Episode 1 of Season 5 of ‘The Walking Dead’: No Sanctuary is a tightrope of anticipation and fear

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Back by popular demand, the official Lytherus review of each episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ has returned! There are going to be some changes to the format. No longer am I going to do a play-by-play summary of the show (since you can pull that off of AMC and here is the link), but I’m going to focus the article entirely on my thoughts of each episode.

So let’s get to it.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

What can I say about the season premiere? There has never been a premiere of “The Walking Dead” that left me knotted in a ball from tension. In all honesty, the only show that has ever done that to me is “Sons of Anarchy” with all the drama, close calls, and insanity. Episode one of season 5 (No Sanctuary) brings us back to Terminus, where Rick and friends have been incarcerated in a rail car, awaiting a terrible fate. Just to give myself a pat on the back, I really did have the cannibal tie in called (I think most of you all did too).maxresdefault

Seeing Rick, Daryl, Glenn, and Bob kneeling in front of the trough with 4 unnamed prisoners (I’m pretty sure that if you don’t have a name on this show, you are the equivalent of a redshirt on StarTrek – I’m hoping a few of you get that reference!) is an amazing potent image of helplessness and panic.

How about the unfeeling, calculated approach the butchers took to slaughtering the prisoners? The duo had the routine to an art, with basically looking at other humans as cattle. As was said throughout the recaps as to why Terminus is what it is: “You’re either the butcher or you’re the cow”.

imagesAll in all, I’d have to say that this was one of the more visibly impressive episodes. From the spouting blood shooting out of cut throats to flaming, walking zombies, this episode was ripe with impressive special effects (applaud the work of Greg Nicotero and his team).

Does anyone else think the crazy guy in the storage container was the same guy who was torment the dezinens of Terminus in the flashbacks? His body size and facial structure (minus the crazy hair) made me think they were the same person. I also love how he popped out for about 10 seconds and then was taken out by a walker.

Carol to the rescue! From her interactions twd_carol-sea5ep1with Tyrese to her infiltration of Terminus, Carol showed a huge growth from the abused housewife to the semi-psychotic friend killer to a true asset to the group. Maybe even growing into a leader within the group. Her reunion with Daryl and Rick was such a tug on the heart strings. Rick and Carl’s reunion with Baby Asskicker (I still can’t get away from that) was even more so.

This episode was also about the development of the survivors. From a group of followers to a group of self aware survivors, the entire group has come into their own as a squad of motivated individuals who are 100% inventive in building their own weapons (straightened out hoop earrings with a studded leather belt was my favorite). This is no longer a group of followers, but each have their own ability to participate (except maybe Eugene).  Rick showed his metamorphosis as well. He is willing, and even eager, to use violence against those who threaten him or his friends. Previously, Rick would almost give others every chance. Now, I think Rick has learned that the judicious application of fear and violence may be the only recourse.

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Overall, I was very impressed by the episode. My only concern is whether AMC, Scott Gimple, and Robert Kirkman will be able to maintain such a high level of action and fast pace drama throughout the season. They set a very high bar with the debut.

What did you think about the episode? Where do you think we are going from here?

And in case you didn’t see it, ‘The Walking Dead’ debut shattered cable records for most viewers with an amazing 17.3M viewers!

Take a peek at a clip for Episode 2 of Season 5: Strangers

And a special thank you to my friend Justin for reminding me that I need to put out my thoughts on the episodes!

 

 

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