When we last met on “The Walking Dead,” Team Rick and his group were searching for sanctuary. What they got was a nightmare named Mary and Gareth. Rick and the gang are locked up in a cattle car and their combined asses are on the line; the food line that is, if the people of Terminus have their way. Who will save them?
What could be worse than zombies? People who just decided one day to cease being human. Gareth (Andrew J. West) is counting bullets used in the recent battle while his men begin butchering a new batch of unfortunate arrivals to Terminus. Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Glenn (Steven Yeun), Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Bob (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) are in that roundup, and so is hippy Sam (Robin Lord Taylor, now the Penguin on Fox’s “Gotham”). Do you remember him from season four’s “Indifference“? His girlfriend became zombie lunch, but we never found out what happened to Sam. He’s the first killed at the troth.
The people of Terminus made a conscious choice to climb back down the ladder of evolution and right now, they’re at the lowest rung. They butcher and eat people. Rick and the others are hogtied and unable to defend themselves as the butchers move down the troth smashing heads and cutting throats. You’re either the butcher or the cattle, and now I know how the poor cows feel and so does Gareth’s brother, Alex. Glenn is about to meet his maker when an explosion happens.
Tyreese and Carol (Melissa McBride) have survived a long time and, they did this while caring for a baby. That is a monumental achievement if you ask me. Babies are not quiet by nature and can potentially alert a walker to your location. But, Judith has been conditioned, lovingly of course, not to cry when she sees a gaggle of walkers heading her way. Maybe, Tyreese (Chad Coleman) has the magical knack to calm a crying child. I’m just happy that Judith is still alive.
Carol is so much more than a survivor. She’s Wonder Woman. When she walks up on that man from Terminus and hears him talking about her friends. She’s pissed off and leaves Tyreese in charge of Judith and their hostage. Tyreese may not be the best one to leave on guard duty. Tyreese has a problem with killing. He needs a reason to murder.
Carol is street smart and that’s why she didn’t go skipping up to the gates of hell. Some people are born with strong survivor skills. They trust their instincts and it works. Carol witnesses what’s happening to her friends and she goes postal. With a few well aimed shots, Carol single-handedly starts the ‘back with a bang’ walker apocalypse.
Butcher vs Cattle
We learn what made Gareth so gung ho for butchering people via a few flashbacks. Seems Terminus was once a good place, but a traumatic run in with some bad house guests made Gareth change the welcome sign into a trap; a fly trap.
Gareth’s interest in the shell count means that they are low in ammo. He asks Rick for the location of the bag. He saw Rick hide it and suspects that it holds weapons, but Rick’s not about to give this man the time of day even if it does mean Bob losing an eye. Luckily for Glenn and the others, Carol is causing all kinds of hell with the help of walkers. I knew those walking bag of bones would come in handy one day. Camp Terminus just met their Waterloo.
Rick uses the confusion from the explosion to attack Gareth’s men and helps his friends break free. Rick is going through his own evolution and I like where he’s going. I don’t think we’ll be seeing ‘Farmer Rick’ any more.
While Team Rick frees Michonne (Danai Gurira), Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), Carl (Chandler Riggs), Tara (Alanna Masterson), Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), Rosita (Christian Serratos), Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Eugene (Josh McDermitt) Carol runs into Mary (Denise Crosby). It’s not a good day to be Mary. No one wins when they mess with Carol.
Did anyone understand Eugene’s explanation of how he will save the world? Did Eugene say he would use one bio weapon to destroy another; fight fire with fire. You might want to rethink that idea, Eugene. I loved how Abraham and the others made weapons from what they could find in the container. Could you make a weapon from everyday objects?
Sometimes you need a good reason to fight. Judith was Tyreese’s kill switch. When the man from Terminus threatens to snap the baby’s neck, Tyreese finds his mojo.
This was a good season opener, especially with the zombies looking extra rotted and the show weaving in more of the comic book, but it was also brutal. We all have the capacity to be monsters, but normally we can control our primitive side. The scene with the men being butchered was hard to watch, especially because we know this horror happens in the real world. Too bad Rick didn’t wipe out everyone in Terminus, because Gareth might still be alive.
Team Rick has been united and the tender homecoming between Daryl and Carol and Rick and Judith was the icing on the cake. I think Carol had to be the team’s savior in order for Rick and her to accept each other for who they are and what they’ve become. Rick finally gets where Carol is coming from. Rick changes the welcome sign to “no sanctuary” and we learn that an old friend is back on the show. Welcome back, Morgan (Lennie James).
See you next week, my little zombie snacks, with a new character and maybe the whereabouts of Beth.