Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Walking Dead: Season 5

Well, I couldn't wait and bingewatched season 5 as well so I could be all caught up for season 7 and Fear the Walking Dead. Here are my spoilerly thoughts on the season,.

The Good

* The Opening Scene of Episode 1

Fuck. No punches are pulled. It's crazy and gory. I have so many questions yet I'm so horrified by everything that's happening. Terminus is obviously a super fucked up place and what Woodbury really should have been two seasons ago. I'm glad they finally explored an organized place that is nefarious and uninterested in doing anything but survive at any cost.

* Carol

I didn't think I could like her any more than I already do. She singlehandedly saves Rick and the group from the Terminus psychos. She is smart and capable, but still has feelings, old wounds, and a caring side. She makes mistakes, gets exhausted, and always stays human, but her bravery despite her fear and against such odds is wonderful. I'm so glad of her existence after the abhorrent treatment of Andrea a few seasons ago. Her past confronts her when a wife beater is allowed to continue his abuse at the Community. It really highlights how much she's changed in addition to the deft way she manipulates people into finding her inconsequential and weak,

* What is moral?

At the time, Rick's drive to kill all the Terminus psychos seemed a little extreme. After Bob's leg is on the spit being eaten by those same people Rick wanted to kill, his fervor doesn't seem so misplaced. Carol wants to at least injure a man for stealing her and Daryl's weapons, but Daryl stops her. Is she right to do so? Should she just accept dying due to lack of resources instead of fighting for her livelihood back?

* Bob

I kind of hated him last season when he got people killed to get alcohol to fuel his addiction. He completely turned it around this season and became a productive member of the team. So then of course he dies. But before he did, his cackling at the cannibals eating his tainted meat was priceless.

* Beth

Beth used to just be there: not a horrible character, but not great either. Last season, she became someone interesting and now she's a badass. She may not be the most physically strong person, but she's clever and knows how to survive. Her quiet strength in the face of the idiots at the Grady Memorial Hospital earned her so many brownie points. So of course she's killed and I cried everywhere.

* Grady Memorial Hospital

Beth is essentially kidnapped and held hostage by a group of delusional people who think the world will just get better one day. It quickly becomes clear that there's something rotten there. The police officers are the ruling class and can do whatever they want: hit, rape, kill, and even enslave people. The worst is that they manipulate people into buying into their bullshit. The leader, Officer Dawn Lerner, seems earnest, but then doesn't hesitate to beat a man for something she knows he didn't do or force medical attention on someone who clearly doesn't want it. It's interesting to see how people with dubious morality cope and control others in this situation.

* The nonlinear plotlines

It's cool to see a little bit of what everyone is doing. I liked the variety and it was much better done than in past seasons. It jumps to each group pretty evenly without staying with anyone too long.

* The struggle to trust people

Lots of people along the way have been evil or cannibals or just batshit nuts. When a new opportunity at a community pops up, they aren't as eager as they were before. Terminus and Woodbury really burned them, so it's surprising to me that so many of them are eager to risk their lives.

* The first gay couple on the show

Eric and Aaron are just adorable together. Aaron fights to sleep next to his boyfriend during the night despite Rick's concern and his itchy trigger finger. I'm glad the show didn't change just because some homophobes went on Twitter to complain.

* The Alexandria Safe Zone

Deanna just exudes genuine niceness and I do believe she nice, but too nice.. She puts her idiot, privileged son in his place and seems to succeed at being fair and good at managing the community. Later in the series, she's shown to be just terrible. Her idiot son and her inept people cause deaths. Deanna allows corrupt people do what they want because of their usefulness to their community. She allows a woman to be beaten because her disgusting husband is a surgeon. Her solution to wrongdoers is to exile them instead of kill them. The whole thing is revealed to be horribly run, easy to circumvent their rules, and ripe for taking over. I hope Rick's group takes over and runs it competently. They know how things work and have tried being merciful before. It always bites them in the ass with people coming back for revenge.

It's so bizarre to see clean people, normal looking houses, and nice clothes. It broke my heart when Carl seemed lost when the other teens wanted to do normal teen things. It's also interesting to see if they really do have good intentions or not. So far, they've proven themselves to be inept and are just waiting around for someone to take them over. Sasha's reaction at the dinner party was perfect in showing the absurdity of these people's inane worries over life on the outside. That life that can quickly become their lives with only a few mistakes. These people have been insulated from reality. They simply haven't had to be brave or make hard decisions. When things go bad, these people are quick to let others die and save their own skins.

* Rick

Rick may sound crazy, but he's right. He's become broken a little (maybe a lot), but it's made him strong and he knows how to survive. How far is too far though?

* Wolves

New villain for next season!  W's on walkers' foreheads and mutilated corpses have been present in the last half of the season. They seem creepy as fuck and super bad news. Can't wait for next season!

The Bad

* Gabriel, the Idiot Priest

Father Gabriel hid in his church and allowed people to die outside of it before Rick's group even met him. The priest is icked out by everything that reminds him of reality: the hard decisions, the necessity of weapons, protecting themselves, etc. He treats Rick's group like they are monsters when he is in reality much more monstrous because he stood by and let his people die. There's way too much of him. He runs around scared outside and then expects the group he just escaped from to come and save him. He offers Maggie solace, but he doesn't know anything about her grief. Ugh. Just annoying. Then he tells Deanna that Rick and his group are literally Satan and they want to destroy the community. Really??? But wait, there's more. He lets walkers into the community and then goes all crazy on Sasha when she just wanted some reassurance.

* Tyrese's, Bob's, and Noah's Deaths

Tyrese's death seems unnecessary and anticlimactic after Beth's death plus the hallucinations of other dead characters just came off as gimmicky. All the others are just more contrived emotions and don't really give much to the story.

* Super fast character development right before their death

The Walking Dead writers seem to only care about character development for minor characters right before they die so it hurts more. It would be nice if they just organically developed instead of using something that should be an inherent part of the story to hamhandedly emotionally manipulate the audience.

Overall, The Walking Dead is the first season in a long time that I had so few complaints about. I'm glad I powered through season 4 and I can't wait to see what season 6 holds in store.

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