Like child who got to enjoy only one ride (and It’s A Small World at that) after a six hour road trip to Disneyland, I find myself pouting… a lot as I ponder the fact that there were so many things to love about the season five premiere of The Walking Dead, and yet it was all over too quickly, especially since I wanted to spend plenty of time at Terminus.
I’d like to add that as child my parents did take me to Disneyland, and I did get to enjoy several rides, however, I’m fairly certain there was still eventual pouting as we drove back to Arizona the next day. When it comes to Terminus though, did we even get a day there? I’m hypothesizing that our favorites were there for approximately 24 hours (and by favorites I mean Rick, Carl, Daryl and Michonne). Not that I didn’t care about Glenn and Maggie’s group, but we don’t have a great way of figuring out how long they were in the train car.
Anyway, before I get to my pouting, let’s review what was great about the premiere. This may depend on the type of viewer you are, but it seems like there was something for everyone to love.
There was amazing suspense. The first four minutes (which AMC dropped online the day before the premiere) were so tense, that I thought I was going to be sick, and that feeling continued the second time I saw it as the scene progressed, when TWD didn’t hold back at all as heads were bashed and throats were slashed. The blood slowly flowing down the trough felt as freaky as watching the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho as Marion Crane’s blood and life spiral down the drain… but I digress. The point it for all intents and purposes of traumatizing the audience, the scene was a success.
Next we had Carol Ex Machina saving the day with zombie guts, explosions and essentially a one-woman takedown. Part of why this is so tremendous isn’t just because it made Carol fans happy, but it wouldn’t have been so spectacular if Terminus weren’t a well oiled machine, with sentires, and lists and protocols (more on this in the “pouting” section). Now personally I found all the action and escape a bit over the top (even as a Carol fan), but that’s where other fans of the show (who maybe felt bored during the beginning and during the cabin scenes with Tyreese) got what they enjoyed.
Speaking of Tyreese, I’m one of those fans that quite possibly enjoyed his scenes in the cabin the most. The entire fourth season was about deciding what kind of survivor you need or want to be in this new world. Tyreese for as long as possible wanted to be the kind that wouldn’t take a human life, but needs outweighed wants. Now I have no problem with what Tyreese did, and to be honest, had I been in his shoes I probably would have shot the guy a lot sooner. We knew how cold he was by the statements he made about Carl’s hat and Michonne’s sword, and nothing about him was remorseful or pitiful.
This brings me to the folks at Terminus. I have incredibly mixed feelings about how long we got to spend there as viewers and how I’m supposed to feel about it’s now dead or scattered inhabitants. I realize that the flashbacks were there to give truth to what Mary said about how they were treated, prior to becoming cannibals, but of the little time we spent a Terminus, the flashbacks (to me) were a bit of a waste. I don’t think less of them for turning on and murdering their captors, especially in those conditions, and especially because they had once started with noble intentions. However, there’s nothing about their circumstances that warranted the transition from humans to cannibals. There’s no reason that they couldn’t A) become vegetarians or B) raise livestock. Unless (and this would have been great to get some information on), whatever killed the pigs at the prison, was incredibly widespread, making raising livestock impossible. Even still, if these people were really monsters I would have appreciated more time with them, instead of feeling like the writers were simply making up for lost time spent at the farm, Woodbury, and the prison. Again this was a ridiculously orderly group of people. They kept records, and managed waste, and pooled resources, I can conceive of no reason that they could only survive by eating humans. Also, I have zero problem with Carol wasting zero bullets on Mary.
Anyway, all in all, I thought it was a fantastic episode, despite the lack of time at Terminus. Two other moments worth mentioning were the reunion between Daryl and Carol. After all he’s lost it’s great to see him get something or someone back. The second was during the reunion between Rick and Judith. Not because I’m happy that Rick has been reunited with his daughter (though I am), but because of Dr. Eugene Porter’s reaction to her presence. After what he described in the train car about his strategy for attacking the zombies, it’s very interesting to see his wheels turning upon seeing an infant.
Just me… ok then.
Well. That’s all I have for the season five premiere, leave your thoughts in the comments!