Okay, I’m officially excited about The Walking Dead season 5. I’ve had a very troubled, up and down relationship with AMC’s hit zombie drama over the years, and I’ve been a very vocal critic at times (I’ve also been staunch in my belief that the last eight episodes of season 4 are far and away the best of the series), but holy crap. AMC just released the first four-minutes of tomorrow’s debut episode, “No Sanctuary,” and it is an intense time to say the least. Here it is if you want to check it out, and as cautiously optimistic as I’ve been about tomorrow night’s season premiere, after watching this, I freely admit that I’m stoked. It should go without saying that if you haven’t finished season 4, you shouldn’t watch this, or keep reading for that matter.
Season 4 ends on one hell of a cliffhanger. Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and most of the core group of survivors are trapped in a train car at Terminus, and though you’re not 100% sure what their deal is, you’re fairly certain it’s not good. They may be cannibals, you don’t know, but that looked like a pile of human bones Rick and the others just ran past.
This is where this clip picks up. Since San Diego Comic-Con back in July, we’ve been hearing that season 5 picks up right away, that it hits the ground running, and that the opening was even shocking to the cast when they saw it all together. You have to feel like, after watching this, that there’s even more, but this is exciting and powerful and intense, and it certainly is one hell of a way to kick off a season.
You see the survivors tooling up for war, using every last resource at their disposal and fashioning it into a weapon, and some nasty looking ones at that. The footage prepares you for blood and violence and brutality, and though it delivers that, or at least the potential for that, it takes you in an entirely different direction that you expect.
What you see is not going to be pleasant or particularly family friendly, but it’s certainly going to push the boundaries of what you can show on television, which is something The Walking Dead is fond of doing. As popular as the show it, and it is massively beloved, it still surprises me just how many people tune in week to week given the often gratuitous amount of gore. For all the criticisms of the series, the show is hardcore horror.
The Walking Dead season 5 debuts tomorrow, October 12, on AMC.