Raff brings us her review of the opening episode from season 5 of The Walking Dead.

Ever since the finale last year, I have been wishing my life away because I needed the new season of The Walking Dead so bad. Now, you might be thinking that everyone else has been in the same boat, but I think it has been particularly poignant for me. In the space between last season and today, I have realised my dream of going to San Diego Comic Con. I should have been wishing for time to slow down whilst I was there, but I spent the majority of my time staring at The Walking Dead booth longingly and listening to the theme tune over and over again. If you want to see a video of me at the booth, you can do so at my YouTube channel, but my point is, I even wanted that experience to hurry up, just so that I could see another episode.

This weekend, I have been at the Play Expo in Manchester, so the new season sort of creeped up on me. The whole of the summer felt like it took years, but then this weekend flew over. The only reason that I remembered that I could watch the new episode was because people were asking me about it on my Facebook page. So, I woke up this morning, after a very busy weekend, and The Walking Dead was my priority. I had work to do and I hadn't seen my family for a few days, but I needed to see that episode. The Walking Dead has taken over my life, and it is glorious!

So, now that I have rambled on for almost half a page, it is time to tell you what I thought of the episode.

The Walking Dead "No Sanctuary" Review
Those of you that have read my reviews before, know that I watch the new episodes with breakfast, mainly because I can't go a whole day wondering what has happened. I watch them in my room because my Mum gets mad at me when I lose my cereal, and I get a bit too involved with my stories.

Anyway, this morning was a little bit different. No one was home except me. You can bet your life that I watched this episode downstairs, on the big TV. I know that you are wondering if I got my sugar puffs everywhere, but you don't have to worry. I pushed play as I was bringing the first spoon of cereal to my mouth and that was that. I froze with the spoon half way between me and the bowl and I didn't even notice as the milk slowly dripped back into the bowl. This episode consumed me and my cereal turned to mush.

Changing Things
The first scene was amazing. It was Gareth and the freaky woman inside the container and you could faintly hear screaming in the background. They did change things up a bit with this episode because some scenes were introduced with the words, "Then" and "Now." This was to show you at which time frame that you were picking things up at. However, you didn't really know where you were because I thought the screaming was because Rick was punishing them, and Gareth kept saying that they were going to retake the camp. I didn't have a clue what was going on, and I didn't mind. That is the beauty of The Walking Dead, you don't mind if you are confused because you know that you will understand at the end. That is exactly what happened with this episode, but I will get to the end a little later.

This episode seemed to hit the ground running, there was action from the beginning to the end. Some people complained last season that the episodes were very slow. Well that was not the case for this one! I was almost afraid to blink!

When we left our loveable gang, Carol and Tyrese were making their way to Terminus and the others were locked in a container. I thought that the new season would pick up months later, but it actually picks up right after they are locked in. Glen, Rick, Daryl and Bob were taken out to be murdered and then all hell breaks loose.

Unbeknown to them, Carol and Tyrese have overheard a conversation about Carl and Michonne and have taken one of the look-out guys hostage. This is where Carol becomes an epic bad-ass and Tyrese shrivels up inside.

Carol proceeds to take advantage of a herd of walkers travelling towards Terminus, covers herself in guts, and then takes control with two guns and what looks like a fire cracker. This episode was so smart because the stories of the characters take place along-side each other. We hear Carols explosion in the very first scene, but we don't know it is her until half way through the episode. It was amazing!

Carol was by far my favourite character. She just knew what needed to be done and it struck me just how far she has come in this series. She started out as a battered woman, that was a bit naive and weak and she just took Terminus in such an epic manner. There was one scene where she was walking with the herd through the smoke and it filled me with excitement! She was amazing! It must have been at this point that I put my cereal down, because I was jumping up and down and I have no idea how the bowl got to the table.

The Rest of the Gang
Whilst Tyrese and Carol are finding out where the rest of the gang are, the rest of the gang are turning whatever they can find into weapons. This includes a belt and a piece of wood from the door. They are getting themselves ready for a fight.

When Rick is captured, he has hidden some wood, which he uses to get free and then stab 2 of their captors in the neck. He is able to do this because Carol has blown up a fuel tank outside and this distracts Gareth.

To be honest, I still don't know for definite if they were cannibals, but there were some scenes where Daryl, Rick, Bob and Glen were running through a butchers room. There were carcasses everywhere and they didn't look like pigs, or cows, they looked human.

It is at this moment that Rick realises that they need to be killed. Cannibal-like people cannot exist in this world. They have enough to worry about. Glen doesn't want to kill them and thinks Rick has gone off the deep-end again, when I think that he is actually thinking clearly and recognises that these people are also contributing to the demise of the human race just as much as the zombies are.

Reunited (and it feels so good)
Before Rick and the gang can dig up the weapons and go back to kill the rest of them, Carol is reunited them and the tears started for me. I know I get too involved but when Daryl just runs to her, I broke down. I love Carol and Daryl so much.

I got myself under control enough to see Rick as her if she did this (meaning the break out). She says yes and he nods as if to say he forgives her and then he hugs her. It was as if she has paid her penance for killing at the prison. This was my second break down.

When Carol takes them to see Tyrese and Rick sees Judith, I was gone. I had been on an emotional roller coaster all summer and I dissolved into a sobbing mess.

At the beginning of this episode, Tyrese was refusing to kill zombies again and I found it almost comical that in the end he had killed his hostage and then mounted the rest of the zombies on bits of tree. I think he finally realised that he has to do what he has to do survive because the world is not going back to the way that it used to be.

At the end of this episode, the scene is split up with the "Then" introduction and we see that Gareth and his crew were captive in the containers. The women were being raped and we saw a stocky bloke that looked to be the leader of the pack. Was this Negan? He certainly looks like the character in the comic, but I can't see him being over-run by Gareth. The Negan I know would snap Gareth in half without breaking a sweat. I do think that the amount of times which a baseball bat (Negan's weapon of choice) was seen in the episode was a bit of a clue. I could be reading too much into this though. 

I have just noticed that Robert Kirkham has tweeted that it is NOT Negan, so now I am thinking that the guy was actually the guy in the container that Glen frees, who was clearly off his head. Upon hearing this news, I have decided not to delete the above paragraph because it illustrates that you have to pay attention and everything links in, in The Walking Dead.

The Return of Morgan Jones
The Walking Dead treated us to a scene after the credits, sort of like an Easter egg if you will. This scene was the return of Morgan Jones. Fans of the comic will already know that he comes back, but if you don't remember him, he is the guy that helps Rick in season 1 and returned in a later episode where we learned that his son was killed and he'd gone off the rails a bit. He was the sniper on the roof when Rick and Carl went on a supply run, if I remember correctly. 

I am so happy that they have brought him back. I thought that we had seen the last of him and I really enjoy his character in the books. 

We see that Morgan is following signs in the forest. He arrives at the Terminus sign and then follows mysterious x signs on the trees. Who are these from? Has Rick been leaving a trail all along or are they from someone more sinister? I can't wait to find out!! 

Rating: 10/10 I loved this episode and thinks that it is one of the strongest season openers that I have ever seen.

Check out the trailer for next week's episode:

Hello, Gabriel! #TeamCarol

Raff is a massive Disney Geek, Thrill Seeker, Gamer and Comic Book reader. Basically she's an all round massive geek! Read more from Raff at and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube.
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