The Walking Dead (season 5)

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The Walking Dead (season 5)
Walking Dead Season 5 Poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Starring
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 16
Release
Original network AMC
Original release October 12, 2014 (2014-10-12) – March 29, 2015 (2015-03-29)
Season chronology
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Season 4
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Season 6
List of The Walking Dead episodes

The fifth season of The Walking Dead, an American horror–drama television series on AMC, premiered on October 12, 2014, and concluded on March 29, 2015, comprising 16 episodes.[1] Developed for television by Frank Darabont, the series is based on the eponymous series of comic books by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. The executive producers were Kirkman, David Alpert, Scott M. Gimple, Greg Nicotero, Tom Luse, and Gale Anne Hurd; Gimple was also the season's showrunner. The fifth season received widespread critical acclaim and was nominated for multiple awards at both the 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards and 41st Saturn Awards.

The fifth season continues the journey of a group of survivors led by Rick Grimes, a former sheriff's deputy, in a search for sanctuary, as they face new threats from both walkers and other (hostile) human survivors. Notable characters from the graphic novels are introduced, including Father Gabriel Stokes, the cannibalistic Hunters from Terminus, Aaron, and Jessie Anderson. It also marks the return of Morgan Jones, who was last seen in the third season's episode "Clear". The first half of the season focuses on the group's escape from Terminus and the rescue of Beth Greene from Grady Memorial Hospital. Part of the group is also traveling to Washington, D.C., in search of a possible cure for the walker virus. Later in the season, the group encounters and joins the Alexandria Safe-Zone: a walled town whose inhabitants have little experience dealing with external threats.[2]

Plot[edit]

Rick and many from his group have been captured at Terminus and are being held prisoner in a boxcar. They learn that their captors engage in cannibalism and lure survivors to the fortified city to satisfy the practice. While Tyreese stays a safe distance away with Rick's child Judith, Carol launches an attack, enabling them to escape while a horde of walkers descends on Terminus. Rick and the others regroup with Carol and Tyreese, and Rick is elated to see that Judith is still alive. They decide not to chase after Gareth and the rest who have survived from his group. Instead, they make plans to escort Eugene to Washington, D.C. in pursuit of a cure that Eugene says exists there.

They find shelter in a nearby church occupied by Father Gabriel Stokes, who has been struggling to cope with his religious beliefs in wake of the walker outbreak. He is also tormented by an event that occurred shortly after the outbreak in which he barricaded himself inside his church refusing to help others being attacked by walkers outside. Meanwhile, Gareth's men have regrouped and stage attacks against the church. Rick and the others manage to finish off Gareth and his group, losing Bob in the process. Daryl, noticing that Carol has grown distant, follows her to a car that she was planning to flee in. As they were talking, a vehicle with the same cross markings of the one that abducted Beth drives past, and both of them drive off in close pursuit.

Rick attempts to convince the group to fortify the church and wait for Carol and Daryl's return, but with D.C. in mind, Abraham presses them to leave. Glenn defuses the situation by offering to go with Abraham while Rick stays behind to wait. Tara and Maggie decide to join them, and Abraham gives Rick a map of the path they plan to take, along with a handwritten note showing his appreciation of Rick's leadership skills. Not long after leaving, however, they find their route completely engulfed by walkers making passage nearly impossible. Amid an argument between Abraham and Glenn, Eugene reveals that he is not a scientist and fabricated the claim about a cure. Rattled by the revelation, Abraham strikes and severely injures Eugene.

Meanwhile, Daryl and Carol have tracked the car to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. Noah, who had escaped from the hospital, tells them that it is run by a group of corrupt police officers led by Dawn. They are using the hospital's scant resources to save as many as they come across, but force those that they save to work as nurses and other laborers in return. In an attempt to save Beth, Carol is run down by a police car and taken to the hospital, where Dawn prohibits Beth from giving her proper care. Daryl and Noah return to the church and enlist the help of the others. Rick and Dawn's groups find themselves in a standoff to exchange Beth for Noah. During the exchange, Beth stabs Dawn, who instinctively reacts by shooting and killing Beth. Dawn is then killed by Daryl and Rick's group solemnly leaves the hospital carrying Beth's body, as Maggie grieves hysterically.

Regrouping at the church, everyone agrees to head north. Noah convinces them to travel to his home community in Virginia that he claims should be well-protected, but when they arrive, they find it has been overrun by walkers. While scavenging the town, Tyreese is killed protecting Noah; Sasha becomes withdrawn after losing her brother. Continuing further down their path, the group encounters a lone traveler by the name of Aaron, who invites them to his home in Alexandria – a walled-off community protected from walkers. Inside they are met by their leader Deanna Monroe, who offers them sanctuary in return for protection. Though the community functions well and benefits from solar power and clean water, they lack the necessary training to survive outside the walls. During a run, one of Deanna's sons, Aiden, is killed and Glenn, Noah and Nicholas are trapped in a revolving door. Though Eugene manages to lead the walkers outside away using the vans radio, Nicholas panics and abandons Glenn and Noah, and Noah is subsequently devoured by the walkers. Deanna assigns members of Rick's group to different roles throughout the community and convinces others within her inner circle that Rick's group is critical to their survival. The idea doesn't sit well with some of Alexandria's inhabitants. Rick's group discovers evidence that a savage group of human survivors known as the Wolves are located nearby.

Rick discovers that Jessie Anderson's husband Pete who suffers from alcoholism has been abusing her, and under Deanna's request, kills him during a violent episode in which Pete accidentally kills Deanna's husband. The rest of the community witnesses everything in horror. Meanwhile, Rick's group has been followed by Morgan Jones, the first survivor Rick encountered after waking up from his coma. Morgan, who was hot on Rick's trail earlier, discovered the map that Abraham left at the church and the note addressed to Rick, and has been following them since. He walks up to Rick just as he shoots Pete.

Cast[edit]

Main cast[edit]

The primary characters from the fifth season include (from left to right): Glenn, Maggie, Tara, Carol, Bob, Sasha, Tyreese, Rick, Daryl, Michonne, Carl, Beth, Abraham, Rosita and Eugene. Not included are Gareth and Gabriel.

The fifth season features 17 series regulars: 10 of the actors are featured in the opening credits; the other seven are credited as "also starring". Michael Cudlitz, who portrays Sgt. Abraham Ford, is added in the opening sequence after being listed as recurring in the previous season, as are Emily Kinney and Chad L. Coleman, who portray Beth Greene and Tyreese, respectively, after previously being credited as "also starring". Credited as "also starring" are Josh McDermitt, Christian Serratos, Alanna Masterson, and Andrew J. West, who were promoted to series regulars after being listed as recurring in the previous season,[3][4] and Seth Gilliam joins as a series regular as Father Gabriel Stokes.[5][6] Kinney and Coleman's names are removed from the opening credits after episode 9; they are added back in episode 13 for a brief flashback scene.

Starring[edit]

  • Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, the series' primary protagonist, who has recently overcome a struggle to balance his brutality with humanity. Lincoln also voices the role of a radio broadcaster, using his natural accent in the episode "What Happened and What's Going On".[7]
  • Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, the group's primary hunter who has overcome his past issues with abuse.[8]
  • Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee, a former pizza delivery boy has undergone a maturation and is now Maggie's husband. He acts as one of the group's primary supply runners.
  • Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene, Glenn's strong-willed and determined wife who has recently lost her father.
  • Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes, Rick's teenage son, whose recklessness clashes with his morality.
  • Danai Gurira as Michonne, a fierce, katana-wielding survivor who has overcome the trauma of the death of her son and boyfriend, forming a close relationship with the Grimes family.
  • Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, a resourceful and empowered former victim of domestic abuse, who is attempting to rebound from several tragedies.
  • Michael Cudlitz as Sgt. Abraham Ford, a former military sergeant and boyfriend of Rosita. He pursues a mission to take Eugene to Washington, D.C., to find a cure for the walker virus.
  • Emily Kinney as Beth Greene, Maggie's kidnapped younger sister, who has formed a close bond with Daryl since the assault on the prison.
  • Chad L. Coleman as Tyreese Williams, Sasha's older brother, who is tough, compassionate, and places an emphasis on moral reasoning. He struggles to cope with the immoral nature of some of the group's survival tactics and finds it difficult to kill in defense of the group.

Also starring[edit]

  • Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha Williams, Tyreese's fiery younger sister and a former firefighter, who forms a relationship with Bob. Sasha has developed a hardened survival mindset, which occasionally puts her at odds with her brother. She still possesses a compassionate side though it tends to get lost in the heat of the moment.
  • Lawrence Gilliard, Jr. as Bob Stookey, a former army medic and recovering alcoholic, who has formed a close relationship with Sasha. Though initially depressed, which he hides behind a smile, he has developed a renewed sense of optimism after surviving the prison's downfall. He was the sole survivor of two previous groups that were wiped out by walkers.
  • Josh McDermitt as Eugene Porter, a scientist rescued by Abraham who insists on traveling to Washington, D.C., to locate a cure to the walker virus. His timid response during walker attacks has led to several close encounters. He has also formed a bond with Tara and admitting to being attracted to her, despite knowing she's homosexual; he is also attracted to Rosita.
  • Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa, Abraham's girlfriend, who helps escort Eugene to Washington, D.C. and is protective of Tara and Eugene. Though feisty and determined Rosita succumbs to depression easily.
  • Alanna Masterson as Tara Chambler, a former police academy student and ally of The Governor's, the only surviving member of her family. Glenn rescued her following the failed attempt by the Governor to overtake the prison. She forms a friendship with Eugene and often resorts to humor to bolster the group's morale. She is also shown to have a crush on Rosita.
  • Seth Gilliam as Fr. Gabriel Stokes, an Episcopalian priest who lives alone sheltered within his church, encounters Rick's group and offers them refuge. His lack of experience around walkers is due to a struggle with his faith and his preference to hide from the brutality of the world around him. He is also shown to distrust Rick and his group because of his own failure to understand the brutality needed simply to survive in the post-apocalyptic world.[9]
  • Andrew J. West as Gareth, the cannibalistic leader of Terminus, who captures and coerces Rick's group into submission. Gareth professes to have been a good person once, but unknown assailants who captured Terminus shattered his faith when he was first captured, forcing him to resort to cannibalism for survival.

Supporting cast[edit]

Terminus[edit]

  • Chris Coy as Martin, a cannibalistic survivor who becomes part of Gareth's group, "The Hunters", and who forms an antagonism against Tyreese.
  • Denise Crosby as Mary, one of the cannibalistic survivors; Gareth and Alex's mother.
  • Tate Ellington as Alex, a cannibalistic Terminus resident; Mary's son, and Gareth's brother, killed by friendly fire aimed at Rick, in season 4; he appears alive in a flashback and as a corpse in the present.

Grady Memorial Hospital[edit]

  • Tyler James Williams as Noah, a survivor Beth encounters, who originates from a walled community in Richmond, Virginia but was abducted and forced to stay in Grady. He is shown to be very resourceful but has minimal experience in the outside world. He initially feels distant from the group despite their having accepted him as part of the family, but he eventually becomes more settled in with them.
  • Ricky Wayne as Sgt. O'Donnell, a violent and cynical police officer fed up with Dawn's leadership style, despite their having been friends since they were rookies, and who seeks to eliminate her. O'Donnell and Dawn also disagree about how they should conserve their resources, which O'Donnell mainly schemes to use for his selfish uses.
  • Christine Woods as Lt. Dawn Lerner, a sadistic police officer who holds Beth captive and the leader of the officers stationed at Grady Memorial Hospital. She has a vision of "trying to keep society intact", believing that help will eventually come. However, despite her intentions, her manipulative, violent, and obsessive nature antagonizes most of her fellow officers, both good and bad, as well as her captives - most of whom want her dead.
  • Erik Jensen as Dr. Steven Edwards, a scheming doctor secretly working for Lt. Lerner, who takes a liking to Beth. Ironically, he preserves his importance, as the only doctor at Grady, by killing captives ("patients").
  • Teri Wyble as Amanda Shepherd, a police officer and subordinate of Dawn's, who greatly distrusts her and is aware of the paranoid monster Dawn has become. Amanda is far more reasonable than Dawn and will do whatever it takes to avoid bloodshed.
  • Maximiliano Hernández as Sgt. Bob Lamson, a police officer, subordinate, and old friend of Dawn's, who respects Rick and is one of the more compassionate cops at Grady, though he isn't unwilling to use brutality to ensure his own survival. Despite his resentment of Dawn's leadership, Bob is distrusting of strangers.
  • Christopher Matthew Cook as Licari, a police officer and subordinate of Dawn's, who like Shepherd is aware of what she really is and knows how to work around her.
  • Keisha Castle-Hughes as Joan, a survivor Beth encounters who'd been raped by the other cops at Grady and attempted to escape, only to have her arm bitten and forcibly amputated, despite her preference to die.
  • Cullen Moss as Gorman, an abusive and manipulative police officer who "rescued" Beth in the previous season; he rapes the women at Grady and quickly comes to antagonize Beth.

Alexandria Safe-Zone[edit]

  • Ross Marquand as Aaron, a former NGO worker and now recruiter for the Alexandria Safe Zone, who takes in Rick's group and forms a friendship with Daryl based on their both feeling like outsiders in their respective ways; Aaron's is attributable to his homosexuality.
  • Tovah Feldshuh as Deanna Monroe, a fierce yet understanding former Congresswoman, who is now the leader of the Alexandria Safe Zone. Though she is confident Rick's group can help them survive, she is somewhat leery about their increasingly prominent roles in the community.
  • Alexandra Breckenridge as Jessie Anderson, a former hairstylist who lives in Alexandria with her sons, Ron and Sam, and husband, Pete. She helps Rick adjust to the community, and Rick quickly becomes attracted to Jessie, which seems mutual, and they share moments of flirtation. It's later revealed that Pete is abusing her, leading to a brutal conflict between him and Rick.
  • Corey Brill as Pete Anderson, Alexandria's resident surgeon and Jessie's abusive husband; his actions culminate in a conflict between himself and Rick. Because Pete has saved lives, Deanna turns a blind eye to his abusive tendencies towards Jessie, just as Jessie remains unwilling to report or leave Pete; both women hope he'll get better.
  • Jason Douglas as Tobin, the foreman of Alexandria's construction crew, who is willing to let some members of his crew die to preserve the lives of the others.
  • Steve Coulter as Reg Monroe, Deanna's husband and an architect; he built Alexandria's walls and, unlike Deanna, understands Rick's brutality and desires to keep everyone together believing it's the only way to rebuild civilization.
  • Michael Traynor as Nicholas, a supply runner for Alexandria whose cowardly nature has led to other people's getting killed; he forms a bitter grudge against Glenn.
  • Jordan Woods-Robinson as Eric Raleigh, a survivor who lives in Alexandria, and Aaron's boyfriend and former recruiting partner. He, like Eric, is viewed as an outsider for his homosexuality. After Eric's leg injury Daryl replaces him as Aaron's recruiting partner.
  • Major Dodson as Sam Anderson, Jessie and Pete's younger son, who forms an attachment with Carol. He is fully aware of his father's abusive tendencies towards his mother and desires a gun to protect her, much to Jessie's heartbreak.
  • Austin Nichols as Spencer Monroe, Deanna and Reg's younger son and Aiden's brother; he takes a liking to Sasha. Despite having an ego, he is more level headed than Aiden.
  • Austin Abrams as Ron Anderson, Jessie's older son, and a friend of Mikey and Carl's. He is in a relationship with Enid.
  • Daniel Bonjour as Aiden Monroe, Alexandria's chief supply runner, and Deanna and Reg's egotistical elder son; he quickly comes to odds with Glenn over the nature of how to handle supply runs.
  • Katelyn Nacon as Enid, an introverted teenager recruited to Alexandria eight months prior to the arrival of Rick's group; Carl has a crush on her, but she is dating Ron.
  • Elijah Marcano as Mikey, Nicholas' teenage son and a friend of Ron, Carl, and Enid's.
  • Ann Mahoney as Olivia, an Alexandria resident in charge of the community's food and weapons.
  • Ted Huckabee as Bruce, a member of the construction crew who looks up to Abraham.
  • Dahlia Legault as Francine, a tough member of the construction crew whom Tobin is willing to sacrifice, and thus she has a grudge against him.

Miscellaneous[edit]

  • Lennie James as Morgan Jones, the first survivor Rick encountered in season 1. Morgan experienced mental deterioration after losing his son, Duane, but has regained a much healthier mindset; he is willing to hurt people who threaten him but is hesitant to kill them if he doesn't have to, and he isn't afraid to help strangers. Morgan is on a quest to find Rick and has followed Rick's trail from Terminus, to Gabriel's church, to the Wolves' base near Alexandria.
  • David Morrissey as Philip Blake / The Governor, the unstable and maniacal deceased former leader of Woodbury, whose actions destroyed the prison in season 4. The Governor murdered people in Rick's group (including Merle, Hershel, and Andrea) and even his own men in the previous two seasons, until Michonne and Lilly killed him. He appears in an hallucination to Tyreese.
  • Benedict Samuel as Wolves Leader, a cold, greedy, uncaring scavenger. He is a member of the Wolves, who first appear in the season finale. His group is known for killing people and taking their supplies. They carve "W"s on people's foreheads and let them turn into walkers. Showrunner Scott M. Gimple revealed that "Owen" is one of possible names for the character.[10]
  • Brighton Sharbino and Kyla Kenedy as Lizzie and Mika Samuels, two young sisters whom Tyreese and Carol looked after when the prison fell in season 4. However, it soon became clear that Mika was too innocent for her own good, while Lizzie was revealed to have a number of psychological problems, which led to both their deaths. They appear in hallucinations to Tyreese.
  • Robin Lord Taylor as Sam, an inexperienced yet positive minded survivor whom Rick had previously encountered on a supply run but disappeared after his girlfriend Ana was killed by walkers.

Production[edit]

The series was renewed for a fifth season on October 29, 2013.[11] Season 5 began filming on May 5, 2014[12] and finished filming on November 22, 2014.[13] Scott M. Gimple continued the role of showrunner, a position he held since season 4.[11] In January 2015, it was announced that Ross Marquand had been cast in a series regular role, to debut during the second half of the season. It was believed Marquand would play Aaron, a prominent character from the comic series.[14][15] The character debuted in the episode "Them" and his role as Aaron was confirmed.[16] The season finale aired in an expanded 90-minute time slot.[17] Season 5 also introduces prominent characters from the graphic novels including Aaron, Eric, Olivia, Tobin, Bruce, and Nicholas.

The titles of the final five episodes of the season ("Remember", "Forget", "Spend", "Try", and "Conquer"), which feature the characters in Alexandria, refer to William Faulkner's novel The Sound and the Fury, which Dale quotes from in the season 1 episode "Vatos".[18][19]

Writing[edit]

Scott Gimple remarked that the television series would be following its source material more than ever in Season 5, with exceptions including original characters such as Daryl Dixon, and deceased characters from the comics alive in the television series and vice versa.[20][21]

The fifth season adapted material from the comic books "Volume 10: What We Become", "Volume 11: Fear the Hunters", "Volume 12: Life Among Them" and "Volume 13: Too Far Gone".[22][23][24] While the television series has remained faithful, the character of Beth Greene and her story arc have been largely made up for the television series. Despite this, the event in which Rick chases down a man who betrayed the group's trust was a moment from the source material, albeit with a different character.[25]

Episodes[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
(millions)
52 1 "No Sanctuary" Greg Nicotero Scott M. Gimple October 12, 2014 (2014-10-12) 17.29[26]
Carol and Tyreese capture a Terminus ally, Martin, learning their friends have been captured and will likely be eaten by Gareth and the other Terminus survivors. While Tyreese stays back with Judith, Carol leads a horde of walkers which she uses as a distraction while freeing Rick and the others. Once regrouped, the others convince Rick to forget attacking Terminus and instead head towards Washington, D.C.
53 2 "Strangers" David Boyd Robert Kirkman October 19, 2014 (2014-10-19) 15.14[27]
Rick's group saves Father Gabriel Stokes from walkers, and he provides them shelter in his church, though his motives are suspicious, leaving some anxious to continue on. Carol withdraws from the group, followed by Daryl, when they see a car with a white cross on its window, the same as the one Daryl saw abduct Beth, and the two follow it. Bob is captured by the remnants of Terminus survivors led by Gareth, who proceed to amputate and eat his leg.
54 3 "Four Walls and a Roof" Jeffrey F. January Angela Kang & Corey Reed October 26, 2014 (2014-10-26) 13.80[28]
Fr. Gabriel is forced to reveal he had let his congregation be consumed by walkers while he barricaded himself inside, and is now experiencing a crisis of faith. Gareth leaves Bob outside the church, and Rick leads a group to finish off Gareth in retribution. Gareth uses this opportunity to attack the church, but are ambushed and killed by Rick's group. Rick insists they wait for Daryl and Carol's return before leaving, but Abraham and Rosita decide to continue on escorting Eugene to D.C., with Glenn, Maggie, and Tara coming along. Abraham leaves a map for Rick to follow him once he is ready to leave.
55 4 "Slabtown" Michael E. Satrazemis Matthew Negrete & Channing Powell November 2, 2014 (2014-11-02) 14.52[29]
Beth awakes in Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, finding that it is run and protected by police officers, led by Dawn Lerner. Though they provide medical treatment, they force those in their care to help and forgo medical treatment on the weakest. When Beth goes against these policies, she is berated by Dawn. Beth befriends Noah, another patient and the two attempt to escape together. Beth is caught and punished, instructed to kill a corrupt doctor, but just then she sees an unconscious Carol being wheeled into the hospital.
56 5 "Self Help" Ernest Dickerson Heather Bellson & Seth Hoffman November 9, 2014 (2014-11-09) 13.53[30]
Abraham's group heads north, where Eugene's insecurities lead to some conflict within the group. They come across a wide expanse of fields that are filled with walkers, and Abraham and Glenn get into an argument on what to do. During this Eugene reveals that he lied about being a scientist or knowing a cure, only using that to inspire Abraham to help protect him when they first met. Abraham punches Eugene out, and then drops to knees in shock and disbelief.
57 6 "Consumed" Seith Mann Matthew Negrete & Corey Reed November 16, 2014 (2014-11-16) 14.07[31]
Daryl and Carol follow the car to Atlanta, where they have their gear stolen by Noah. They discover the white cross vehicles are from Grady Memorial, and use a building across the street to study the hospital. There, they encounter Noah again, who apologizes and gives back their gear, as well as telling them about Beth. With the police from the hospital en route to their building, the three escape, but Carol is hit by a speeding police car and taken to the hospital.
58 7 "Crossed" Billy Gierhart Seth Hoffman November 23, 2014 (2014-11-23) 13.33[32]
Though Dawn believes Carol is a lost cause and orders treatment to be denied, Beth is able to provide her with life-saving medicine. Daryl and Noah return to the church to recruit Rick and others to rescue Beth. The group returns to Atlanta and devise a plan to capture some of the police officers to use as a trade for Carol and Beth.
59 8 "Coda" Ernest Dickerson Angela Kang November 30, 2014 (2014-11-30) 14.81[33]
At the church, Fr. Gabriel inadvertently leads a group of walkers to it, but Abraham and his group arrive in time to protect the others. They all agree to head to Atlanta to help, abandoning the church. In Atlanta, Rick negotiates to trade the captured officers for Carol and Beth. In the trade confrontation, Beth stabs Dawn, who instinctively shoots and kills Beth; Daryl reacts by killing Dawn. The groups stand down and Rick's group leave the hospital with Carol and Beth's corpse, eventually meeting with Abraham's group.
60 9 "What Happened and What's Going On" Greg Nicotero Scott M. Gimple February 8, 2015 (2015-02-08) 15.64[34]
Rick's group heads north, and a small group of Rick, Tyreese, Glenn, and Michonne take Noah to his hometown community which he claims was protected. They find the community has been overrun with walkers, and Noah panics; Tyreese is bitten by a walker while protecting him. Tyreese has visions of several now-dead survivors, while Michonne amputates the bitten arm. Despite this, Tyreese dies as they race back to join the others.
61 10 "Them" Julius Ramsay Heather Bellson February 15, 2015 (2015-02-15) 12.27[35]
The group's vehicle breaks down, forcing them to continue on foot towards D.C. After a run-in with a small horde of walkers and feral dogs, and with a storm approaching and a number of the group starting to fall apart emotionally, Rick suggests the group take shelter in a small barn. They find a number of water containers with a note say are from a "friend", but Rick is wary and orders them to avoid it. The storm is violent and has drawn a horde of walkers to the barn, which they manage to fend off. When they wake the next morning, they are approached by Aaron, identifying himself as a "friend".
62 11 "The Distance" Larysa Kondracki Seth Hoffman February 22, 2015 (2015-02-22) 13.44[36]
Aaron tells Rick's group about Alexandria, a walled safe zone, and that he wants them to "audition" to join their community. Despite Aaron telling them truthfully of vehicles waiting nearby to take them to Alexandria, Rick remains distrustful, fearing a repeat of Woodbury and Terminus. Michonne convinces Rick that they should at least check it out. After dealing with walkers, Aaron leads the group to Alexandria's gates.
63 12 "Remember" Greg Nicotero Channing Powell March 1, 2015 (2015-03-01) 14.43[37]
Rick's group turn over their weapons before meeting with Alexandria's leader, Deanna. She gives them individual private interviews, and assigns them quarters to wait out their decision. The group starts to integrate with the other Alexandria survivors, finding they are generally ill-prepared for dealing with walkers. Deanna allows Rick's group to stay and gives Rick and Michonne constable duties as a show of trust, but Rick confides to Carol that they will take over if the community fails to protect itself.
64 13 "Forget" David Boyd Corey Reed March 8, 2015 (2015-03-08) 14.53[38]
Though Rick's group is welcomed to the community, Rick, Daryl, and Carol meet privately to discuss how to recover and stash their weapons from the Alexandria armory as backup plans should they need to exert control.
65 14 "Spend" Jennifer Lynch Matthew Negrete March 15, 2015 (2015-03-15) 13.78[39]
Abraham takes control of the Alexandria construction crew after helping to rescue them from walkers, while an attempt to obtain equipment to repair the community's solar panels leads to the death of both Aiden, Deanna's son, and Noah. Deanna observes that members of Rick's group seem to be taking more charge of the community; Fr. Gabriel warns Deanna that Rick's group is dangerous. Carol determines that Pete, the town's surgeon, is abusing his wife Jessie and son Sam, and suggests to Rick he might have to kill Pete.
66 15 "Try" Michael E. Satrazemis Angela Kang March 22, 2015 (2015-03-22) 13.76[40]
Deanna and Rick blame each other for the deaths of Aiden and Noah. Carol continues to collect evidence on Pete to give to Rick. When Rick confronts Deanna, she reveals she was aware of the abuse but could not act given Pete's importance to the community. Rick tries to approach Jessie privately to offer his protection, but Pete interrupts, leading to a public confrontation between Rick and Deanna, Rick asserting Alexandria's residents have grown too complacent to survive. Michonne knocks Rick out before he can harm Pete.
67 16 "Conquer" Greg Nicotero Scott M. Gimple & Seth Hoffman March 29, 2015 (2015-03-29) 15.78[41]
Deanna prepares to hold a meeting to discuss exiling Rick for his last outburst, and Rick prepares his group to move into action should they decide to do so. Daryl and Aaron discover that the Wolves, a group of scavengers camping near Alexandria, threaten the community, and come across Morgan Jones, who has been following Rick's trail for the last several months. As the meeting starts, Rick discovers some walkers inside the community, allowed in inadvertently by Fr. Gabriel, and shows one of the bodies to the gathered Alexanderians, showing their community is not safe and they need his help to survive. Pete, drunk, barges the meeting and kills Deanna's husband. Distraught, Deanna orders Rick to execute Pete. Rick shoots and kills Pete, just as Daryl, Aaron, and Morgan arrive.

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The fifth season has received widespread critical acclaim. Based on 36 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, season 5 received an average 95% overall "Certified Fresh" approval rating; the website's consensus states, "Thanks to a liberal dose of propulsive, bloody action and enough compelling character moments to reward longtime fans, The Walking Dead's fifth season continues to deliver top-notch entertainment."[42] On Metacritic, the season has a score of 80 out of 100 based on 11 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[43] Brian Lowry of Variety gave the fifth season premiere a positive review, saying: "After the (rather too) long and winding road to Terminus, 'The Walking Dead' opens its fifth season in spectacular fashion, a dazzling adrenaline rush filled with suspense, righteous violence and, before it's all over, genuine emotion. Imbued with cinematic touches, the only downside to this breathtaking episode is pondering what the creative brain trust can do for an encore. Still, AMC's megahit finds itself in a very good place, from the current makeup of its ever-evolving cast to the latitude it has earned to take unexpected detours. Given the hype surrounding the series, it's still impressive to see the producers deliver such a feast."[44]

Several critics have felt the fifth season has been a huge improvement to its preceding seasons. Todd VanDerWerff for Vox, wrote: "...it's not unprecedented for a series to have its best season in its fifth year, but it's definitely strange for a show to make this big of a leap this late in its run." He praised all aspects of the storytelling and conception of the fifth season, singling out the action, themes, characters, advanced storylines, newly introduced anthology character-focused episodes, and overall improvements to the material the show has always worked with.[45]

Similarly, writing for Grantland, Andy Greenwald praised Scott M. Gimple as showrunner, particularly noting him as an improvement to Glen Mazzara and Frank Darabont, as well as praising the increase in minorities and resulting racial diversity among the main cast. He further commented: "Gimple has also done wonders with the characters he inherited", and singled out characters such as Beth Greene and Tyreese, praising their newly established complexities and character evolution. The constantly shifting environments and surrounding threats were also noted and lauded.[46] Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club in his review of "Consumed", summarized the season as a whole, saying: "This is a large part of why The Walking Dead has gotten so good this season: The writers have found a way to exploit subtext and history in compelling, haunting ways."[47]

Laura Prudom of Variety on her review of "Conquer" commented that "...season five represents a marked improvement over the stagnation of previous years, with the promise of Alexandria breathing new life into the series, offering our group a form of opposition that isn't inherently wrong, unlike The Governor or the Termites." She assessed it as having "arguably been "The Walking Dead's" best yet, propelled by compulsive story threads and fascinating character dynamics".[48]

Accolades[edit]

For the 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards, the series was nominated for Best Stunt Team.[49]

For the 41st Saturn Awards, the series received seven nominations and three wins: the show won for Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series, Andrew Lincoln won for Best Actor on Television, and Melissa McBride won for Best Supporting Actress on Television. Nominations included Norman Reedus for Best Supporting Actor on Television, Emily Kinney for Best Supporting Actress on Television, Chandler Riggs for Best Performance by a Younger Actor on Television, and Andrew J. West for Best Guest Starring Role on Television.[50]

Broadcast[edit]

The first half of the season premiered on Fox International Channels on October 13, 2014.[51] Episodes air a day later than in the United States. The second half debuted on February 9, 2015.[52]

Home media releases[edit]

The fifth season was released on Blu-ray and DVD in region 1/A on August 25, 2015. Special features include "Inside The Walking Dead" and "The Making of The Walking Dead" featurettes for every episode; eight other featurettes titled, "Beth's Journey", "Bob's Journey", "Noah's Journey", "Tyreese's Journey", "A Day in the Life of Michael Cudlitz", "A Day in the Life of Josh McDermitt", and "Rotters in the Flesh"; deleted scenes; and audio commentaries with cast and crew.[53] A special limited edition Blu-ray packaging set, featuring the "asphalt" walker, designed by Greg Nicotero and sculpted by McFarlane Toys, was released on December 1, 2015.[54]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]