Well here we are, just days away from the premiere of the second half of season 5 (Season 5B in industry-speak) and boy, are we excited for you to see it! As you all kn——what’s that? You MISSED the first half of season 5?! YOU DID WHAT? YOU HAD ONE JOB! DEVOTE YOUR SUNDAY NIGHTS* TO WATCHING THE FLIPPING WALKING DEAD! I just——breathe, Brian, breathe. Ok, well, everything’s going to be ok. You’ll just have to watch the marathon this weekend. Season 5 starts Sunday at 1PM/12c and you c——YOU WHAT?! A HOUSE WARMING PARTY IN RESEDA?! RESEDA?!?! What am I going to do with you? Fine. Here’s what happened:
At the end of season 4 (you DID watch season 4, didn’t you?!) Rick and the gang were caught by a group of cannibals at Terminus. Carol, Tyreese, and baby Judith were still looking for their friends. Beth had been kidnapped. Carol, upon learning that her friends were being held captive, went full Rambo and launched a one-woman assault on Terminus. Rick and the Survivors used the distraction to fight back and managed to escape. Rick’s instinct (after what happened with the Governor) is to go back and finish off the Termites. Cooler heads prevail and the group is reunited with Tyreese and Judith.
On the road again, they come across a frightened preacher, Father Gabriel. Gabriel, it turns out, refused to open the doors of his church when his flock came looking for sanctuary from the newly undead. He heard their screams as they were torn apart. Hence, he carries a heavy burden. He learns about Rick and the Survivors and what they’ve done to survive. It doesn’t sit well with him.
Carol, still in emotional turmoil over Rick having sent her packing and The Lizzie Incident, has decided to make a break for it and leave the group behind. Daryl catches her. Before they can talk about, a car with a white cross flies past. Just like the white cross on the car that took Beth. They take off after it.
That night, the remaining Termites find our group. They kidnap Bob and eat his leg before finding out he’s been bitten and would soon turn. Cosmic justice at its finest. Gareth uses Bob as bait to lure the Survivors away from the church so they can get in and capture the ones left behind. But his plan backfires. Rick and his team of badasses brutally cut Gareth and his people down in the church. Gabriel is now REALLY unsure about his new companions.
Unwilling to leave with Carol and Daryl unaccounted for, the group splits up. Abraham, Tara, Rosita, Glenn, and Maggie head for DC, leaving a map for Rick to follow them once they find Carol and Daryl.
Carol and Daryl, meanwhile, have followed the car back to a hospital in Atlanta. It’s here that Beth has been held, a quasi-prisoner to a group of police officers (The Grady Bunch) holed up and waiting for the world to return to normal. They live in a system where the people they rescued “work off” the debt they’ve incurred. Every officer has a ward, a person they use and take advantage of. Beth befriends another ward, Noah, and the two become friends and attempt to escape. Only Noah makes it out.
Noah manages to run into Carol and Daryl, and after a confrontational start, they realize they’re trying to help the same person—Beth. It’s then that Carol is hit by a car driven by The Grady Bunch. She’s brought to the hospital where Beth conspires to save her life. Daryl escapes back to the church with Noah to get help.
And help he brings. Rick, now almost completely savage, wants to kill everyone in Grady. Go in quietly and take them out before they know what hits them. Tyreese urges a more diplomatic prisoner exchange by capturing some of the Grady officers. Daryl sides with Tyreese and that plan is settled on.
Of course, things don’t go quite according to plan, and in the end Beth is killed in the exchange (but she takes the power-tripping Officer Dawn Lerner with her). A distraught group, now with Noah, leave the hospital.
During all of this, the Glenn and Abraham group have had their own adventure. Lots of zombies. Some sex. Some voyeurism. And, oh yeah, they discover that Eugene has been lying about a cure this entire time. He’s not even a high-level scientist, just a good liar. Abraham doesn’t take it well. He hits Eugene so hard that he almost kills him. So there’s that. The group returns to the church, Eugene with a busted face, Abraham with a busted will.
At the church they find Gabriel, Michonne, Carl, Judith, and a giant swarm of walkers. They reunite and head to Atlanta where they find our crew leaving the hospital, devastated.
Oh, and Morgan has been on the group’s trail for a long time now. The final scene of the season is Morgan finding the map that Abraham gave to Rick. Interesting!
So that’s it! The season in a nutshell. Did I skip a lot of stuff? YUP. Just more incentive to watch it!
If you really want all the details we skimmed over, though, check out all our past episode recaps here!
*We here at Skybound World Headquarters fully recognize the rights of DVR-owners to watch the show on any given day of the week, provided it is within the Live-Plus-Three window mandated by Nielsen for capture in the ratings. JK. Go nuts. Watch it whenever you want, you rebel, you.