Well, what can I say about the worst season of my all-time favorite television series? That’s right, kids, I said worst. Maybe I should take a moment to duck and cover, to avoid the inevitable brickbats and flames headed my way.
I’m speaking from a mostly statistical standpoint. While I’ve eschewed rating the episodes, I still have a general reference system, comprised of three categories: good-to-excellent, mediocre, and lousy (not exactly scientific, I’ll grant you). The stats for Season 5 are as follows:
Season 5 is made up of 36 episodes, which means that only 63.89% of the season falls under the good-to-excellent category. That’s a D, folks. And honestly, it could’ve been worse: “The 7th Is Made up of Phantoms” and “You Drive” both had me on the fence, but they ended up being just decent enough to escape the mediocre label (conversely, "Ninety Years without Slumbering" is just disappointing enough to earn it).
But here’s the surprising thing: before now, I hadn’t watched most of the fifth season in probably 20 years. Overall, I’d say most of the episodes were actually better than I’d remembered, so... I dunno, maybe I’m softening up in my old age. It’s still the weakest season, and it still pales quite painfully when held up against the brilliance of season one, but it’s not terrible. A D grade, after all, is still passing.