Season 5 of AMC's The Walking Dead consists of sixteen episodes; it premiered on October 12, 2014, and concluded on March 29, 2015. It was confirmed on October 29, 2013, that AMC had renewed The Walking Dead for Season 5. Scott Gimple, showrunner of Season 4, continued to serve as executive producer for this season.
The season picks up shortly after Season 4 left off. 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.
The premiere episode, "No Sanctuary", has surpassed various records for achieving a viewership of 17.3 million on its initial broadcast and 8.7 million in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic, making the series once again the most-watched drama series telecast in basic cable history.
After being captured and corralled, Rick, Daryl, Glenn and Bob are brought to a human slaughterhouse, where Terminus residents begin bludgeoning and slitting other captives' throats, one of which is Sam. While stalling Gareth, an explosion occurs outside. Carol has set off a rocket and helps breaks them out after learning about Terminus’ secret from a captured member that Tyreese is keeping at bay.
As they escape they kill many of the cannibals, destroy they compound, and rescue the rest of the group. Despite Rick’s desire for revenge, the group persuade him to just leave the enemy to their fate. After running into Carol, she leads them to Tyreese and Judith much to the delight of Rick, Carl, and Sasha respectively. Afterwards, Rick fixes a Terminus sign to lead potential victims away from the station which is eventually found by Morgan Jones.
The group continue on their journey and come across the preacher Gabriel Stokes and rescue him from Walkers. The preacher takes the group to his church but Rick can’t help but wander if he is hiding something. They find a bus they could use for transportation and Gabriel mentions a food bank where they could resupply. Rick, Bob, Sasha, and a reluctant Gabriel go and Rick’s feelings toward Gabriel are heighten when he notices the man notices a familiar faces cowers in a corner.
Carol and Daryl scout the area and they come across a car that is similar to the one Beth was taken by. The two give the chase.
While walking the woods, Bob is kidnapped by the remaining survivors of Terminus and eat his leg.
As Gareth continues to calmly speak to Bob, while walkers growl at them from inside the elementary school they are camping outside of, Bob eventually reveals his bite wound from the food pantry which frightens the group.
Sasha becomes frantic at Bob’s disappearance and is quick to assume Gabriel had something to do with it. As they confront him, Gabriel confesses that he locked his congregation outside the church as Walkers were coming and were killed, but he does not know what happened to Bob. They soon find Bob in his current state and decide to hunt down the Terminus survivors which help from Abraham on the condition Glenn, Maggie, and Tara leave with him to take Eugene to Washington D.C.
The group lead the cannibals to believe the church is unguarded and they head for the sanctuary. When they get there, Gareth and his group are cornered and is on his knees begging to be let go, Rick’s group slaughter’s the remaining Terminus residents. After Bob is put down and buried, Abraham and his group leave but not before giving Rick a map encouraging him to join them when he can. Later, that night Michonne finds Daryl without Carol and a with a stranger.
Beth finds herself in Atlanta at Grady Memorial Hospital that is run by Officer Dawn Lerner. It is a systematic routine where they treat wounded survivors in exchange for working to pay off their debt. Beth becomes Dr. Steven Edwards’ assistant and meets Noah and they start a friendship.
After a series of confrontations with the police staff and seeing Dawn’s mental state. The two decide to escape the hospital. They make it outside and are soon pursued by the cops. Beth is able to ensure Noah escapes before being captured again. Just before she can kill Dr. Edwards for an earlier betrayal, she finds that the cops have brought in an unconscious Carol on a stretcher.
Abraham’s past is shown in flashbacks where his family is disturbed by his brutality against living and dead enemies and leave out of fear only to meet their deaths. A shattered Abraham nearly gives up on life until he rescues Eugene from Walkers and decides to accompany the man after he reveals he has a “special mission.”
In present day, Abraham and his crew are stymied by problems in reaching their destination that are partly caused by Eugene who confides in Tara that he lied about a cure for the Walker infection. They find a fire truck to replace the bus and prepare to press on until they see a mega-herd of Walkers. Despite pleas and ignoring all logic, Abraham is ready to trail through the herd until Eugene finally confesses to his lie leaving everyone despondent and Abraham punching him to unconsciousness before walking away and breaking down.
Carol goes a crisis of conscience as she helps Daryl locate the car that had Beth. They reach Atlanta where they find the cops it belongs to and discover the car and supplies going to Grady Memorial. Later they find Noah who initially takes their weapons and supplies. When Noah is trapped under a book shelf, Carol insists he be rescued despite Daryl wanting to just leave him. Daryl eventually gives in and helps him out before Walkers get to him.
Noah reveals that Beth is at the hospital and they prepare to escape when Carol is hit by one of the cars. Noah says the y have to let them take her because at least they and treat her injuries and Daryl and get the information to Rick and the others.
Rick, Tyreese, Sasha, Noah, and Daryl make it to Atlanta and prepare a plan to capture two officers and exchange them for Beth and Carol so no one has to die. The two cops, Lamson and Shepard claim the trade won’t work and want to help take her down. However, Lamson uses and opportunity to escape by using her grief over Bob.
Eugene is still out cold in the road. Rosita attempts to talk to Abraham. He smacks the water bottle out of her hands and then jumps to his feet and gets in her face when she starts yelling. Maggie pulls her gun on him with complete conviction. He recognizes it and sits back down. After Maggie tells him to get over himself, he eventually comes to his senses.
At the hospital, Dawn is faced with the decision to kill or save Carol. While the decision is to let her die, she secretly has Beth get the medicine needed to save Carol with Dr. Edwards’ help.
After running Lamson over, Rick kills him as he is no longer viable hostage. They capture another one and enact their plan. In a standoff, they trade each person one by one with ease until Dawn requests Noah to be returned. Noah agrees to prevent violence but Beth, realizing Dawn’s true nature, stabs her with scissors which makes Dawn accidently shoot her and Daryl killing her in retaliation. Shepard orders the officers to stand down and offers to let the group stay at the hospital but they decline and leave with Noah.
When the church overrun with Walkers, Michonne, Carl, Judith, and Gabriel escape and are rescued by Abraham’s group and they all to Grady Memorial to retrieve Beth. Maggie is heartbroken when Beth’s corpse is carried out of the hospital.
The group now in Richmond, Virginia where the attempt to locate Noah’s family and find their community in ruins and everyone dead. As Noah and Tyreese search a house, Tyreese gets bit on the arm and Noah has to go get help. As Tyreese lies on the floor, he hallucinates visions of Beth, Lizzie, Mika, a Terminus resident, Bob, and The Governor each giving positives and negatives on dying and doing what had to be done in order to survive the apocalypse. The group arrives and amputates Tyreese’s arm but it is too late and he dies of blood loss. The group buries him before setting off again.
The group is despondent and dealing with grief, PTSD, hunger, and thirst as they continue to find another place to settle down and survive.
They came across bottles of water on the road that are supposedly for them but they refuse to touch it. They soon find a barn to shelter themselves from the rain and potential wind storm. As they rest, they are soon awakened by the sound of Walkers trying to break in and each group member eventually lends an aid to keeping the door shut.
The next morning, Maggie and Sasha sit down on a downed tree and watch a sunrise together and converse. It is interrupted by a man named Aaron, who asks them to meet the man in charge and calls for Rick.
Maggie and Sasha bring Aaron back to Rick immediately distrusts him and refuses to listen when he says their community is safe and it is thriving. The group, while wary of the man, think they should check it out. Taking Aaron’s word, Glenn, Michonne, and some others decide to find Aaron’s car and partner to prove his story is true lest Rick kills him. Despite some truth being found, Rick is still not fully convinced of Aaron’s intentions until he helps to group the route where to reach the community and finds his boyfriend Eric whom they saved from Walkers. Rick, finally believing him. Decides to go with the two to the community much to the hope of his group.
Speaking to the Alexandria’s leader Deanna Monroe one by one, they each share thoughts or lie to her on their life outside their walls. They go through the community and try to adjust to live there. They meet others in the town like Enid, another survivor who was invited in, Deanna’s family, and Jessie Anderson and her family consisting of husband Pete and sons Ron and Sam. Some get jobs within the community such as Carol being a cook, Rick and Michonne as constables, and Glenn and Tara joining the supply-runners where they discover how inadequate and naive they are when it comes to Walkers.
At his new house, Rick and tells Carol and Daryl his concerns for the community and decide if the people can’t make it, they’ll take over Alexandria.
Sasha has trouble adjusting to the community due to her trauma and her impatience with the community members. It becomes apparent at a welcoming party held by Deanna for Rick’s group. Daryl mostly keeps to himself aside from his group but accepts a dinner invite to Aaron and Eric’s home for dinner. Earlier, Daryl and Aaron try to catch a horse for the people but after a Walker attack, they were forced to put it down.
Carol also begins a bond with Jessie’s son Sam that get slightly hindered when she threatens tie him outside and let the monsters eat him after he discovers her taking the group’s guns from the pantry.
Gabriel having what seems like an erosion of his faith, warns Deanna that Rick’s group cannot be trusted and claim they will think of themselves and let her people die if it suits their purpose. Maggie overhears the conversation.
Noah, Eugene, Tara, and Glenn join Nicholas and Aiden on a supply-run where they run into trouble which leads to the deaths of Aiden and Noah because of Nicholas’ cowardice. Glenn is nearly left behind but Eugene stalls him long enough for Glenn to take Nicholas down. Once they return to Alexandria, Glenn tells Nicholas not to go back out there again.
After a few exchanges with Jessie and Pete, Rick begins to suspect that Pete is abusing Jessie and the boys. Carol’s advice to Rick is to just kill him.
As the Monroe’s mourn the loss of their youngest son, Glenn stresses that Alexandria needs to learn how to survive so that their safe haven can work.
Rick contemplates on whether or not to kill Pete to safe Jessie from his drunk rages. He tells Deanna about Pete and while she is aware his nature, she insists they don’t kill people, just send them away. Rick finds Jessie in her garage and tells her that he knows about Pete. When Pete arrive home, a fight escalates that leads into the street. After Deanna breaks up the fight, Rick pulls out his gun and makes a speech on how unprepared the community is for the new world only to be knocked out by Michonne.
Daryl go on a run in hopes of finding more people. While tracking a man in a red poncho, they stumble upon a compound that has Walkers in trucks that they accidently let out. They seek refuge in a car and after planning their escape they are assisted by Rick’ acquaintance Morgan Jones.
After Pete and Rick’s brawl, the community debates whether or not to exile Rick. His friends plan to vouch for him and hope for the best. As the meeting goes on, Rick encounters a Walker that got past the gate. He brings it to the meeting as evidence to show them how their way of doing things was going to get them killed but offers to teach them how. A drunken Pete shows up with Michonne’s katana. Deanna’s husband tries to intervene but gets his throat slashed and bleeds out. With Abraham holding Pete down, Deanna gives Rick the OK to kill Pete and immediately does so. Rick looks up and finds Morgan staring at him in shock.
|Title||Writer(s)||Air Dates||U.S. Viewers|
|1.||"No Sanctuary"||Scott Gimple||October 12, 2014 (US)|
October 13, 2014 (UK)
|2.||"Strangers"||Robert Kirkman||October 19, 2014 (US)|
October 20, 2014 (UK)
|3.||"Four Walls and a Roof"||Angela Kang|
|October 26, 2014 (US)|
October 27, 2014 (UK)
|November 2, 2014 (US)|
November 3, 2014 (UK)
|5.||"Self Help"||Heather Bellson|
|November 9, 2014 (US)|
November 10, 2014 (UK)
|November 16, 2014 (US)|
November 17, 2014 (UK)
|7.||"Crossed"||Seth Hoffman||November 23, 2014 (US)|
November 24, 2014 (UK)
|8.||"Coda"||Angela Kang||November 30, 2014 (US)|
December 1, 2014 (UK)
|9.||"What Happened and What's Going On"||Scott Gimple||February 8, 2015 (US)|
February 9, 2015 (UK)
|10.||"Them"||Heather Bellson||February 15, 2015 (US)|
February 16, 2015 (UK)
|11.||"The Distance"||Seth Hoffman||February 22, 2015 (US)|
February 23, 2015 (UK)
|12.||"Remember"||Channing Powell||March 1, 2015 (US)|
March 2, 2015 (UK)
|13.||"Forget"||Corey Reed||March 8, 2015 (US)|
March 9, 2015 (UK)
|14.||"Spend"||Matt Negrete||March 15, 2015 (US)|
March 16, 2015 (UK)
|15.||"Try"||Angela Kang||March 22, 2015 (US)|
March 23, 2015 (UK)
|16.||"Conquer"||Scott Gimple||March 29, 2015 (US)|
March 30, 2015 (UK)
- Mary (Confirmed Fate)
- Crazed Man
- Bob Stookey
- Hanson (Confirmed Fate)
- Gavin Trevitt
- Joan (Alive and Zombified)
- Ellen Ford (Flashback)
- A.J. Ford (Flashback)
- Becca Ford (Flashback)
- Warren (Confirmed fate)
- Dirk (Confirmed fate)
- Stephanie (Confirmed fate)
- Josephine (Confirmed fate)
- Rex (Confirmed fate)
- Pam (Confirmed fate)
- Josiah (Confirmed fate)
- Roger (Confirmed fate)
- Bob Lamson
- Beth Greene
- Dawn Lerner
- Tyreese Williams
- Aiden Monroe
- Red Poncho Man (Alive)
- Reg Monroe
- Pete Anderson
- Many unnamed Terminus residents
- At least 4 unnamed captives
- 1 unnamed man
- 4 unnamed survivors (Flashback)
- Noah's Mother (Confirmed Fate)
- Noah's second Brother (Confirmed Fate)
- Noah's youngest Brother (Alive, Confirmed Fate; Zombified)
- Many unnamed people from Shirewilt Residence (Confirmed Fate)
- 3 Dogs
The series was renewed for a fifth season on October 29, 2013.
Kirkman made a statement of an open request during his interview with The Hollywood Reporter that himself, and the whole crew of the series want Charlie Sheen to be cast as Negan. He stated: "Charlie call us, we we will totally make that happen. We’ll do whatever you want."
New York Comic-Con
- This season is mainly based on "Volume 11: Fear The Hunters", "Volume 12: Life Among Them" and "Volume 13: Too Far Gone" from the Comic Series.
- This season debuts a new opening sequence, replacing the one used from "Seed" to "A". It features shots from previous episodes:
- Beth trying to escape Grady Memorial Hospital from "Slabtown".
- The zombies behind the 'Don't Open, Dead Inside' door from "Days Gone Bye".
- The Nursing Home from "Vatos".
- The lone stray zombie from "18 Miles Out".
- Rick holding his axe in the prison tombs as Glenn approaches with a flashlight in "Say the Word".
- Morgan's burning walker pile from "Clear".
- Lizzie and Mika's graves from "The Grove".
- Glenn's picture of Maggie burning from "Us".
- The Governor's cargo in Woodbury, walkers banging on the hermit's boarded up shack, and The Governor's interrogation room from "When the Dead Come Knocking".
- The Terminus candle room with walkers trying to get in from "No Sanctuary".
- The barn The Governor sees in "Live Bait".
- Tyreese's point of view of the woods while Rick, Michonne, Glenn, and Noah rush to save his life from "What Happened and What's Going On".
- Abraham's marked up map from "Four Walls and a Roof".
- Only 1 named character in Season 5 died and reanimated into a zombie, Joan.
- Below are the changes made to the main cast in this season.
- Emily Kinney (Beth) and Chad Coleman (Tyreese) are listed in the opening sequence for the first time after being listed under "Also Starring". Both have been series regulars since Season 4. Both actors' names appear on the same frame during the opening credit sequence. This is the first and so far only occurrence on the show. Coincidentally, both characters are killed off in Season 5.
- Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha) and Lawrence Gilliard Jr. (Bob) are still listed under "Also Starring." Both have been regulars since Season 4.
- Michael Cudlitz (Abraham), Josh McDermitt (Eugene), Christian Serratos (Rosita), Alanna Masterson (Tara), and Andrew J. West (Gareth) are upgraded to series regulars from after recurring appearances in Season 4.
- Michael Cudlitz is added to the opening credit sequence, while Josh McDermitt, Christian Serratos, Alanna Masterson and Andrew J. West are listed under "Also Starring".
- Seth Gilliam (Fr. Gabriel) is introduced as a series regular in the second episode "Strangers" and is listed under "Also Starring."
- Following the deaths of Gareth and Bob in "Four Walls and a Roof," Andrew J. West and Lawrence Gilliard, Jr. are no longer credited under "Also Starring" in any subsequent episode.
- Gilliard and West are the first series regulars to be written off whilst credited as "Also Starring" and to not appear in the opening credit sequence.
- Gilliard later appeared as a special guest star in "What Happened and What's Going On". Gilliard is the first cast member to be listed as a regular and a special guest star in a season.
- Following the deaths of Beth and Tyreese in "Coda" and "What Happened and What's Going On," Emily Kinney and Chad Coleman are no longer listed in the opening sequence, though they are added back to the opening credit sequence of the episode "Forget," as Beth and Tyreese appear in archive footage.
- This season is tied with Season 7 with killing off the most main cast characters, with four regulars killed off: Gareth, Bob Stookey, Beth Greene and Tyreese Williams.
- The final episode, "Conquer", is the first season finale and the third episode since "Days Gone Bye" of Season 1 and "What Lies Ahead" of Season 2 to have a 90 minute long premiere.
- The episode titles "Remember", "Forget", "Spend", "Try", and "Conquer" are all references to a story Dale told the group around the campfire in Season 1: "I like what the father said to the son when he gave him a watch that had been handed down through generations. He said: 'I give you a mausoleum of all hope and desire which will fit your individual needs, no better than it did mine and my father before me. I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you may forget it. For a moment, now and then, and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it.'"
- This was the last season that had an episode written by Robert Kirkman due to his departure from AMC in 2017.
- ↑ Erica Kelly, AMC Renews The Walking Dead for a Fifth Season, "The Walking Dead", (October 29th, 2013).
- ↑ "No Sanctuary" Receives 17.28 Million Viewers - Zap2it (Oct 13, 2014)
- ↑ [tvline.com/2013/10/29/the-walking-dead-season-5-renewal-2014/]
- ↑ [insidetv.ew.com/2014/05/20/walking-dead-robert-kirkman-season-5/ Production Starts for Season 5]
- ↑ Production Wrapped for Season 5
- ↑ [tvline.com/2015/01/14/the-walking-dead-ross-marquand-cast-aaron-gay-season-5/ Marquand Confirmed as Aaron]
- ↑ [insidetv.ew.com/2015/01/14/walking-dead-casting-ross-marquand/ Marquand Joined the Cast]
- ↑ Charlie Sheen as Negan