Review: Walking Dead season 5 finale

Sunday, March 29 at 8p.m., the season finale of “The Walking Dead” season 5, “Conquer” aired at last. It was a special 90- minute episode, followed by an airing of “The Talking Dead”, which featured actress Melissa McBride (Carol Peletier), actor Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon), and actor Lennie James (Morgan Jones) as guests. If you are reading this and you have not yet watched the episode, there will be spoilers!

Ever since Rick’s group arrived in Alexandria, fans have been waiting to see which way it would go. With Rick’s statement, “If they can’t make it, we’ll just take this place,” there were only a couple of paths ahead. Either Rick would mess things up and get them thrown out, the group really would take Alexandria, or the Alexandrians would follow Rick’s lead and answer misdemeanors with loaded guns.

The last option seemed to me to be the least likely, and yet after last night’s episode, that looks to be the way things will go.

The episode began with Morgan, a character whose return we have been waiting for ever since he appeared in the woods outside Terminus near the beginning of season 5. The last time we saw Morgan at any length, though, was in the episode, “Clear” after he had lost his son, Duane. At this point in time, Morgan was, as Lenny James put it, ‘cray-cray’. He had surrounded himself with booby-traps, and when Rick came upon him, he didn’t recognize him at first, but when he did, he yelled about people wearing dead men’s faces, and he stabbed Rick, and refused to return to the Prison with him. Now he’s finally back. In the finale, Morgan is shown having a fireside chat with a member of the ‘W’ tribe who is holding him at gunpoint. The man tells a story about his tribe, the Wolves, and informs Morgan that he is going to take his things and kill him. Morgan informs the Wolf that that is not going to happen by hitting him and his friend upside the head with his awesome walking/fighting stick several times. Needless to say, that scene was exceedingly cool. Once the Wolves were both unconscious, Morgan put them into a car and honked the horn, to see if there were any Walkers nearby, so that he could make sure he could safely leave the unconscious men. Why didn’t he kill them? Apparently, Morgan has a newfound respect for life, as he informs Daryl once he rescues him and Aaron from one of the Wolves’ traps, which, by the way, was ingenious. Throw a rave, and the Walkers will just walk right in. Unfortunately, that kind of genius only benefits the kind of people who want to kill innocent wanderers.

We also have our violent battle between Nicholas, the liar and betrayer who got Noah killed, and our wonderful Glenn who was simply minding his own business when the jerk Nicholas shot him in the shoulder. Their fight stretched over a length of the forest as they went back and forth and Nicholas took a cheap shot by shoving at least 3 Walkers at the injured Glenn. The commercial break made us fear the worst, but Glenn fended them off and caught up to Nicholas, promptly sucker-punching him in the face. Now Glenn had the gun, yet could not bring himself to use it, and instead brought Nicholas back to Alexandria with him. Unfortunately, we will have to wait until season 6 for Rick kill Nicholas, as he surely will once he hears that he tried to kill Glenn AGAIN.

Father Gabriel had fans everywhere shouting ‘idiot!’ at their TVs, as he mistakenly left the gate of Alexandria open for Walkers to stroll right in at their leisure. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Father Gabriel also provoked Sasha into attacking him, and then Maggie showed up and somehow they all ended up praying together. Maybe now, Father Gabriel will actually become a useful member of society.

Rick notices the open gate and closes it, then runs around town killing the Walkers, the last of which, he brings to the town meeting, and uses to prove his point that the Alexandrians must be willing to change to survive. That’s when Pete shows up in a drunken rage, wanting to kill Rick. Instead, he slashes open Reg’s (Deanna’s husband) throat, killing him. Deanna looks at Rick and says through her tears “do it” and Rick promptly shoots Pete in the head with no hesitation. Then he turns to the doorway to see Daryl, Aaron and the “all life is precious” Morgan standing there. How will Morgan react to this “we need to decide who gets to live” Rick? Will he maybe help the constable get back to the way he was before he started shooting first and asking questions later?

With Deanna’s order of Pete’s death, it looks like the grief of losing her husband was the final thing needed to push her and the Alexandrians towards the change Rick has been advocating for. It also appears that the Wolves are going to be a problem. In a few months, we’ll see. The creator of the show says that so far in the series, people have proved to be the biggest danger, but that that is about to change.

Also, the announcement of a new show was made last night, called “Fear the Walking Dead.” It looks like it will be another Walking Dead, with new characters, and set in LA. It also looks like it will be starting from the beginning of the apocalypse. It airs this summer, so we won’t have to wait too long for our Walking Dead fix!

The season finale was great, and answered a lot of questions, but left us with some as well. Speculation about what season 6 will bring will be rampant, that’s for sure!

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