As the millions of fans still buzz about The Walking Dead Season 4 finale, preparations are already underway for Season 5. Andrew J. West who portrays Gareth has been promoted to series regular for next season along with two other additions in Alanna Masterson as Tara and Christian Serratos as Rosita. Furthermore, creator Robert Kirkman has already begun to hype up next season in interviews.
Gareth, for those of the viewers who have bad short-term memory, made his introduction in Sunday’s finale, A, as the leader of the possibly cannibal antagonists at Terminus. He will be the second foe to face off against the survivors in The Walking Dead since the Governor.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly Robert Kirkman called Gareth an “interesting” and “big character” and someone who is indeed based on a character in the comics. He said if one were a detective they would be able to dig out the answers. Many fans have speculated that Gareth could be Chris, the leader of a group of cannibals known as The Hunters. In the comics they eat Dale’s leg, but obviously that will not happen in the TV series as Dale has not been alive for quite some time. Going back to Kirkman’s use of the word “savage” to describe the finale, Chris in the comics is savagely mutilated by Abraham, Rick, Michonne and Andrea – a scene that could play out very well in the series now that we know Rick will do anything to survive.
There is a possibility Gareth could also be Negan, a ruthless and vicious leader of a group of baddies known as The Saviors. They lived in a base that they called their “sanctuary,” a word which the group at Terminus also use to call their home. Coincidence?
In regards to the Terminus, its inhabitants, and the new cast addition Gareth, Kirkman would not talk much, remaining tight-lipped about whether the rumors of them as cannibals are true. However, he did say, as reported by Zap 2 It, that there will be “a very deep, dark and storied history to Terminus.” The creator added that many secrets will be revealed of the mysterious location in the Season 5 premiere, along with exploring how its inhabitants came to be.
Another cast addition will be Masterson as Tara who made her introduction in the Governor centric episode Live Bait. There is plenty to explore with her character having reluctantly played a role in the destruction of the prison and witnessing The Governor chop Hershel’s head off in the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead Season 4. Although Glenn has forgiven her a guilt like that is not easy to rub off and Season 5 will be a redemption of sorts for Tara as she tries to make herself accepted by the rest of the survivors.
Rosita is the most intriguing of the additions as there is not much known about her and plenty to explore. She made her introduction with her companions Abraham and Eugene, played by Michael Cudlitz and Josh McDermitt respectively, both of whom have overshadowed her as more interesting characters and have already been upgraded to series regulars.
The dynamics between Tara and Rosita and the other survivors and how they will fit in is anyone’s guess, but both actresses who portray them definitely adds some much-needed eye candy to a show that has lacked in that department in the first four seasons.
The three additions ratchets up the main cast to 16 for Season 5, the biggest cast yet for The Walking Dead. In previewing next year, Robert Kirkman said that secrets are not going to be kept “to the vest” very long and in the premiere viewers will definitely “get some answers.”
Commentary by Kollin Lore