The Walking Dead Season 5 Premiere Recap: No Sanctuary (S5E1)

The Walking Dead S5E1: No Sanctuary

Original Airdate: October 12, 2014

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


Welcome back, Walker Fans!  The last time we were together, we were in the train car with the gang: Rick, Carl, Michonne, Daryl, Glen, Maggie, Sasha, Bob, Abraham, Eugene, Rosita, and Tara.


Someone is screaming, and the people in the boxcar say that they never should have put the signs up—they brought this upon themselves.  They were once humans.


The gang is preparing for battle by making their own makeshift weapons.  They discuss who has seen whom, and when.  Daryl spots four people entering the train car.  A flash grenade is dropped from above.  Rick is hauled out and kicked.  He’s dragged into a lab, where he and Daryl and some others are about to be slaughtered.  A body is on the butcher’s block as they wait.  The man at the end is first.  You get hit on the head and then your throat is slit.  The blood pools in an industrial vat.  Gareth comes in to ask about shot counts.  He is doing some accounting and needs to know how many shells there are and who gets how many bodies.  Bob speaks up and tells Gareth that they have a man who can save them all.  Gareth says it’s too late, but he wants to know what was in Rick’s blue bag.  Rick isn’t going to tell him, but Gareth holds a knife to Bob’s neck and threatens to kill him over the issue.  Rick reveals the weapons cache, and says that there’s a machete with a red handle that he’s going to use to kill Gareth.  Gareth laughs and tells his butchers to get their work done because they only have so much time left for messy time, and then they have to go back to their public appearance.  They’re about to resume when they head shots fired.  The radios are silent.  And then the room shakes under the force of an explosion.

Tyreese, Judith and Carol are walking, and she tells Tyreese they are close and that as soon as they reach Terminus she isn’t staying.  Walkers approach and chase them into the woods.  Tyreese clutches Judith (whose hair seems lighter now).  In the distance, the sound of gunfire distracts the Walkers and they form a herd and move toward the noise.  They pass by Tyreese and Carol and continue along the track.  Tyreese figures that the gunfire was at Terminus.  Either they were under attack, or they were attacking someone.  They choose an alternate route.

A man from Terminus is joking with someone on the radio about the “chick with the sword and the kid with the hat.”  Carol and Tyreese intervene and lock him up and steal his bombs.  Carol goes off and leaves Tyreese with Judith and their hostage.  Outside, she loads up with Walker blood so that she can blend in.  The hostage wants to know if the baby has a name.  Tyreese says she’s a friend.  The man doesn’t have friends, just “assholes” he stays alive with.  He mentions how normal things used to be, that he used to go to church and watch football, and now time just passes without being noticed.  He reasons that Tyreese is a good guy, and that’s why he’s going to die that day.  The man tells Tyreese to take the car and leave.  “I don’t want to do this today,” he says.

Blood spattered Carol walks right up to the Terminus fences and sees Rick and Company being dragged from the train car.  She uses the gun’s sight to check out the camp.  It’s not so different from the prison, with an inner perimeter.  She shoots a hole in the propane tank as a herd of Walkers approach the camp.  She sends a rocket into the gas, and it explodes.

The Walkers get up and keep moving, and now that the fences are down, Terminus isn’t as defensible as it once was.  Looks like the party is about to get started.

Tyreese hears the explosion and the hostage asks if that was Terminus.  “Maybe you’re going to win this,” he says.  Then again, maybe Carol is dead.  The guy is messing with Tyreese’s head.

Back in the slaughter room, Gareth runs out and leaves the butchers with the gang.  All hell is breaking loose in terminus.  Walkers are on fire and they’re marching in.  Carol walks in with the Walkers, gun in hand.  While the butchers argue, Rick gets free and lets the other go.

Eugene tries to rig the door to explode just in case there is no one left to open the door on the outside.  Carl knows his father will be back for them.  Michonne looks out at the Walkers who are everywhere outside the train car.

Carol finds a post and starts to take out the Terminus folk.

Rick tells his group not to hesitate when they come across the Terminus people, because they won’t hesitate.  They see another train car with people inside.  Glen, the voice of reason, says they need to let those people out because that’s who they are.  When they free the man, they see that he’s insane.  He’s quickly eaten by Walkers while Daryl pulls Glen away from sight.

(We’re halfway through the episode, and I’m stunned at how much they have going on.  And I loved the SDCC “thanks to the fans” montage.  Very cool.)

Carol finds a room full of supplies and clothing, toys and guns, watches and jewelry.  She grabs a watch and a gun.

Rick moves to a car and watches as the Terminus people try to reclaim their haven. When one is distracted, he grabs a gun and shoots them down.  All around them, Terminus people are being eaten alive.  Rick and his crew have already decided not to help them.

Carol finds the Terminus sanctuary.  “Never Again” lines the walls. Mary finds her and orders her to drop her weapons.  Carol spins around and shoots the gun from her hand.  They wrestle.  When Carol holds a gun to her head, Mary explains that this used to be a sanctuary, but people overtook it and raped and pillaged until there was nothing.  The people fought back and now they have learned the lesson: either be cattle or lead the slaughter.  Carol shoots Mary in the leg, and then she opens the door and lets Walkers in the room.  She slips out as they pile in and eat Mary.  Goodbye, Mary.  Good riddance.

Tyreese returns from scouting to see that the hostage has his hands around Judith’s neck.  There are Walkers all around the cabin, and the hostage orders Tyreese to drop his weapons and go outside.  Tyreese does as he’s told, leaving the cabin with no weapons, and no Judith.  (Why, oh why, did you have to leave the baby with the crazy hostage man??)

The hostage grabs his radio, but there is no answer.  Suddenly, the sound of Walkers stops.  There is silence.  The hostage goes to the door, and Tyreese bursts in.  He takes out the hostage but doesn’t kill him.  “I won’t!” he shouts.  But he does.

The crew inside the train car tries to get ready to blast the door.  Sasha wants to know what the cure is, but Eugene says it’s classified, and he wouldn’t be able to explain it if they tried.  Abraham is committed to protecting Eugene.  Eugene says that he was part of a ten person team that worked on weaponized diseases.  He says that he can create a weapon to fight fire with fire. That’s when Rick opens the door and tells them to run.  It’s chaos outside, but the group knows how to operate together.  Rick manages to get a bullet into Gareth before the crew gets over the fence.  They flee Terminus, leaving it in flames.

Rick finds the weapons cache and tells the crew that they need to go back and kill everyone.  No one seems to like that plan.  That’s when Carol walks up.  Daryl runs to her and hugs her tightly.  I’ve never seen him with so much emotion.  “Did you do that?” Rick asks.  They embrace.  All things are forgiven.

Carol leads them to the shack.  Tyreese emerges with Judith.  Rick grabs the baby and Sasha grabs her brother.  Rick and Carl are overcome by emotion at seeing the baby.  Rick and Tyreese exchange a hug.  All seems to be well with the world.  (But where is Beth?)

(Very cool to see Bear McCreary, the man behind the awesome music of The Walking Dead)

The group has been reunited.  Tyreese tells Carol that he killed their hostage.  The fires are still burning.  The group needs to go.  They move to the train tracks.  Abraham’s group goes with them, for now.  Rick stops at the Terminus sign and writes “No” over “sanctuary.”


In the train car, the men come to take a woman.  Gareth holds Mary and tells her that they will make it.  “You’re either the butcher, or the cattle.”

The credits roll, the preview for next week comes on, and then we see a man approach the new Terminus sign.  He has battle gear on, but he seems oddly clean compared to our gang.  He pulls his mask off.  It’s Morgan!  He’s alive, and he seems to be saner than the last time we saw him.  There are marks carved into the trees.  He walks toward them, following the marks and not the map.

So what did you think of tonight’s episode?  Was it everything you hoped for?  Leave your comments below!

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