A great story, powered by wonderful acting and masterfully paced edge of your seat suspense throughout, along with riveting moments. All of that, and more, made the season 5 finale episode 16 titled, "Conquer" of The Walking Dead , magnificent.
Furthermore let's not also forget after all was said and done, waves of relief surely engulfed millions of devoted fans of The Walking Dead across America, and around the world. For in the season 5 finale, like also in the season 5 premiere titled, "No Sanctuary," not one among Rick's group including himself, or namely Daryl, Michonne, Carol, or any of the rest, had died. Even including believe it or not, episcopal priest Father Gabriel.
Therefore you've really got to hand it to all those shrewdly clever people behind producing The Walking Dead. That includes director Greg Nicotero and writer/exec. Producer Scott M. Gimple whom both not only crafted the season 5 finale, but also the season 5 premiere. Yet one mustn't also forget Seth Hoffman who co-wrote the season 5 finale. And lastly, there's exec. Producer Gale Anne Hurd, who as a guest on Talking Dead following the previous week's episode 15 of The Walking Dead, had stated that although the season 5 finale will be 90 amazing minutes, that there will be blood and not all of it from the walkers. Also shortly after, it was then announced on Talking Dead that following next week's season 5 finale, Norman Reedus as Daryl and Melissa McBride as Carol were both scheduled to appear. So were fans played? Well, after such a spectacular season 5 finale all is quickly forgiven and water under the bridge.
Morgan, whose first appearance was in season 1, to again in season 3 episode 12, and also near end of season 5 premiere and later, acted by British actor Lennie James, appears in the first scene. Morgan has definitely changed dramatically since the season 3 episode 12 titled, "Clear." Yet his change in the first scene of the season 5 finale and later, appears both profoundly mystical and beneficial. Be that now as it may, Morgan is the first to cross paths with the demented and deadly Wolves. Only he doesn't know that yet.
"What's the W for?" Morgan asks innocently, to the man with a W scar on his forehead after he sits down at Morgan's camp among the woods. It's then the man with a W scar explains in a soft spoken polite way, of the early tribes believing some people could change into wolves. Then afterwards, he softly demands that Morgan hands over all his belongings, and himself, to be later killed. Morgan then tells the man that he could have everything and that things don't need to get ugly. Then Morgan finishes by saying softly, "But I can't allow you to take me away. I will not allow that." Shortly after, another man (Wolf) appears out of nowhere from behind for the ambush. Yet as if he had eyes in the back of his head, Morgan dodges free and makes short shrift of his two attackers. Following that, he piles both unconscious men into a nearby abandoned car, and honks the horn. So it's obvious, that Morgan now has something of a Shaolin way in him.
A caller on the follow up show Talking Dead asked guest actor Lennie James, why did Morgan honk the horn after putting the two unconscious men into a car? "He did that to see if any walkers were nearby, if it was all clear," Lennie James replies before saying, "So he really meant what he later said to both Daryl and Aaron after he saved both their lives that all life is precious." Whereas, host Chris Hardwick and everyone else perhaps thought that Morgan did so to attract the walkers. Unlike what Aiden and Nicholas the two Alexandrians had done, that was so unnecessarily dangerous that it shocked Glenn, Tara, and Noah in this season's episode 12.
Keeping in mind about the Wolves, the first clue of their existence was back in episode 9. When Rick's group arrive at Noah's neighborhood in Richmond, VA, but to discover the people already dead and the place destroyed by walkers, and by the Wolves. For in the background behind a grieving Noah, spray painted on a brick wall are the words, "Wolves not far." The same words that appear on a car at the food warehouse at the end of the season 5 finale, where Morgan had previously rescued Daryl and Aaron. So after Michonne convinces Rick that they all should travel the 100 miles to Washington D.C., despite knowing Eugene lied about a cure to the walker apocalypse, we now know that the Wolves traveled those same miles in pursuit of more prey.
There's an outstanding web article written by Lenika Cruz and David Sims in The Atlantic on March 30, 2015 titled, "The Walking Dead's Understated End to an Epic Season." For within the opening after Ms. Cruz states that there were no expected mass killings, "...but with something more astonishing: redemption and forgiveness," Mr. Sims later also states, "...the portent of the Wolves suggests that Rick is, of course, right. The world out there is terrifying, and Alexandria's laissez-faire attitude isn't going to help when they're besieged by someone organized." Someone like of course the Governor, who came back to kill Rick's people at their prison enclave with new followers and an armored tank in the midseason 4 finale.
Furthermore there's an equally outstanding web article by Michael J. Totten in City Journal Autumn 2014 issue titled, "The Walking Dead in an Age of Anxiety." For within Mr. Totten states "...The Walking Dead is a morality tale that disdains easy answers. How does a civilized person behave in a world where civilization has collapsed? Decency is still possible, the show instructs us, but ruthlessness is needed as well." And in the season 5 finale viewers saw both.
After speaking up to support Rick at a town meeting, Maggie finds Sasha and convinces her not to kill Father Gabriel in a chapel with a rifle. For remember, it was Maggie who overheard Father Gabriel betray Rick's people to Alexandria leader Deanna in this season's episode 14. Yet afterwards all three gather to pray. Then as Nicholas tries to kill Glenn, who now knows that Nicholas and Aiden both panicked that led to the deaths of four Alexandrians, and later also the death of Noah after Nicholas panicked, Glenn overpowers Nicholas and also decides not to kill. Nevertheless, Glenn, Maggie, and Sasha also understand the need to be ruthless. Most especially, after all heeded the words of Rick after all were freed from the cannibal people at Terminus, as Rick says, "Cross any of these people, you kill them. Don't hesitate. They won't."
Yet when speaking about Rick to Deanna and the other Alexandrians, as Michonne says, "Who he is is who you're gonna be, if you're lucky," to next as Abraham also adds, "Simply put, there is a vast ocean of sh-- you people don't know sh-- about. Rick knows every fine grain of said sh-- and then some" -- the Alexandrians still don't get it. For Alexandrian Tobin speaks next as he says, "I just want to keep my family safe, you know? And I don't know what that means anymore, but if it means that we've got to get rid of..., " then next Rick arrives carrying a dead walker he killed that had entered. Then Pete, the abusive husband of Jessie, whom Rick had fought in public earlier, also arrives before killing Deanna's husband Reg. Next while Deanna's grieving, she looks up at Rick before saying, "Rick, do it." To which Rick shoots Pete. And by then by George, I do believe the Alexandrians finally got it.
Yes season 5 of The Walking Dead was truly epic in every possible way. And also hey, Rick's people in Alexandria now have new digs -- spacious homes so beautiful, that it's enough to make couples who appear on the show Property Brothers envious. Fans have the people behind The Walking Dead to thank for continually producing such high caliber directing, stories, and acting. Expectations will be high for next season 6, but I still have faith in the people behind The Walking Dead that they will deliver. Long live The Walking Dead.