“The Walking Dead” writers crafted episode 1 as if they own stock in Depends®! If you held your bladder, congratulations – and forget I wrote that last line. TMI. We open to a scene of the Terminans, in a flashback of what appears to be the same railcar our survivors are trapped in today. We hear screaming in the background. Whatever the case, today, Rick and the gang are making good on the statement that the Terminans are screwing with the wrong people. They prepare for war by sharpening the tines of their belt buckles for gouging eyes and Rick is ripping a wood strip to use as a shiv. If only it was enough. Just as they prepare to rush the door when it’s opened, a flash grenade is dropped from above.
Producer Gale Ann Hurd said that our questions would be answered. I just wish the questions were different. Answer 1. The Terminans are cannibals. By the time Rick wakes up, he and several others are being dragged into what looks like a butcher’s prep room. We see bodies being disassembled and “discard” bins.
Bob, Rick, Daryl, and Glenn are lined up in front of a tub along with several other survivors we’ve never seen before. The first man goes down when he’s hit with a baseball bat, his throat is cut and he’s left to bleed out. Three other males from “Block A” are killed in the same manner by two butchers. Gareth arrives to ask his men about bullet counts, interrupting the slaughter. He wants Rick to tell him where he hid the bag they saw him with and tells him about the weapon he plans to kill him with once he’s free. We see Tyrese and Carol barely avoid a herd after she kills a walker when Tyrese can’t bring himself to do it. They roll up on a Terminan who is setting off charges to confuse the dead. They hear him ask for “the kid’s hat after they bleed him out.” Carol holds him at gunpoint, realizing what he’s talking about and demands answers. She is not fooled when he claims they were attacked first and only defended themselves. The Terminan tries to convince her to let him set the charges or the herd will be at the camp, setting the charges is in her best interests too. She tells him it’s not. She’ll need the help of the walkers to free her friends. DAYUM!
Tyrese watches Judith and the Terminan while Carol sets off on her mission. The Terminan tries to convince Tyrese that since it’s unlikely he’s ever gotten his hands dirty, he and Judith will die unless they take the car and leave him behind. While this is happening, Carol covers herself in a blood soaked cloth to avoid detection by the walkers (nice reach back to season 1) and approaches the compound in time to see the Terrminans run from a huge herd. She fires on a gas tank and shoots a firework into it, killing much of the herd and blowing the fence open. Carol is a bad ass and I wish her husband was around for her to take him out, now! Rick told Carol they would keep everyone safe when he exiled her. How ironic that she saves him, now. Nice Touch.
Back in the butcher shop, Rick is freeing himself with the shiv he cut from the railcar. The Terminans outside are too busy to notice since they are running as the flaming dead invade the camp, accompanied by a blood soaked Carol. One butcher is losing it, worrying why they haven’t heard from anyone else and about the smoke, when Rick jumps them both – cutting them open. He then sets Bob, Daryl, and Glenn free. Back at the car, Michionne notices, with an eerie smile on her face, that the dead are walking through the camp. Carol looks more horrified as she watches the gory feeding from up close. Just as she enters the center of the camp, she takes out one of the Terminan snipers, shooting at The Walkers. Rick won’t let his men stop the butchers from turning. He tells him men not to hesitate killing the Terminans, they wouldn’t hesitate killing them. Their priority is saving the other captives – opening the first car, only to be attacked by a captive who screams “we’re the same, we’re the same.” Before he can be calmed down, he’s attacked by a walker. He was better off in the railcar.
Two major horrors: our guys walking through the butcher shop filled with human body parts and Carol walking through a room of collected items, taken from the visitors seeking shelter, and their children. The Terminans are slowly being killed off. Our survivors are doing what they do best – surviving, when Carol is suddenly accosted by a woman while walking through “the Chapel.” From the woman we find out that Terminus was once a sanctuary until bad people came, raped, and killed. They learned that you’re either the butcher or the cattle and everything changed. She makes a short-tempered Carol ask her twice where her friends are and for that she earns a bullet in her leg. Carol – still in her dead suit and pissed off, leaves her to the walkers.
As Tyrese watches walkers approach the cabin, the Terminan grabs Judith and threatens to kill her. He orders Tyrese to go out with the walkers or he’ll twist her neck. Tyrese goes. Tyrese screams and there is silence. The door breaks open and the Terminan is thrown to the ground and is given the beating Tryese gave the mound of dead walkers outside. Inside the railcar, Sasha asks the mullet wearing, internet slang using “scientist” what the cure is. The response is that it is classified. I’m still in shock everyone believes this guy. He refuses to disclose “the cure” but ensure everyone that he was part of a 10 person human genome team meant to fight fire with fire creating pathogens to fight pathogens. He’s interrupted by Rick, who frees his team and tells them to head for the compound’s fence.
In the woods they retrieve their weapons and Rick decides the Terminans have to die, debating with the team about returning as Carol approaches. Daryl runs to hug her and it’s beautiful. All are glad to see her. Rick realizes Carol saved them and hugs her too. She takes them to the cabin, Tyrese, and Judith. It is emotional for everyone. Writer Scott Gimple is definitely underpaid.
The group is ready to move on. The expanded survivor family is back together (minus our Hershel, Beth, Mika and Lizzy). Rick takes a moment to change the Terminus sign to read “No Sanctuary.” We see a flashback to the early Terminus, the brutality visited on the women, Gareth and the others in fear, and a truly cruel man who beats him when he tells the others that it’s ok. I am sorry for them, up until the point they became the vile killers they once hated.
As if we weren’t already treated well enough, we see scenes of upcoming episodes, including a preview of Morgan’s return!