PANAYIOTIS ANTONIOU

After one of their most successful seasons ever, The Walking Dead has ended and will not be back until mid-February. From the first episode it has been an action packed series from escaping Gareth (Andrew J. West) and his troupe of cannibals to the tragic end of Beth (Emily Kinney) in the last episode. It was a fitting end for such a heart-wrenching and emotionally charged series which also developed minor characters excellently into people who we could relate to and empathise with.

We saw a lot more scenes which examined the relationships between the different characters including looking at Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Bob’s (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) relationship and the effect his death had on Sasha. Martin-Green’s performance was excellent and portrayed the emotion of her character’s role perfectly. Another excellent actress was Lauren Cohan whose portrayal of Maggie perfectly encapsulated the elation and joy of discovering that her sister was alive and then the grief of finding out she was – in fact – dead all in the space of a single episode. All the cast played their respective roles well and there was little to complain about, Beth’s scenes in the hospital were played beautifully and Dawn (Christine Woods) was an excellent and multi-layered character – impressive given the few episodes she was in.

The plot was also incredibly strong and was not too far-fetched, if this is possible, when the show in question is about a zombie apocalypse. We were allowed an insight into Gareth’s cannibal group and to what drove them to such extreme lengths. This is we did not see during the comics and gives more perspective as to what would drive ordinary people to such extreme lengths. In addition, the Grady Memorial Hospital group objectives of “just holding on” until help arrives showed the conflict which people face in a great crisis – do they attempt to carry on as normal or become more primal like the cannibals.

So what does the future hold for the show? We left them at a crossroads – the group was once again reunited but after discovering that there was no cure from the zombie apocalypse as Eugene (Josh McDermitt) was lying they are back to square one. Will they still continue on to Washington despite knowing that there is no cure? It seems like the most likely scenario as it is where they go at this stage in the comics. Although the show has deviated massively from the comics, they depict the cannibals differently and completely invent the Grady Memorial storyline as Beth has no counterpart in the comics. However, a trip to the US capital remains the most likely scenario and is what I predict will happen in the second half of this season.