Aaaaaand it’s back. It’s been a long wait for fans of The Walking Dead, made even worse by the intense cliffhanger at the end of season 4 but good things come to those who wait and the season 5 premier does not disappoint.
So of course the last we saw of the characters, most of the group were captured and locked up in Terminus. Rick spoke the badass, albeit a little cliched, words ‘They’re screwing with the wrong people,’ and his line certainly rings true in the premier.
The episode opens with a flashback of Gareth and his group in the same shipping container that Rick’s group now reside in. Presumably these scenes offer a parallel that show what drove Gareth and his lot to become who they are now.
We return to the present and the group are preparing to fight with anything they can use as a weapon. We know that something’s about to go down. But just as we prepare ourselves for a showdown, a gas grenade is thrown in the roof. Things really aren’t going to plan for them. Rick, Daryl, Bob, and Glen, among others, are dragged in front of a large trough in a warehouse filled with reminders of the people’s cannibalistic ways. Then two men begin to systematically butcher the group, bleeding them into the large trough. This scene is unapologetically gory and it’s certainly not the last in the premier. There’s a notable step up in gore this season, which isn’t a bad thing by any means but the more squeamish viewers might want to look away at points.
We have been with some of these characters for a long time now and to see several of them go full badass is really satisfying. Carol saves the day and Tyreese struggles with his morals but in the end goes all Hulk on the terminus guy to protect baby Judith. No crossbow-wielding Daryl unfortunately but Carol does rescue it for him so at least we’ve got that to look forward to. They’ve got to save something for the rest of the season.
The structure of the episode works really well, jumping back and forth in time between characters in order to keep the tension going, and plenty of action to compliment the tension. I would even go so far as to say a perfect blend. And to top it off we got some moving reunions from characters.
In terms of what’s to come, I can’t say. Apparently the show is lining up more with the story from the comic books but unless you’ve read them that doesn’t make any difference to you. I’m convinced that Gareth is still alive (the Terminus leader guy) and that he’ll find the group to take his revenge.
Also if you missed it, the last post-credits scene reveals the return of Morgan, a character we haven’t seen since Season 3. Following the trail of our group of survivors, it won’t be long before he catches up with them.
Overall, a really promising premier and a great return to form for a show whose quality has been in question a lot recently.