The Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 16 Review: Conquer

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What. A. Finale.

The Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 16 was a pulse-pounding and nail-biting thrill ride that never let up.

It’s OK. We can all take a breath now.

The Walking Dead Season 5 really proved itself as an exciting season, especially in the second half.

I loved the introduction of Alexandria, its people, and the effect the civilized community had on Rick and the other survivors. And as the group tried to get acclimated to the new surroundings, there was that feeling that something was bound to go terribly wrong.

Like as in multiple characters dying in the finale terribly wrong.

There were hints everywhere from those Ws carved into walkers, Father Gabriel being a snitch to Deanna, Nicholas causing problems and stealing that gun, and of course, Rick going crazy.

So going into the 90-minute finale, I was worried that some major blood would be spilled. And the episode really teased the potential downfall of many characters to the point where it would cut from some intense moment to go to another scene.

Who thought Daryl was going to die? Glenn? Aaron? Father Gabriel?

There was a certain excitement and nervousness at not knowing which character would die, as well as the progression of the story itself. This wasn’t just a gore fest that relied on the series’ ability to deliver some fantastic effects sequences.

Instead we got to see the return of Morgan (finally!), who knows how to kick some serious ass whether he’s surrounded by creepy dudes with letters on their foreheads or providing rescue to Aaron and Daryl. It’s awesome knowing he’s back at the same time that he also allows the series to introduce the scary group known as the Wolves.

And this group seems smart and dangerous, setting up traps and kidnapping guys in red ponchos. They may have gotten beat by Morgan, but I’m sure their numbers are much larger and they will be coming for Alexandria. I was so pleased that whole mystery wasn’t left as something of a cliffhanger.

But somebody has got to deal with Father Gabriel. The guy just seems nuts and likely to get everyone killed. And he left the door open to Alexandria! How did nobody notice that? He also nearly took out Sasha (and she almost killed him) after returning from killing a couple walkers. Though how his shirt stayed clean is still beyond me.

His character drives me crazy, but I’m curious as to how the group will deal with him. Will he get a second chance like Nicholas or a bullet to the head like Pete?

I had a feeling that Glenn would be the one to die during the episode (thank goodness he didn’t!), but it was great to see his character choose not to kill Nicholas. Even after Nicholas tried to kill him.

I like to think that was a positive turn for both those characters, but let’s hope that decision doesn’t come back to haunt Glenn later on.

However, it was fantastic to see Rick, who had gone off the rails in The Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 15, pull everything together and deliver a speech about having everyone come together. He would be the guy to help them all survive. He was blunt about the real world, but he was willing to make it all work. And I think he can do it.

If anything, he has to… the Wolves are not far.

I was shocked that some major characters were not killed and instead Reg, Pete and the red poncho guy were the ones to meet their end. But I was glad that the episode didn’t feel forced to kill off a main character just because. The fact that I felt there were stakes, that there was some tension and possibility that someone was about to or could die was effective.

I was invested in the hour from Aaron and Daryl bonding to Morgan’s journey to Deanna trying to decide what to do about Rick. Each moment had you eager to know what was next.

This was such a well-paced and exciting season finale that had me on the edge of my seat. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing Morgan with the group, Rick building Alexandria up, the threat of the Wolves knocking at their (hopefully closed) door, and so much more. Is it fall yet?

What did you think of the season finale? Are you glad Morgan is back? Sound off below, and catch that intense and exhilarating episode again when you watch The Walking Dead online.

Need more The Walking Dead? Check out this preview for the companion series Fear The Walking Dead.

Conquer Review

Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
  • 4.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (55 Votes)

Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.

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