(Published Oct. 13, PDI Entertainment)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit
The fifth season of hit horror-drama series “The Walking Dead,” about the struggling survivors of a zombie apocalypse, will air starting Monday on Fox (11:35 a.m. and 8:55 p.m.) and answer questions raised in the series’ last season-ender.
The hour-long show will have 16 episodes this season.
In the cliffhanger, ex-cop Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) finally reunites with his friends, fellow survivors of a brutal attack on their prison home by the psychopathic Governor (David Morrissey).
After episodes where they were separated, the longtime allies are individually lured to a place called Terminus, touted as a “safe haven” for humans.
They discover the lie soon enough. But while they have become prisoners of unknown captors, the survivors’ trusted leader Rick confidently tells his group, now considered his family: “They’re screwing with the wrong people.”
Toughened by recent trials, including the near-assault of his son Carl (Chandler Riggs) by a gang member, the destruction of the prison, and hordes of zombies/Walkers, Rick sees his thinned-down group as similarly galvanized, ready to give their new tormentors hell.
Still unaccounted for, however, are Carol (Melissa McBride) and Tyreese (Chad Coleman), who are caring for Rick’s baby daughter Judith (her dad thought she was killed in the previous season) and teen Beth (Emily Kinney), who was abducted in a separate incident.
Many of “Walking Dead’s” fourth season episodes centered on organic and significant transformations: Carol, who lost a husband and child early on, has become a more serious survivalist and had to dispose of potential and existent threats (including an insane girl); Michonne remains the stoic swordswoman to foes but has opened up and showed her more maternal side to Carl, and Daryl (Norman Reedus) has proven his true loyalty to the group by offering to die for his friends (although he has not said a word about Beth’s disappearance, which must be killing him).
“The Walking Dead,” based on the comic book cocreated by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard, has featured many characters from the source material, but often deviates from it, occasionally killing off mainstays unexpectedly and in various horrific ways.
TV-exclusive ones, like Daryl, continue to be introduced, as well, adding to the show’s unpredictability.