by Sherry Lipp
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
The Walking Dead started off season five with a slam-bang premiere that turned out to be one of the best episodes of the entire series. What I loved about “No Sanctuary” is that it played against our expectations. Season four ended with Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) group – minus Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman), Carol (Melissa McBride) and Beth (Emily Kinney) – locked up in a train car in Terminus. From the pattern of the earlier season we might have thought season five would be the story of surviving Terminus – but we have already been proven wrong. All in one episode we learned the history of Terminus, saw its demise, and saw the survivors on their way to whatever lies ahead.
It’s a bold move for the show that spent way too long on Hershel’s farm and pounded the prison and Woodbury into the ground. I’m not saying that it won’t happen again, but so far season five has a promising start. The Walking Dead also still has the ability to be shocking. We’ve seen an endless amount of zombie carnage but we have not seen the human against human brutality in this episode. Yes, the governor (David Morrissey) and the gang Daryl (Norman Reedus) hooked up with had their moments but it’s practically nothing compared to the cannibalistic citizens of Terminus.
Stripped of even the most basic humanity, the Termites (as they’re known) line up people against a troth, bash their heads in with a baseball bat, and then slit their throats as if they are cattle waiting for slaughter. Of course that’s exactly how they think of any outsiders. At one point Terminus leader Mary (Denise Crosby) tells Carol, “You’re the butcher, or you’re the cattle.” It’s a question Rick has been grappling with since he woke up in the hospital in season one but he still aims to prove he’s not either – though he is willing to be the butcher when he has to.
So that’s it for Terminus. Rick and company took them out with some major help from Carol. In a way this episode wrapped up season four. We finally discovered the mystery of Terminus, Rick and Carol were reunited with baby Judith, and almost everyone is together again. The crew should be focused on getting Eugene (Josh McDermitt) to Washington, but I’m sure they will look for Beth first. She looks like she could be in her own Terminus type of situation. Does anyone else thing there might be something up with Eugene? I’ll all for the group leaving the greater Atlanta area, but I’m not convinced everything is going to be as easy as he and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) say it will be.
So, we’ve got a lot to look forward to this season. Let’s hope The Walking Dead keeps up the good work.
Images: Gene Page/AMC