My Take: When last we saw our heroes, things were looking pretty grim for Rick and the gang locked in a train car while Carol, Tyreese and Judith continued toward Terminus and Beth was still missing. Season 5 defiantly started with a bang, filled with lots of action and some disturbing scenes.
We open with Rick, Glen, Darryl and Bob being taken to the killing room along with 4 others and watch as the 4 red shirts are slaughtered like cattle but our heroes are saved from the same fate by an explosion and gunfire. As the episode unfolds, we jump between the groups of survivors and get a brief glimpse into how Terminus became a slaughter-house. Bad things happened to the people who founded it to be a sanctuary and when they took it back, they became monsters of a different kind but just as disturbing as the men that had tortured them.
Meanwhile, Tyreese and Carol are getting closer to Terminus when they come across one of the Termites (that was what they were called on The Talking Dead) and tie him up so Carol can go free Rick and the others. Tyreese has made it clear he will not kill which is a problem when the Termite threatens to snap Judith’s neck. Tyreese is not to be trifled with and Judith is fine. Carol played a pivotal role in this episode as she single handily took down Terminus and lead to the freeing of Rick and the gang. There were explosions, gunfire and Walkers, so many Walkers, overrunning the sanctuary. Not all the people at Terminus were killed but a fair number of them fell to the Walkers and to Rick’s wrath.
All of the group gets out in one piece and no one is cut up for dinner but it’s not enough for Rick. He wants to go back and make sure everyone from Terminus is dead: they don’t get to live. This idea doesn’t go over well with the rest of group and the only thing that stops him is when Carol shows up and takes him to Judith. You can imagine the emotion as he is reunited with his baby after believing she had died at the prison. Everyone is finally back together except for Beth but I believe she will be back in the next episode.
Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this episode. It was nice to see everyone (except Beth) reunite and for Rick to be with both of his children again. Watching the scene with the 8 people lined up over the trough and the cold, routine of the killings was harsh. It’s like these people have turned off their humanity which I suppose could happen to some people given the circumstances. I hope the show keeps up this momentum for the rest of the season. Rick is in full survival mode and on the offensive -kill them before they kill you- and now that Judith is back in his arms, you can guess that he will continue to take that mentality to the extreme. A good start to the season.