Why The Walking Dead Season 5, Episode One is Freakin' Awesome

Rick wasn't kidding when he said they were messing with the wrong people!" 

I think we can officially say TV season is in full swing now that AMC's The Walking Dead has begun it's fifth; the zombie apocalypse show that's sort of based on the comics of the same name has become a fixation in many a TV viewers schedule. The end of last season saw our survivors finally reach Terminus – a by this time almost mythical sanctuary. Sadly, yet no less predictably, it turned out to be too good to be true, as it was all a lure by the cannibals inhabiting Terminus, and the group were captured. This season kicks off following on from that, and from the get go it's brutal, bloody, and brilliant.

From here on out, there are spoilers for this episode.

As if to remind us that this is a horror show, we're treated to a truly grim scene early on that sees four no-name extras butchered like animals (specifically, chickens: one hits them with a bat over the head to stun them, the other then slits their throat and hangs the body over a trough designed to drain the blood) and Rick, Daryl, Glen and Bob next on the list. It was nice to see the show go so gruesome so early on and make that statement, and they keep it up throughout the episode. Here's hoping they keep it up all season!

Tyrese gets a side plot that focuses on small, contained but powerful character development, as he's left holding one of the Terminus folk captive. Tyrese has been having difficulties with the concept of killing and doing the dirty work to survive in the ZA, but boy does he deal with them when his captive threatens baby Judiths life. Whilst Tyrese is a bit of a mopey character, I still enjoy him, and he regularly gets some powerful drama; maybe we'll see the character grow from here on out!

Carol is the absolute stand out in this episode, and I'm incredibly close to just out and out saying she's my favourite character on the show – yes, even more than Daryl. She's like Rambo in this episode, single handedly taking on and bringing down Terminus with fireworks, explosions, zombie herds and a beast of a rifle. All of her efforts ultimately allow Rick and the group to fight their way out in badass style, with Rick really getting to show off his skills and stretch his warrior muscles once again.

The ending, where Carol is reunited with the group – including a teary Daryl – and then she reunites Rick and Carl with baby Judith and Sasha with Tyrese, is a beautiful series of moments that I really enjoyed. This episode perfectly encapsulates the balance between grim, gruesome and gory, drama and character development, and moments of joy and hope – I hope they use that template for the season as a whole.

Final Score: 10/10

This has been Blacksmith, writing for The Awesome Update.

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