The Walking Dead brought its fifth season to a close tonight and it was a much more low-key affair than we’d been expecting.
If you haven’t seen the season 5 finale of The Walking Dead and don’t want any spoilers we suggest you stop reading now. If you have seen it and want to know our thoughts on the next season keep reading.
Sure there were deaths but we were expecting a major character to bite the dust by the time the credits rolled tonight but that didn’t happen. Instead Rick (Andrew Lincoln) put a bullet in Pete’s (Corey Brill) head during the town meeting just as Morgan (Lennie James) arrived with Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Aaron (Ross Marquand).
Elsewhere Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) battled with her emotions and came close to putting an end to Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), Glenn (Steven Yeun) had a near fatal confrontation with Nicholas (Michael Traynor) and Rick announced his plans to turn the Alexandria community into a bunch of killers so they could continue to survive.
With a few months to wait until season 6 kicks off, we’ve pulled together our thoughts on what we want to see when the show returns.
1. The group to properly integrate with the Alexandria Safe Zone. Sure things have been rocky and Rick, Carol (Melissa McBride) and Daryl plotting a coup didn’t help, but now everything’s out in the open they need to club together. We’re pretty sure Deanna (Tovan Feldshuh) will be more amenable to Rick’s point of view now her husband has been murdered. You know what they say about safety in numbers…
2. Rick’s humanity to be restored. It’s safe to say that Rick has fallen off the deep end and his behaviour is getting more and more erratic. Whilst he mostly talks sense about the real threats the group faces, it’s going to be hard for anyone to listen to his words of wisdom if he keeps using his fists rather than his words. The potential love interest of Jessie (Alexandra Breckenridge) could be what he needs to pull in the reins a little and try to have some sort of life that doesn’t involve endless violence and murder.
3. The unmasking of the ‘Wolves’. It’s been mooted for a while now that the Ws that are appearing on the heads of some walkers is the work of the ‘Wolves’. In the finale we saw some evidence of the feral and violent group and it’s believed that they are leading up to the introduction of iconic comic book bad guy Negan. We’ve had the tease for long enough now and we just hope the pay off is around the corner.
4. More Michonne (Danai Gurira). The sword wielding bad ass was side-lined a bit in season 5 and her desire to return to normality meant she put her sword down for a while. Now it’s clear she’ll need to fight in order to stay alive we want Michonne to take a more central role in season 6 giving her more screentime with Rick, Carol and Daryl.
5. Fewer deaths of new characters. It’s been a trend on The Walking Dead to introduce a bunch of new characters only to kill them off before they get chance to establish themselves or have much of a storyline. We understand that death is very much part of the show’s landscape but towards the end of season 5 we were struggling to care about some of the deaths.
6. Progression rather than repetition. Maybe it’s just us but we feel like The Walking Dead has started to retread old ground a little bit. It’s become a little too cyclical when it comes to the group finding a new community, wondering if they’re bad, having a violent confrontation and then moving on. The Alexandria storyline is a real chance for the group to have a real community that can help them stay alive and restore a degree of normality. Obviously there’s no happily ever after in sight for the foreseeable but how many times can the group go around in circles?
7. Sasha’s journey back from the brink. Poor Sasha went into self-destruct mode following the deaths of Bob (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) and her brother Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman). For the last few episode she’s put herself in danger as she deals with her grief and it’s almost cost her life. In season 6 Sasha deserves to be higher up the food chain when it comes to power in the group and we want to see her moving on and becoming a valuable asset.
8. More badass Carol. Who didn’t love that Carol has been showing her darker side since arriving at Alexandria? She’s come a long way since the battered housewife who lost her daughter and she’s without a doubt one of the most cut-throat members of the group. In season 6 we hope that her darker side is explored further and we wouldn’t be opposed to her leading the group, at least in a more strategic way than Rick currently does.
9. Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and Rosita (Christian Serratos) to actually get something to do. Since it was revealed that Eugene is a big liar, these three characters haven’t contributed much to the show. If they’re going to be there, they may as well be given something to do right?
10. A bigger role for Aaron. We’re liking the addition of Aaron and his arrival provided one of the best episodes of the season. His burgeoning friendship with Daryl is quite lovely and we get the impression he’d rather be Team Rick than Team Deanna. We want to know more about him in the new season and see him further integrated with the core group.
The Walking Dead will return to AMC in the US and FOX in the UK in the autumn. Tell us what you want from the next season of the show by leaving your comments below.