The Walking Dead (season 5)

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The Walking Dead (season 5)
Walking Dead Season 5 Poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 16
Original channel AMC
Original release October 12, 2014 (2014-10-12) – March 29, 2015 (2015-03-29)
Season chronology
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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 and the cannibalistic Hunters from Terminus. 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]


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.


  • 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. (14 episodes)
  • 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. (12 episodes)
  • 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. (13 episodes)
  • Emily Kinney as Beth Greene, Maggie's kidnapped younger sister, who has formed a close bond with Daryl since the assault on the prison. (5 episodes)
  • Chad L. Coleman as Tyreese, 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. (8 episodes)

Also starring[edit]

  • Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha, 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. (12 episodes)
  • 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. (4 episodes)
  • Josh McDermitt as Dr. 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. (12 episodes)
  • 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. (14 episodes)
  • Alanna Masterson as Tara Chambler, a former ally of The Governor's and 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. (12 episodes)
  • Seth Gilliam as Fr. Gabriel Stokes, a 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] (10 episodes)
  • 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. (3 episodes)

Supporting cast[edit]


  • Chris Coy as Martin, a cannibalistic survivor who becomes part of Gareth's group, "The Hunters", and who forms an antagonism against Tyreese. (4 episodes)
  • Denise Crosby as Mary, one of the cannibalistic survivors, and Gareth and Alex's mother. (1 episode)
  • Tate Ellington as Alex, a cannibalistic Terminus resident, Mary's son, and Gareth's brother who was killed by Rick last season; he appears alive in a flashback and as a corpse in the present. (1 episode)

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. (10 episodes)
  • 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. (4 episodes)
  • 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. (3 episodes)
  • 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"). (3 episodes)
  • Teri Wyble as Amanda Shepherd, a police officer and subordinate of Dawn's, who greatly distrusts her and is aware of the paranoid monster she has become. She is far more reasonable and will do whatever it takes to avoid bloodshed. (3 episodes)
  • 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. (2 episodes)
  • 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. (2 episodes)
  • 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. (1 episode)
  • Cullen Moss as Gorman, an abusive and manipulative police officer who "rescued" Beth in the previous season but rapes the women at Grady and quickly comes to antagonize Beth. (1 episode)

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. (6 episodes)
  • 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. (5 episodes)
  • Alexandra Breckenridge as Jessie Anderson, a former hairstylist who lives in Alexandria with her sons, Ron and Sam, and husband, Pete, who helps Rick adjust to the community. Rick quickly becomes attracted to Jessie, which seems mutual, and they continue to share moments of flirtation. It's later revealed that Pete is abusing her, leading to a brutal conflict between the two men. (5 episodes)
  • 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. (5 episodes)
  • Corey Brill as Pete Anderson, Alexandria's resident surgeon and Jessie's abusive husband, whose 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. (5 episodes)
  • 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. (4 episodes)
  • Jordan Woods-Robinson as Eric Raleigh, a survivor who lives in Alexandria, and Aaron's boyfriend and former recruiting partner who like Eric is also viewed as an outsider for his homosexuality. After Eric's leg injury Daryl replaces him as Aaron's recruiting partner. (4 episodes)
  • 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. (4 episodes)
  • Steve Coulter as Reg Monroe, Deanna's husband and an architect, who built Alexandria's walls and who, unlike Deanna, understands Rick's brutality and desires to keep everyone together believing it's the only way to rebuild civilization. (4 episodes)
  • Austin Nichols as Spencer Monroe, Deanna's youngest son and Aiden's brother, who takes a liking to Sasha. Despite having an ego, he is more level headed than Aiden. (3 episodes)
  • Austin Abrams as Ron Anderson, Jessie's oldest son, and a friend of Mikey and Carl's. He is in a relationship with Enid. (3 episodes)
  • Daniel Bonjour as Aiden Monroe, Alexandria's chief supply runner and Deanna's egotistical elder son who quickly comes to odds with Glenn over the nature of how to handle supply runs. (2 episodes)
  • Katelyn Nacon as Enid, an introverted teenager recruited to Alexandria eight months prior to the arrival of Rick's group, whom Carl has a crush on, but she is dating Ron. (2 episodes)
  • Elijah Marcano as Mikey, Nicholas' teenage son and a friend of Ron, Carl, and Enid's. (2 episodes)
  • Ann Mahoney as Olivia, an Alexandria resident who is in charge of the community's food and weapons. (2 episodes)
  • Ted Huckabee as Bruce, a member of the construction crew who looks up to Abraham. (2 episodes)
  • 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. (2 episodes)


  • Lennie James as Morgan Jones, the first survivor Rick encountered in season one. Morgan has experienced mental deterioration after losing his son, Duane. He has since 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. (3 episodes)
  • David Morrissey as Philip Blake / The Governor, the unstable and maniacal deceased former leader of Woodbury, whose actions destroyed the prison in the previous season. 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. (1 episode)
  • Brighton Sharbino and Kyla Kenedy as Lizzie and Mika Samuels, two deceased young survivors whom Tyreese and Carol looked after when the prison fell in season four. 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. (1 episode)
  • 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. (1 episode)
  • Benedict Samuel as Alpha Wolf, 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. They are responsible for destroying Noah's community. (1 episode)


The series was renewed for a fifth season on October 29, 2013.[10] Season 5 began filming on May 5, 2014[11] and finished filming on November 22, 2014.[12] Scott M. Gimple continued the role of showrunner, a position he held since season 4.[10] 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.[13][14] The character debuted in the episode "Them" and his role as Aaron was confirmed.[15] The season finale aired in an expanded 90-minute time slot.[16] 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".[17][18]


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.[19][20]

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".[21][22][23] 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.[24]


No. in
Title  Directed by  Written by  Original air date  U.S. viewers
52 1 "No Sanctuary" Greg Nicotero Scott M. Gimple October 12, 2014 (2014-10-12) 17.29[25]
Flashbacks show the Terminus inhabitants being assaulted by marauders and held in a train car before their leader, Gareth, declares their need to become "butchers" in order to take back their sanctuary. In the present, Carol and Tyreese learn from a Terminus ally, Martin, that the rest of their group is being held captive in Terminus. Carol heads off to rescue Rick's group, while Tyreese stays behind with Martin and Judith. Carol causes an explosion that sets parts of Terminus ablaze, attracts a nearby herd of walkers, and averts the executions of Rick, Daryl, Glenn, and Bob, who use the opportunity to escape after discovering Terminus' inhabitants are murderous cannibals. They fight their way through the herd of walkers and the Terminus inhabitants, and rescue the rest of their group from the train car, while Gareth leads his surviving men out of Terminus. After Rick's proposal to pursue Gareth's men is rejected, Rick's group reunites with Carol, Judith, and Tyreese, who claims to have killed Martin after the latter threatened Judith's life. The group proceeds to places unknown, with Abraham intending to deliver Eugene to Washington, D.C. to cure the walker virus. Rick covers up a Terminus sign and labels it "No Sanctuary". In a post-credits scene, Morgan Jones discovers the sign.
53 2 "Strangers" David Boyd Robert Kirkman October 19, 2014 (2014-10-19) 15.14[26]
While trekking through the woods, the group encounters a priest, Father Gabriel Stokes, whom Rick immediately distrusts after Stokes claims to have never killed any walkers or people. Fr. Gabriel leads the group to his church for shelter, despite Abraham's belief this would slow down their journey to Washington. Fr. Gabriel, who had survived on canned goods from a fortuitously-timed food drive, directs Rick to a food bank which has supplies but is overrun with walkers. Rick ultimately decides to travel to the food bank with Michonne, Bob, Sasha, and a reluctant Fr. Gabriel. Upon their arrival, Rick's group dispatches several walkers in a flooded area, but Bob is caught in a scuffle with a decayed walker before Sasha vanquishes it. Later that day, Carl discovers writing on the church's exterior which reads: "You'll burn for this", further raising the group's suspicions of Fr. Gabriel. During a dinner that night in the church, Abraham expresses the need to continue to Washington, and Rick finally agrees to participate in the mission; Tara confesses to Maggie that she was among the Governor's army, but Maggie reassures her of her position within the group. Rick thanks Fr. Gabriel for his hospitality but also threatens to kill him should anything he is hiding cause harm to the group. Carol, who feels uneasy after having killed Karen and Dave at the prison, and Lizzie at the grove, attempts to withdraw from the group, but Daryl follows her to an abandoned car they had fixed earlier. Another car speeds past, and Daryl notices that it has the same white cross painted on the window as the one that drove away with Beth; therefore, the two decide to follow it. Bob, who went outside the church to weep, is captured by Gareth's small band of Terminus survivors, which includes a still-alive Martin. Upon awakening, Bob realizes his leg has been amputated and is being eaten by Gareth's group of "hunters".
54 3 "Four Walls and a Roof" Jeffrey F. January Angela Kang & Corey Reed October 26, 2014 (2014-10-26) 13.80[27]
Gareth continues to taunt Bob and threaten his group, but Bob begins laughing hysterically and reveals that he was bitten by the walker in the food bank, and they are eating "tainted meat". At the church, Sasha and Rick confront Fr. Gabriel about the disappearances of Bob, Daryl, and Carol and demand that he reveal his secret. Fr. Gabriel tearfully tells the group that he locked many people from his church, including his own congregation, outside and left them to die at the hands of walkers, and he believes Rick's group was sent to punish him. The group then hears a whistle and discovers an incapacitated Bob outside the church, deposited there by Gareth's group. Bob reveals he was bitten and tells them all he knows about the Hunters. Abraham wishes to leave with Eugene immediately on the church bus, but Rick demands that they stay to retaliate against the Hunters, and wait for Daryl and Carol to return. Their disagreement becomes heated and nearly violent before Glenn defuses the situation by agreeing to assist his group (alongside Maggie and Tara) if Abraham will stay for 12 hours to help them. After Rick, Abraham, Sasha, Maggie, Glenn, Tara, and Michonne set off to Gareth's hideout, the Hunters break into the church in attempt to kill the remaining members who stayed behind, However, Rick's group ambushes them, kills two of Gareth's men, and shoots off two of Gareth's fingers. Despite Gareth's explaining his group's motives, Rick, Sasha, Abraham, and Michonne slaughter him, Martin, and the rest of the Hunters. The following morning, the group bids their goodbyes to Bob before he dies, and Tyreese stabs him in the head to prevent reanimation. After burying Bob, the group parts ways with Abraham's band. Abraham leaves a map for Rick that includes an apology. That night, Michonne encounters Daryl returning to the church and asks him where Carol is; Daryl pauses and then calls for someone to come out of the bush behind him.
55 4 "Slabtown" Michael E. Satrazemis Matthew Negrete & Channing Powell November 2, 2014 (2014-11-02) 14.52[28]
Beth awakens in Grady Memorial Hospital, in the middle of Atlanta. Officer Dawn Lerner, who is in charge of the hospital, assigns her as a nurse under Dr. Steven Edwards, the hospital's remaining doctor, and she claims her officers rescued Beth from walkers the night she was separated from Daryl. Dawn enforces a policy requiring the people her fellow officers rescue to work under them before being rescued by the military, and to dispose of injured people who threaten the hospital's scarce medical resources. However, when a heavily injured man, Gavin Trevitt, is brought in Dawn insists that Edwards save him at all costs. When Dr. Stevens deems Trevitt a lost cause, Dawn retaliates by hitting Beth. Beth encounters another worker, Joan, who has been bitten and recaptured after a failed escape, and is forced to help Dawn and Edwards amputate Joan's bitten arm. Later, Beth meets Noah, a laundry worker, who explains that the officers save only weak people and that he wishes to escape to his walled community in Virginia. An officer, Gorman, begins making sexual advances towards Beth, only to be stopped by Edwards. When Beth asks Edwards why he remains in the hospital despite its bad conditions, he replies that it is still better inside than in the overrun Atlanta. He tells Beth to give Trevitt a dose of Clozapine, which causes Trevitt to seize and flatline. Dawn confronts Beth about Trevitt's death, but Noah takes the blame and is beaten by the officers as punishment. Beth becomes confused when Edwards questions her about giving the correct drug, Clonazepam. Beth and Noah formulate a plan to escape the hospital through the elevator shaft. While hunting for the elevator shaft key in Dawn's office, Beth encounters the body of Joan, who has killed herself by reopening her amputation wound, and Gorman, who tries to blackmail her into performing sexual acts. Beth complies, in order to buy time for Joan's reanimation, and then smashes Gorman's head with a glass jar before he is eaten by the zombified Joan. Beth and Noah then proceed to exit through the shaft and fight their way through walkers; although she is tackled by an officer, Beth smiles after seeing Noah has successfully escaped. Beth berates Dawn for letting things happen for nothing, and Dawn retaliates by knocking her out. Beth later confronts Edwards about deliberately using her to kill Trevitt, another doctor, who would have threatened Edwards' position in the hospital. As Beth prepares to kill Edwards in the hallway, she sees an unconscious Carol wheeled in on a stretcher.
56 5 "Self Help" Ernest Dickerson Heather Bellson & Seth Hoffman November 9, 2014 (2014-11-09) 13.53[29]
In flashbacks, Abraham kills several men who have assaulted his family. Frightened, his family abandons him while he's sleeping, and Abraham soon discovers they've been eaten by walkers. He prepares to shoot himself when he encounters Eugene, who is being attacked by walkers. After being saved, Eugene tells Abraham he's on a very important mission, an obvious lie used to enlist Abraham's continued protection. In the present, a damaged engine in the church bus disrupts Abraham's view, leading the bus to flip over when it collides with a car. The group escapes just before the bus bursts into flames, and they find shelter in a nearby library. That night, Eugene watches Abraham and Rosita have sex. He's discovered by Tara, to whom he confesses that he intentionally sabotaged the bus. When asked why he did it, Eugene reveals his fear of being outcast from the group even if he were able to save the world. Tara reassures him that he is a friend, and the group would never do that, regardless of the outcome; she offers to keep his involvement in the bus crash a secret. The next morning, the group locates a fire truck; they are able to get it running but are forced to stop after spotting hundreds of walkers ahead on their route. Abraham pressures the group to move forward, while Glenn begs him to find a safer route. Refusing to comply, Abraham drags Eugene towards the truck out of frustration, causing a scuffle amongst the group that results in Eugene's confessing that he's not a scientist and that he sabotaged the church bus. To the shocked group, Eugene explains that he used his intelligence and his ability to lie to convince Abraham to lead him to Washington, D.C., which he believes is the best possible place to survive. An enraged Abraham punches and knocks out Eugene, nearly killing him after he falls face-first into the pavement. Abraham then walks away and collapses to his knees shortly afterward, in shock and disbelief.
57 6 "Consumed" Seith Mann Matthew Negrete & Corey Reed November 16, 2014 (2014-11-16) 14.07[30]
Daryl and Carol follow a car marked with crosses to Atlanta. Their car runs out of gas, however, and the pair is forced to spend the night in a nearby women's shelter – one where Carol had stayed before. The next morning, they travel downtown and ascend a tall office building to get a better view of the city. Daryl spots a van with similar white crosses hanging over a bridge. On the way to check it out they are ambushed by Noah, who steals their weapons and runs off, leaving them to fend for themselves, as several walkers attack. Carol attempts to shoot Noah with a pistol she is still armed with, but Daryl knocks her just as she shoots, causing her to miss. The pair decides to continue on to the van. Inside, a label on a gurney leads them to believe the group they're following is based out of Grady Memorial Hospital. Walkers surround the van, trapping Daryl and Carol inside. They brace themselves as they intentionally rock the van off the ledge, survive the fall, and begin traveling towards the hospital. They enter a courthouse across the street to plan their next move. Gunfire erupts, and they discover it's from Noah, who is being attacked by walkers inside the building. Daryl reclaims their weapons and pins Noah down under a bookshelf, with the intention of leaving him behind. Carol insists on rescuing Noah, and Daryl reluctantly gives in. Noah reveals that he knows Beth, and that she helped him escape from the hospital. They decide to work together to free Beth, but Noah warns that the police will be coming soon to investigate the gunfire. As they evacuate the building, the police hit Carol with their car. Undetected, Noah restrains Daryl to keep them hidden, while Carol is placed on a gurney and loaded into the car. Noah assures him that those who took Carol have medicine and a doctor who will treat her. Noah and Daryl commandeer a truck and travel towards the church to enlist Rick and the rest of the group's help.
58 7 "Crossed" Billy Gierhart Seth Hoffman November 23, 2014 (2014-11-23) 13.33[31]
After helping Carl and Michonne fortify the church, Rick, Sasha, and Tyreese accompany Daryl and Noah to Atlanta, to rescue Beth and Carol. Despite Carl's offering to teach him self-defense, Gabriel locks himself in a room and secretly flees the church. At the hospital, Beth desperately seeks help for Carol, but Dawn is unwilling to use her resources. Dawn eventually relents and secretly gives Beth the key to the medicine cabinet. Confronted by Beth, Dr. Stevens tells her that a dose of epinephrine may save Carol, although he warns her that Dawn didn't give her the key out of kindness. She administers the medicine to Carol and stays by her side. Meanwhile, Maggie tends to an unconscious Eugene and a catatonic Abraham, while Rosita, Glenn, and Tara retrieve water and catch fish. Rosita describes how she met Abraham and Eugene. After sheltering a still unconscious Eugene from the sun, Maggie tries to persuade Abraham to have a bottle of water. Eugene awakens shortly afterward. In Atlanta, Rick proposes to invade the hospital to quickly retrieve Beth and Carol, but Tyreese insists they capture several police officers to use in trade, instead. Deciding to execute Tyreese's plan, the group engages in a short scuffle that leads to the capture of three police officers. Officer Lamson, who Noah says is "one of the good ones", offers advice to Rick on how to make the trade effective. Tyreese gives solace and comfort to Sasha, who is still mourning the loss of Bob. Lamson, recognizing what's going on, takes advantage of Sasha's condition. He tells her about a nearby walker that was his police partner, who died in the napalm bombing of Atlanta. Sasha offers take the walker out, and while she aims her rifle, Lamson knocks her out by ramming her into the window, and escapes.
59 8 "Coda" Ernest Dickerson Angela Kang November 30, 2014 (2014-11-30) 14.81[32]
Lamson is chased by Rick, who hits him with his car and shoots him. The remaining officers being held captive agree to lie to Dawn about Lamson's death in order to push through the deal. Gabriel explores the old camp used by Gareth's men, where he is horrified by Bob's roasted leg on the barbecue pit. Walkers break out of a nearby school and follow him to the church, where Carl and Michonne fend off the horde. When the walkers enter the church, the three escape through Gabriel's secret exit. Abraham's group arrives shortly afterward to help end the attack. Glenn tells Michonne that Eugene lied about the cure, and Michonne reveals to the group that they know where Beth is. Meanwhile, Dawn is opening up to Beth, explaining to her that covering up recent events surrounding Gorman's death and Carol's situation was for her protection. Officer O'Donnell is nearby eavesdropping on their conversation and attempts to blackmail Dawn. Beth and Dawn work together to kill him. Continuing their earlier conversation, Beth accuses Dawn of covering up her actions in order to defend her reputation. Beth tells Dawn her intention to escape, just like Noah, but Dawn retorts, saying she knows Noah will return. Rick's group proposes a trade with Dawn, and both groups meet at the hospital. The officers are traded for Carol and Beth, but Dawn changes the terms by demanding Noah's return. Despite Rick's refusal, Noah volunteers to stay. Beth confronts Dawn, stabbing her with scissors Beth had hidden earlier. Dawn instinctively shoots Beth dead, then displays shock and remorse. Enraged, Daryl kills Dawn immediately. Both groups engage in a standoff; however, the officers decide to stand down, as they knew Dawn was unraveling. Noah rejoins the group as they leave the hospital and meet up with Abraham's group. Maggie breaks down after seeing Daryl carrying Beth's body. In a post-credits scene, Morgan explores Gareth's camp and Fr. Gabriel's church, where he finds the map Abraham left for Rick.
60 9 "What Happened and What's Going On" Greg Nicotero Scott M. Gimple February 8, 2015 (2015-02-08) 15.64[33]
The group is still reeling from the tragedy at Grady Memorial Hospital. Rick, Tyreese, Glenn, and Michonne decide to take Noah back to his hometown near Richmond, Virginia, in honor of Beth who was planning to help him get there. Upon arriving, however, they discover that the walled community has been overrun by walkers and see no signs of any survivors. Noah breaks down, then sprints to his family’s home with Tyreese in pursuit, only to find the remains of his mother and twin brothers inside. While Tyreese is surveying a bedroom, he's bitten in the arm by one of Noah's brothers, now a walker. Noah dispatches his brother and runs off to get the others, who are scavenging the neighborhood for supplies. Tyreese suffers severe blood loss and begins to hallucinate, having imagined conversations with Martin, Bob, The Governor, Lizzie, Mika, and Beth. His strength and character are challenged by Martin and The Governor, while the others try to reassure him that everything's going to be alright. Elsewhere, Michonne continues to express her desire to settle in one place and to fortify the town, but Rick argues that the town is indefensible. Michonne then recommends going to Washington, D.C., as their best chance for survival, arguing that Eugene may have lied about the cure, but his belief that Washington holds the best odds is true. Rick nods in agreement as they are alerted by Noah's screams for help. Michonne amputates Tyreese's bitten arm, and they escape from an attacking horde of walkers. During the ride back, goaded by visions of Beth, Bob, Lizzie, and Mika, Tyreese dies. He is buried, and Gabriel presides over the funeral.
61 10 "Them" Julius Ramsay Heather Bellson February 15, 2015 (2015-02-15) 12.27[34]
On their journey to Washington, D.C., the group's van breaks down, forcing them to travel on foot. They are exhausted and dehydrated due to dwindling supplies, and they begin to question their chances of survival. They continue to be disheartened by the untimely deaths of Beth and Tyreese. After traveling for miles, with a herd of walkers dangerously close behind, Rick orchestrates a plan to eliminate the walkers by luring them off the end of a bridge. However, Sasha dispatches them with her knife, forcing the group to abandon the plan and take on the walkers head-on; Michonne continues to chastise Sasha for her recklessness and warns her that Sasha might end up like her brother. While the group is resting, a pack of feral dogs arrives; the dogs are swiftly eliminated by Sasha and eaten by the group. Despite being comforted by Carol, a grieving and emotionally numb Daryl begins to self-inflict pain. After discovering a barn in the woods, Daryl rejoins the survivors, who are suspicious of water bottles left in the middle of the road with a note indicating that they came from "friend". Believing the water is a trap, the group agrees not to risk drinking it for the time being. Rain begins to pour, and the group rejoices by catching the rainwater with their mouths before realizing that the rainfall has escalated into a violent thunderstorm. They take the water bottles before hiding in the barn Daryl found. That night, Rick tells the group they have to live with reality, to "do what [they] have to do", and to tell themselves they "are the walking dead". Daryl looks outside the entrance to see that a herd of walkers has converged; the group works together to fend them off. The next morning, the storm has decimated the walkers, and Maggie and Sasha decide to travel outside to watch the sunrise. The two are approached by a man named Aaron, who identifies himself as the "friend" and asks to talk to Rick.
62 11 "The Distance" Larysa Kondracki Seth Hoffman February 22, 2015 (2015-02-22) 13.44[35]
Aaron tells the group he is from the Alexandria Safe Zone and shows them pictures, trying to convince them to join him and "audition for membership". Rick, however, distrusts Aaron and knocks him unconscious. When Aaron awakens, he finds he has been tied up. Rick and the others have searched through his bag and found a flare gun. Aaron reveals that the gun is to be used to signal his partner, who is outside nearby. He also reveals that they have two vehicles nearby that are large enough to transport them all back to the safe zone. Michonne convinces Rick that they should see if Aaron is telling the truth about the vehicles, and when they find he has, she pressures Rick to go to the safe zone. Rick confides in her that he's scared of losing his family, and that he doesn't know if he can go through with visiting the safe zone, reasoning that Woodbury and Terminus appeared to be safe havens but were sinister. Michonne convinces him to give it a chance and he agrees, but only if they take an alternate route. Aaron advises against it, as they have not cleared the area of straggling walkers. They leave at night and hit a herd of walkers in the middle of the road. After escaping the walkers, Rick, Glenn, Aaron, and Michonne meet up with the rest of the group, from which they were separated. Aaron is reunited with his partner, Eric, who was rescued by the other group after shooting his flare gun. The next morning, Rick's group arrives at the Alexandria Safe Zone.
63 12 "Remember" Greg Nicotero Channing Powell March 1, 2015 (2015-03-01) 14.43[36]
Rick and the group enter Alexandria and are instructed to surrender their weapons. The group meets with Deanna, the leader of the safe zone, who interviews the group members individually and records their conversations. Rick, during his interview, warns her not to accept strangers into the community and tells her how the world has changed, while Carol lies about her past and makes herself seem weak. The group is given two side-by-side houses to live in; however, Rick insists that the entire group stay together in the same house the first night. Several members of the group clean themselves up, including Rick, who shaves his beard and gets a haircut from Jessie, a resident of Alexandria and a former hairstylist. Glenn, Tara, and Noah go on a supply run with two residents, Deanna's son, Aiden, and Nicholas. Tara is nearly killed during the supply run by a walker, due to Aiden's cockiness, inexperience, and recklessness. This causes Glenn to get into a fight with Aiden back at the safe zone. As a sign of trust and equality, Deanna assigns Rick and Michonne as constables of Alexandria. Later, Rick convenes with Carol and Daryl, declaring that if the members of the community cannot protect themselves, then Rick's group will take over.
64 13 "Forget" David Boyd Corey Reed March 8, 2015 (2015-03-08) 14.53[37]
Sasha travels outside the gates of Alexandria, taking with her framed family portraits she found in Alexandria to use as target practice. Feeling desolate, she wanders further into the woods, mumbling to herself for the walkers to "come and get" her. Meanwhile, Rick, Carol, and Daryl meet privately in the woods to discuss retrieving weapons from the armory in Alexandria, should they need them at short notice. They kill a walker and discover a mysterious "W" carved into its forehead. While out hunting, Daryl encounters Aaron, who is also out hunting. The duo try to catch a wild horse but are attacked by walkers, and the horse is killed. Sasha returns to Alexandria unscathed and requests to be a lookout in the bell tower, but her request is rejected by Deanna, who feels there is no need for a lookout for the time being. That evening, Deanna holds a welcoming party for Rick's group at her house, where Rick is introduced to Deanna's husband Reg and Jessie's husband Pete. Sam stamps Rick's hand with the letter "A". Daryl is unwilling to attend the party and is invited to Aaron's house, where he, Aaron, and Eric eat a meal together. Aaron shows Daryl a workshop filled with motorcycle parts, says he's welcome to rebuild a bike, and persuades him to become a "recruiter" for Alexandria. With everyone else still at the party, Carol sneaks into the armory and loads up with weapons, but is confronted by Jessie's son, Sam. Carol threatens to have him killed if he tells anyone what he saw. At the party, Sasha lashes out at a guest over her superficial concerns and storms out. The next day, Deanna finally allows Sasha to be a lookout in the bell tower, while Rick, Carol, and Daryl meet again in the woods. Daryl declines a weapon from Carol, as he believes the residents of Alexandria are harmless, while Rick takes a handgun. Upon their reentry into Alexandria, Rick passes Jessie and Pete and examines the "A" on his hand.
65 14 "Spend" Jennifer Lynch Matthew Negrete March 15, 2015 (2015-03-15) 13.78[38]
Noah and Reg meet for breakfast, and Noah expresses his desire to learn architecture, in order to improve Alexandria's walls. Meanwhile, a walker herd attacks Alexandria's construction crew - including Abraham. Despite Tobin's instructions to fall back, Abraham rescues a lookout named Francine, who is surrounded by walkers, and helps the group eliminate the herd. He begins taking charge, and Tobin suggests to Deanna that Abraham become the construction team's new leader. Deanna notices that members of Rick's group are beginning to take charge in activities around the community. With the town's electrical power failing, Glenn, Eugene, Tara, Noah, Aiden, and Nicholas go on a supply run to find the necessary parts to repair the solar panels. Aiden accidentally shoots a grenade attached to a riot gear-clad walker. The resulting explosion knocks Tara unconscious and impales Aiden on steel pipes, where he is devoured by walkers after Glenn, Noah, and Nicholas are unable to save him. While attempting to escape, Glenn, Noah, and Nicholas are trapped in a revolving door surrounded by walkers, but Eugene manages to distract some walkers to clear an escape path. A panicked Nicholas pushes his way out, exposing the remaining two; Noah is torn apart while Glenn looks on in horror. When Nicholas attempts to take Eugene's van, Glenn catches up to him and knocks him out. Glenn and Eugene toss him into the back of the van before returning to Alexandria, with Tara still unconscious and quickly losing blood. Meanwhile, Fr. Gabriel confronts Deanna and, while Maggie eavesdrops, attempts to convince her that Rick's group are disguised evil that will destroy what she has built. After several periodic visits from Sam and suspicious activity from Pete, Carol concludes that Pete is abusing Jessie and Sam, and suggests that Rick help the family by killing Pete.
66 15 "Try" Michael E. Satrazemis Angela Kang March 22, 2015 (2015-03-22) 13.76[39]
As Deanna and her family mourn Aiden's death, Deanna reviews a video of Nicholas recounting the events of the ill-fated supply run, blaming Glenn and Noah; Glenn tells the true facts about the run to Rick. Meanwhile, the remaining group members try to deal with their own issues. Sasha leaves her post in the bell tower to hunt walkers outside the walls, leading Michonne and Rosita to go out and retrieve her. While looking for more survivors to recruit, Daryl and Aaron come across dismembered limbs and the corpse of a woman who had been tied to a tree and disemboweled by walkers. They discover a "W" carved into her forehead. Carl continues to follow Enid, and the two begin to bond over their shared experiences as survivors from outside the walls. Glenn confronts Nicholas and warns him never to set foot outside the walls again, prompting Nicholas to retrieve a hidden gun, which turns out to be the same one Rick had previously stashed away and lost. Carol talks with Sam and manages to obtain more evidence of Pete's abuse, which she relays to Rick. Angered, Rick approaches Deanna, who reveals she knows about Pete's abusive behavior but turns a blind eye since he is the town surgeon, and his skills are valuable. Deanna turns down Rick's plans to either separate Pete from Jessie or execute him, and assures him that she will exile Pete if things get out of hand. Rick then approaches Jessie privately, promising her that he can protect her from Pete. Jessie reluctantly agrees just as Pete walks in. Rick and Pete get into an argument that quickly escalates into a physical brawl, attracting the attention of the entire town. Rick is able to subdue Pete and draws his gun on the onlookers. He ignores Deanna's orders to stand down, and rants about how Deanna's leadership is weak and Alexandria's residents have grown too complacent to survive against the dangers of the outside world. Suddenly, Michonne arrives and knocks Rick out as he is ranting.
67 16 "Conquer" Greg Nicotero Scott M. Gimple & Seth Hoffman March 29, 2015 (2015-03-29) 15.78[40]
Morgan is ambushed by two members of the Wolves, a group of scavengers who conform to the ancient belief that men evolved from wolves. The two men threaten to kill Morgan and take his supplies, but Morgan incapacitates them and leaves them unconscious in a car. As a result of Rick's outburst, Deanna decides to hold a meeting about his possible exile, and Rick advocates to hold Deanna's family hostage if the Alexandrians decide to exile him. Maggie tries to persuade Deanna to keep Rick in the community, but Deanna states that she "will do what she has to do". Abraham visits Tara's bedside, where he and Eugene make amends. Glenn follows Nicholas out of Alexandria, where the latter attacks him, and they brawl in the woods. Fr. Gabriel attempts to commit suicide by offering himself to a walker, before changing his mind and killing it and another walker before collapsing into tears; he returns and absentmindedly leaves the town gate ajar. Meanwhile, Daryl and Aaron follow a man in a red poncho whom they are interested in recruiting, but they fall into an elaborate trap set by the Wolves and they are attacked by dozens of walkers. They take refuge in a car before being rescued by Morgan, whom they recruit after discovering he knows Rick. The Wolves Morgan encountered earlier capture the man in the red poncho and kill him, before resetting the trap and finding Aaron's backpack, which contain photos of Alexandria. Still traumatized, Sasha seeks help from Fr. Gabriel, who rejects and taunts her. Rick notices the unlocked gate, which he closes, and then he races around the town following blood splatters and eliminating walkers that have strayed inside. Despite Rick's absence, Deanna initiates the meeting, where several allies of Rick make their case to keep him. Knowing Fr. Gabriel's betrayal, Maggie visits his church, where she comes upon Sasha holding him at gunpoint after a brief scuffle. Maggie convinces the two to stop, and they pray together. Tara regains consciousness. Glenn manages to subdue Nicholas and decides to spare him; they then help each other return to Alexandria. Rick carries a walker's corpse to the meeting, where he tells those assembled the dead and the living will always find a way to infiltrate the town, and he offers to show them how to survive. An enraged and drunken Pete, who had been relocated to a new house, barges into the meeting wielding Michonne's katana and threatens to assassinate Rick. Reg intervenes, and Pete accidentally slits his throat, killing him. Hysterical, Deanna tells Rick to kill Pete, and Rick complies without hesitation, just as Morgan, Daryl, and Aaron arrive. In the first post-credits scene, Michonne is about to replace her katana on the wall, but changes her mind and instead places the sword into the scabbard on her back. In the second scene, the red poncho man, now a walker, wanders around the yard where the Wolves keep the other walkers. The car in the yard is spray-painted with the words "WOLVES NOT FAR".


Critical response[edit]

The fifth season has received widespread critical acclaim. Based on 36 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, season 5 received an average 97% 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."[41] On Metacritic, the season has a score of 80 out of 100 based on 11 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[42] 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."[43]

Several critics have felt the fifth season has been a huge improvement to its preceding seasons. Todd VanDerWerff for Vox, wrote: "'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.[44]

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.[45] 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."[46]

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 "arguably been “The Walking Dead’s” best yet, propelled by compulsive story threads and fascinating character dynamics".[47]


For the 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards, the series was nominated for Best Stunt Team.[48]

For the 41st Saturn Awards, the series received seven nominations, with three wins. It 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.[49]


The first half of the season premiered on Fox International Channels on October 13, 2014.[50] Episodes air a day later than in the United States. The second half debuted on February 9, 2015.[51]

Home media releases[edit]

The fifth season was released on DVD and Blu-ray 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.[52] A special limited edition Blu-ray packaging set, featuring the "asphalt" walker, designed by Greg Nicotero and sculpted by McFarlane Toys, will be released on December 1, 2015.[53]


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External links[edit]