Series Issues: The Walking Dead 5×01 – No Sanctuary

(Photo: Gene Page/AMC)

(Photo: Gene Page/AMC)

Spoilers might turn… up.

The last time we saw our captive band of brothers (and sisters), they were trapped inside a train car and we don’t mean because of the commuter rush. The Walking Dead 5×01: No Sanctuary is when they come out. The premiere episode takes a strange turn as they decided to give us a peek at the Terminus crowd before they were in charge.

However they have little of our sympathy when they switch back to the present. As our badass team has somehow managed to fashion prison-style shank-like weapons to break out at the next chance, a stun grenade seems all that it takes to capture Rick, Bob, Daryl and Glenn.

The tense scene that follows is a processing chain in which each prisoner being brought is knocked over the head and his throat cut. Glenn is just up next as the first interruption arrives in the form of Gareth. The terminus goon then raises its bat again and Glenn fans must be squirming.

(Photo: Gene Page/AMC)

(Photo: Gene Page/AMC)

But they’ve got nothing to worry about… Or at least, not in this episode. Unbeknownst to the group, former member Carol is back. After getting the jump on another goon that she leaves with Tyreese, she’s actually ready to take on Terminus. How does she get in?

Through the fucking front door.

After messing with the charges that keep walker herds away from Terminus, Carol camouflages herself with blood, leaks a gas tank right behind the gate with a sniper bullet and shoots a firework at it. Result? She detonates the tank, shaking the entire building.

This gives the Terminus guys something to think about and the distraction is enough to allow Rick to grab a shank from his boot and take out his would-be slayers. Armed with knifes, machetes and a piece of pipe, Rick, Daryl, Bob and Glenn make short work of walkers in their way. Glenn does ask Rick to open another container. He agrees, but it’s a waste of time. The guy comes out half crazed to end up as a walker meal.

(Photo: Gene Page/AMC)

(Photo: Gene Page/AMC)

There’s a brutality here to both Rick and Carol that seems strangely similar. It’s no longer about killing walkers. It’s about whom are your people and whoever else is done for. Carol is attacked by Terminus Mary. Wrong person to mess with. Mary ends up with a bullet on her leg. Just when Mary and the audience at home is thinking she’s getting another on her head, Carol opens a door and lets the walkers in to finish the job.

Rick is not far behind. He lets a Terminus firing squad go past him, picks the last man and then shoots the rest of the squad in the back. He manages to get the rest of his people out. Once outside the fence, he digs up the bag and announces they’re going back to finish Terminus for good. It’s overkill. Fortunately, Carol finally shows up and the reunion is one moving scene. Daryl is the first to hug her, but I actually loved Rick hugging her too. No need to keep any resentments between them.

Carol brings Rick and the newly reunified team back to Tyreese, who had a little situation of his own to deal with. The captured goon made a move against Judith. It’s another lesson learned. It’s killed or be killed and the family is back together.

Highs:

  • Carol returns and goes commando. We knew she had it in her.
  • Rick turns into a killing machine, which is both bad and good. His redemption comes via Judith.
  • Carol and Daryl reunite. Carol even brings back Daryl’s crossbow.
  • Carl does not end up a hostage at any point during the show. Judith has that dubious honor.
  • Carol blowing up the gas tank at the Terminus entrance.

Lows:

  • Michonne does not recover her sword. Yes, I know this sounds shallow as hell! But come on, it was probably next to Daryl’s crossbow!
  • Was there a point to show us the Terminus crowd before and after? I know we’re suppose to accept that it’s all circumstance and they were fighting a different kind of evil back then. But in the end, you’re butcher or cattle.

That will do for now.

(Source: AMC)

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  1. #1 by omarid513 on October 13, 2014 - 10:48 am

    I enjoyed it, though I have an issue with some of the pacing. While I enjoyed the action and smaller character moments where we’re reminded that Rick and company are more human- or convincing themselves that they are- than the others, my only gripe is very minor: I feel that the reunion AND destruction of Terminus came too soon for just a single episode, particularly with how Season 4 built up to Terminus. It could have spread over two episodes, but that’s a very minor issue. Also, given how much of a survival instinct these people I have, I never felt they were in any real danger at all, despite the false scares. Nothing that took away from my enjoyment of the premiere. Hoping that since we got a little insight on Terminus that we eventually come back to it. I am glad Morgan reappeared, given how he does stick around with Rick’s group in the comic as well. And I’m glad Tyreese showed some spine, but given the events of “The Grove” and Carol’s confession, I can see why he’d be hesitant about killing. I’m wondering if the deaths of Lizzie and Mika will ever be addressed, but since they were fairly minor, I doubt it.

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