Season four of “The Walking Dead” left us, distracted by many little details, in a railroad car in Terminus, a “sanctuary” for all. The final words of season four were chilling while you were still in the mindset of the episode but became a little cheesy while you were waiting for season five. With his grumble symbolic of these later seasons, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) tells the group trapped with him in the railroad car that the people of Terminus “are gonna feel pretty stupid when they find out…they’re screwing with the wrong people.”
Though time and time again this turns out to be true the difference for this season is that Terminus seems to have been handled quickly in the first episode of this season by Carol’s ability (Melissa McBride) to turn fireworks into weapons. In contrast, the conflict with the governor dragged on for way too long, but we got back story about his character enough that I remained interested.
The terminus of Terminus was too quick and not fulfilling. I want to know more about the people, what turned them to their unique depravity and to be honest, I have forgotten all of their names except for one. Gareth, played by Andrew J. West, is one sick son of a bitch and always has been (the way he treated Ashley in “Greek” was appalling; she deserved better). The ring leader of Terminus is best characterized as a less intelligent but weirdly more attractive Hannibal Lecter. Our first introduction to the character in season four begins well enough, but again, we all end up trapped in a railroad car at the beginning of season five.
However, Gareth is not the shining star of this season so far. Carol has gradually become more and more powerful. Her explosive start to this season is an amazing example of her transformation from abused wife to gun-toting, ass-kicking motherfucker. Rick has really transformed as well. Any semblance of his days as a sheriff have completely disappeared in favor of a rugged man who understands that the days of “good” people and “bad” people no longer exist. Rick is consistent throughout all the seasons in one aspect: his focus on his family. One of the most touching moments of this season thus far is the reuniting of Judith with Rick and Carl, played by Chandler Riggs.
I’m excited to see the direction of this season. The dark turns the show took at the end of season four have definitely continued into the newest season. To paraphrase the ever-charming Daryl, the walkers of “The Walking Dead” have nothing on the depravity and cruelty of the humans.