Season 5 can revive drab ‘Walking Dead’

Arthur Aumann

Cannibals and executions restore fear in season five of “The Walking Dead.” Watch the show 8 p.m. Sundays on AMC. (Courtesy ThinkStock)

Although Sunday’s episode was dull, this season of “The Walking Dead” is bringing the show back to life after the abysmal fourth season.

The premiere of season five was the strongest since the pilot, as viewers got a look at the institutionalized evil of Terminus and the abrupt destruction of it. I wasn’t a fan of Gareth, who I call Governor 2.0. How many charismatic mass murderers leading dystopias are there in Georgia? I do think the introduction of cannibalism was a nice touch to the show as it portrayed how far removed some people are from life as it was before the apocalypse.

After Bob’s leg was cut off and eaten by cannibals, the Terminus arc was resolved as Gareth and his fellow Termites were hacked away in a symbolically brutal execution. I liked how the show didn’t linger on Terminus like it did with The Governor.

The entire second half of season four was spent building up to Terminus at a meandering and painfully slow pace, so it was refreshing to not have to experience that all season.

The show is back to what it does best: The group is on the move and we can only hope that means no more farms, prisons, Rick farming or Beth wanting to get drunk. (Hold it together, Beth.)

I was disappointed the show didn’t take a page out of David Chase’s playbook and leave Beth’s story unresolved. Instead, it seemed the makers of the show gave into the urge to gratify the audience and tie everything into a perfect bow. They shouldn’t be afraid to leave some loose ends; this is the zombie apocalypse, after all.

Since the show insists on bringing back characters from the past, it will be interesting to see what Morgan’s story is after the first episode’s post-credits scene teased his return. He did look a bit more together since we last saw him in his deranged state in season three.

Will the group reunite with Glenn and Maggie in Washington? Probably not anytime soon, but it will be nice to see how the two separated groups function without each other. Here’s to hoping “The Walking Dead” can retain the momentum it gained early in this season and finish the second half of season five as strongly as it started.

Cast of “The Wire” before and after the zombie apocalypse

Lawrence Gilliard Jr.

Before we knew Bob as the charming loner who accompanied Sasha and Maggie to Terminus he was D’Angelo Barksdale of “The Wire.” The nephew of drug kingpin Avon Barksdale, D’Angelo was a high-ranking lieutenant in his uncle’s drug operation.

Chad L. Coleman

Before we knew Tyreese as Judith’s gentle caretaker during season four, he was Dennis “Cutty” Wise of “The Wire.” Once a legendary soldier of Avon Barksdale’s Baltimore drug operation, Cutty gave it all up after a 14-year prison sentence to open his own boxing gym for urban youths.

Seth Gilliam

Before we knew Father Gabriel as the haunted priest in season five he was Sgt. Ellis Carver of “The Wire.” Carver was a narcotics detective attempting to shut down the Barksdale Baltimore drug trade, a complete 180 from the timorous Father Gabriel.