The Walking Dead: 5.16 Conquer

It’s been a long ride for fans, Season Five has literally been years in the making. This back half of The Walking Dead has been the most satisfying eight episodes for long-time fans of a show for a good while. After building the mindset of its viewers to mirror that of its characters the writers have then played with conventions of good and bad, right and wrong, hero and villain, in the most fascinating way.

They’ve also taken time to fulfil promises, the long teased return of Morgan finally happened, a bo staff wielding ocean of calm (“All life is precious.”). But will he like the Rick Grimes he has spent so long searching for? That’s a question for later in the year and Season Six. For now there is plenty to mull over from the finale of the best season of The Walking Dead yet.

There’s Glenn defying the world around him and continuing to be the good guy, refusing to kill Nicholas even when he’d left him for dead. Michonne does still have the groups interests at heart, and those are best served by staying in Alexandria. Sasha and Father Gabriel both come to a conclusion of their feelings, both accepting responsibility, or not. And the people of Alexandria, Deana included, finally come round to Rick’s way of thinking.
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At the heart of the episode, and the season, is the idea of what makes us human. Is it a need to fight to survive or sustaining a clear sense of morality no matter what. The fascinating thing about The Walking Dead is that it doesn’t answer that for us; for every Deana who has been driven that way, there is a Morgan who, despite loss of his own, has not. For every Rick, who has seen and done terrible things, there is a Glenn, who has seen and done terrible things, but has not lost sight of what makes him human. And there’s your answer, what you have to do to survive is different for each person, Rick has to make tough decisions, take lives, and live with that; Glenn spares lives and has to live with those consequences.
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Genuinely one of the most thought provoking shows on the box, it mustn’t be forgotten that behind the scenes there is great writing, make-up, location scouting, directing, costuming, and more; while in front of the camera are some of the finest actors in television today, led by Andrew Lincoln who commits fully to everything. It’s great to watch. The next six months can’t go quickly enough.

Bravo The Walking Dead, bravo.

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