What I like most about The Walking Dead is the character development, so I wrote this synopsis by character instead of by season or episode. I hope you like it and it gets you ready to jump back in to the world of the walkers! October 11th!
Rick Grimes is the central character in The Walking Dead. He represents the struggle of mankind in this new world. We see him face situation after situation and change, adapting to survive.
BZA he was a sheriff in a small town, married to Lori, with a son Carl. He is shot in the line of duty and is in a coma when the ZA is happening. His partner, Shane, leaves Rick in the hospital, tells Lori that Rick is dead and they leave Atlanta for a safer place. Rick wakes up from the coma and sets out to find his family. He does and joins the group which is now Rick-Lori-Carl, Shane, Andrea-Amy, Dale, Glen, Carol-Ed-Sophia, Merle-Daryl, T-Dog, and the Morales family.
Pivotal events for Rick are:
- finding out that Lori slept with his partner Shane. Shane told Lori that Rick was dead, when in reality Shane had left him in the hospital.
- overshadowing Shane and becoming the leader of the group. The group turns to him for strategy, morality, strength, and hope.
- learning at the CDC that everyone is infected and will turn when they die.
- Sophia getting lost and Rick feeling responsible.
- when Hershel goes to a bar and Rick tries to bring him home, Rick is forced to kill two men in cold blood and he kidnaps a third. He keeps the third man captive and threatens him. Rick struggles to determine what to do with him, facing the new reality that letting someone live may mean they come back later and kill you or someone in your family.
- learning that Lori is pregnant, but they don’t know if it is Shane’s child or Rick’s.
- having to “kill” walker-Sophia.
- realizing that Shane is not only immoral, but is trying to kill him.
- being forced to kill Shane.
- Carl getting shot and Rick realizing how fragile it all is.
- Lori’s death in childbirth is a huge blow to Rick. He begins hallucinating and withdraws from everyone becoming the group’s farmer in the prison, instead of their leader.
- having to decide whether to give up Michonne to the Governor in exchange for the group’s safety.
- watching his son and Michonne assaulted by a group of men and having to bite the leaders throat to stop it.
- thinking that The Governor’s people have killed his daughter, Judith.
- meeting Jessie and having feelings for her.
The test of a new person to see if they can join the group is three questions. 1. How many walkers have you killed? 2. How many people have you killed? 3. Why? The answers do tell a lot about the person. Rick has killed too many walkers to count. I find myself writing again and again these words, “Rick is forced to kill….” because this new world order is forcing Rick to do horrible things that he not only never would have done before, but also doesn’t want to do now. He sees the necessity of it, but he still doesn’t like or want to do it.
Ed is an abusive husband, married to Carol and their daughter is Sophia. Carol is the sole survivor of this family as of the end of Season 5. Much of Carol’s personality results from having been abused and losing her daughter. She has become mentally unstable and very hardened. She is able to lie and is quite ruthless, all while having a “stay-at-home, defenseless, mom” persona. Ed died early on, killed by a Walker. Sophia was chased by a herd of walkers into the woods and became lost. The group searched and searched for her and eventually found her as a Walker. This broke Carol and she was never the same afterwards. While the group was seeking shelter in a prison, Carol murdered two sick people, Karen and David, to keep their disease from spreading and Rick exiled her from the group. She was welcomed back however when she saved the group from the killers at Terminus. Carol also saved the group when they were trying to escape from the CDC before it self-destructed. She handed Rick a grenade that released them from the CDC before it imploded. Carol seems to care very much for Daryl, who searched diligently for Sophia and gave Carol hope during that horrible time. But Daryl keeps her at arms length. Another major event for Carol was having to deliver Rick and Lori’s baby, Judith, by C-Section. Not Carol’s fault but Lori dies in childbirth. Also deeply affecting Carol was the death of two girls she had taken care of after their family died, Lizzy and Mika. In a horrible episode, Lizzy who has a twisted idea of afterlife and the character of the walkers, murders Mika. Carol is forced to kill Lizzy, who is planning on murdering the baby, Judith. No wonder she’s a bit unhinged, right?
In Alexandria, Carol has reinvented her public image as a cookie-baking, defenseless older woman who needs others to defend her. (Remember the scene where she bakes a casserole for Pete, threatens to slit his throat, then tells him to wash the dish before he returns it!) She tries to bond with the people of Alexandria who she sees as weak children because they have been safe behind the walls. They have not been tested and subjected to the horrors that the Rick-family has seen. They have not been forced to make the tough choices and to do unspeakable things they never would have imagined needing to do. Carol still has a secret gun she stole from the armory at Alexandria. The combination of ruthless, secretive and armed makes her very dangerous unless her mental state improves.
Merle and Daryl are brothers who grew up in the South in difficult circumstances. Merle was a criminal, bigot, all-around bad guy BZA. While on a supply run early in the show, Merle gets in a fight after insulting an African American and endangers the group. Rick handcuffs him to a pipe on a rooftop and through a serious of events, Merle is left there alone. Eventually a rescue is launched but when they get back to the rooftop, Merle has sawed through his arm and is gone. He and Daryl continue searching for each other, until Season 3, when they reunite at Woodbury where Merle has become The Governor’s enforcer. By then, we have seen Daryl develop into someone who has a clear sense of right and wrong, and chooses right. The two brothers now have a very, very strong sibling bond but find themselves on opposite sides of every issue. But whatever bad he does, Merle’s ties to Daryl are stronger than anything else. After much conflict, Merle pulls himself together and tries to kill The Governor in order to protect Daryl. He fails and dies in the attempt. He turns, and Daryl find him as a Walker. Daryl is forced to stab him and put him to rest. Daryl is one of my favorite characters. Both he and Merle grew up hunting, tracking and fighting for survival BZA. But the trials of their youth have sharpened and strengthened Daryl’s humanity, whereas Merle has been hardened and twisted. Daryl struggles to find his moral compass, but he does it with great strength. A cross bow is his weapon of choice, which to me was one of the smarter choices. The arrows can be reused. When they break they can be mended and he can even whittle new ones. There are many, many times when people run out of ammunition for their guns and Daryl saves them with his bow. He and Michone are very smart, strong, warriors. He had a brief period of peace when he was traveling with Beth and appeared to be falling in love with her. The dichotomy of Beth’s purity and innocence versus Daryl’s roughness and difficult life was fascinating. Daryl seems to understand and deal with the concept of the walkers the best of all the characters. He knows that they are no longer the people they were when they are alive and it is showing mercy to kill them.
In the last episode of Season 6, Daryl and Aaron are trapped in a car surrounded by walkers. Aaron tells Daryl that he is not the outsider that he thinks he is, pointing out how many times Daryl has come to the rescue of the group. Daryl has shown that while he may not be comfortable in communities, that he is not alone – he has, and cares for, a family that cares for him, as well. Morgan rescues Daryl and Aaron and the three of them return to Alexandria. Just in time to see Rick kill Pete.
While the group is looking for Sophia, Carl is accidentally shot in the woods by a stranger, Otis. Otis directs Rick to take Carl to a doctor, Hershel. Hershel lives on a farm with his two daughters, Maggie and Beth. In the beginning, Hershel is very inflexible and wants nothing to do with Rick’s group. He reluctantly lets them stay until Carl recovers enough to travel. He is still holding out hope that there will be a cure for the infected people (walkers) and doesn’t fully understand the implications of what is going on. Eventually, he is forced to face the truth when Glen tells everyone about the walkers in Hershel’s barn and Shane releases them. They include Hershels wife, stepson, and Carol’s daughter, Sophia. A herd of walkers attacks the farm and Hershel joins Rick’s group as they flee the area. The group is scattered when they escape the farm. Glen is a young, Asian man that we literally see grow up as the series progresses. In the first episodes, he is the “runner” who thinks and moves quickly, perfect skills for supply runs. He saves Rick from a huge mob of walkers and is friends with Daryl, the conscience of the original Atlanta group. Because of his age and temperament he is Rick’s right hand, instead of being the leader of the group. As he grows more and more confident and realizes his own strengths, he becomes extremely valuable to the group. He falls in love with Maggie, Hershel’s daughter and they eventually marry. It’s one of the happier storylines, the love story of Maggie and Glen. At one point they are separated and Maggie is leaving notes in the hope that Glen may run across run to meet her at Terminus. That of course, turns out to be a bad place, but they do eventually meet. Everyone must be cheering for Maggie and Glen to make it *fingerscrossed*. Which brings me to one of the dangling stories from the last episode of Season 6. Nicholas, a cowardly person from Alexandria has shot Glen.
When we last see Glen in the dramatic finale, he is one of our Nick-family that is facing major moral challenges, Glen has a gun to Nicholas’ forehead. Suspense builds. You can see the struggle going on in his mind. But he puts it down and lets Nicholas live. In the Walking Dead world, that usually comes back to bite you. I hope not this time.
While the group is in the prison, Hershel really bonds with Glen. He didn’t like him at first and then slowly came to see Glen’s strength of character. Eventually Hershel gives Glen his blessing, even passing on an heirloom pocket watch, calling him “son”. Hershel is bitten by a Walker in the prison, but Rick’s quick thinking to amputate his leg, saves Hershel’s life. Hershel goes on with crutches. Hershel replaces Dale as the moral compass of the group. In one of the most dramatic episodes, Hershel is kidnapped by The Governor and publicly beheaded as a threat to the Rick-family holding up in the prison.
Beth is Maggie’s half-sister and Hershel’s daughter. She is like a bright light in a dark world. We get to know her most after being isolated from the group with Daryl, she is kidnapped by another group that is hold up in a hospital. Beth finds her true strength and courage while working in the hospital but it is her last stand. She is killed in a hostage exchange between the Rick-group and the hospital-group. Although Beth has died, I think she’s important to remember as her role in showing us the humanity and vulnerability of Daryl.
We last see Maggie, as an assistant to the leader of the Alexandria group, Deanna. She has defended Rick in the Alexandria group forum to discuss whether he should be exiled because he pulled a gun on people and fought with Pete. After Deanna talks about Pastor Gabriel’s condemnation of the group as dangerous, Maggie goes to look for Gabriel. She finds Sasha about to kill Gabriel. Maggie stops her.
Creator Robert Kirkman described Michonne as, “there’s a lot to that role, and Danai, more than any other actress, showed us that she could exhibit that strength and show what an intense character she could be and, at the same time, have that emotional core and be able to show a vulnerability to a certain extent that we don’t see much of but is definitely there.” Michonne is also one of my favorite characters. Like Daryl, she is quiet but strong. Very strong. Her weapon is a katana sword. Again, like Daryl’s bow, I think this is such a smart choice because it doesn’t run out of ammunition. To remind you of Michonne’s history, she had a son, Andre. (Michonne was first introduced into the Rick-family because of Andrea. The name connection is interesting!) She blamed her boyfriend Mike and his friend Terry for Andre’s death. In a gruesome turn, she cuts off their zombie arms and breaks their jaws. Chained behind her, she discovers that other zombies won’t attack her and the “pets” won’t attack her, because they have no jaws. I started to put Michonne with Rick, Lori and Carl because she bonds quite strongly with Carl. Shhhh, I would love to see her and Rick get together.
Michonne has the second-to-last scene in the last episode of Season 5. Pete took her katana sword from her home and used it to kill Reg, Deanna’s husband. Since arriving at Alexandria, she hadn’t been wearing it symbolically returning to a BZA Michonne. But at the end of the last episode, she starts to return it to the wall, changes her mind and wears it again. I think that is saying it’s time for Warrior Michonne to come back into play. Look out, the peace has ended. The last scene bears that out, as we see the words, “Wolves Not Far” painted on a car.
Deanna, Reg, Aiden, Nicholas, Spencer, Pete, Jessie
These are the main characters of the group in Alexandria. Deanna is the leader (who listens to others input, but unilaterally makes the final decision). Reg is her husband, a smart but sensitive guy who hasn’t caught up with the new world order. Aiden is their son, who is killed by walkers on a supply run – the warehouse horror that shows us the cowardice of Nicholas. Nicholas lies to Deanna and blames Glen for Aiden’s death. Jessie and Pete are a married couple – Pete is a doctor who abuses Jessie and frightens their son. Jessie and Rick have had some chemistry and Rick has strong feelings to protect her. When Rick comes to Deanna with the issue of Pete abusing Jessie, he tells her that they need to separate Pete. Deanna pushes Rick to say that if separation doesn’t work, they have to execute Pete. Deanna says, “We don’t kill people.” This is our setup for the finale when, after Pete kills Reg, Deanna says, “Do it.”
Abraham, Sasha, Tyreese, Eugene, Tara, Rosita
Eugene convinces Abraham that he is a scientist with a cure and needs to get to Washington DC. It later comes out that he made up that story, to get someone to help him. At first Abraham is angry to have been duped but then realizes that he needed a mission just as much as Eugene needed help. Rosita is Abraham’s girlfriend. Tara was originally on the side of the Governor but switched when she saw him decapitate Hershel.
Sasha and Tyreese are brother and sister. Sasha falls in love with Bob and suffers great losses when Bob and then Tyreese are killed.
At Alexandria, Sasha begins hunting walkers and she says, “I’m sick of playing defense.” THANK YOU!!! This is my major complaint of the show. The humans are strong and smart. The walkers are slow, weak, and stupid. All they have going for them is there numbers and there ability to kill. I wish the humans would stop running and waiting and start looking at ways of eliminating the walkers. It wouldn’t be hard. Look at how easily the Wolves pulled walkers into those trailers.
Morgan saved Rick in Season 1 and the two agreed to try to radio each other and meet up because Morgan wasn’t ready to leave his home and dead wife when Rick was leaving to find his family. They ran into each other again, when Rick found Morgan holed up in a booby-trapped town but Morgan was in no mental condition to join Rick. Then we see Morgan again in Season 5 when he is attacked by two men, who we find out are the Wolves. He doesn’t kill the Wolves but leaves them because he believes, as he tells Daryl later, “All life is precious.”
Morgan ends up saving Daryl and Aaron who take him to Alexandria. He walks in, just as Rick is killing Pete.
The Wolves are two guys (at least only two that we’ve seen) who are marking “W” on their own foreheads and on walkers. They threaten to kill Morgan and try to kill Daryl and Aaron. Not good guys. It’s hinted in the last episode that they will attack Alexandria because at the end of Season 5, one is looking at the pictures Aaron had in his backpack (and we see the words, “Wolves Not Far” painted on a car).
Okay, so much more I could write but this is a LONG post.
I hope it gets you back in to the storylines of The Walking Dead before season six begins on October 11th.
I can’t wait! Are you excited?
Feel free to add stories or points I missed in the comments and things you think might develop in the new season!