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The Walking Dead

"Slabtown" (Aired November 2, 2014)

Samantha Wessel

Like the people in the hospital, I’ve underestimated Beth. At the beginning of this episode, I didn’t care much about her. But this episode shows that Beth has been underused and underestimated. Everyone in the hospital, except or Noah, underestimated Beth, and she used her perceived weakness as her strength. I’m intrigued to see how they continue to develop Beth throughout the season (assuming this isn’t a one off episode about Beth).

 

Another thing I found interesting about this episode was the music. I often forget how quiet the show is; so hearing music playing, via record players, was a bit jarring, adding to the feeling of uncertainty and unease.

 

Beth awakens to find herself in a hospital in Atlanta. Dr. Steven Edwards and Officer Dawn Lerner soon greet her. Officer Dawn tells Beth they found her on the side of the road, and Dr. Steven tells her she had a wrist fracture and head wound. Dawn tells Beth she was found alone, and if they hadn’t saved her, she’d be a walker, so she owes them. This doesn’t seem like a great start…

 

Dr. Steven takes Beth around the hospital, showing her another patient who wasn’t going to make it. He tells her that if a patient doesn’t show improvement, then Dawn calls it . Dr. Steven and Beth then wheel the patient down to the elevator shaft to dump the body down to some waiting walkers. It’s efficient I guess, but it somehow still feels wrong.

 

After disposing of the body, Beth heads down to the cafeteria to get some food. Officer Gorman talks to Beth saying that he helped to save her, and that she should show some appreciation or he’ll make not of the food she’s taking. There’s nothing but creepy vibes coming off of Gorman. I already hope he dies.

 

Beth brings Dr. Steven his dinner, and once there, Dr. Steven laments about being bored. Beth reminds him that feeling bored in the effing zombie apocalypse is a luxury. After  few minutes of sharing, he offers her a bite of his guinea pig. Dr. Steven may not have the creep factor of Gorman, but he’s also interested in Beth. His niceness is just a façade I’m sure of it. After all, we’ve learned that very few people on this show who seem nice truly are.

 

Officer Dawn brings in a new patient, and Dr. Steven tells Dawn that he seems like a lost cause. One of the other officers whispers something to Dawn, and Dawn insists that Dr. Steven try hard to save the man. When Dr. Steven tells Dawn it would be a waste of resources, she refuses to accept this, and smacks Beth across the face as a way to ensure Dr. Steven does his best to treat the patient.

 

After having her cheek stitched up following Dawn’s hit, and finding a lollipop in her new shirt, Beth spots the return of Joan. Apparently Joan tried to escape, but in the process was bit by a walker. Dawn insists that Dr. Steven amputate Joan’s arm so she won’t die.  Beth tries to leave, but Dawn and Dr. Steven tell Beth to stay and help hold Joan down. And then they cut off her arm. And I have Hershel’s amputation flashbacks, as I’m sure Beth does.

 

Following this gruesome interaction, Beth goes to bring her dirty scrubs to the laundry room where she meets Noah. It turns out, Noah is the one who snuck the lollipop into her shirt earlier. Noah tells Beth he’s been there for almost a year and isn’t any closer to being release. He tells Beth that they underestimate him, but that no on there knows him… or her for that matter. Noah plans on escaping so he can make his way back to Richmond, Virginia where they apparently have walls. (Super special shout out for my hometown. Hell yeah we’d have walls in the zombie apocalypse! Suck on that Atlanta!)

 

Officer Dawn, knowing hitting Beth across the face earlier likely left a bad impression, brings her some foods. She tells Beth that she’s doing her best to keep order so they can help rebuild when they are rescued from whatever it is that has caused the walkers. Beth doesn’t think that any help is coming – the last of her hope probably destroyed after watching her father die. Dawn tries to encourage Beth to eat so she can continue working and pay off her debt. She tells Beth that while Beth may have not asked for this to happen, neither did Dawn. It’s a reminder that even though there are people who are doing awful things in this world, most are just trying to get by in the face of death and uncertainty.

 

Beth is in Joan’s room, mopping up the blood from the amputation. Apparently, Joan was trying to escape the sexual predilections of Officer Gorman. Joan says that Dawn can control him, but she turns the other way because it is easier.

 

Beth is in her room when she searched for the lollipop that Noah snuck to her. As she’s realizing it is gone, Creepo Officer Gorman walks in licking it. He then straight up forces it into Beth’s mouth. Great. Between cannibals and rapists, this season is demonstrating the worst of humanity. Dr. Steven walks in and tells Gorman to leave her alone, but Gorman tells Dr. Steven that Beth should have been his. Dr. Steven says that no one is Gorman’s, but Gorman says he’s going to get Joan back. Dr. Steven says when Gorman gets sick, he won’t help him, but Gorman says there will be another Dr. and someone else in charge. After Gorman leaves, Beth asks Dr. Steven why he stays.

 

Dr. Steven takes Beth to the ground floor the hospital and shows here there is no exit. The one exit is blocked by walkers (and for some reason they scare Beth). He tells her when he starts to think about leaving, he goes to see the walkers as a reminder he won’t make it out or live. He then takes her to the roof of the hospital, where he tells her Dawn is doing her best to keep everyone alive. He takes partial blame for the system of paying off the debt, but tells Beth it is better than being outside of the hospital with the walkers. The conversation ends with Dr. Steven asking Beth to give Trevitt, the patient whom Officer Dawn insisted Dr. Steven save, the wrong kind of drug, resulting in Trevitt’s death.

 

The next morning, Dawn comes to see Beth. Dawn tells Beth that the wards are there to make Dawn’s officers happy. She’s made compromises but it’s to keep everything moving smoothly. Dawn also tells Beth that she’s a burden, and when Beth denies this, Dawn lifts Beth’s hands, showing her scars from Beth’s attempted suicide. Dawn then leaves telling Beth that some people aren’t cut out of the apocalypse life. Oh Dawn, you fool. How little you know about Beth and the journey she has been on.

 

Fed up, Beth tells Noah she wishes to escape with him. Beth is with Noah and she’s worried about his new bruises. They come up with a plan to escape. He tells Beth to get the spare key to the elevator bank from Dawn’s office.

 

So Beth is off to Dawn’s office to find the key. In her office, she finds a dead Joan. Gorman then walks in, likely to dispose of Joan’s body since it appears he’s the one that killed her. And for the first time on this show, I’m grateful that a character didn’t stab a dead person through the head. As Gorman is trying to take advantage of Beth, Joan awakens as a walker, and Beth hits Gorman over the head, causing him to fall and leaving him for walker bait. Again, someone underestimating Beth and the fighter she’s become.

 

Beth and Noah meet up and descend down the elevator shaft. Noah takes a bit of a fall injuring his leg, leaving his gait looking like that of a walker. Beth begins unloading her gun on the walkers, and resorting stomping their heads, the training she had with Darryl and the gang. As she and Noah are almost free when an officer tackles Beth. Noah is able to escape, and Beth gives him a sad smile.

 

Back in Hospital California (this may as well be the hotel the Eagles sing about), Beth tells Dawn that she let Gorman die because he was going to rape her, like he raped Joan. She tells Dawn that no one is coming and that they’re all going to die, making what Dawn is allowing to happen mean nothing. Dawn lets this sit for a minute before once again hitting Beth across the face.

 

In Dr. Steven’s office, he’s fixing up Beth’s new head wound from Dawn’s hit. Dr. Steven tells Beth he purposely told her the wrong drugs to give Trevitt because Trevitt was an oncologist, implying that Trevitt would have become more useful than him. (This makes me wonder about Dr. Steven’s specialty, and why a cancer doctor would be more useful, but whatever.) Beth is then walking down the hall, holding a weapon, looking like she’s going to stab Dr. Steven when she sees officers rolling in a new patient, and it’s someone Beth recognizes…. Carol.

 

So, this has to be a decoy right? Darryl and Carol followed the car back to the hospital, and after observing what happened at Terminus, they decided to scope out the situation before they went in. Realizing that the hospital seemed sketchy (how I’m not sure), they decided to send Carol in in order to save Beth. Right? I mean that HAS to be what is happening here right? RIGHT?!

 

But what if it’s not. Let’s say this episode isn’t a flashback, but rather concurrent with what’s happening with the rest of the gang. Who is with Daryl in the woods? Could it be Noah? Could they have met up? Noah would be able to fill the gang in on what’s happening in the hospital, spurring a rescue mission for Beth and Carol. 

"Four Walls and a Roof" (Aired October 26, 2014)

Samantha Wessel

This episode seems to serve as a bridge between the “old” story of Terminus, and whatever the gang faces next. We say goodbye to a character we like, but not one we love. And it opens up more questions about who else is out there.

 

The episode opens the Termites still eating Bob. I mean really. It’s so gross. Gareth is telling Bob that it’s comforting to be able to see the walkers across the way, locked up in the school because at least then you can see the threat. Gareth tells Bob that they marked their way to him and his crew so they could find their way back – but Gareth doesn’t know back to what.

 

Gareth goes on to tell Bob that Terminus wasn’t meant to be a trap. They were going to give people the choice: join the Termites or feed the Termites. He also tells Gareth that he almost caught Carol, and he’s excited to eat her later. Gareth keeps talking, and then Bob starts laughing. Like a crazy person. Because it turns out HE WAS IN FACT BIT! I KNEW IT! He’s pleased with the fact that he provided them tainted meat. The Termites freak out, but Gareth tells everyone it’s ok because they cooked him first. Oh well, you know what they say: Heat kills the walker virus. Just like salmonella.

 

Sasha is out looking for Bob when she runs into some walkers. Luckily, Rick and Tyreese are there to help out. She storms back in to the church, convinced Gabriel knows who is watching them and why Bob, Carol, and Daryl are all missing. Rick asks Gabriel about the woman walker in the food bank and why “You’ll burn for this” is carved into his church. Gabriel tells Rick and co. that he always locked the doors to the church when his parishioners came knocking on the door looking for shelter. They were screaming, so the walkers were drawn to the noise and killed them. Gabriel tells Rick that the Lord sent them there to punish Gabriel. Somehow, I don’t think this is Gabriel’s only sin. I think he’s hiding more, considering he didn’t answer who the woman walker was to him. Glen then notices that Bob has been thrown outside and that his leg is missing.

 

After Bob tells the gang about the Termites being close by, Abraham is ready to get Eugene the hell out. Apparently out of sight of everyone, Abraham and Rosita repaired the bus, and he wants to go. Rick doesn’t want to leave without Daryl and Carol. Glen wants everyone to stay together, and Tara tells Abraham that if he stays one more day she’ll go with him to D.C. Abraham wants Glen and Maggie to go as well, but Rick refuses. Abraham tells Eugene to get his stuff together, but Eugene refuses. Glen tells Abraham that he and Maggie will go if they stay one more day, and Abraham consents telling everyone that he is leaving at noon the next day.

 

Sasha is out for vengeance after what the Termites did to Bob. Tyreese tries to encourage Sasha to stay behind and be with Bob on his deathbed, but she insists on going to find the Termites. Instead, she leaves Tyreese with the dirty work of killing Bob if he happens to die while Sasha is gone. Not to worry though. Bob’s death takes FOREVER, so she’s not really going to miss anything.) So the fighters are off to find and kill the Termites, while Carl, Gabriel, Eugene, Tyreese, Rosita, and baby Judith are left behind at the church.

 

Knowing that Rick and Co. have headed out, the Termites enter the church. They were watching the group leave, so they know the “weak” ones are the only ones left in the church, and with limited weapons. Gareth tries to negotiate with those who are left, saying they’ll let Gabriel go and that they will keep baby Judith alive. Probably all lies. (At this point, I actually said aloud “Keep your stupid baby mouth shut, Judith!”) And Judith, proving for the ten billionth time that babies should not be present in a zombie apocalypse. The Termites are about to attack those in the church when Rick and the others show up. It was the old switcheroo – they wanted the Termites to think they left.

 

Gareth begins negotiating for his life. He tells Rick that if Rick lets him go, Gareth promises to leave them alone forever. Well, rule number one: never trust a cannibal. I thought for a second that Rick was going to let him go. Truly. Even after everything Rick had been through because of Gareth, I thought he was going to release him back to the world. But no, Rick promised Gareth in the premiere that he would kill him. And then he does. Rick slices the SHIT out of Gareth, while the others destroy the other Termites, putting an end once and for all to the Termite situation. (On the one hand I’m a little sad because Gareth was such a fun bad guy to watch (like the Governor). On the other hand, I am not sad AT ALL to see the cannibalism stop.) Gabriel is appalled by the violence that just took place in his church, claiming it “is the Lord’s house.” But Maggie, daughter of the heavy in faith Hershel retorts, “No. It’s just four walls and a roof.”

 

The gang then filters in to say their last goodbyes to Bob. He thanks Rick for saving him, and tells Rick he is a good man for taking people in. It’s an interesting contrast between Rick and Gareth. After Rick and the gang kill the Termites, Rick says, “It could have been us.” At first it may seem like he’s saying it could have been them that were killed, but really, Rick is saying they could have been the ones who turned evil. So what is it that caused Rick to take the “heroic” path, and Gareth the evil one? Was it that they were attacked? Well no, because Rick and his people have been attacked repeatedly. Is it the people that Rick has associated with himself in this world? Maybe. It’s an interesting question, and not one that can be answered simply.

 

Sasha is with Bob when he finally does die. She goes to stab him in the head, but hesitates. Tyreese steps in then, completing the act for her.

 

As promised, the next morning Abraham and his crew leave with Maggie and Glen. Abraham tells Rick and the gang he hopes they’ll meet up with them later. He gives Rick a map that has a note from Abraham: “The new world needs Rick Grimes.” After Abraham they take off, Rick goes to help Tyreese dig some graves. Rick asks Tyreese how it was getting to Terminus and Tyreese responds, “It killed me.” But Rick reminds him that it didn't. 

 

Later that night, Michonne is outside when she hears rustling in the woods. Reunited with her sword since it was on one of the Termites, she approaches. Daryl steps out, and Michonne looks relieved before asking about Carol. Darryl then turns to the woods and says “Come on out.”

 

So who is he talking to? Beth? Carol? It seems like an odd thing to say to someone the gang would know.

"Strangers" (Aired October 19, 2014)

Samantha Wessel

There is no way I don’t throw up from this show by the end of the season. Seriously. Decapitations. Amputations. Blood in general I can handle. But cannibalism is apparently where my vom-o-meter draws the line. I hate to focus exclusively on this point here at the top, but my god, it was such a gross out moment, it’s about all I can think about. I guess we’ll get into it…

 

The group is on the move to wherever their next stop may be. Some outstanding problems are resolved at the beginning. First, Rick tells Tara that it doesn’t natter that she gouth with the Governor. She has since proved herself by sving Glen’s life. Rick and Carol also have a reconciliation. Rick still isn’t sture that Carol did the right thing by killing those people at the prison, but she saved their lives, and now they need to join her to stay alive themselves. He asks her persmission and sshe of course grants it.

 

Meanwhile, Bob and Sash are looking rather cozy, chummy, and adorable. When the group decides to settle in for the night, Daryl and Carol are keeping watch. Daryl is looking at Carol questioningly, but Carol tells Daryl that she needs to forget what happened, the same thing Tyreese told her earlier. As they’re sitting there, Daryl thinks he hears something moving around in the woods, but doesn’t see anything.  On the other hand, the viewers see a figure in a hoodie running away.

 

The next morning, the group is moving along when they hear cries for help. Carl, the new moral center of the show, tells Rick that they have to help the person. They come across a an Episcopal priest, Gabriel, being pulled on by some walkers. The group is able to save Gabriel, who is clearly a scared, timid, non-walker killing type of man. Rick launches into his questions 1) How many walkers have you killed? 2) How many people have you killed? 3) Why? And Gabriel answers 1) None 2) None 3) Killing is a sin. Gabriel tells the group he has a church nearby and guides them. Rick doesn’t quite trust Gabriel, and who can really blame him. After their last encounter with the Termites, they can’t be too cautious. Gabriel claims he hasn’t wandered far from his church since the whole craziness began, which feels kind of fishy.

 

Once at the church, the gang takes a look around, finding Gabriel’s diary, which contains a recitation of the Bible, and lots and lots of Bible references. There are loads of empty cans, apparently how Gabriel has been surviving. He tells the group that there was a can drive right before the walkers started showing up, and the cans hadn’t yet been taken to the food bank. It seems like pure luck, and that’s what Gabriel chalks it up to. I remain suspicious on the other hand.

 

Meanwhile, Abraham finds a bus that they can use to get up to Washington DC after some repairs. Abraham is ready to roll, explaining that DC has infrastructure that can hold up, even in this type of situation. The mission to Washington DC gives the group something to live for. Abraham points out that every place is eventually taken over, and he’s right. The prison. Woodberry. Hershel’s farm. They’ve all been temporary spots of respite. The mission to Washington gives the group a long term goal rather than just holding on to what each day may bring.

 

Rick asks if Gabriel has any supplies. He tells them about a food bank in town that was stocked by a canned food drive right before shit hit the fan. However, as with every place on this show, the food bank has been overrun by walkers. But it’s Rick and the gang, and walkers don’t scare them anymore, not really. So they plan an expedition, and make Gabriel go with them – Rick doesn’t trust him alone. Rick leaves Carl at the Church, telling him to be on guard.

 

Once at the food bank, the gang discovers that the food bank has been flooded from a collapsed roof. They wade their way into the water, which has some walkers hanging about. Greg Nicotero is a master on this show- making the walker’s features running down their faces, after years of water damage. As the gang tries to defeat the walkers, Gabriel freaks the fuck out when he recognizes a lady walker and takes off from behind the shelf they’re using as a barrier. Considering he’s an episcopal preacher, and thus allowed to marry, and we later see him holding a picture with her, my bet is it’s his wife or at least his lady friend.) Despite not trusting Gabriel, the gang can’t help but save him. In the process, Bob is dragged under by a walker. Sasha kills the walker, and Bob pops back up and says he’s ok, but I don’t believe it – he seems a little too shaken.

 

After returning to the church, the group seems relaxed and happy for the first time since…well… since we’ve seen them. Ever. Rick, in a haze of happiness and a little wine, agrees that the group will go with Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene to DC. Tara finally has the conversation she needs to with Maggie. She says she didn’t know what the Governor was capable of, and Maggie tells her that she’s there with them now and it doesn’t matter.

 

Carol and Daryl are back at a car they found earlier in the day, looking like they’re about to leave the group. I swear to God, if Daryl leaves the group I WILL LOSE MY MIND! Anyway, as they’re loading up, Daryl sees a car that he recognizes as the people that took Beth, and so they take off after it.

 

Back at the church, Bob and Sasha share a sweet moment, and he asks for another kiss. If there was any question about him having been bit, it’s answered here. He knows he’s going to die, and this request for a kiss just shows it. He then goes outside and starts crying. As he’s having his moment, someone comes from out of the woods and hits him over the head.


Bob awakens by a campfire, surrounded by the remaining Termites. Turns out they were the ones following the gang, the ones Daryl heard rustling around in the woods. Gareth tells Bob they didn’t want to hurt him, but they have to in order to survive. Gareth tells Bob that they’ve devolved into Hunters, and Bob looks down and sees THAT HIS FUCKING LEG IS MISSING AND THEY’RE EATING IT IN FRONT OF HIM!!!! WHAT. THE. FUCK.

"No Sanctuary" (Aired October 12, 2014)

Samantha Wessel

I really missed "The Walking Dead" during its break. It may be my favorite, current show (though to be honest, it's hard for me to say this with 100% certainty). Because I'm on the west coast, I go on full social media lockdown until I am able to watch the latest episode for fear of ANYTHING being spoiled. I won't read the graphic novels (though I really, really want to), and I stay far, far away from any websites or articles that may given even the slightest hint at events to come. This show also stresses me out unlike any other show on TV right now. There are times where I actually pace back and forth while watching. More than once, one of my roommates has come home to find me with my hands over my mouth, starting intently at the TV with a look of panic on my face. I LOVE that a television show can make me feel this way. (And thank goodness for "Talking Dead" afterward to talk me off the ledge and provide me with much needed therapy after a new episode). 

So needless to say, I enter each season of "The Walking Dead" with high expectations. Thus far, I have not been let down. I know there is a lot of criticism from fans that the seasons start off slow. Well, I've personally never had this complaint. I've always enjoyed the pacing of the show, and after the Season 4 finale and the return of badass Rick Grimes, I couldn't have been more pumped fore Season 5. After watching the premiere, it looks like Scott M. Gimple and crew are turning the traditional pacing on its head, and I like it! Now what do ya say we get into it!

Season 5 opens with a flashback - a device not used that frequently, so when it happens, it's important. We see a group of people in a boxcar, and we hear screaming in the background. One member of the group expresses regret at posting signs offering sanctuary. It becomes clear that the people of Terminus were really offering a safe place, but that Terminus was overrun with the type of people that repeatedly rape women and murder. We then see Gareth tell his companion that they were trying to do something good. You guys, this show just gave an explanation as to why these people became cannibals (though at this point we still aren't 100% sure they are, but all the signs are there). How many shows provide motivation for the "bad guys?" ANOTHER reason I love this show.

We then flashforward to the group we know and love, still in the boxcar. We see Rick, Michonne, Maggie, Glen, Daryl, Carl, Tara, Sasha, Bob, Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene prepping and fashioning weapons, getting ready to attack the Termites when they next open the boxcar. As one of the Termites approaches, a canister of gas is thrown in, knocking everyone out. Next thing we see, Rick, Daryl, Glen, Bob, and three other nameless characters are being dragged to kneel in front of a tub. Sorry nameless guys - you won't be around much longer! We see that two Termites are dissecting the guy Rick killed earlier when he and the group first arrived at Terminus. Cannibal theory confirmed!

The two Termites then turn their attention to the new meat (pun totally intended). This tub is where the people are killed and the bodies prepped for cooking. YUM! It turns out, we do know the first guy that is killed! It's Sam, the male half of the couple Rick and Carol ran into in Season 4, whom Rick lent his watch to. Sam and the two other nameless victims summarily have their heads cracked and throats slit. Right as they're about to take Glen out, Gareth walks in to take care of some inventory. It's chilling to see how nonchalant he is about the whole thing. I guess after a while, even cannibalism can become mundane. 

Bob and Rick try to negotiate with Gareth for their lives. Rick tells Gareth that he buried weapons before entering Terminus. He promises to use those guns to kill Gareth, but Gareth laughs him off.  Meanwhile, we see Rick sawing away at the tape binding his hands together with a piece of wood he managed to get from the boxcar before he was pulled out. Right as the two Termites go to kill Glen, there is a giant, mysterious explosion.

We then flashback to presumably earlier in the day. Carol, Tyreese, and baby Judith are walking along the train tracks, headed to Terminus. She tells Tyreese that she's not going to stay at Terminus. Tyreese looks like he has some thoughts, but Carol notices a walker. When Tyreese says he's not ready to kill, Carol tells him he has to be able to. Tyreese is still too traumatized after the incident with Lizzie and Mika. Well sorry 'bout it Tyreese, but you live in the freaking zombie apocalypse. You're gonna need to toughen up real quick if you want to survive AND keep baby Judith alive. After taking out the walker, Carol realizes there's a herd, and she and Tyreese hide out and wait for it to pass. The herd is heading for them, but then gunshots are heard in the distance (likely from Terminus), and the herd heads in that direction. Carol and Tyreese decide to take another route into Terminus.

We then see a guy preparing some fireworks whilst talking on a walkie-talkie. He makes references to Michonne and Carl, and Carol and Tyreese walk up and realize that their friends are at Terminus. They (very loosely) tie up Southern boy (they don't ever say his name), and Carol is off to Terminus to see what’s happening. Tyreese is left to keep an eye on Southern Boy and protect baby Judith. Southern boy tries to use his Southern charm and mojo. But Tyreese is guarded. Southern Boy tells Tyreese he is a good guy and that's why he and baby Judith are going to die.

(Tyreese, for the love of God, please kill this dude. Look, I know that I shouldn't be supporting the killing of human by another human, but considering Southern Boy is a Termite and likely eats people, he is not someone who should be allowed to walk around. Granted Tyreese doesn't know about the cannibalism, but still.)

Meanwhile, Carol walkerfies herself to keep other walkers from noticing her. I mean she does a real good job, all in her hair and everything. And while it grossed me the eff out, it's pretty freaking genius. She gets to the gates of Terminus and sees her friends being dragged inside. She also sees the herd approaching and notices a large gas tank. Carol, being the genius BAMF that she is, shoots the gas tank poking a whole, then shoots a MOTHEREFFIN firework at it, exploding the gas tank, sending walkers up in the air, and lighting others on fire. God bless you Carol. 

The explosion is so large, that Tyreese hears it in his shack. As he's checking it out, Southern Boy manages to get loose and run over to baby Judith, threatening to snap her neck. There are walkers outside of the shack, and Southern Boy tells Tyreese to go outside or he will kill Judith. Tyreese, knowing his one duty is to protect her, goes outside. Somehow, he's able to fight off the walkers, come back in, and beat the shit out of Southern Boy. It looks like Tyreese's killing prowess is back! (Though it's odd they don't show him actually killing Southern Boy, particularly since this show isn't one to shy away from violence). 

Back inside Terminus, Rick manages to free himself and stab the two butcher Termites in the neck killing them. They then decide to go back to the boxcar to let their friends out. There may be a herd, but it's their family, and to be fair, they've taken on herds before. Rick tells the others if they see any Termites, don't hesitate to kill them because the Termites won't hesitate. This is an even tougher and harder Rick than before. He's vengeful, a side of him we haven't really seen. It's nice to see him not as Farmer Rick, but it seems that his time spent at Terminus has made him a bit less forgiving, and less willing to see the good in people. He's not Gareth by any stretch of the imagination, but it's possible to see that similar experiences resulted in a hardness in both men. 

So the four men fight there way through the herd, nearly giving me a freaking heart attack. The thing about this show is that no one is ever really safe. Ever. Except for Daryl. I fear for Scott M. Gimple and Robert Kirkman's safety if they ever make the decision to kill of Daryl.

Carol makes her way through Terminus, I assume in an attempt to try and find her friends. She finds the room where the Termites store the personal items they take off of their victims, and pockets a watch that she seems to recognize. Eventually, she makes her way to the candle-ritual room, where “Never Trust” is painted on the wall (is this the message of the season?!?). There, Mama Termite (on "Talking Dead," Scott M. Gimple said that she is Gareth's mother) tells Carol they did in fact start Terminus as a sanctuary, but that the wrong people came and they fought back. She says they realized you are either the butchers or the cattle. (Now, why this is the conclusion they came to seems a little unclear to me. I get fighting back, but for the next “logical” step to be cannibalism is a connection my brain can’t quite make, but maybe that’s my own issue.) Carol shoots Mama Termite in the leg, and instead of killing her, opens the door for the Walkers to do the job for her. 

In the boxcar, Sasha and Michonne press Eugene on the mysterious cure. Eugene says that even if he gave them step-by-step instructions, the cure would still die with him. There's something fishy about Eugene - part of me wonders if he really knows about a cure or if this is some kind of alternate strategy (what exactly this alternate strategy would be I don't know). Finally he breaks down and tells them that he was part of a team that used "weaponized disease to fight weaponized diseases," in other words, fighting "fire with fire." Apparently, he believes the information he gleaned while working on these projects will allow him to develop a cure. 

Rick, Daryl, Glen, and Bob make it back to the boxcar to release their friends. They’re able to get out of Terminus and over the fence to where Rick buried his weapons. He wants to go back in and kill the rest of the Termites - he doesn't believe that any of them should have the right to live. I hope this is as close as Rick gets to Gareth. And I mean, I get it. Being locked up in a boxcar, seeing people killed and eaten, that is going to mess you up. But the worst reaction is to turn into the thing you hate.

We then see Carol approach the group. She somehow managed to find a shower or at the very least, time to clean up and get the Walker blood off of her (pretty amazing considering there was a giant herd of walkers). When Daryl sees Carol, he runs to embrace her. I was genuinely surprised at how emotional this made me. I am not a Daryl/Carol shipper. I want Carol to remain strong and independent, the same with Daryl. (And do not even get me started on the Daryl/Beth thing. That better not happen or I may lose my mind). Rick asks Carol if she saved them, and he hugs her. Even after all Rick (rightfully) put her through, she came through for them. 

Carol leads Rick and the crew back to the shack with Tyreese and Judith. Once there, Tyreese and Sasha reunite, and Rick and Carl are reunited with Judith. SO MANY EMOTIONS!! Tyreese tells Carol killed Southern Boy (weird again that Carol doesn't go in to check and we don't see a dead body, but whatever). This may be the only, remotely happy moment of the season, I should enjoy it while it lasts. 

As the group is moving on, we see an exchange between Abraham and Rosita. Abraham tells Rosita that they'll "Talk to 'em. Not just yet." Umm... what? This makes me all kinds of nervous. Characters knowing things but keeping it secret from everyone else does not a good omen make. Plus, it's "The Walking Dead," and nothing can ever go right for more than 2 seconds anyway. 

And with that, Season 5 is off and running. If anyone complains about this season starting off slow, they should just stop watching the show because they are never going to be satisfied. 

Concluding Thoughts: 

- I find it really interesting that a good chunk of Season 4 was spent with the group getting to Terminus, only to have Terminus destroyed and the Termites assumingly killed in the season premiere. It also seems weird to introduce a major character like Gareth and to only have him in a couple of episodes. Something tells me we're going to see him again. 

- There's no way that the group made it out of Terminus emotionally unscathed. We've seen the changes in Rick, but I'm sure others were affected as well. I’m betting we'll see the repercussions of Terminus throughout the season. 

- Tara has some fence mending to do. She was by the Governor's side when he killed Hershel. Will Rick and Maggie find out, and if so, will they forgive her the way Glen did?

- Lastly: WHAT THE FUCK DO ABRAHAM AND ROSITA KNOW?! Guys, it's making me really nervous and it's going to come back and bite everyone in the ass, I just know it. 

The Walking Dead is Back!

Samantha Wessel

"The Walking Dead" is one of my absolute favorite shows on TV right now. I love that the show isn't about zombies, but about how mankind treats one another when disaster and tragedy strikes. But also, the zombie make-up is pretty badass. And I LOVE that AMC has decided to release the first few minutes of the Season 5 premiere online ahead of time. Check it out here.

 

Check back for a full recap of the Season 5 premiere!