one that uses the zombie apocalypse as a metaphor for the human condition. “Are the Walkers the real monsters? Or are we?” Shut up, Rick. We get it. Get over yourself.
Every time he makes a dramatic leadership speech in the glowing firelight about the woes of being human, it becomes more difficult to resist the urge to throw something at him. The preachy deepness of Season Five is relentless. It’s about as subtle as a sword to the face.
The group go through that whole to-trust-or-not-to-trust routine twice more throughout the season, once in a hospital filled with dictators and perverts, and again in a cute little cul-de-sac called Alexandria. The latter is fairly interesting, given that this is the first place the group has had access to running water and electricity for a long time. Rick (Andrew Lincoln) has a shave. Carol (Melissa McBride) starts baking. It’s all very bizarre.
The Alexandria residents themselves aren’t that exciting, but we probably just need time to get to know them. They all join in with the human condition one-liners too. Even Carl (Chandler Riggs)’s crush Enid (Katelyn Nacon) has a particularly deep moment: “This is their world. We’re just living in it.” Eurgh! Shut up. Don’t ever speak again.
These are all just details. Terrible dialogue aside, the shockers are still as good as they ever were. Standout moments include a big confession concerning the antidote in Washington DC, Carol losing her shit in Alexandria, and a deliciously grim sequence in which a foot gets hacked off and barbecued.
These kinds of episodes are what makes The Walking Dead still worthwhile. Sadly, though, brilliant episodes are usually found sandwiched between boring ones, which can make you wonder why you still bother with it.