6. The Pacing
Remember that journey to Terminus? How exciting it felt, that they were going somewhere major, and that all kinds of sh*t was going to go down when they got there, especially after the season 4 cliffhanger. Season 5 was going to spend a good few episodes there, and it was going to be awesome.
And then boom, everything was literally blown up, and Terminus was reduced to just one episode. It was misdirection, it made for an exciting episode, but in terms of the larger focus it probably wasn’t the best decision. After so much of a season building up to it, one episode – and then another later when Gareth reappeared and was killed – doesn’t exactly represent a great pay-off. The show seems to have a habit of a slow set-up, but then quickly burning through the actual plot.
Of course, it may seem like the show can’t win, as there have been times when it’s just needlessly dragged things out, spending episode-after-episode going over the same ground, repeating the same things, and never actually getting anywhere or doing anything. Pacing issues have plagued The Walking Dead throughout the past few seasons (not really counting the first, as it was only six episodes), and while it’s often too fast or too slow, it rarely seems to be just right.
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