Season 5 of The Walking Dead is shuffling our direction at a gradual, but steady pace. Like that swarm of undead zombies in the distance, it may look a long way off, but it’ll be here before you know it. The cliffhanger nature of the season 4’s conclusion has fans counting down the days until the season 5 premiere on Sunday, October 12, but for all of the hype that AMC is throwing behind the biggest show on TV, we don’t know much about the plot the new episodes will follow. Some of us have theories, but hopefully this new synopsis can shed some light on the upcoming horror jaunt.
As you can imagine, this is a vague description of the upcoming storyline, and they avoid specifics at nearly every turn. Still, if you’re trying to avoid learning anything about The Walking Dead season 5, you might want to sit this one out, especially if you haven’t finished season 4 yet. Like I said, there isn’t a ton of detail, but it might be too much for some of you out there.
Here is the new rundown:
Season 4 of The Walking Dead ended with Rick and the group outgunned, outnumbered, and trapped in a train car awaiting a grim fate.
Season 5 picks up shortly thereafter. What follows is a story that weaves the true motives of the people of Terminus with the hopeful prospect of a cure in Washington, D.C., the fate of the group’s lost comrades, as well as new locales, new conflicts, and new obstacles in keeping the group together and staying alive.
Stories will break apart and intersect. The characters will find love and hate. Peace and conflict. Contentment and terror. And, in the quest to find a permanent, safe place to call home, one question will haunt them:
After all they’ve seen, all they’ve done, all they’ve sacrificed, lost, and held on to no matter what the cost…
Who do they become?
That does a decent job of summing up where we left off at the end of season 4 without being too specific, and of laying out a general direction for the impending season 5, again, without giving away much of anything. We already knew they were going to continue to try to get new addition Eugene (Josh McDermitt) to D.C. because he claims to know how to cure the zombie epidemic.
So they’re headed that way, but because the story follows the same general direction of Robert Kirkman’s comics, and producers say that trend is going to continue, we can certainly expect a fair share of detours and digressions. One of the big things we suspect is going to happen this season is that the group of survivors will get to the Alexandria Safe Zone, or at least an approximation of that place. We’ve seen photos of high walls the production built around a neighborhood outside of Atlanta, and many have suspected that’s where The Walking Dead will wind up at some point in season 5.
To this day, Alexandria continues to serve as the home of the survivors in the comics, and it is definitely a place where they find “love and hate. Peace and conflict. Contentment and terror,” among many other things. So it isn’t any big stretch to think this is where they’re headed, whether the characters know it or not.
The most reassuring thing to take away from this synopsis is the hint at how they’re going to approach the narrative construction of the series. Over the course of the last half of season 4, the group was split into smaller fragments and episodes generally only followed one or another. Occasionally multiple threads showed up in the same episode, but there were weeks where we only saw two characters.
This strategy allowed the show to get into greater depth with these people, and as a result there was more character development over the last eight episodes than over the entire previous season. It was fantastic storytelling, led to the strongest episodes in The Walking Dead’s history, and it sounds like they plan to maintain that approach even though the bulk of the band is back together.