Fire ablaze, smoke rising to the skies, hundreds of walking decaying corpses, human hanging body parts and round off gunshots. Those are what describe the gut-wrenching, action-packed and ultra-violent episode of the highly anticipated Season 5 premiere of ‘The Walking Dead’. Hooray, it’s finally back after the long wait and it sure was worth it. Season 5 Episode 1 titled ‘No Sanctuary’ starts the new season off with a bang.
We are left off from Season 4’s cliffhanging season finale with Rick and company who includes: Rick Grimes, Carl Grimes, Daryl Dixon, Michonne, Glenn Rhee, Maggie Greene, Sasha, Bob Stookey, Abraham Ford, Rosita Espinosa, Eugene Porter and Tara Chambler are all eventually escorted and locked inside a train cart labeled, ‘A’. Rick, Carl, Daryl and Michonne who reunite with their fellow comrades are delighted and leave hope alive as Rick mutters the final line to the season, “They’re going to feel pretty stupid when they find out…” Abraham replies, “Find out what?” Rick then looks at the camera and says, “They’re screwing with the wrong people.” Many people agree as I do that Rick should have said, “They’re f**king with the wrong people.” Well, months after the end of Season 4 a deleted scene was leaked on the internet with Rick saying “f**king” instead of “screwing”. I wish they just went with this. It’s way more bad-ass. Check it out.
Anyway, heading back into Season 5, we see Rick and his group forming do-it-yourself weapons within the train cart as they prepare themselves for whoever enters. Rick sanded a sharp piece of wood from the train, a few other sticks are made and the pointed ends of a belt are bent backward to form brass knuckles. A second later, the Terminus people or ‘Termites’ toss a smoke grenade and grab Rick, Daryl, Glenn and Bob outside. They show the point of the view from Rick as he gets dragged into a room with two butchers and four unknown prisoners. Rick, Daryl, Glenn and Bob are separately bound in knots and mouths covered with rope as they’re forced to kneel and hunch over a cattle trough. Things are looking like grim ending for Rick’s group as a line of prisoners are taken out with their skulls beaten by a baseball bat followed by the slicing of their necks. Blood begins pouring into the trough. The first prisoner to die was the young guy that Rick ran into earlier in Season 4. After the first four prisoners are killed, the man with the baseball bat and the machete get ready as they are about to brutally murder Glenn. Is Glenn going to die? Right before the bat can hit Glenn’s head, Gareth the leader of Terminus and first hipster character on the show enters the slaughterhouse and complains to the butchers about not counting the shells in their inventory. This is when Bob tries to plea with Gareth and to give Rick and their group a chance to bring them to Washington D.C. to cure the virus. Gareth does not buy it and instead asks Rick what was in the bag he hid away. After Gareth is about to gouge Bob’s eye with the pointed end of a dagger, Rick tells Gareth there’s an arsenal of weapons stashed inside the bag including a machete with a red handle that he’s going to kill him with. Gareth laughs, pats on Rick’s shoulder and steps back. The second attempt at killing Glenn gets foiled after gunshots are heard outside. Gareth leaves to find out. A second later, the sound of a loud explosion shakes the fort and knocks everyone over.
This is when we first see the new Intro as ‘The Walking Dead’ theme song plays. I was so pumped last night that I got chills. Coming back, we now see Tyreese and Carol Peletier holding baby Judith Grimes as they get closer to Terminus along the train tracks. We left off with them last in the flower bed after Carol euthanized Lizzie for killing her sister Mika and to protect Judith. Present day, a walker with a handcuff stumbles onto the tracks as Carol hands Judith over to Tyreese to stab the corpse in the head. Tyreese is having moral issues and says he cannot kill anymore after the tragedies that occurred with Lizzie and Mika. Carol replies that he has to. Not long after does a herd come through and walk onto the tracks. Carol and Tyreese hide behind trees and take another route as they begin hearing gunshots coming from Terminus. Along this alternative route, they spot and tie up a Termite with fireworks inside a shaggy old house. “I’m friends with the boy in the hat and the girl with the sword,” Carole says to the Termite as she aims her revolver to his head.
Tyreese decides to stay with the baby and the prisoner as Carol goes to check out the commotion at Terminus. Carol grabs the fireworks and a heavy artillery assault rifle as she disguises her way to Terminus among the scattering herd of walkers. She douses herself with walker’s guts and covers her face with walker blood.
Back inside the cabin, the Termite prisoner tries to pressure Tyreese to kill him and to leave the car or else he and the baby will die today. Tyreese ignores the man and says he won’t, adding “nobody has to die today”. The Termite insists on Tyreese’s demise because he says Tyreese is a “good man” and ‘too good’ to survive in this world.
In the woods, as Carol creeps her way to Terminus she notices that Rick and the rest of her friends have been captured. She goes around to the side of the fence near the entrance to Terminus when she spots a large oil tank. She goes MacGyver when she shoots the tank with her assault rifle and aims the firework towards it. She lights up the firework as it explodes the oil tank opening up the gates to Terminus while killing numerous walkers in the coolest way. Walkers are flying everywhere, some lying dead while others on fire as they begin devouring Termites.
Getting back to the slaughterhouse, Rick is cutting his way out with a wooden shiv while the two butchers are distracted by the events happening outside. Soon after, Rick stabs the hitter in the neck and the slicer in the throat and chest. The gang is now free as they grab whatever they can inside the slaughterhouse; from machetes to knives and pipes. They notice body parts hanging on hooks, on metal table slabs and see the corpse of Alex (the one shot in the head at the end of Season 4). Rick states they need to kill all Termites or else they will kill them. Rick, Daryl, Glenn, and Bob make their way outside when they notice they’re caught in a war zone between the Termites and an infested herd of walkers.
Meanwhile, Carol is now within the walls of Terminus and hiding in plan sight of the walkers using her camouflage. Carol picks off a few Termites as she slinks inside one of the buildings. Once inside she notices numerous item possessions and Daryl’s signature crossbow. She picks it up and puts it on her shoulder as she enters the candle room. This is where she encounters Mary, who was the older woman serving human burgers at the end of Season 4. Carol and Mary have an engaging fight when Carol gets the final jump on her, asking where her friends are as she shoots Mary in the leg. Mary reveals that her group were not always like this, that the signs to Terminus were once true until a band of misfits and psychos took over the place. Carol then opens the door and quickly dodges as a gang of walkers come piling in to devour Mary. Karma is a divine thing served right, especially after you cook and feed people human hamburgers.
Back at the cottage, the Termite manages to get his hands around Judith’s neck as she cries, pleading Tyreese to go outside as a group of walkers approach. To save Judith, Tyreese listens, opens and closes the door as sounds of groans and shouts are heard.
Back in Terminus and inside the train cart, Michonne, Carl and the others are continuing to fasten their weapons (Michonne creates a duel sword using two wooden pointed ends and her Katana holster) while Eugene is forming a device that will equalize the pressure of the door so it opens. This is when Sasha brings up the elephant in the room and asks Eugene what the cure is. Eugene reluctantly gives Sasha and the rest an educated answer as that he worked on a team of scientists who made viruses to kill viruses, playing ‘fire with fire’ he explains.
Meanwhile, in the cabin the Termite is holding Judith hostage while Tyreese is killing walkers outside. In a sudden burst, Tyreese comes charging through the door and tackles the Termite to the ground football style. Tyreese knocks the knife from the man’s hand and punches him over and over while muttering, “I won’t.”
A midst the war zone at Terminus, Rick, Daryl, Glenn and Bob hear someone banging inside one of the train carts when Glenn looks at Rick and implores they still must save people. When Glenn opens it a crazed and hairy man with tattoos on his forehead grabs Glenn until a walker bites the man. Rick then goes behind a cop car and looks from the side mirror as he notices a group of Termites shooting rounds into the herd of walkers. As the Termites walk forward, Rick gets behind them and stabs one in the head, taking his AK-47. Within a matter of seconds Rick sprays bullets from the machine gun killing the group of Termites and nearby walkers. Rick is now at his most brutal stage. The four of them continue their brutal fighting as Rick releases the train cart door. Everyone comes out attacking in a giant walker killing spree. This was the most satisfying part of the episode as everyone was kicking some major walker ass. Rick kills walkers as he shoots up a few Termites on the roof as well as nicking Gareth in the shoulder. They all escape by jumping over the fence and run together into the woods.
Rick leads the group to where he placed the bag of guns at the end of Season 4. Rick and Daryl hand the weapons off to the group as Rick says they need to finish off the remaining group of Termites at Terminus. Everyone disagrees and says they just need to press on. Sasha reasons with Rick by saying that the remaining Termites will either die from walkers or barely get out alive. When they turn their heads Rick and Daryl see Carol. Daryl gives Carol the biggest hug as if a loved one has come off the plane in an airport. Rick asks Carol if she caused the explosion, she nods as he then gives her a huge hug. More great news comes when Tyreese is holding Judith in front of the cabin. Rick and Carl embrace her in their arms as tears come to their eyes. Tyreese tells Carol he killed the prisoner after he put his hands on Judith. Rick and company continue to walk along the train tracks as Rick fixes the last sign to Terminus in dried up blood or dirt, not too sure which one. Rick covers up the writing on the sign where it says, “for all community for all those arrive survive” and writes ‘No’ over ‘Sanctuary’. The group is finally back together and stronger than ever, except for Beth. Where is she? Hopefully we will find out in the upcoming episodes.
Moments later, after Rick’s group is gone we see a figure in cloaks and a dark mask reading the recently changed Terminus sign. The man turns his head and takes off his mask as it’s revealed to be Morgan Jones! Morgan looking healthier than ever while donning a similar outfit as Denzel Washington from the film The Book of Eli proceeds into the woods as he follows a trail of ‘X’s in circles carved on the bark of trees.
The final scene goes back to a flashback showing the same crazed man who was locked in the train cart from before taking one of Gareth’s people outside to rape them. It is revealed at this point that Mary was Gareth’s mother and that Alex was his brother. Gareth tells his family inside the train cart, “you’re either the cattle or the butcher”. This explains how the people of Terminus were transformed into cannibalistic villains… somewhat.
That was an exciting premiere and by far the best I have ever seen on any television series. I think it is safe to say that Rick and his group are now officially GI JOE’s or superheroes. They were all able to escape unscathed and take down Terminus within forty somewhat minutes. Carol is a one woman army and gives Uma Thurman’s Kill Bill character Beatrix Kiddo, a run for her money. This premiere promises viewers with a no-holds bar type season. I don’t think Rick and the others will be taking any chances from promising signs anytime soon. Rick is now in brutal revenge mode and nothing or no one will get in his way of him or his family. Take that Terminus for false advertising and for messing with the wrong people. So stop reading this review and go see it again or see it for the first time. We can only imagine what struggles they will face or who they will run into along the road in next week’s episode. Stay tuned.