The Walking Dead – Season 5, E1: “No Sanctuary”

Rick and friends find themselves in an inescapable situation, yet manage to escape and reunite with long-lost group members all by the episode’s end. Riveting.

Not that “No Sanctuary” was a terrible episode, it just wasn’t great, something that really mimics the series as a whole anymore. The opening scenes, however, made the entire episode worthwhile. The whole idea that the residents of Terminus had devolved to the point where they could slaughter human beings like cattle is terrifying. It hearkens back to the glory days of The Walking Dead in which the real threat is not the walkers, but the increasingly desperate survivors.

One thing that really stood out to me this episode was Rick’s response to the entire incident. After fleeing Terminus, Rick insists that they go back and kill anyone left. That’s right – Farmer Rick is gone and has been replaced by a lead farmer. The Ricktator is back. Then, to my dismay, the entire group talks him out of it. Everyone wanted Rick to be the leader that he had been, but when he is finally able to get back to that point, everyone convinces him otherwise. I don’t understand what they want from this poor guy, and I don’t think they do either.

I did notice that Andy Lincoln shaved off his Dead beard. He offered  some half-assed explanation, but I am hopeful that the true reason is the most obvious one: that Rick found a Norelco. Kidding. As much as I love Rick, it’s time for him to go. What I miss the most about the early seasons of The Walking Dead is that no one was safe. Main characters were killed off with semi-regularity. I don’t feel like that could happen now. If Daryl were killed off, the show would lose at least half of its viewers. Rick’s death might anger a few devotees, but it would shake up the whole series. It needs shaken up.

We’ll see how things unfold. As per usual, I am not hopeful.

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