This review contains spoilers.
Walkers. Blood. Family.
Walkers have taken over the world. Everyone is infected. Blood is spilled in every episode, whether it be from walkers or other survivors that cannot be trusted. Characters only fight and sacrifice for their trusted group, adopted-family; for them they are willing to kill the living and the dead. This is what you see in the popular T.V. show, The Walking Dead.
The first episode of season five came in with a bang, racking up to 17.3 million viewers, an all-time high for the series by far.
Rick and Abraham’s group were last seen entering Terminus and being captured and held in a train car. The camera zooms around, showing the group scavenging for whatever material they can to “weaponize”, prison-style. Rick’s threat from the last episode of Season 4 (“they’re screwing with the wrong people”) echoes in my head as I see this.
As they prepare for a fight, Gareth and others take out Rick, Glenn, Bob, and Daryl and drag them to a slaughterhouse—a human slaughterhouse. A gruesome scene comes into view: two men cutting a (human) dead body into pieces, in a very neat and precise manner.
The four men are forced to watch a victim be bashed over the head with a baseball bat and have his throat slit to let the blood drain out, just as animals are butchered. Seeing the calm expressions of the butchers makes you wonder how they are able to live with themselves, being cannibalistic and all. It certainly makes you curious to find out how Terminus came to be.
As Glenn is about to receive the same fate, Gareth walks in and chats with Rick. Rick gives him a foreshadowing threat, saying, “That’s what I’m going to kill you with,” referring to a stash of weapons he had hidden in the woods before entering Terminus. The look in Rick’s eyes tells you that yes, he really means it.
Suddenly, a huge explosion is heard. Seems like their guardian angel has arrived…
We see Carol, Tyreese, and Judith making their way to Terminus in hopes of finding the rest of Rick’s group. They see a herd of walkers that are moving towards Terminus as gunshots are fired in the distance. Something similar to this happened back in the prison too, before disaster struck.
As they go forth, they see a resident of Terminus talking on a walkie-talkie about a new group that has come to Terminus. The group sounds like Rick’s group. Carol and Tyreese capture and tie him up to interrogate him. While Tyreese and Judith stay back to watch over Martin, Carol goes forward to Terminus.
Carol covers herself in walker guts so she can be camouflaged in the herd as she goes to Terminus. This concept has always seemed so clever to me, and it seems like it would be a key survival tip if the zombie apocalypse were to ever happen.
When she reaches Terminus, she confirms that Rick and the others are there. Then she shows a side of herself that we have never seen before. She causes the explosion that saves Rick, Bob, Glenn, and Daryl from being butchered.
If you have watched The Walking Dead before, you know that Rick always has some trick up his sleeve; this time, however, it was down his sock, as he takes out a piece of sharp wood, frees everyone and kills the butchers. The group then walks through the slaughterhouse, seeing neatly butchered human body parts hanging from hooks like animals.
Once outside they see the chaos that has engulfed Terminus—dead bodies surrounded by feasting walkers and burning buildings. The whole scene will remind viewers of the prison incident.
Back in the trailer with the rest of the group, Eugene gives an explanation of how he is going to stop the walkers. It’s the first time the spotlight is turned on Eugene. He explains that his research group created a system that could kill all humans in the world, and that they could do the same to the walkers.
I believe that Eugene voicing his plan really helps the group see the potential and hope in it, which is motivating.
Rick and the others rush to free them, and after a quick reunion, each survivor is showcased as they escape and kill walkers. It really keeps the adrenaline high. The group escapes over a fence, just as walkers close in on them.
Meanwhile, Carol makes her way through Terminus. She finds a shrine, where a Terminus resident, Mary, explains to her what Terminus used to be. Before Carol shoots her, she utters one last line, “You’re the butcher or you’re the cattle.” It sounds like Terminus’s justification of their cannibalistic ways.
The group is seen heading into the woods. Rick seems determined to kill the rest of the residents of Terminus, but Maggie holds him back. I can’t help but wonder if this is a huge mistake…
As they continue walking, they’re reunited with Carol. She leads them to Tyreese and Judith, and their reunion is quite emotional. They all start walking down a railroad, far away from Terminus. Rick comes across a map leading to Terminus and writes on it, “NO SANCTUARY”.
In the end, you see Morgan, a survivor that had saved Rick before. He looks at the map, and begins following an unknown symbol drawn on trees beside it.
To me, it seems like to survive in a world where everyone you love is dead, you need to have a mission. To find your family, to find food or shelter, to find a cure, etc. In the end, what seems to be too good to be true (Terminus), usually is, and when you find something that seems permanent (family reunited) it never lasts for long. This is what makes Rick and his family continue their journey onto the next chapter.
-contributed by Amara Malik