Another season of "The Walking Dead" is behind us, and just as much as ever we're left asking a whole slew of questions. So which are the most pressing as the fifth season comes to a close? Well, it's certainly not "When will Rick finally get a shave," because we got that one answered already. But here's what's particularly keeping us up at night now.
1. Why is Father Gabriel still around?
We get the whole message Morgan is carrying around — that's supposed to be the beacon of hope and all — about how all life is precious, but come on, this guy? First he keeps getting crippled by his guilt over not taking care of his flock, then he makes trouble for the people that are nice enough look out for him. And the, to top that all off, he leaves the gate open so that zombies can get into Alexandria. That's a party foul too far, man.
2. When did the walkers just become background noise?
While we've been dealing with the creeps at Terminus, the interpersonal squabbles in Alexandria and the like, the actual flesh-eating terror of the show has crept out of focus to a point where the walkers show up as just part of the landscape, like "Oh right, totes zombies."
3. How is this show not just about what a badass Carol is yet?
OK, yes Rick is the main character and this finale episode did a great job of re-establishing that fact, but come on. The development of Carol as a character from cowering battered wife to steely-eyed Machiavellian super-woman is clearly the most important thing going on here. If the group didn't need her so badly, we'd totally be pulling for Carol to get her own spin-off.
4. When are Rick and Michonne going to kiss already?
Seriously, just make out. You both want it as much as we do.
5. Wasn't there a baby here somewhere?
For all the trouble it took to bring baby Judith into the world, you'd think she'd factor into the plot more often. But for this big season finale, we get one actual scene with either of the Grimes kids — Carl, who clearly is growing into a badass in his own right — and one stray shot of the infant. If she exists to raise the stakes, we at least need to see her once in a while.
6. Aren't we done making the point yet about other people being the real monsters?
Even for a super-violent show about the zombie apocalypse, this one bit of ironic storytelling continues to be as clumsy as ever, whether we're talking about roving bands of malicious rapists, smiley-faced cannibals or Alexandrians who just don't understand. We get it. Zombies aren't the real problem. Find another thematic beat to hit.
7. Why did it take this long to reunite Rick and Morgan?
Listen, we're thrilled it finally happened, don't get us wrong. And have Mr. "All life is precious" walk into camp just as Rick ices a dude sets up some brilliant dramatic tension for the coming sixth season. But seriously, five whole seasons? That is some intense delayed gratification. And 10 bucks says at least one of the Season Six episodes involves a flashback showing how Morgan got so good with a bow.
Follow Ned Ehrbar on Twitter: @nedrick