This article contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know anything about what happens in Season 5, you might want to avoid the trailer and this article.
In amongst the explosion of content that came out of this year’s Comic-Con, AMC released the first trailer for The Walking Dead’s 5th season, and, if it’s anything to go by, we’re in for one of the best seasons yet. To get to a 5th year of the show feels odd, as it stills feels like it has something to prove.
The trailer felt very similar to last year’s season 4 trailer – a mixture of action sequences, dramatic dialogue and semi-spoilers, set to some great music (this year it’s Sigur Ros’ Brennisteinn). There was too much to breakdown every single scene that featured, but there were particular highlights.
Probably the most interesting revelation of the trailer is how new regular Gareth will be utilised going forward. Introduced at the end of last season’s finale, Gareth was the creepy leader of the group at ‘Terminus’, who had our group held captive as the season ended. It was announced that Andrew J West, the actor who portrays him, would be promoted to series regular around the time of that finale, and the expectation was that this meant we’d be sticking around Terminus for most, if not all, of the first half of this season.
Yet the reality seems very different, and it seems that the departure for Washington will be sooner rather than later, due to an uneasy alliance rather than a bloody battle. This should hopefully allow West to display a multi-dimensional character, as the Governor was also shown to be, rather than a sadistic one-note villain, something the show has always tried to avoid. Regardless of what gets all the headlines, it’s always been a series about how these people cope in this horrific situation, and just having someone there solely to antagonise the main characters simply wouldn’t work – they need to be more than that. We’ve seen it with Merle, Shane and the Governor, hopefully the same will go for Gareth.
In terms of the returning characters, it was hard to see any particularly new arcs in the trailer. Rick and Carls relationship was again an important aspect, but in a similar way to last season. If there are any new arcs, they’ll likely come from the other characters promoted to regulars – Alanna Masterson’s Tara, and the trio of Eugene, Rosita and Abraham. While the latter three were mostly background here, Abraham was featured far more, delivering the line, “When we get to Washington, we’ll make the dead die, and the living will have this world again”.
This season seems a lot more driven than previous years, and more like traditional post-apocalypse material. Eugene has what may be ‘the cure’ for walkers, and they need to get to Washington with him and it. Whereas most of seasons 2, 3 & 4 were spent at the farm, the prison and Woodbury, this seems much more like Season 1, where apart from the brief time at the camp, most time was spent on the road.
This first trailer has certainly got the pulse running for season 5, which premieres in October in both the UK and US.