No Sanctuary

 Season 5 Episode 1 "No Sanctuary"



Warning: Spoilers Ahead


The season premiere has come and gone, and it did not disappoint. In fact, it rocked my socks.


When we last met with our intrepid group of survivors in the season finale, Maggie and Glenn had found each other, Glenn introduced Maggie to Tara, but omitted the part Tara played at the prison...and in Hershel's death, and Rick's deadly confrontation with Daryl and the Marauders caused him to face a part of himself he hadn't known existed. A part of himself capable of going to extremes to keep his family safe.


With these personal journeys completed, both groups headed into Terminus and discovered what we all suspected: 


No Sanctuary 


The episode opens with a brief flashback.



A group of survivors huddle in a dark boxcar as screams pierce the night. As the scene expands, we realize that the small group are members of Terminus--part of the group who captured Rick & Co. at the end of the Season Finale.



As they huddle in fear, Alex laments the fact they ever put up signs offering sanctuary. Gareth doesn't want to hear that. They were trying to do something good. Being human beings. But Alex isn't impressed by that assertion. Their actions precipitated a terrible turn of events, and just look at what they've become now...



The Other White Meat


In the present day, held captive in a boxcar, Rick and his group intend to fight their way out of Terminus. But the attempt fails, and Rick, Daryl, Glenn, and Bob are taken into a house of slaughter. And in a scene reminiscent of Hostel, the group learns the fate of all the poor souls who came before. The only sanctuary offered by Terminus is a hot meal...



 ...where the guests are being served. Literally.


Before the deadly duo can make it down the line to Glenn, Gareth comes in to take stock of inventory. He needs to take account of all bullets fired, all "cattle" slaughtered, and wants everything cleaned up before they encounter any new arrivals.

Gareth also wants to know what Rick has hidden out in the woods. He saw Rick carrying a bag and wants to know what's in it. But Rick's not in the mood to answer Gareth's questions.




Can I just say how much I love the look on Rick's face during this interaction? Just Look at that expression. Poor Rick is losing his freaking mind. My friend Jill said it best: Rick is on a knife's edge. He's been in a spiral for several seasons. And while it truly is no laughing matter, and I truly and honestly feel for all that he has endured, I still couldn't help but laugh at the look he gives Gareth.


In any case, Gareth doesn't feel like playing games and hopes the threat of killing Bob will persuade Rick to cooperate. Rick finally concedes. The bag is filled with weapons. He'd be more than happy to take Gareth out to the woods to show him. Perhaps even give him a personal demonstration in the use of a red handled machete.


Gareth is amused, but duty calls. With final instructions to his staff, he's set to leave. But before he can make his exit, the building is rocked by an explosion.


A Few Good Men 



Carol, Tyreese, and Baby Judith finally reach the outskirts of Terminus. Still reeling from the events at the grove, Tyreese can't bring himself to kill a Walker they encounter on the railroad tracks. He can't kill. Not yet. Carol understands, but let's him know he needs to get over it. He will have to kill again. Eventually.


Carol handles the Walker, but realizes they are about to be surrounded by a herd. She and Tyreese seek refuge just as shots ring out in the vicinity of Terminus. The herd is drawn away, and Carol decides she and Tyreese need to investigate. Is Terminus the attacker or the attackee? Tyreese is not sure he cares to know, but if that's what Carol wants to do, then he's on board.


On the way, they stumble upon a member of Terminus busily setting up charges in an attempt to divert the herd of Walkers away from the compound. 



Carol and Tyreese overhear Martin discussing, over a walkie talkie, the imminent demise of a "chick with the sword" and a "kid in the hat". Carol interrupts the friendly banter by way of gunpoint, and Martin tries to talk his way out by offering up the "Terminus as sanctuary" spiel. Carol's not buying what Martin is selling, and makes it clear that she and Tyreese are friends of the "chick with the sword" and the "kid in the hat." Carol heads into to Terminus to rescue Michonne and Carl, and Tyreese stays behind in a small cabin to guard Martin and care for Judith. 



Martin engages in a little bit of psychological warfare, waxing poetic about his life in the "before". He had friends. Watched sports. Even attended church. But that was a different time, and he's no longer the same man. No friends, no sports, no church. The world has changed, and they have all changed with it.


He can tell Tyreese is a good man. The type of man who saves babies and keeps a man alive even though both serve no useful purpose. Which is why both Tyreese and Judith will die on this day. But things don't have to turn out that way. Tyreese can take Martin's car, save himself and Judith. Tyreese is unmoved by Martin's mind games. As far has he's concerned no one has to die today. Martin can't believe what he's hearing. If Tyreese truly believes that, than he really is a dead man.


While Tyreese is distracted by a group of Walkers heading towards their cabin, Martin breaks free of his restraints and threatens to kill Baby Judith.



He forces Tyreese out of the cabin and into the waiting arms of the Walkers. But Tyreese manages to gain the upper hand. He kills the Walkers and makes his way back into the cabin where he subdues Martin. Martin, knowing he's going to die, can only say I told you so. It's kill or be killed. Tyreese once again rejects the notion, but the emotions of all he has endured gets the better of him...and he beats Martin to death.


The Cure


Back in the boxcar, the remaining group hears the explosion rock Terminus. Assuming Rick and the others are responsible, they begin to plan for a second assault. While they ready themselves, Sasha feels it's time for Eugene to tell them all exactly what the



cure consists of. Eugene responds that it's classified information, but Sasha is not dissuaded. He doesn't owe them anything yet. But he will. So if there is a cure, he needs to tell them what it is. Now.


Eugene gives in. He was part of a human genome project tasked with creating biological weapons, and is keenly aware of a "fail-safe delivery system to kill every living person on this planet." Eugene believes he can turn the tables and eliminate every single one of the living dead. But regardless of what he's just told the group, the truth is that no matter what, the cure still dies with him. So I'm left to wonder: is Eugene himself the cure. Does he carry some sort of immunity to the virus in his blood?


The Escape 


Carol makes it to Terminus and watches as Rick and the other men are dragged into a building. Armed and camouflaged as a Walker, she shoots a fuel tank causing



the explosion that rocked the slaughterhouse. The blast also brings down fencing surrounding part of the compound. So with their security compromised, Carol joins the herd of Walkers making their way onto the grounds.


The explosion and Walker security breach are enough of a distraction to give Rick and crew a chance to overtake and kill their captors. As they plan their exit strategy, they



see a boxcar directly outside surrounded by Walkers. Rick wants to use this to their advantage. The screaming people inside can serve as a distraction while they make a run for it. But Glenn disagrees. They will rescue those people because that's who they are. And that's who they still have to be. They make their way out to free the prisoners trapped within the boxcar.


As Rick and the guys make their way outside, Carol manages to make her way inside. And in what is one of many favorite scenes of the evening, she finds Daryl's



crossbow. And Rick's watch. She grabs the items and continues her search of the building. Mary intercepts her, a struggle ensues, and Carol disarms her. Mary can do nothing now but relay the history of Terminus. It was a true sanctuary, open to all, until a group arrived to rape and pillage. And here we learn the significance of the opening scene at the start of the episode. A theme that has permeated the entire episode and links this episode with the Season Finale, and Rick's own self-realization. How this world can either change you or bring you face to face with who you really are. Because according to Mary, you are either the butcher or you're the cattle.


Carol's heard just about enough. All she cares to know is where the men have been



taken. Mary is unresponsive so Carol decides a bullet to the thigh might be more persuasive. Still lamenting the loss of her beloved Terminus, Mary is not willing to cooperate even in the face of certain death. Carol walks away, leaving her at the mercy of the Walkers.


Reunited And It Feels So Good


Rick and the guys manage to free Maggie and the remaining survivors, and successfully fight their way out of Terminus. Rick is champing at the bit to retrieve their weapons and return to the compound to finish them off. But the group won't hear of it. They've made it out and it's over. Terminus is no more. Rick is ready to argue the point just as Carol happens upon the scene. Daryl is stunned to see her, and in a scene that moved me to



tears, runs to embrace her. Gawd, I love that man. Rick, also moved to see her, wants to know if she's the one responsible for the mayhem at Terminus and for saving their lives. He's beyond grateful, and I'm sure he's recalling the way they parted back at the prison. He thanks her, embraces her, and in another emotional scene, Carol takes him and the group back to the cabin where Tyreese and Sasha are reunited, and where Rick is 



reunited with the daughter he thought had died at the prison. Can I just say how happy I was? It was so nice to see both Daryl and Rick get a win after so much suffering.


After these emotional reunions, and a brief moment of respite, the group is once again on the move. As they pass a now infamous Terminus sign, Rick adjusts it to reflect the true reality. And sadly, perhaps it will come to reflect the group's reality as well.



After The Credits


So what’s going on here?



After the credits, we were treated to a surprise appearance by Morgan. Morgan finds the "No Sanctuary" sign and this mysterious symbol. Could it have something to do with Gareth? We know he survived the group's escape of the compound, but we don't know if he survived the Walkers. I have a feeling we'll be seeing Gareth again. But whether or not it will be related to this remains to be seen. Should be interesting...



Up Next: Episode 2 "Strangers"


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