Does Sanctuary Exist? #TheWalkingDead “A”


In the finale, much of the group is reunited at Terminus, which is just as nefarious as we thought. They put all our dear friends in a train car. No word on Beth, Carol, Tyreese, or Judith.

The Details

  • Rick, Michonne, and Carl are attacked by Joe’s group, which threatens to rape both Carl and Michonne. Daryl gets beaten defending them.
  • They get away when Rick goes walker on Joe and takes a big bite out of his neck.
  • Carl tells Michonne that he’s not who his dad thinks he is, that Rick shouldn’t be proud of him.
  • Terminus is too good to be true. They’re probably cannibals.
  • When the Termites trap Rick’s group, they unwittingly put them with Glenn’s group.
  • Throughout the episode there are flashbacks to Hershel encouraging Rick to move away from violence toward peace.

The Big Q

This is a rallying episode, where our group is attacked, and we feel protective of them. Through the flashbacks, we can absolve them of violence: They’re not bad people; they’re just defending themselves when it must be done. They tried living peacefully in the prison-turned-sanctuary and the Governor called them out of it. Of course, Rick is justified in defending Carl against Joe, but the way is grotesque. Again, the show suggests that humans are no better than walkers, that we too only live to kill or be killed when society is removed. Carl’s comment to Michonne reads on the surface like he’s too hard on himself or doesn’t want to let down his dad, but an underlying implication seems to be that Carl feels differently about killing than Rick. Carl likes it, and so do the walkers. Everyone at Terminus, presuming the cannibalism theory, are basically walkers with higher-order thinking. So in a lawless world, absolute sanctuary seems impossible.

The Impact

The show has suggested before that “we are the walking dead.” This episode suggests we can do the exact same thing as the walkers, but we are still human. So, does sanctuary exist? Yes. In this episode, Rick calls Daryl his brother, and Daryl is brought back from the brink of running with some very bad men. Rick does the unthinkable to save Carl. Glenn and Maggie are still together. The episode ends with Rick saying, “They’re going to feel pretty stupid when they find out…they’re screwing with the wrong people.” This group, motivated by its shared history and love, will stand a better chance of escaping than any of the previous captures. That train car is a sanctuary, in a sense, because they are safer there together than they were on the outside. Sanctuary is not physical in the apocalypse (or even now?)–it is emotional.

What do you think? What big Q’s did you see in this episode?


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