What up internet?
I can’t hit y’all with the high-energy opener in this particular blog post since I’m still reeling from last night’s mid-season finale. It was a tense episode full of heartbreak, and before we continue any further I’ve just got to say in case it isn’t clear: THIS BLOG POST HAS A BUNCH OF SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST HALF OF SEASON FIVE. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s pick our hearts up off the floor and give you the #BroThoughts on the first half of the season.
I’ve been a fan of #TheWalkingDead since the series premiere and I’m an avid reader of the comics. Whereas the comics have been fairly consistent with character development and pacing (at least in the humble opinion of one Bro) the television incarnation of #TheWalkingDead has bounced around a bit. If you’re asking a Bro (and if you’re here, you are) the pacing and writing from the second half of season four to now has been absolutely stellar. The pacing hasn’t dragged as it occasionally did during our heroes’ stay at Herschel’s farm and the prison and that’s good news for a high octane show. The emphasis on character development has done wonders for our heroes. We’ve watched them for multiple seasons and they’re just now breaking out of character archetypes and becoming fully-realized, identifiable people-each with their own quirks and nuances.
Speaking of character development, let’s start with the leader of the #Ricktatorship, Rick Grimes. Full disclosure: Rick from the comic books has got to be one of my favorite characters from any medium, so I’m probably more critical of the show’s portrayal of Rick than most. On Talking Dead the general consensus seems to be the trusty #Sheriff has gotten more brutal over the course of the show, and when you look at the promise he made to Gareth in ‘No Sanctuary’ and then his sticking to it in ‘Four Walls and a Roof’ it’s easy to see where this sentiment comes from. Rick tends to want to jump straight into action as evidenced by his suggested plan in ‘Crossed’, and this appears to be a natural progression of the character.
Rick acts with his family in mind at all times and the most efficient way to do this is to eliminate threats -he told Gabriel he’d kill him in ‘Strangers’ if he hurt his family and he didn’t do so to be menacing or intimidating. Rick’s statement was merely a fact, and while it was no doubt considered a threat by Gabriel, Rick said it very nonchalantly, as if he were merely reading facts out of a textbook. That’s a man you don’t want to “screw with” (We keep it PG-13 on the blog-no comic quotes here). The portrayal of #Sheriff throughout the series has gotten better, but it’ll be a long time before I get over the blasphemy that was Rick “losing it” in the prison. That story-line was executed horrendously in the show, which is a damn shame considering how good it was in the comic.
While a Bro could talk about the character of Rick all day, #TheWalkingDead is comprised of a cast of engaging characters who have grown over the course of the series. Carol being reunited with the group was a moment that tugged at the heartstrings, and her springing into action the second she saw #Sheriff was a moment that had me jumping for joy. She’s a leader, the kind of person who does whatever is necessary to protect her loved ones, but the gravity of said actions are obviously weighing on her. She hasn’t lost sight of who she is and she made sure Daryl didn’t either in their awesome episode together, ‘Consumed.’ Speaking of, Daryl is the #UltiBro – he does all he can to make sure his family remembers the kind of people they always have been, and I completely understood where his siding with Tyrese in ‘Crossed’ came from, but Rick prefers protection through action. There’s no guarantee Rick’s plan may have led to the lovely Beth still being a part of the #Survivors today, but you never know.
I’ve just got to say – Beth – hot damn. For me that was the most heartbreaking thing #TheWalkingDead television series has ever done, surpassing Rick finding out about Lori’s death and Herschel’s hellish beheading. It was unexpected, brutal and you saw the pain and surprise on the faces on each of our heroes’. It caused a Bro to cry-that doesn’t happen. Beth had one hell of a run on the series and Emily Kinney played her to Disney-princess perfection. Here’s hoping the next #Survivor to go doesn’t do so for a long while. #RIPBeth
This post is already gettin’ kinda long and I know all I’ve done is talk up the #Ricktatorship so let me switch gears and reiterate: the writing through the first half of season five has been absolutely fantastic. While some of the episodes have been quieter we’ve gotten to know our heroes, continuing the exquisite trend that started in the second half of season four. As a fan of the comics I always love whenever there’s a reference to the source material present. Although the storylines tend to only share vague similarities, the writers opting to stick with Eugene’s arc was a fantastic choice. I felt the inevitable reveal wasn’t dragged out nearly as long as it could’ve been and that’s a good thing.
Rick’s chasing down of Lamson in ‘Coda’ was eerily reminiscent of some of his actions from the comic during the prison/Governor storyline as well, and when Rick chased him down your Bro jumped for joy. Also the entire hunters/Gareth-and-the-Termites/Bob-getting-BBQ’d arc was a fantastic draw from the comic, and I thought this was executed very well. I think we all expected the Termites angle to get drawn out but it was done quickly, efficiently and conversely kept anyone from losing interest. On Talking Dead last night, The Creator himself Robert Kirkman mentioned a prominent gay character from the comics would be popping up in the show soon-looks like there’s going to a few more crossovers coming up. If you’ve never read the comics I’m here to tell you that this is a good thing, because they are stupendous. Although his statement leads to a litany of questions regarding the overall direction of the show and how faithful they’ll be to the comics, the way things have been rolling from the second half of season four to now has me all types of hopeful.
The storylines have been strong and the pacing has been fantastic for the first half of season five, and needless to say seeing Morgan pop up every now and again (Which MAY or MAY NOT be a reference to the comic-the Bros hate spoilers) has caused more than a few jaw-dropping moments at my humble abode. I’m hyped for the direction of the show and although tuning in each week makes me feel like I’m going to have a heart attack there’s no way I’ll be doing anything else Sunday nights come February. There’s a bunch to talk about and when #TheWalkingDead returns your Bro will bring you an episode recap each week to make sure these #BroThoughts posts don’t end up being 50 pages long. Until next time Bros.