Walking Dead 5.1 – No Sanctuary

"HEYYY, batter-batter-suh-WING, batter!"

“HEYYY, batter-batter-suh-WING, batter!”

Welcome back, survivors! [Previously] Oh, how I’ve missed being filled with utter despair… Which is to say, hooray for having our show back! If any of you are first-timers here, let me break it down for you: one, I cuss. A lot. I get excited, it can’t be helped. Two, this site is dedicated to shows we love. If you want to insult, tear down, or be snarky, this ain’t the place for you. The world is full up on negativity, and I just want to get excited about cannibals, Walkers, and proper weapons care with friends, okay? Okay.

And don’t think for a second that we’re not going to talk about Carol being the best of all of us, by which I mean that she is becoming Daryl Dixon. Conversely, Daryl? He’s becoming old school Carol. Let’s check in at Terminus.

An ominous: THEN

We open on a group people whimpering in a train car as the sounds of people being tortured (let’s get real. We ladies know what “torture” is happening outside) echoes in the empty car nastily.

Sweet-faced innocent boy who will turn up in a surprising way later: We shouldn’t have put up signs! We led them here!
Hipster-Fixie-Upper-Middle-Class Gareth: We were trying to do something good. We were human beings.
SFIBWWTUIASWL: What are we now Gareth?
Gareth: [turns to the camera, a Norman Bates-esque grin blooming across his face]

If you don’t think that I sang a la Barbra Streisand, “People… People who eat…people. Are the luckiest people! In….the world.”

No less ominous: NOW.

Cut to! BAD ASS MAD MAX- STYLE weapons being fashioned. Holy smokes, I never thought of the broken belt buckle/brass knuckles punch-pierce insta-weapon before. AWESOME. But! I want to talk about that studded leather belt with the spikes. If you watch the Talking Dead (which you should be, omg), you’ll know that Rosita took her giant hoop earrings…

ProTip: Hoop earrings are a STUPID thing to wear in a ZA, because that is a) gonna get caught on something like a GAWPING WALKER MOUTH, or b) is going to be ripped out of your ear, leaving a blood trail.

…unrolled them, and pierced them through leather. If those were indeed gold, that is a soft metal and not doing you any good. Gotta think, people.

Anyhoo… Rick rips off a jacket’s zipper and starts sawing off a Buffy-sized stake from the interior of the train car. Holy shit, I love everything happening. Oh, Terminus, tsk tsk tsk, you’re gonna get your asses reamed. They’re all prepping, Daryl’s on point watching through a crack and gives them the heads up that four people are coming.

Rick: GO FOR EYES THEN THROATS.
Michonne: [grins, tightens grip on her insta-weapon fashioned from the nightmares of her enemies]
Door: [doesn’t open]
Roof: [opens] SURPRISE MOTHER FUCKER FLASHBANG SMOKE BOMB WHAAAAAT?

Well that didn’t work out as planned. They’re dragged out coughing (Rick clawed at someone’s face—DNA evidence, Rule #1, ladies) and bound.

Huh. That was anticlimactic.

OH, I’M SORRY, DID I SAY ANTICLIMACTIC? Because holy shit #2, we’re given a woozy Rick’s POV as he’s dragged into warehouse. Just in time for Halloween: a body is on a table, two dudes cutting it up [so I’m assuming that because everyone is infected, there is no human sushi in this world? Everything needs to be cooked to a nice medium well?] and in the back corner are industrial buckets labeled BURN, FEED, WASH. Oh, that’s nice that they’re maintaining OSHA standards for kitchen prep.

A handy chart for all your future people-eating needs!

A handy chart for all your future people-eating needs!

Fun fact! The guy on the table? Alex, the shivery brother from before. Thanks, Talking Dead!

Rick is dropped next to a long, stainless steel trough along with Daryl, Medic Bob and Glenn. More folks we don’t know/don’t care about are lined up. A blood-splattered guy starts sharpening a big ol’ knife while another uses a baseball bat to practice his swing behind Rick. Ah, we’re going cattle slaughterhouse method, gotcha. Bat Boy gets a nod, lines up at the guy at the opposite end, swings for the fences, whack! to the head, then Knife Guy slits their throats, just like a cow minus the giant meat hook impalement.

(Side note, this is the greatest thing ever. I couldn’t help but think about Troy McClure explaining how a slaughterhouse works during this scene, because I’m broken inside where it matters.)

They begin systematically moving down the row and OH MY GOD I AM STANDING UP AND CRAMMING MY FISTS INTO MY MOUTH DARYL, GLENN NOOOO!! Our guys are the last ones. The blood is pouring thick and running toward the drain, Rick manages to take his secret stake out of his coat YES, hell to the yes, Rick. Meanwhile, Gareth shows up with clipboard in hand, doing a l’il ol’ inventory on shot counts, barely sparing Glenn.

Gareth: Uh, fellas, I don’t see your TPS reports?
Knife Guy: Oh? I’m pretty sure I CC’d you?
Gareth: …yeah, nothing’s showing up here.
Our Group: WHAT.
Gareth: I’m going to need you to come in on Saturday, get those done. Thaaaaanks. [points to sign: A SUCCESSFUL CANNIBALISTIC OUTPOST IS AN ORGANIZED CANNIBALISTIC OUTPOST—smiley face.]

Army Medic Bob gets them to let him speak. He’s got a plan, see? They have a solution, see? (If I was him, I would have been all “I HAVE VALUABLE MEDICAL SKILLS ERGO KILL THEM NOT ME.”)

"Look. If we don't honor the name label system for the company fridge, it's going to be anarchy. Haven't we suffered enough chaos? Now apologize to Johnson for eating his chipotle burrito, and we can get back to work."

“Look. If we don’t honor the name-label system for the company fridge, it’s going to be anarchy. Haven’t we suffered enough chaos? Now, apologize to Johnson for eating his chipotle burrito, and we can all get back to work.”

Gosh, Gareth hates the whole “sticking to protocol” thing, but… his hands are tied here. Oh, and he knows about the bag in the woods, Rick. “What’s in it?” He puts Bob to the knife and asks calmly again. “You really gonna let me do this?” OOOH, that shaaarp point is right at the eye ball, yeesh. Rick gives up the guns, scopes, compound bow and a machete with a red handle.

Rick: That’s what I’m gonna use to kill you.
Gareth: Ha, so funny, Dead Man Walking! Did you not see the clipboards? We have the powe—
Outside: Gunshots!
Gareth: Wait. [flips through schedule] We don’t have the newbie snipe hunt scheduled until Thursday?
Outside: OH OKAY HOW ABOUT SOMETHING EXPLODES! Got your attention now?

YES. Yes, you do. And are you seeing that the Intro is new? This one is going to take me a bit to pick apart, we’ll need more show, but here’s what I’m seeing. We have the gun, the all important symbol of the sheriff, of order, but we also have a wheelchair (bike wheel?), sleeping bags, documents burning, watch (trying to get back to older times), AWAY WITH YOU on a creepy building, baby shoes on a cross (JUDITH? Or just what she means: hope for a future generation lost? Oh, I think that one because kids growing up in this world are going to be jacked the hell up, let’s get real), some dark tunnels, more shots of Terminus, Zombie POV, ravens, and a lone businessman turned Walker. Zombies are the ultimate consumer, so I like that it’s a businessman.

Judith, Carol and Ty are still making their way to Terminus. Carol won’t stay, she says. Life’s short, plenty of tweens to kill, flowers to look at, Ty gets it, right? A Walker comes out of the woods; Ty leaves it to Carol, because he can’t do it. Son, you better nut up. She notices the giant herd headed their way, craaaaaap. They break off into the woods to hide. Gunfire explodes, and I’m confused about the time line. I won’t spoil what’s coming ahead, just put a pin in this, okay? It gets the Walkers’ attention.

(By this point, shouldn’t those Walker eyes all be milky white? Like, if they’re deteriorating – and they are – why aren’t the eyes? Because that makes sense to me. I KNOW IT’S NOT REAL HUSH. I’m a sciencetician, okay?) It sounds like Terminus was being attacked—do they even want to find out? Yeah, they do. They take a separate track to get there to avoid the Walker Herd. Dibs on alt-punk choir group called Walker Herd.

This deviation in the path means they run into a douchey Terminus guy, setting up bottle rockets and chatting on his walkee about the chick with the sword and wanting Carl’s hat after he’s bled out. Carol pulls iron on him, because she is the best. OH SHIT SON YOU’RE ABOUT TO GET TOLD.

Douchey Terminus Ballcap: You don’t have to do this! We have a safe place! We’re good guys!
Carol: [dry as the desert] We’re friends with the kid and the chick with the sword.
DTB: [shits pants]
Ty: So… you have a plan, Carol?
Carol: [looks off into the sunset, a cold pounding in her temple and a twist in her gut] I’m gonna kill people. [somewhere a lonely cowboy strums a guitar]

She leaves Ty/Judith with the guy. She’s going to load up on zombie guts and walk in with the herd because CAROL IS A MUH FUH GENIUS, oh my god, I was kicking my heels and fist pumping at her ballsy move.

Terminus guy is strangely calm. Talks about not having friends, just people he survives with. “Horrible shit just stacks up every day. You get used to it.” TRUER WORDS, MY FRIEND. Oh yeah? Well big guy teddy bear with a heart of gold Ty won’t get used to it because he’s the kind of guy who saves babies.

“That’s why you’re gonna die today. And why that baby’s gonna die. Or, you can get in that car, get out of here, and keep on being lucky. Why haven’t you killed me? Why the hell are you even talking to me? Take her, take the car, and go. I don’t want to do this today.” Hm, I think you do, Douchey Terminus Ballcap. I think you always do. The world is full up on guys who are truly waiting for the chance to give in to all of their sick, dark fantasies, and my money’s on you being one of them. You have the smell of Reddit on you.

Carol approaches Terminus when our group is about to be pulled from the train car. (So what was that gunfire from earlier? OH! Was it the flashbang dropped in the car? I’m confused. Anyone?) She has a bag—not Rick’s—sees them being bound, gagged and dragged off. She gets up to a high vantage point with a seriously awesome scope on her high-powered rifle and sees the herd approaching. She aims at a propane tank, then launches a fucking bottle rocket at it, oh my god. I FREAKING LOVE THIS WOMAN. All the Walkers go flying or falling. AHHHHHH!!! This was so cool!

Once you see h

Once you see her, you’re dead. Protip: don’t squint your other eye closed. You need depth perception. Sniper rule #43.

Now the Terminus perimeter has been breached, uh oh! And the Walkers who were merely dazed are getting to their feet.

[Baseball announcer voice] It looks pretty bad for the local boys! Farewell, Terminus, it’s been a thin slice of heaven!

INSIDE WITH RICK & Co., the Terminus guys are freaking out. Rick uses his stake to cut his zip ties as Gareth goes running to check and see if his vintage New Order and Bauhaus albums were damaged in the explosion. THEY WERE FORMATIVE, OKAY, YOU WOULDN’T UNDERSTAND.

Terminus Mary looks up to see flambe Walkers on the hoof headed her way. Some guy inexplicably scoots on his back like a flipped turtle as a Walker bears down on him, then bears down on his face. By eating it. (OH MY GOD. I’ve kissed dudes like that. You really don’t need all that spit, okay? Or teeth. Or to eat his nose. …what were we talking about?)

RIGHT. Carol sashays into Terminus with the back portion of the Walker herd, smart, so she doesn’t get popped by a sniper.

Knife Guy and Bat Boy are talking about protocol when Rick gets the drop on them, THROAT STAB and THROAT STAB TWO: STABBED HARDER. He cuts Glenn and gang free.

The group still in the train car are panicking. Carl knows Dad’s coming back, Maggie still has her daddy’s watch, oh! Right! She uses the chain to cut her own stake. There’s pandemonium outside, Terminus people being eaten (HOW YOU LIKE THEM APPLES? Mmm, tastes like bitter irony [finger kiss]) and still Carol comes on. She ducks into a doorway, takes out two snipers, oh my gosh, this woman, but unfortunately catches a Walker’s attention. She closes herself in because saving bullets is important.

Rick & Co. grab knives, anything useful as they walk through a horror show. (If you’ve played Fallout, it’s basically a creepy Raider’s den with bodies hanging.) Aaaand there’s the meat hooks. Our group will shoot to kill, it seems. Terminus peeps don’t deserve quarter.

Glenn wants to help everyone out, even those not in their group, because “that’s who we still are.” But I bet they’re going to free those guys just to be eaten, and… yep. Bye bye, tattoo face. (Wanna bet he was one of the original torturers/rapists from the THEN montage?)

Carol is in some kind of antechamber where all the victim’s personal goods are sorted. Very, um, Holocaust of Terminus, and it’s incredibly disturbing. She finds a watch she likes, then notices the GINORMOUS PILE OF WEAPONRY. Daryl’s crossbow? Or just close enough? Just close enough.

Rick uses a busted off car mirror in the street to see what’s around a corner (and who’s shooting at them). Side shot of a Walker getting her limbs blown off by gunfire, awesome, then a head shot (sloppy shooting, sniper. Lots of wasted bullets. One shot, one kill, come on). Daryl saves Rick’s neck by killing a Walker coming up behind him, because they are the best Apocalypse Bros who ever lived. There’s a good six folks with semi-autos going after Walkers. Rick takes the one in back around the neck, gets his gun, then shoots/kills the humans and several Walkers, leaving everyone else to be eaten.

Now they don’t have to double back! See, it saved time.

Carol is now in the “Never again. Never Trust. We First.” candle and name room. It’s all show, and she’s smart enough to know it. Terminus Mary creeps up on Carol, wants her to drop her weapons. (Hey, there’s the opening montage shot of a door with hands pounding, shadows of Walkers under it). Carol lays down the bow and rifle… but not quite, whirls around, shoots at the woman, gets her down, then it’s hand-to-hand because they’re both tough old birds. Ultimately Carol gets the drop on her, because she’s CAROL, and Mary stands panting. (WHERE WAS A HEALTHY HEAD BUTT?)

Mary: The signs? They were real. This was a sanctuary. Then they raped and killed and they laughed. But we got out and we got it back. You’re the butcher or you’re the cattle.
Carol: [yawns] Where are my friends?
Mary:
Carol: [shrugs, shoots her in the leg] WHERE ARE THEY?
Mary: So, go ahead and Mozambique me, pls.
Carol: It’s like you haven’t been paying attention. [leaves her there wounded as bait, opens the door so they’ll go for her.]

Carol just unlocked the Cold-Hearted Executioner trophy! DAMN.

Back at Murder Cabin, three straggler Walkers capture Ty’s attention outside, leaving DTB a chance to get his hands around Judith’s neck. WOW. Ty puts his weapons on the ground, hands up, Judith is screaming, DTB says “GO OUTSIDE. ONE TWIST, MAN. DON’T MAKE ME.”

NO, TY. YOU BETTER NOT. You are dead and Judith is dead, regardless, SO GO DOWN FIGHTING. Nope, he goes outside where he’s pulled away by a Walker. Are you FUCKING kidding me?

DTB gets walkee, looking for his friend while outside there’s banging, Ty yelling, then utter silence. Ooh. Yeah, muh fuh, you best be afraid. DTB pulls a knife and holds it over Judith.

AHHHHH!!!!

AHHHHH!!!!

(OMG, children in peril, my skin is itching, my ovaries and aching, and I’m about to go FULL MAMA BEAR. No shit, I was at the zoo with my daughter Sunday, and I had a flash in my head of what I would do if a tiger or gorilla got out of its enclosure, and had the full mental picture of shoving her behind me, possibly dropping her over a fence into a tree top, keys in fist, the inexplicable sound of a shotgun cocking a bullet into the chamber, and then “COME ON!!!” hero yell.)

Ty comes in with a full body tackle, knocks DTB to ground, beats his hand into the floor knocking the knife loose, and then Mike Tyson’s the guy’s maw. “Yeah. That’s how it works. I WON’T.” He continues beating the dude. Ty has some feelings to work through, and DTB was conveniently located. Good thing Judith is too little to take this in?

DO YOU WANT TO DANCE?

DO YOU WANT TO DANCE?

Eugene and Co are still trying to find a way to open the door, Michonne is making a gee dee makeshift katana out of spare wood. Sasha—with a very good question, one I am interested in as well—wants to know what the freaking miracle cure is.

“That’s classified.”

UH, WE’RE GONNA DIE, Camaro Cut. STORY TIME. (I still maintain that Mississippi Mudflap Cracker doesn’t know diddly.)

Eugene is smart enough to know that if anyone else knows, he’s then expendable. He’s not going to go Red Ring (lol. In the end they all go Red Ring, SCREW YOU, XBOX, PS4 5eva!), but if he does, the cure dies with him. So he’s an utter cock knock, but we knew this. FINE. “It’s Spam. We have to live on Spam, Cheetohs and Mountain Dew.” Spoken like a true Redditor.

He claims to be a Human Genome Project muckity muck, working on microorganism weaponology, and wants to “flip the script” once he gets a look at DC’s playbook. Uh huh. Wow, you sound like such a sciencetician, Eugene. BUT WAIT. RICK OPENS UP THE DOOR, GETS THEM OUT, YELLS GO FOR THE FENCE. It’s hand-to-hand all the way through. It’s pretty boss. (Nice bonus: BatBoy now a Walker). Abraham has the barbed wire fence covered so they can flip over it into safety.

They head through the woods to the hidden bag. Rick wants to take everyone at Terminus out. “They don’t get to live.” He knows what’s what, and what’s right. BUT!!

C-D 2C-D 1

CAROL SHOWS UP. OH MY GOD. She’s all cleaned up like she washed in a river, or something? Continuity whaaaat? Oh, wait, she was wearing a tarp/poncho. She just washed her face I guess. DARYL GOES RUNNING TO HER, CRYING A LITTLE AS HE HUGS HER UP OH MY HEART. <3 <3 <3

C-D 4 C-D 3

C-D 6 C-D 5

SO. WORTH IT. So worth it. <3

Rick: did you do that?
Carol: Yeah.
Rick: [proud papa feels]

HUGS ALL AROUND, Sasha and Ty, Medic Bob and his right hand… [Still not a fan of his, sorry, he’s the ultimate Nice Guy, imo] Oh, so lovely. I’ve wanted this for a whole season! Carol shows Rick that Ty is holding Judith. RICK SEES HIS BABY GIRL, TAKES OFF RUNNING WITH CARL AT HIS HEELS. I’M NOT CRING YOU’RE CRYING. Little Asskicker back with her family! It’s a nice moment, one they all needed.

We also learn that Ty beat DTB to death. He had to, and so he did. Okay! Carol’s proud of you. We all are.

So…that’s it for Terminus? Two and a half eps at that big set? Okay. They push on as a much larger group, but back to being family with some new additions. Rick makes an adjustment to the Terminus sign: NO sanctuary, crossing out everything else.

Final flash to THEN

Rapetime in Train Car D! JFC. A young girl is dragged out after Mary is thrown back in. Gareth hugs her—that his Mama!—vows to take it back, delivers the “butcher/cattle” line with his brother Alex shivering next to him. And…okay? So they’re coming back later in the season? Or Gareth is?

AND WHERE IS BETH?

So Carol. Let’s talk. If you don’t like Carol Peletier, then I don’t like you. She started off with more feelings than she knew what to do with, weak and vulnerable because of them. Then Sophia died, and she started to get hard. And wow, did she get hard. “Look at the flowers.” But she still had emotion. I think if she hadn’t found our group at Terminus (or found them dead), she would have gone Section 8, all emotion lost, left Ty and Judith (she said as much), and would live simply to save her own skin, doing what she needed to in order to survive. (Deep down would have been feelings, because she cared about that group profoundly, but they would have been buried DEEEEEP.)

And that, my friends, is how we met Daryl Dixon: hard, determined not to care, doing what he needed to do in order to survive. The longer he was with the group, the more he opened up until we have him at the end of last season, walking his legs off to look for Beth instead of pushing on. We have Daryl having a gee dee emotional breakdown at the sight of his best friend (or more, depending on how you ship) alive, well, and a freaking hero among heroes.

I love how this is turning the archetypes of heroes on its head regarding women and men. LOVE. And I love that these two are the people who we really should try to emulate in a similar situation.

NEXT WEEK: HOLY SHEEP SHEARS, MORGAN IS BACK, ONE OF THE BEST SIDE TOPIC CHARACTERS EVER. Oh man, I want so much more of his story, I am OVER THE MOON. Click here for ep. 2: STRANGERS

Tell me all of your delicious thoughts, folks!! It’s so good to be back! Note: I am SPOILER-FREE. There is NO discussion of the comics here, okay? The fun for people In The Know is watching me flail blindly. Respect the no spoiler rule!

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  • Katy

    SHOWWWWWWWWWWWWW!

    CAROL. MY QUEEN. *dances and flails and jumps with joy* (the watch she picked up, I think it’s the one she gave Rick when he left her in the suburbs. Just a guess.)

    When Eugene was giving that speech, my hubby was sitting beside me constantly going “Get away from the door Eugene.” “Get away from the door.” “Walker could slip its fingers into that door, Eugene.”

    AND THE CAROL/DARYL REUNION! Tears, crying, so much joy in my heart for those two. Thank you, thank you, thank you Walking Dead writers for not dragging out their reunion.

    MORGAN! I let out an actual squeak of joy when I saw him! YES!

    • Ooh, good point about the watch, which would be a nice bit of continuity to the couple they found in that house, and that guy was the first one Knife Guy/Bat Boy offed. NICE.

      I love your husband’s chanting that! Although I won’t be upset if Eugene goes. I KNOW, I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO FEEL THAT WAY ABOUT HIM, but I don’t have faith in him. Not yet, I guess.

      I just KNEW my Caryl shippers would be over the moon. Ugh, such a wonderful scene. Next week–prepare to be able to hear my shouts all across the country. MORGAN!!

  • Sue

    You explained all the things that made me go “Hmm” so I’ll just leave these here:
    [points to sign: A SUCCESSFUL CANNIBALISTIC OUTPOST IS AN ORGANIZED CANNIBALISTIC OUTPOST—smiley face.] Haaaaaaaaaaa!

    and:
    The world is full up on guys who are truly waiting for the chance to give in to all of their sick, dark fantasies, and my money’s on you being one of them. You have the smell of Reddit on you. I’m giving you a standing O from the box tier in The Kennedy Center. Magnifique!

    • OMG, I was cackling with glee over all the “7 Habits of Highly Successful Cannibalistic Outposts” in those intro scenes.

      One thing that troubles me (down deep) about this show is how easily people like that guy (the MRA #NiceGuy type) can see this as fantasy fulfillment. I mean, same for Game of Thrones, etc., which is why it’s so important to me to have Michonne and Carol being such asskickers and still being able to have those “female characteristics” of being nurturing. But it doesn’t cloud their judgement, it doesn’t make them act “hysterically”–they just get done what needs doing. It’s awesome.

  • Amy J.

    There’s a slight possibility that I am now watching the episode for the 5th time since it aired. JUST A SLIGHT POSSIBILITY.

    That was basically everything I wanted from an episode. Characters I love in peril, OMG BAT NEAR GLENN’S HEAD NOT OKAY, Carol being super bad ass amazing, our survivors in the box car steadfastly believing that the others would come back for them, the whole group fighting its way out of Terminus like a well oiled machine, Carol/Daryl hug, Rick/Carol hug, Rick and Carl being reunited with Judith, Tyreese and Sasha being reunited, surprise!Morgan ftw!!! Just about perfect. Okay, there was a little more gore than I prefer (my husband thinks it’s hilarious that this is my favorite show when I have to hold my hand up to block the screen every time there’s a walker biting a piece out of someone) but… wow.

    My favorite line was when Eugene said they’re going to step out into a hellstorm of bullets, fire and walkers and he’s not fleet of foot and won’t be able to take them down, and Michonne says, “Yeah, but we can. And we will.”

    • THAT IS SOME DEDICATION. <3 I give it 11 out of 10, myself.

      This episode was maybe the goriest ever? Is that safe to say? I think it was one of most consistently graphic eps. (As in, from start to finish. There have been a few gruesomely hideous scenes throughout the seasons, but this one was relentless. Or maybe it just feels that way?)

      That line of Michonne's... that's her entire character summed up in one line, isn't it? Oh, I have MISSED HER.

      • Amy J.

        I love, love, love Michonne. And Carol, Glenn and Daryl. I don’t ship Carol and Daryl in a romantic sense but I love the two of them together and if there were to be more hugging and maybe some snuggling I would not complain one bit.

        • I don’t really ship them romantically, but I totally get why people do. I just love these two people looking out for each other and caring, you know? Daryl’s screwed up face, overcome with the proof standing in front of him that Carol made it… GAH, MY HEART!!

  • Chris

    Great summary. I saw this comment on twitter but it bears repeating (again) especially coupled to your comments on Carol/Daryl and archetypes: The total, complete gender inversion of Carol returning back to the group as the capital-H Hero and Daryl running to give her the “welcome back i missed you so much never go away again” hug.

    • This is one of my favorite things currently happening on this show, how they’ve flipped it. Carol is becoming the steely-eyed lone gunman, with Rick holding his children, emotionally overcome.

      (Also, there was a shot of Michonne and Carol watching the Grimes family reunite, two women who lost their children, happy with Rick holding both of his)

      So. DAMN. BRILLIANT.

  • Colleen

    Whoo hoo!! TWD is back and so are Laura’s recaps!!!

    Fantastic recap! CAROL, ARMY OF ONE! Can I just say how much I adore that this show flips the stereotypes and has tiny little Carol be the stone cold killer and has giant Tyreese be kind of a b***h? Carol and Daryl, best moment of the night, hands down.

    I was so peeved with TTD last night, when Conan started going off about Gareth being a hipster, I was all “That’s LAURA’S joke from last season!!!”

    Also, I hear you with DTB near Judith! I was so ready to reach through the tv and get crazy mama bear with that guy! That is one seriously cute baby!

    So glad the show and the recaps are back! Squeee!!!

    • COLLEEN!! Oh, it always makes me happy when my faves come back to comment each new season. It’s like the first day of school, hahaha.

      Chris and I (comment thread above this) have been talking about the whole “Carol is the stone-cold, grizzled hero” flip, but I failed to mention the twist with Ty being flipped, as well. You know, I think it’s because we’ve heard the term Gentle Giant. We know the huge, burly guy that is gentle and tender. There hasn’t really been a flipped archetype for women (unless they’re just a mean bitch, all one-dimensional.)

      Maybe Carol will be the new baseline! <3

      HAHAHAHA, YOU SHOULD WRITE CONAN A STRONGLY-WORDED LETTER. ;D That's so sweet. And OH MY GOSH, Judith. That sweet little cottony head in her daddy's hands... *dies* I just want to SMELL that tiny fontanel. Hee.

      I'm so glad you're back, YAY!!

  • Kiki

    I watched this episode with one of my bffs and we were yelling most of the time. But I don’t think we yelled more than when Daryl and Carol reunited, mostly in joyous ‘oh my god OH MY GOD this is too cute.’ And then Rick reuniting with his baby that he didn’t know survived? That messed me up immensely. Also, how giant their group is is kinda amazing; anyone left from Terminus trying to mess with them would not have a good time. Terminus was definitely screwing with the wrong people.

    But I wanted to yell about Carol forever now. I’ve placed myself firmly on Team Carol since season 2, and her development has left me overjoyed. I’m glad her development has been very natural feeling and that the show never seemed to rush her characterization. ALSO SERIOUSLY HER RELATIONSHIP WITH DARYL, WHATEVER IT IS, IS TOO MUCH FOR ME. They’re so protective of one another, and I think that kinda stems from their pasts as abuse victims, but they really effect each other in a great way and UGH I WANT THEM TO HUG ALL THE TIME AND TALK ABOUT THEIR FEELINGS.

    also not enough Michonne this episode but it’s okay. I am patient. I can wait.

    • TEAM CAROL ALL THE DAMN WAY. And yep, S2 was when I had a complete change of heart about her. And I get fundamentally that we weren’t supposed to respect her in S1, and she hit a LOT of my personal buttons then, which is why she is so totally my favorite now. MELISSA McBRIDE YOU ARE A GODDESS AMONG WOMEN.

      As you said, the story arc has been slow, but it’s been delicious to behold. I’m all for slow reveals/slow builds when the pay off is this sweet.

      I 100%, no, I 9000% agree with you that Carol and Daryl’s past as abuse survivors is one of the big things knitting them together. They get it. They get the other’s upbringing, that sense of self-worth as it ties in to the loud man with strong fists beating them, and they get the tender little corner of their hearts just wanting that loud man to say something–anything–kind.

      I LOVE THEM SO MUH-HUH-HUCH.

      Oh, we are gonna get some good Michonne this season, I just FEEL it. <3

  • Aaron L

    What an open ! This is why I was so pissed at Rick, and thought he was SO WRONG for kicking Carol out. She is a key ingredient of this group.

    She is one of, if not The Best character on this show. I love most of them, but Carol, ever since Sophia, she has been my fav. They don’t come as calm cool and collected as her.

    When dude had has hand on Judith’s neck, I could feel something primal come out in me. I wanted to smash the F-ing guys face in like Ty did. Holy Shit !!! That was VERY tense. My knuckles were clenched pretty damn hard.

    The reunions were just what they, and us needed. When Rick and Carl see Judith, that was perfect. And Carol, I was worried she was going to be stuck in Terminus, and nobody would know that she was the one that saved everyone. Daryl’s face when he sees her was greaaat too :)

    Yes, Im on the same page with you. I do not trust Dr. Bob either, something is just off there. Same with Eugene, he is so full of BS, but people NEED to believe in something I guess, and he knows it.

    Cant wait for Morgan story again, and what the sign on the tree means. Also, what Rick is going to think of Tara. And where do they go next??? Find Beth I hope…

    Great review once again Laura :)

    • AARON!! Good to see you back, friend!

      I love that Rick kicked Carol out because a) it kicked her into overdrive as far as stepping up her skills to Can’t Touch This level, and b) Rick got to see just how wrong he’d been about her. It’s good for him to have humbled himself, telling her thank you. That was a spectacular moment for me. (BUT I GET YOUR POV, I DO.)

      I love that the Papa Bear came out in you, too. DO NOT PUT BABIES IN PERIL, OMG. I would pull a Rick and rip out someone’s throat, let me just tell you.

      I am SO GLAD someone else is hinky on Dr. Bob and Eugene!! I thought I might be losing my damn mind. Hahahaha. Oh, there is so much story to tell, and I have COMPLETE FAITH that we’re going to get it. And get our hearts ripped out in the process. Yaaaa….y? Ahaha.

      Good to have you back!!

  • cindergal

    Team Carol, woo hoo! So glad that Melissa McBride is getting props all over the internets as well. She deserves every one. After not loving last season as much as usual, I think this one has gotten off to a fantastic start. And boy, did we need those final scenes after such a brutal episode. Daryl’s face, and the running, and the hugging! And the Grimes family reunion, too! It was awesome.

    But most of all…Morgan.

    • CINDY!! (I owe you an email)

      Oh, I just KNEW you would be over the moon about Melissa McBride this ep, because a) DUH and b) TCHUH. She’s amazing, her story arc coming to where it does here is perfection, and the DARYL HUG. Oh. My. God. <3

      MORGAN I CANNOT WAIT I MADE NOISES ONLY BATS COULD HEAR WHEN HE SHOWED UP.

  • Karen

    OMG! This episode. This friggin’ episode! It hit ALL the right notes. Carol, being Badass McBadassy. Rick, going all primal and shit. Termites biting the dust in big ways. Tyreese finally stepping up and killing a human to protect Judith. And the reunions! My Lord, the reunions! So awesome and heartfelt and joyous after all the killing and horror. So needed.

    I was really nice watching “The Talking Dead” and hearing Scott Gimple say that Carol didn’t need to rescue the group to become part of the group again. In essence that after his experiences on the road, Rick realized that what she did was harsh, but not evil, and that she can benefit the group. And she can – she’s almost at Michonne levels of badass now, while still being a loving human to her “family”. I love Carol soooooooo much. Can you tell? LOL

    I want Carol and Michonne to bond this year, both being badasses who’ve lost their children. I could see a deep friendship develop there, if the writers go there. And we’ve not seen too many female friendships on this show, which is a shame.

    I’m soooo hyped for this season. I can’t wait to see where we go in episode 2.

    • I LOVE when Scott Gimple is on TTD–he has (as their writer) such awesome insight into who they are and their world, and it’s great to get that confirmation about Carol that we’ve known: she’s proven herself over and over again. She doesn’t need to earn anything back. Honestly, I think she and Michonne are equal, truly. AND BOTH EQUALLY AMAZING. <3

      I'm right there with you wanting them to have a great storyline--there's so much to build on, right? Oh my gosh, gimmie amazing, complex females with amazing, complex friendships. YES PLEASE.

      I can't wait, either! Oooh, it's gonna be good.

  • Eddie H

    You’re crying. I’m crying. Dammit we’re all crying!

  • Anthony Stark of Winterfell

    First and foremost I would like to just say that I am ecstatic to FINALLY have another show that YOU are recapping that I actually watch! I missed reading your snarky commentary! (I of course mean that in the highest regards)

    Second as per usual, great recap! The only thing I even have to add is that I LOVED that the “Douchey Terminus Ballcap” guy was wearing a Detroit Tigers hat!! As a KC Royals fan it made it THAT MUCH EASIER to hate that guy automatically! (no offense Detroit fans, but you had our number this year and almost kept us out of the playoffs completely!)

    Not sure why I couldn’t login with my Facebook\Twitter, but this’ll work for now! Talk to you soon!

    Tony

    • TONY!! Hey, glad to have you back!! (And yes, I know just what you meant by that and I thank you kindly. :D)

      Ahahahaha, I love that you’re a Royals Fan. Nothing like a little old school tribalism to bring on the hate. ;D (For me it would need to be a Yankees or Houston Astros because fuck those guys, that’s why.) Hahaha.

      You know, I think that plugin might be wonky, the one that lets you log in via FB/Twitter. I’ll check into that so you can come back with ease. <3

  • Allie (the Wife Norman Reedus doesn’t know he has)

    The best episode evah. (Yes, I purposefully changed an international work trip departure to a week later once I found out that TWD premier was for sure Oct. 12. Because I could not imagine being in the middle of nowhere (which I will be in a few days) without having left the country not knowing just how much the Termites were going to get fucked up by Kool (I mean Rick) and the Gang.

    The best hug evah. And when Daryl came back for a SECOND hug and ducked his head into the crook of Carol’s neck, MY OVARIES EXPLODED AGAIN. If you have it on DVR, it happens approximately 51 minutes into the show. I know this because I have watched this scene no less than 27 times. Sigh. Thank you, Norman Reedus.

    • I like your priorities, Allie. Rescheduling was the right thing to do. :D

      OMG, I love that you have the time stamp. And seriously: how freaking awesome was that for a season opener? It gives me a ridiculous amount of excitement for what all’s to come.

      (Good luck on your trip!)

    • Amy J.

      Thank you for making me feel better that I’m not the only person obsessed with that moment! And when Rick is hugging Carol, Daryl is standing in the behind Rick and there’s a moment when Daryl’s mouth does that wobbling thing it does when you’re trying not to to cry. I was super impressed with all three of the actors during that scene.

      • Amy J.

        *standing behind Rick

  • Beth

    My biggest fear is that Beth was picked up in that limo by rapey people associated with Terminus. That was my FIRST thought when I saw them take that poor teenage girl out of the train car. “Oh man, they’re hinting just how fucked up they are, and nodding to an age bracket.” I hope I’m way off base and that it’s something else entirely, but the cross on the back of the limo from season 4 has me thinking “false sanctuary”, and in the “next on” previews from Sunday’s episode, Rick’s in a church. Like, maybe Terminus goes even deeper, or it’s something else. Either way… THAT SHIT HAD MY HEART POUNDING. From start to finish, I was about to vomit or scream in such a glorious way. That opening, holy shit. HOLY SHIT ARE YOU KIDDING ME.

    I can’t even imagine how terrified I’d be draped over a trough like that. Also, how many times is Glenn going to “almost-die” in this series? For the love of god, he must go through a shit ton of under drawers.

    • Well, I don’t think Beth’s at Terminus, but I *DO* think she was pulled into the Stranger Danger Limo o’Non-Consent, which is incredibly distressing to me. WHAT IF: those guys are some of the Terminus guys who escaped? Is that even possible? I just don’t think we’re done with Terminus. (They pretty much set up an arc with Gareth at the end.)

      MAYBE TERMINUS GOES DEEPER. Yes yes yes! I THINK IT DOES. And Seth Gilliam (Starship Troopers! Teen Wolf!) is the Preacher on the rock, and then the preacher of that church, so I have no idea what to even think. NONE.
      BEEEEEEETH IT WAS SO FREAKING INTENSE I LITERALLY WAS STANDING AND MASHING MY FISTS AGAINST MY MOUTH, FREAKING OUT. LI-TER-AL-LY.

    • Karen

      To be fair, I don’t think the Rapey McRapersons who took over Terminus were focusing too much on the age of the women who they raped – I think the scene where they “returned” Mama Mary to her sons as them just finishing with her before taking something a bit fresher. Beasts.

      Beth will have her own problems, I’m sure, with whatever group she’s currently with. I can’t believe anyone who kidnaps a girl by force has her best interests at heart, ya know?

      And for what it’s worth, the cross on the cars looks more medical than religious – like a whitewashed version of the red cross. So I’m not sold yet on the theory that the cars have anything to do with churches or religious people.

  • Beth

    ME TOOOO. I was bouncing and “OMG!”-ing every five minutes and then fucking CRYING AT THAT REUNION(S) and then immediately laughed when Rick acknowledges Ty. I say “acknowledge” because he just kind of squeezed his shoulder. “Thanks for taking care of my baby all this time. You’re a stand up dude.” Everyone else got a hug and tears. Ty? A shoulder squeeze. hahaha

    • Beth

      AND CAN I ALSO SAY: I am so glad that Carol got to be the hero. After everything she’s done, which really, WAS for the good of the group (sometimes you gotta roll a hard six!), she absolutely needed that in order to forgive herself.

      CALL THE SLATE OUTKAST BECAUSE IT IS CLEEEEAN.

      • Amy J.

        Seriously! It’s actually at the point where if I knew how to contact Melissa McBride, I would, just to tell her how freaking awesome she is.

  • Allie (the Wife Norman Reedus doesn’t know he has)

    Okay, spoiler alert so don’t read on if you don’t want to know about Beth …

    But in one of the short scenes TWD released ahead of the premier, it does show her in the hands of what looked like some version of a psychiatric hospital that looks like all kinds of green tile hell. So we know she’s alive and we know she’s not singing sweet Irish songs to herself and rocking gently back and forth in a good way.

    Also, the trough scene was one of the goriest and toughest I’ve ever witnessed on TV. I’m sorry, but all I could think of was ISIS and those poor hostages getting beheaded and I just had to cover my eyes. Too much. Sometimes it’s just too much.

    Also, and this is the final also, thank you Laura for coming back and doing this. I have wandered through some other fan forums for this show and this is simply the best one around – not only your recaps, but all the other commenters too who write IN CAPS because we all love this all so much.

    • (fingers over my eyes for the spoilery bits, and you’re lovely for the head’s up!)

      ALLIE I AM SO HAPPY TO SHARE THIS SPACE WITH YOU. Seriously, it’s every bit as much fun for me to have people just as excited to talk about shows I love, knowing that we won’t have weirdos popping in with hate to ruin the fun.

      <3 <3 <3

  • Amy J.

    I don’t know if this makes me weird but I found the bat-hitting-head part to be much worse than the throat cutting. (And I don’t like blood! I have perfected the art of holding my hand up in front of my face to block the screen so I don’t have to see nose-eating etc.)

    • Oh my gosh, yeah. YEAH. It’s so…brutal. I mean, knives are weapons, so we expect that behavior from it, if that makes sense? Bats are for playing a game, and to turn it into something so…viscerally awful is really disturbing. Right there with you.

  • Eddie H

    P.S. It’s awesome that you cover TWD AND Game of Thrones. By far my two favorite shows, and I just love how you cover them!

  • Jim Jones

    Was it just me, or did the ringleader in the dark rape scene at the end look an awful lot like Joe from the end of last season?

    • JIM!! I thought that same thing, too!!! Which, if its true, OH BETH. D: