Last night, the AMC hit series returned with an action-packed, exciting and somewhat confusing fifth season premiere. Between the zombies, violence, secret clips and plot twists, it is clear that this season will continue to throw unexpected turns and surprises at viewers.
The following contains spoilers of The Walking Dead’s fifth season premiere, those who have not yet watched the episode or do not wish to learn of the events highlighted should not read on.
The zombie-apocalypse series hit a network high during last night’s premiere. 17.3 million viewers tuned in for the fifth season premiere, besting last season’s premiere numbers of 16.1 million viewers.
“It’s a Dead man’s party. Who could ask for more?” Charlie Collier, the cable network’s president, said in a statement. “Enormous thanks to our friends and executive producers Robert Kirkman, Scott Gimple, Greg Nicotero — who also directed last night’s terrific premiere — Gale Anne Hurd, Dave Alpert and Tom Luse and all of their fellow producers, cast and crew for everything they do to make the No. 1 show on television such a unique and incredible experience for the fans.”
The episode begins with Rick, Daryl and Glenn bound and dragged into a warehouse as the citizens of Terminus slit each of their throats. Just when it looked like Glenn’s fate would follow his friends’, in comes a huge explosion that changes the plans.
More shocking was that the blast was the work of Carol, who somehow successfully saved the day. While Carol and Daryl engage in a heartwarming embrace, Carl and Rick are finally, to viewers’ delight, reunited with baby Judith.
The final and most shocking part of the episode was the short yet amazing showing of Morgan Jones heading towards Terminus.
Morgan Jones’ return after a season absence leaves viewers wondering where he’s going this season. Morgan is introduced in the series premiere as a recent widow who moves into Rick’s town with his son. Throughout the series, we see Morgan struggle with Jenny who ultimately kills his son in season 3. Failing to shoot her previously, Morgan blames himself and remains in King County in order to clear the area of walkers. So, what is going on with Morgan now? The fan-favored character’s return definitely made for an awesome premiere ending.
Yahoo TV interviewed showrunner Scott Gimple and star Chad Coleman about some upcoming struggles the characters may face throughout the season. When asked about the future survival of his humane character Tyreese, Coleman responded: “I think it’s a very noble position. It’s the road less traveled. That’s why I just applaud him for that. I appreciate you getting that, because it’s just really important to me. Sometimes people can… I don’t want to say dismiss him, but they’re not catching the real true value of this man in this world.”
What gave viewers such a thrill was Carol’s (Melissa McBride) evolution into a tough-hearted heroine, showing her transformation in the premiere. Gimple commented on the character by saying: Yeah, it’s incredibly gratifying. It’s exciting to see the audience dig that. I find Carol as a character to be an incredibly interesting person, and I did as a viewer. I watched the first season of this show as a viewer; I came on [for] the second season. I was just so excited to be able to tell her story, and in my mind, it’s only gotten better and better. [Melissa McBride’s] performances always just blow me away. She is the thinking person’s action hero now. I will say: There is a cost to being Carol, and she recognizes the cost, and it’s absolutely part of her story. In a lot of ways, she is absolutely willing to pay that cost.”
But what the audience wants to know most is about what is to come for the series during the fifth season. From the premiere, few details of the show’s direction are clearly defined, but it can be inferred that at some point, there will be disagreements that may lead to chaos. “There are a lot of agendas that are in direct opposition to one another. So heads will be a-butting. We saw them get away from Terminus and get to take a little breath with the reunions. Then the question hits everybody: “What do we do now?” So things are sorted out around that line. Do they go to D.C. or try to find another place like the prison? Not everything is… let’s just say the vote is not unanimous right off the bat,” said Gimple.
In addition, the showrunner promised viewers that more backstory will come throughout the season with a different structure than the previous season. “It’s not going to be the same kind of structure as last year, but that element is absolutely there. We’re going to get some backstory, though maybe not back-backstory. We’re going to get more immediate backstory, from the characters’ more recent pasts. There’s something about The Walking Dead that, in many ways, exists almost wholly in the present. I do love looking at the backgrounds of characters, and we do that in so many ways with this show. But there’s something about present circumstances defining these characters, and then seeing them change over the present circumstances that we follow as an audience that’s pretty much how characters are defined on this show. I definitely underline the words “pretty much,” because we throw in curveballs all the time. ”
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 PM on AMC.