High: Storylines aren't being dragged out as much anymore
When people try to pretend that they can see the diminishing of the "Walking Dead" budget on-screen, one of the things they usually use as evidence was the extended sojourn on The Farm in Season 2 or the over-reliance on the Prison set for two-ish seasons. For whatever reason, "Walking Dead" has always been a show that tried to stretch to three or four episodes things it probably could do in one. That hasn't been the case in the second half of last season or this season thus far. The fifth season premiere was a great example of "Walking Dead" refusing to dilly-dally, as the Terminus plotline, or at least the Terminus setting, was explosively dealt with almost immediately. And then the show could have kept the Termites out there as a plotline for years. Nope! The current status quo is to expedite the narrative, while keeping the character ramifications in play long-term. For now? It's working.