The long wait is finally over! Good thing, cause it was probably pretty stuffy in that train car. Let’s get right to it, shall we?
The episode begins with a flashback featuring Gareth and some other Terminus residents in a train car. They’re lamenting letting some outsiders in, which from the sound of the woman’s screams outside was a big mistake. Alex says they should never have put up the signs.
“We were trying to do something good. We were being human beings,” Gareth says.
“What are we now, Gareth?” the Alex says. The camera focuses on Gareth’s face for a long time. He has no answer.
Back to the present and our survivors are trapped in A, the train car Gareth and the others forced them into at the end of last season, but they aren’t just hanging out.
Abraham tells how his group was captured and that the Termites didn’t care about DC, Michonne says she hasn’t seen Tyreese and Daryl fills everyone in about Beth being captured and reassures Maggie she’s alive. This all happens in voiceover as the members of the group improvise crude but vicious-looking weapons from belts, zippers, wood, anything that can do harm. Rick is, notably, trying to separate a piece of wood from the train car structure with a small chain.
When Daryl sees the Terminus residents coming through a gap in the train, they all take fighting stances. Rick says to go for their eyes first, then their throats. It looks like the prelude to a hell of a battle, but, surprise, the Termites drop a tear-gas canister through the roof and incapacitate everyone and drag them out wearing gas masks. One guy kicks Rick right in the face.
When Rick and the others wake up the first thing we see is a blurry shot of the Termites doing something with a human corpse and a saw. Rick is tied, gagged, and placed on his knees with his head above a pristine metal basin.
All bound the same way, to his right is Bob and to his left are Daryl, Glenn, a few other survivors and, all the way at the end, a surprise familiar face, Sam from season four. This is how the Termites got Rick’s watch, Rick gave it Sam in “Indifference” and Rick recognized it in “A.”
One Termite is sharpening knives. Another mean mother has metal baseball bat. That bat man takes the ball bat and, without ceremony, hits a homerun with Sam’s head. Knife guy immediately slashes his throat and he bleeds out into the basin.
And then they just work their way down the line like they do it all the time. Rick has stashed a small piece of wood he got off the car in his pants cuff and tries to work it free to use it.
Gareth enters with a notebook. He’s doing an inventory and ask the guys how many bullets they fired. Thirty-eight bat man says and hits the last person in line before Glenn, then knife guy slashes him.
Bat man draws back to hit Glenn but Gareth stops him.
“Hey, your shot count?” he asks knife guy.
Knife guy sheepishly admits he forgot because it was his first roundup, Gareth tells him after the executions to go back and count the shells. Gareth also quickly notes that they only took four from A and four from D, meaning the rests of our survivors are still in A.
During the break Bob tries to get Gareth’s attention, which is hard with the gag in his mouth. Gareth removes it, and Bob says “Don’t do this. We can fix this.”
Bob says they’ve already told the Termites that there’s a cure and that they need to get Eugene to Washington, and he makes the case again.
“You just have to take the chance,” Bob says, breathlessly saying they can put the world back the way it was. Gareth just says “Can’t go back, Bob,” and replaces his gag. Then he focuses his attention on Rick and removes his gag.
He asks Rick what was in the bag of guns he buried in the woods. Termite spotters saw it but had to be pulled back. Gareth says it was smart to hide it, that they’ll find it but it’s too dangerous to look now. Then he grabs a knife and pulls Bob forward, asking again with the implied threat.
“I’ll show you,” Rick says. Gareth puts the knife right at Bob’s eye and Rick starts saying there’s an AK-47, .44 Magnum, a compound bow and automatic weapons in the bag. And a machete with a red handle.
“That’s what I’m going to use to kill you,” Rick says, casually.
Gareth just puts the gag back and tells his people they have two hours to get the victims “on the driers” so they can go back to “public face.”
The bat guy gets ready to take another swing at Glenn, but the Termites hear gunshots outside. Then a huge explosion rocks the building. End of teaser.
Tyreese and Carol are walking along the tracks toward Terminus, with Carol carrying Judith. They’re close. Carol says she will make sure Tyreese and Judith are safe but wont stay.
A walker comes out of the woods and Tyreese says he can’t, “not yet.” Carol is disappointed that Tyreese has a hangup about killing and says he’ll have to learn to do it soon, but finishes the walker anyway. Unfortunately the Walker was just vanguard of a huge horde that chase them into the woods. The trio look dead, but the walkers hear a huge amount gunfire, this is the shooting from the season finale, and start moving toward Terminus.
Carol and Tyreese decide to head toward Terminus and find out what happened, but they take another way.
A Termite named Martin is setting up fireworks in the woods near a shack. His car is out front and he’s talking to a lady on a radio. He talks about how they underestimated Michonne and say he wants Carl’s hat after they “bleed him out.” Carol interrupts this delightful convo by sticking her revolver behind Martin’s ear.
She makes him drop the radio. He tries to lie and say everyone is welcome at Terminus but Carol is a bit too cynical for that crap, plus she overheard him talking about Michonne and Carl.
Martin is tied up in the shack, where lies like a rug, says Carl and Michonne attacked first and those are the only ones they’re holding.
He is honest about the reason he was preparing the fireworks. It was to distract walkers who might be drawn from the gunfire from their latest roundup. He says distracting the walkers is good for them too, but Carol tells that no it isn’t, there’s a herd heading toward Terminus and “We don’t want to confuse them away. We’re going to need their help.”
Carol leaves. Tyreese asks how she’s going to do this and she says simply “I’m gonna kill people.”
Carol goes to the woods and smears guts from a dead walker and dirt all over herself.
Back in the shack Martin chats with Tyreese, asking him about Judith and his friends. Martin says he doesn’t have any friends, “just assholes I stay alive with,” and talks about how he used to have friends and watch football on Sundays and go to church, but that you forget that and get used to the horrible stuff.
Tyreese says he hasn’t gotten used to it. Martin says of course he hasn’t, because he’s the kind of guy who “save babies,” which he compares to saving an anchor when you don’t have a boat. Although Tyreese insists Martin has “no idea” of what he’s done, Martin keeps hammering that Tyreese is a “good guy” and that’s why he and the baby will die.
He’s trying to convince Tyreese to take the baby in his car and leave. He asks Tyreese why he let him live and why he’s “even talking to me” and keeps trying to talk him into leaving.
Carol, in zombie guise, shows up just at the moment the Termites breach the train car and overhears their shouts. She sees Rick and the guys who were lined up for execution carried away. She sets up a sniper rifle and sees the Termites, just like the group at the prison, use poles to pike walkers who come too close to the fence. And she sees a huge propane tank at the fence.
The Termites see the mother of all hordes heading their way and start to panic and run. Carol takes out a bottle rocket from Martin’s firework stash and sets it up. As walkers swarm the fence she shoots holes in the propane tank to make it leak pressurized propane, then shoots the rocket into it and causes an enormous explosion, sending walker parts everywhere and taking out the fence. There are a lot of barbecued walkers, but most of them get up and keep swarming.
In the shack Martin hears the explosion at Terminus and says “maybe you’re going to win this,” but also that maybe Carol is dead and maybe Tyreese and Judith will die too.
Tyreese says “Nobody’s gotta die today,” but Martin says if he believes that “then it’s definitely going to be you and the kid.”
In the slaughter room everyone recovers from the big boom. Gareth runs off to check and leaves bat man and knife guy. Rick is cutting his bonds with the wood.
Outside Mary, the barbecue lady from the finale, is being chased by some flaming walkers who want to barbecue her. It’s complete mayhem. One walker eats an injured Termite’s face. Carol, calmly, blends in with the horde and shuffles inside.
Bat man and knife guy can’t get Gareth on the radio. Their worries are cut short, as Rick sneaks up on bat man and stabs him in the neck with the wood then brutalizes knife guy with several slashes.
Rick notices that there’s a human body on a table that the butchers were working on, Alex, a Termite who was accidentally shot in the head when Rick and his group rebelled in the fourth season finale, the same Alex from the train car flashback. They even eat their own. Rick then goes to untie his friends.
Abraham and the rest are still being held in the A train car. They hear the explosions. Abraham tries to beat the door down but Eugene has a smarter approach, trying to rig the shell that was fired earlier to blow the door.
Carl and Maggie are confident that everyone is going to be back and say they need to be ready to fight their way out when they do.
It’s a scene of devastation at Terminus. Carol, hidden among the walkers, seems to feel some remorse for what she’s caused when sees a woman being eaten alive. But she never lets that stop her. From within the horde she snipes two of Terminus’s defenders.
Rick, Glenn, Bob and Daryl are untied and ready to rock. The grab weapons. Bob tries to knife one of the dead executioners but Rick cruelly says “Let him turn.”
And now we come to the Termites cannibal drying room, where they have human corpses hung up to preserve. Rick says to kill any Termites they see without hesitation.
There’s a bit of a moral conflict here. Before they go out the door they see walkers banging on a railway car. Rick wants to run by them while they’re distracted, but Glenn says they have to let the people out because “that’s still who we are.”
They kill the walkers and let the people out. There’s only one person inside, a hairy, tattooed maniac who yells “We’re the same! We’re them!” and is immediately eaten by a walker.
Carol finds the room where the Termites keep all the stuff they steal from their victims. There’s a lot of it. She finds Rick’s watch and Daryl’s crossbow and takes them with her.
Rick and the guys are pinned down by a battle between Termites and walkers. Rick makes a risky solo move to go check it out and almost gets bit, but his “brother” Daryl follows and saves him at the last moment.
Rick waits until several Termites walk by firing automatic weapons. They’re cutting through the walkers and seem to be winning. Not for long, though, because Rick sees the last Termite straggling behind, chokes him, grabs his gun, and shoots all the Termites in the back. The injured ones make a bloody feast for the remaining walkers, and now the guys have guns.
Carol is still exploring Terminus. She comes to their candle-lit shrine room, which has slogans like “Never Trust” written on the walls and mementos that seem to represent people on the floor. Mary pulls a gun on her and tells her to turn around, but when Carol does she fires a burst from her rifle that surprises Mary and makes her fall.
This sets off a hairy hand-to-hand battle in the candle room, knocking over candles and scattering artifacts. Carol eventually gets the drop on Mary.
Mary, knowing she’s going to be shot, says the signs at first were real, but “people came and took this place” and raped and killed and laughed for weeks before the Termites took it back.
They heard the message, she said “You’re the butcher, or you’re the cattle.”
Carol just wants to know where the Rick and the group are, but Mary won’t say. So Carol shoots her in the leg. Mary asks her to point it at her head. She is also amused, saying Carol “could have been one of us.”
She says Terminus is “what it had to be,” and “we’re still here.” Carol, however, points out “You’re not here. Neither am I.” And then leaves through a door, letting some walkers in to eat a screaming Mary as she goes.
Walkers are now approaching the shack where Tyreese is. When he goes to look Martin quickly gets up and takes Judith hostage. Tyreese begs him not to hurt her as walkers bang on the shack. Martin tells Tyreese to go outside and says “Just one twist, man.” You get a good look at Judith here, she’s a very different baby this season, younger looking. Tyreese actually does go outside and gets grabbed by a walker.
Martin gets his radio and calls Terminus, but there’s no answer. Then he hears all the walkers suddenly get quiet. Tyreese bursts through door and pins Martin down with a knife to his throat.
“Yeah, that’s how it works,” Martin says, resigned to his death. Tyreese says “I won’t” repeatedly, but every denial is punctuated with a blow to the skull. Looks like he did, anyway.
Back in A, the gang have crude weapons ready, again. Eugene is working on his bomb. Sasha asks Eugene what the cure is but he says “It’s classified.” Abraham tells them to leave Eugene alone.
Eugene says that even if he gave detailed instructions and wrote out a FAQ (he spells it out F A Q which is cute), the cure would still die with him when he went “red ring (a reference to the light that flashes when an Xbox 360 fails).”
Abraham says he won’t let that happen. Sasha insists and Eugene starts telling a story. It uses a lot of big words and is kind of inane, but the upshot is he thinks they can tweak biological weapons in DC to fight “fire with fire” and kill the walkers and the infection.
And then Rick opens the door, so we never see if Eugene’s bomb works. There is a chaotic, hyperviolent escape where pretty much everyone is a brutal killer, except for Eugene.
They jump the fence and run into the woods. While they do Gareth comes on a balcony and Rick takes a shot at him, but appears to maybe only wing at him. The walker-fied bat man also stumbles out and Rick very pointedly does not show him mercy.
As they leave we see a shot of Terminus from above and it’s in flames. And that’s what happens when you screw with the wrong people.
They go back immediately and find the bag o’ guns. Rick wants to use these guns to go back to Terminus and kill everyone there, saying “they don’t get to live” and “it’s not over until they’re all dead.”
The others object to taking the risk, however, and Carol shows back up at this moment. Daryl runs to her and gives her a great big emotional hug. Rick’s glad to see her too and says “Did you do that?” and Carol just nods. “Thank you,” Rick says with a big hug.
They follow Carol to the shack, where Rick is tearfully reunited with Judith and Sasha is tearfully reunited with Tyreese.
Tyreese explains to Carol that he killed the walkers and Martin. “I had to. So I did. I could.”
Rick still kinda wants to go back to Terminus and kill everyone, but he decides to get away from it as far as they can instead. They all start walking down the train track in the other direction. Rick stops at a Terminus sign and marks it up with mud until is just says “No (in mud) Sanctuary” with the rest of the message “for all. Community for all. Those who arrive survive” crossed out.
We get one more flashback to the Termites in the train car. A bunch of brutal guys are repeatedly raping the women. They shove Mary inside and and take another who whimpers “Please not again.” Alex and Gareth, who it turns out are Mary’s sons, try to calm Mary by saying “It’s okay, it’s okay,” but a big mean raider says “No, it’s not” and hits Gareth and laughs before locking them back up.
You can’t see the raider’s face because it’s so dark, but it’s the crazy tattoo-face guy the Termites had locked in the railway car Glenn wanted to open. Maybe they kept him there to torture him.
Gareth says “We’re going to take it back.” When asked how by Alex he just says “We will. You’re either the butcher or the cattle.”
“Oh,” Mary says. End of episode.
Wait, not yet! There’s a teaser right at the end where a masked man notices Rick’s “No Sanctuary” sign. He takes off the mask and it’s Morgan! He notices a circle with an X in it carved in a tree and heads in another direction. Seems like maybe it’s a sign that he’ll use to follow the group.
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