Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Walking Dead Season 5, Episode 1

When last we checked in with Rick Grimes and his crew, they enjoying some good old-fashioned southern hospitality at Terminus--that really deep southern hospitality where the locals keep you locked in a train car until it's time for them to eat you. With Rick and his crew imprisoned and Carol and Tyrese just a short distance behind them, heading towards the illusory safety of the enclave, things are looking pretty grim indeed.
  • Cryptic flashback. I wonder if this will be important later? = +??? (Depends how important it turns out to be) 
  • Finally putting that trapped in an abandoned train car scout badge to work. = +10pts
  • The line of victims trussed up on their knees, waiting to get their heads bashed in and their throats cut feels a little like a mashup of the two execution scenes in The Raid and its sequel, but is no less awesomely terrifying for that. = +20pts 
  • Good thing the slaughterhouse bros' peckerwood boss decided to harass them about their TPS reports before they could off any of the blue-shirts. = +3pts 
  • Rick, expounding on the contents of his go-bag to the peckerwood boss: "... And a machete with a red handle. That's what I'm going to use to kill you." = +20pts 
  • Tyrese has come down with a severe case of "being a pussy" between seasons. = -4pts 
  • Pretty convenient that Carol and Tyrese just happened to sneak up on that Terminite while he was right in the middle of discussing the bad things they were planning on doing to Carl and Michonne. = -2pts 
  • Carol dons some very literal corpse-paint and goes full-MacGyver on Terminus. = +25pts (Although, since she's using an assault rifle, we guess it only counts as partial MacGyver.) 
  • Flaming zombie French kiss. = +5pts 
  • Rick killing two guys with a sharp chunk of wood. = +18pts (Scout's honor, motherfuckers.)
  • Rick is just death on two legs this episode. = +27pts 
  • Carol is unmoved by your mass rape sob story. = +22pts 
  • Tyrese's skill killing zombies with a hammer > His skill preventing a restrained prisoner from taking the infant under his charge hostage. = -10pts 
  • The unexpected courtesy with which the zombie on the other side of the door escorts Tyrese out of the shack. = +2pts 
  • Tyrese locates his balls and kills a pack of walkers bare-handed. = +7pts 
  • For only wounding the peckerwood boss with rifle fire, rather than killing him with a red-handled machete. = -20pts (Talk is cheap, Rick) 
  • Rick's insane but oh-so-appealing plan to camp out along the perimeter of Terminus and pick off Terminites as they flee the compound. = +16pts (We love it when he goes all Old Testament) 
  • Heartfelt reunions all around! = +13pts 
  • Oh, and the flashback at the beginning? It was important. = +10pts 
  • Post-credits Morgan cameo. = +6pts 
Total Score = +168pts
Season Score = +168pts

Hot damn, hot damn, hot damn. Walking Dead got everything right this week. Carol, who has been one of the show's most complex characters for the past couple of seasons, finally gets her moment to shine (all the more welcome for a show that's really struggled with writing female characters). Rick got to be the badass that we've always known him to be. There were stupendous walker-bashings, long-anticipated reunions, teasers of exciting things to come. The only downside is that the rest of the season is going to have to work extra damn hard to even meet the bar set by this episode.

Score Technician: Joe Hemmerling

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