As I write this, I’m still reeling from the bloodbath that was Sunday night’s season 5 premiere of The Walking Dead, aptly titled “No Sanctuary.” I think I broke the replay button on my TiVo remote. Instead of wildly gushing about the whole thing (tempting), I’ll just break it down into the five moments that had me bouncing up and down on my couch.
… for any Dead fans who aren’t caught up—but seriously, get on it.
1. Terminus’ Dirty Secrets Revealed:
All reader/viewer suspicions were confirmed as soon as Bob, Rick, Daryl, and Glenn were herded like cattle into the slaughter room. CANNIBALS. They’re sawing into a body, the eight men are draped over a trough, and after a swift whack to the head with a baseball bat, throats are being slit. Oh. My. God. They move quickly down the line, blood pooling around a stainless steel drain. My eyes were probably as wide as dinner plates. Bravo, cable television. Slow clap, AMC. It was a harrowing four-minute lead-up to the credits, even though you have to know, to some degree, that our men aren’t going anywhere. Although poor Glenn came close—twice. Then an explosion, some shaky cam, and right into the music. Oh dear god, it’s on. I was grinning like a dope. Yessss, we’re back!
2. Carol’s Badassery:
Carol has developed some pretty sizable cojones throughout the last three seasons. After everything she’s overcome, she deserves them. Her tactical approach to Terminus, her insistence that she check things out for herself, and her strategic assault from afar were so on point. She infiltrated the camp and took it down single-handedly. And her cavalier snack time invitation for the walkers to Mary in the candle room? Go Carol!
3. Walkers, Walkers Everywhere:
So. Much. Carnage. A lot of people argue that this show can be too slow moving, but I’ve grown to appreciate its methodical character development. The walkers can’t be wreaking havoc every single week, but man, it’s cool when they do show up. Our group has finally gotten to the point where they know how to utilize the dead to their advantage, unleashing them as weapons. We had people getting eaten left and right (sometimes face first), but given the Terminans … Termites? … dietary preferences—karma.
4. Don’t Mess With Judith:
You don’t threaten to snap an adorable baby’s neck and live to tell about it. Another example of how dark this show threatens to go. Tyreese was like the Hulk when he came smashing back in. Woo!
5. Reunited And It Feels SO GOOD:
Out of the woods she walks and BAM, we’re all sucker punched in the stomach with feelings. The second Daryl turned, I lost it. I’m not sure whom I’d want him to be with romantically and there are a lot of arguments floating around out there for Beth or Carol. I think I lean more toward Carol. But I think the most important part of it, and this is where the show runners seem to agree, is that it doesn’t have to be a romantic connection to still be powerful. This is the same guy who flinched when Carol tried to kiss him on the cheek and now he’s running straight into her arms. It’s all about that personal growth, how far each of them has come, and what they’ve had to do to become who they are. Even Rick, who was in full on attack mode, softened back into his former self a bit when he cradled his believed-to-be-dead baby girl.
This season will undoubtedly be epic. You’re the butcher or the cattle. Hunt or be hunted.
The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9 on AMC.