The Walking Dead Season Premiere Recap: Reunited (And It Feels So Good)

The Walking Dead Recap Season 5

Unless you were hoping to see Rick show up on the Terminus Dollar Menu, the fifth season premiere of The Walking Dead was supremely satisfying. Not only were there reunions guaranteed to make you sniffle (OK, fine — sob!), but there was also walker carnage aplenty and enough backstory to make you empathize with the cannibalistic Termites as much as loathe them. Let’s review, shall we?

BOB’S… BURGERS?!? | While Gareth selected Bob, Rick, Daryl and Glenn to be turned into cutlets first, other Termites spread out to set off fireworks in hopes of confusing and redirecting a herd of walkers that was headed toward their compound. Unfortunately for the warm-blooded man-eaters, Carol got the drop on one of them as he gossiped about the new arrivals on his walkie-talkie — he even called dibs on Carl’s hat, the bastard! Worse — for the baddies, that is — Carol took this new intel, left Tyreese behind with Jabberjaw and Judith, and headed off to rescue the soon-to-be-dead meat.

WHERE’S THE BEEF? | Arriving at Terminus yuckily disguised as a walker, Carol — badass that she is — went all John McClane on the place, affording Rick (still clueless as to the identity of the cavalry) the opportunity to dispatch his butchers. Next, as he, Daryl, Glenn and Bob made their way back to the train car to free the intended dinner specials, Carol retrieved Daryl’s crossbow from Terminus’ Lost & (Never to Be) Found. But before she could reveal herself to the group, she’d have to get through Mary.

STOP, CHEF | Though Mary insisted that, in the beginning, Terminus was the safe haven that its signs promise, hooligans moved in and rained down such atrocities on the Good Samaritans that they were forced to realize, in this world, “you’re the butcher, or you’re the cattle.” So they took back their stronghold and, ever since, maintained a kill-or-be-killed mentality. Nonetheless, Carol wasn’t going down without a fight, and (thank God) this was another one that she was able to win, shooting Mary in the leg and leaving the chef to be the walkers’ catch of the day.

HIT PARADE | Back at the shack where Tyreese was holed up with Judith and his Termite captive, the Chatty Cathy did his damnedest to get inside the big guy’s head, suggesting that, since the baby sitter’s never had to do any dirty work — diapers don’t count? — both he and the tot were already on borrowed time. However, when the villain managed to get his hands around Judith’s neck, Tyreese proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was more than capable of doing whatever it takes to protect her. (In other words, mess with Lil Ass-Kicker, and Big Ass-Kicker will beat your last breath out of you!)

ALWAYS LEAVE ’EM WANTING CURE | While Abraham climbed the walls of the train car wondering WTH was the meaning of the chaos erupting outside, Sasha challenged Eugene to reveal the cure that he’s always touting. And, though he argued that even if his explanation came with a list of FAQs it would still be over their heads, he did allow that it has something to do with a human genome wdproject that was experimenting with using weaponized diseases to combat weaponized diseases. (Wait, so he worked for Veridian Dynamics?)

SO, UM, BYGONES? | On his way out of Terminus, Rick winged Gareth and wanted to do away with all of the cannibals. But, not being quite so blood-thirsty, Rick’s cohorts were content to let the place burn and allow the stragglers to run. They were all soon distracted, anyway, by Carol’s appearance. And if you didn’t well up when an overwhelmed Daryl — arguably the show’s toughest guy — ran into her arms, you might actually be a walker yourself. Even Rick — who banished Carol — was so grateful for her assist that he embraced her. Of course, she had a surprise in store for him. And, after leading the group back to the shack, she and Tyreese reunited Rick and Carl with Judith (and, obviously, Sasha was reunited with her brother, too).

MOVING RIGHT ALONG | As their happy tears dried and the gang began trudging down the railroad tracks toward parts unknown — or D.C., if Abraham gets his way — Rick changed one of the Terminus signs to read (like the title of the episode) “No Sanctuary.” (Also acceptable would have been “No Duh.”) And finally, we were left with one last glimpse of the horrors that transformed Gareth and Mary (his mother, it turned out) into monsters. (Is this also what’s to become of Rick and Co.?) Then, just when we thought the episode was over, the show surprised us — especially me, since it wasn’t on the screener (hence, no mention of it in the earlier draft of this recap) — by sending Morgan down the same tracks as our heroes.

OK, your turn. What did you think of the season premiere? Which moved you more — Carol and Daryl’s reunion or Rick and Judith’s? Hit the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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170 Comments
  1. Jamie says:

    I was so happy when Daryl and Carol reunited, but I literally cried with joy when Rick saw and ran to Judith. Such a surprising ending. Awesome episode. All actors rocked it!!!!

    • anyone? says:

      BEST. EPISODE. EVER.

    • alistaircrane says:

      I loved the Daryl/Carol reunion!!! No words needed! I cried!!!

    • Chris says:

      I was wondering what happened since my stupid Uverse cut out at that moment. One minute the girl was talking to Rick in the forest with the gang about going back, then it immediately cut to Rick holding Judith standing with Carl and it totally threw me off. I was like “Oh, they must have found the cabin, oh hi Carol!

  2. shaw says:

    That was an AWESOME episode.

  3. Pati says:

    Amazing, Awsome episode. So much to talk about, little baby Judith pouting broke my heart, Daryl’s reaction when seeing Carol, Rick and Carl finally seeing Judith and knowing she’s alive and the end OMG amazing

  4. Bwhit says:

    The end with all of them finding each other was worth them all being apart last year. I just wish they would have addressed where Beth was. I am so glad it won’t be Terminus all season and this was one of the best if not the best premiere for the series.

    • shayne says:

      Beth is still around. Daryl is going to save her.

      • wrstlgirl says:

        You know this or its what you are hoping for :-) :-)

        • Ali says:

          I don’t know about them but I know it’s what I’m hoping for, lol. Daryl ran for hours looking for that girl, as much as I want her to save herself, I’d like for him to have some part in it.

          • wrstlgirl says:

            IKR, but I see her saving herself using the skills Daryl taught her. Either way, I don’t think it will be for awhile, maybe not even until the winter finale, then she’ll be back with the group for the back 8. I hope so anyway, I really hope they don’t kill her off.

          • relaxxx says:

            It would be even better if Maggie helped also seeing that s her sister.

          • wrstlgirl says:

            Also, I fear they may have some stand alone Beth episodes and people will hate the character for it. I hope that doesn’t happen.

      • BellaKS says:

        Looks like Beth is going to get away all by herself. How she finds the group is yet to be seen. She may already be in D.C. I think a Daryl-Carol hookup is more likely than with Beth, though he cares for her. There’s been a chemistry between Daryl and Carol. When she informs him the fence is going to have to be reinforced she smiles and says “Sorry Pookey.” And Daryl smiles back. The day of the beginning of the virus breakout, Daryl is agitated by “the love” for bringing in a deer. Carol tells him I loved you first. Then the over zealous and over long hug from Daryl when he sees Carol. Forget the Daryl is gay rumors. He’s not! Remember that Carl is a teenager now and Beth’s character is 19. Despite the actors being 16 and 29 respectively. I loved the season premiere! Can you believe this is Carol from season 1? Big change!

        • wrstlgirl says:

          I guess I just really don’t get why Daryl has to hook up with someone. Wouldn’t surprise me one bit if it never happens. Carol just seems like more of a nurturing type of relationship than a romantic one. That hug last night came across to me like more of a “OMG, you’re alive” than anything else. Carol is Daryl’s BFF. And Daryl was in emotional shock after what they have just gone through and seeing Carol all of his emotions came pouring out. IDK, guess we’ll see how it all plays out but for me, I just don’t think having a romantic relationship with anybody is on Daryl’s mind, or Carol’s for that matter :-)

          • relaxxx says:

            Agreed..carol is in a different space than Daryl. She was going to get tyreese n Judith to terminus then leave n be by herself. She’s still suffering over the loss of her three girls. Tyreese is jacked up too. These people r so damaged n beth lost two boyfriends her brother mom n dad so I don’t know if these people r even thinking about relationships. Daryl will proberbly be single for ever. Its annoying as hell. I wish they would just get on with his romantic choice. The whole beth carol gay maybe asexual thing is starting to linger like a fart.

          • Amanda says:

            My husband has always believed the title The Walking Dead doesn’t refer to only the zombies but also the survivors. The emotional strain they go though makes them hard. Each person has to find something to keep them going, a reason to keep their humanity. Each season that line gets blurry. The termites show just how dead you can be on the inside.

          • wrstlgirl says:

            I’ve always thought The Walking Dead referred to the survivors, especially since we found out they all carry the virus.

  5. Kermit says:

    No mention of the bonus scene?!

  6. JeffDJ says:

    Awesome premiere! And I have to admit I got a little misty-eyed at the reunions at the end. Promising start to the season.

  7. webly3 says:

    That was amazing.

  8. brooke says:

    Any thoughts on Beth’s whereabouts?

  9. Jax&Juice's Girl says:

    LOOOOOOOOVE the episode,Psycho Rick & Crazy Morgan NEEDS to REUNITE ASAP! Everybody brought their A game!

  10. Kristine S. says:

    Bonus scene = jaw dropping

  11. Erin says:

    The Walking Dead and Better Off Ted in the same recap? Be still, my beating heart.

  12. wrstlgirl says:

    Finally the long awaited reunions. So glad they didn’t continue to drag that out. Awesome premiere although I miss Beth. I think most of us figured Carol and Tyreese would rescue the gang but it was great seeing it all play out.

    • Bwhit says:

      The way Carol did that was awesome, she pretty much took down that whole compund on her own and she got Daryl’s crossbow back! Bonus.

      • wrstlgirl says:

        She’s definitely a badass, lol.

      • Lena says:

        I loved Carol in the episode, but I hope the writers learn to give the other females on the show, time to shine. They seem to ONLY give material to MMB and leave characters like Maggie, Michonne, and Sasha out there with a little angst and relationship drama. Time to let another female take center stage.

        • relaxxx says:

          Yes to all or this. Michonne has been missing for months in the comics. She gets no luv from anybody else but Carl. Sasha n Maggie need more screen time. Screw the man pain. Carol sasha n michonne never even spoke to each other on screen. Sigh

        • M says:

          All of the characters last season had their own, fair amount of time and we learned a lot about them, especially Mischonne… Don’t read the comic but think the show is pretty fair about the screen times… Season just started

          • Laura says:

            Well said and I totally agree.

          • relaxxx says:

            We will have to just disagree cuz I could write essays on wasted screen time. I will narrow it down to 4:16 Carl got sexually aassaulted n michonne was going to get raped. Daryl never even speaks to michonne or Carl that episode. Rick doesn’t even comforts Carl but we get epic speech’s from Hershel even though his thoughts were wrong for this new word. To me thats just two opportunities wasted. I guess what Hershel had to say n seeing beth tote Judith around trumped a tramatic moment for Carl n michonne.

  13. brooke says:

    Who was that guy at the end that saw the no sanctuary sign?

  14. ann says:

    The highlight of the whole return of the Walking Dead? The shout out to Veridian Dynamics in this recap!!!

  15. Jenn says:

    One word.. Morgan!

  16. rachelle says:

    Such an amazing, beautiful episode! Carol is everything I’ve ever wanted her to be. I never liked her being any kind of romantic interest for Daryl, but their reunion was so touching, I couldn’t even protest. And Rick hugging her was so overwhelmingly emotional. And don’t get me started on Rick and Carl reuniting with Judith! And Tyreese and Sasha! This episode was so rewarding and just truly touching. I loved it so much.

  17. Danny says:

    Does Beth come back yes or no!?

  18. spartan says:

    Hey, there’s NO chance the whole gang will still be intact at the end of the season. We know that. But this really was a satisfying premiere, and we AND the characters deserved the heart-warming reunions. Interesting that it showed not only one of the most horrific aspects of the zombie apocalypse — “normal” people turning into cannibalistic monsters — but the more mundane horrors of survival (guy in cabin — just got stuck with a group of “aSSholes” who all wanted to stay alive.).

  19. Krystle says:

    Beyond excellent!!! But when will we find out what the heck happened to Beth?!?!?! :(

  20. Frederick says:

    Morgan is back!

  21. Tran says:

    I give it an A. Walking Dead just keeps getting better and better.

  22. Scott Mercer says:

    An incredibly creative well done show.i can see the work that goes into every scene. Shooting on location. But down to 38 mins? The commercials are so distracting.

  23. StephonJS says:

    Carol made this episode GREAT!

  24. Bill says:

    Anyone else thinking the bad guy pulling the girl Terminus member out of the train car in the flashback was Negan? Anyway great episode, maybe the best so far

  25. Daryl's #1 fan says:

    This episode was the best one yet!! I did cry for this whole episode it was sad and happy at the same time and I was so happy when everyone got reunited

  26. Lena says:

    Fantastic episode! Well worth the wait! Looking forward to next week.

  27. bob hope says:

    NEGEN!

  28. Carol_R says:

    So where is Beth?

  29. Sutton says:

    Best episode since the pilot. INCREDIBLY AMAZING!

  30. Lisa says:

    Carol and Daryl BEST REUNION EVER!!!!

  31. Carolyn says:

    Daryl and Carol hit me hard. Daryl was so emotional. Can they please happen?!

  32. Amazing episode from start to finish.

  33. azu says:

    I’ve not yet watched the episode just came to read the comments. You’re all saying its good. I’m so happy. Waiting to download it

  34. Diane says:

    Loved it. Kick ass Carol and Tyrese got his grove back. I hope that it doesn’t mean that they will get killed off, since they had their “redemption”. All of the reunions were great! And Morgan! I was totally surprised.

  35. Zenobia Jackson says:

    I don’t know how anyone could find fault with that episode…it was phenomenal. It will be hard to live up to but it was so satisfying on so many levels.

    With a major cast member rumored to die before season’s end, I hope this wasn’t Carol’s swan song…she is my favorite character.

  36. Joey Padron says:

    Great season premiere! Glad Carol saved the group. It was sweet to see Carol & Daryl reunited. Rick & Carl reunited with Judith. Can’t wait for next episode!

  37. Joey Padron says:

    And it was to see Morgan again after the credits roll. Happy to see him again!

  38. relaxxx says:

    as a michonne fan it disappoints me how they keep pushing her to the back on the show as well as in the comics. She saved ricks life n didn’t even get a thank u much less a hug. The episode was good. Nice reunions and Morgan. It just irritates me how michonne gets treated like a emotionless weapon. Undeserving of anything when she saved so many of team prisons lives when they were strangers to her. Looking forward to the next episode still.

    • Abby says:

      Treated like an emotionless weapon? I completely and totally disagree with you, sorry to say. Did you just not watch episode 4.09??

  39. Paula says:

    I missed the first word tonight.. Second was approaching.. Any one?

  40. That was one of the best episodes of TWD, for sure! The opening scene was insane and brutal..and omg, Darly and Carol reunion was amazing!! No words were necessary..and then, Rick and Carl reunion with Judith, Sasha and Tyreese reunion…it was a beautiful moment, and i loved to see all the gang together!!! Can’t wait for more!!!

  41. MissesLadyS says:

    Hell yes, thats my role model. LMAO! I knew Carol was going to redeem herself and in an KICKASS WAY! The writers are so awesome, i was hoping Carol would save them from Terminus and she did. The whole episode was SICK… :-) The reunion was sweet between Judith, Carl and Rick. BUT OMG DARYL AND CAROL WERE WONDERFUL. I am such sucker for reunions, i cried just as Daryl did when his Fair Lady Carol saved the day, his Zombie Apocolayspe Angel. NOW THAT IS LOVE! Bethyl do you hear that and much love to all the WALKING DEAD FANS LIKE MYSELF! :-*

  42. lkajdsflkjasdflkjdas@lkjalskjdfalksjdf.com says:

    r Michone is going to die in episode 4 this season! hahahahaha

  43. L says:

    Best episode in two season..save for the psychotic lizzy episode

  44. Daniel says:

    So is Michonne sword-less now?

    • relaxxx says:

      Spoiler spoiler she gets her sword back. Its seen in the trailers promos and stills. Thank rickmans beard cuz then it would be really weird. It would be like Supergirl not being able to fly.

  45. Babygate says:

    This opener was freaking amazing and spectacular. Wow. Best episode in forever. Love, LOVE Carol. So happy to see her integrated back into the group. I literally cried when Daryl ran to her and held her for so long and then put his head on her shoulder. I hope they finally get together this season. Missed Michonne’s katana. Super excited about this season.

  46. James D says:

    WTF they weren’t kidding about the opening five minutes. So glad it’s back on I always crave this show during the summer. And yo Carol straight rambo’d it in this episode really happy she’s back with the group and Daryl. I think Rick was right the first time probably should of made sure they were all dead. But it was awesome that he got Judith back. Super stoked for this season and Lennie James is back that’s freaking awesome.

  47. J. says:

    Carol is such an amzing character it makes me want to cry. I did cry when Daryl ran into Carol’s arms. That was the sweetest renunion!

  48. Estefania says:

    Best episode ever i’m so happy baby judith didn’t die. Morgans back what do the symbols he saw mean ?

  49. arggghhh says:

    My DVR cut off after the previews so no Morgan scene for me. 😡

  50. Cn says:

    I thought gareth was signed as a series regular for the year.? Was that just a cheap mislead? And if not, since we last saw him getting shot in the leg and falling out of view, will he be back. In which cAse, was rick right… Should they have gone back to finish terminus off?

    • ben says:

      he is definitely coming back. we could see him all throughout the trailer and the fact that his indeed one of the regulars this season.

      • L says:

        Him being promoted to series regular doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be around a lot.. just means he gets paid more for the episodes he’s in

    • CountryQueen says:

      He can’t be dead – we didn’t see him die. Just winged by Rick. Rick will kill him later in the season with the red handled machete – he promised.

      • relaxxx says:

        He just got a Lil gun shot wound. That can’t keep a great villian down. Plus there’s more of him in the trailer.