Season 5 of 'The Walking Dead' is under way, and this time around, Godsmack drummer Shannon Larkin has signed on to offer up a weekly recap of each episode exclusively on Loudwire. Check out his look at Episode 1 ('No Sanctuary') below:

So here we are, finally! Season 5, and the gang has arrived at Terminus, the end of the tracks. I’m sure anyone reading this watched Season 4, and witnessed our group scattered, battered and scraping their way towards the supposed sanctuary promised by the signs and maps leading them to Terminus. But of course, it wasn’t what it was cracked up to be … it was a trap.

So, we start the season premiere trapped in a rail car, but even in the face of hopelessness, not giving up. Our heroes believe in their leader, and Rick is firmly back in the role of badass. They start making weapons out of anything on hand (an impressive DIY scene in itself), and hope for revenge and righteousness is fluttering in my stomach.

We get some flashbacks giving some backstory on the Terminus people, in a cool “then” and “now” time shift, which recurs throughout the episode.

I’ll say right here, unlike last season, this starts off action packed ... to the max. One of my favorite things about the writing is the question, “How the hell can they possibly get out of this mess?” And then there’s some crazy, creative and always cool thing that helps them survive ... most of the time. Because we all know that anyone can die at any moment (we’ve learned not to get too comfortable with ANY character’s survival) and there is always that feeling that “this could be it! They’re gonna DIE!!!). It’s maddening ... and I love it!!

So, back to the premiere ...

Gassed and dragged from their train car prison, we find Bob, Rick, Daryl and Glenn zip tied on their knees with four other unknown male prisoners and placed in front of a trough. That’s right, a trough!

What happens next is brutal and unnerving, as two men, one with a bat and one with a knife, walk up behind the kneeling men. Luckily, they start from right to left with the first unknown prisoner (who incidentally was in a previous episode), and BAM! bat to the back of the skull from bad guy #1, then bad guy #2 steps up and SLASH to the throat with the knife. Knife guy then pushes dead guy over trough to bleed out down the drain like a slaughtered pig.

Then they move to the next guy, and the next, and the next ... until they come to Glenn. Cue the “how’s he gonna get out of this?” feeling.

We hear some gunshots outside, pausing the slaughter for a moment, then BOOM! A huge explosion causes mayhem and Rick gets out of his zip ties (he had a hidden homemade wooden knife), and he proceeds to take care of the bad guys. Violently.

I can’t convey into words how tense this scene is, especially the nonchalant, business-like manner of the “Termites” (Terminus people). Chilling.

We then cut to Tyreese, who (ironically) ends up with Carol (and with Rick’s baby, Judith) in his quest for Terminus. As usual, the side stories are as deep and heavy as ever, and this recap would turn into a novel if I did a blow by blow review, but Tyreese stays with Rick’s baby in a cabin they found while Carol takes it upon herself to head to Terminus and rescue our gang, smeared in entrails and an idea. Believe me, I’m putting it all in a nutshell here people. But the explosion that saved our boys earlier? Carol – with a rifle, some fireworks, and a propane tank. Brilliant.

You want blood, Hollywood explosions, flaming, face eating zombies, total gut munching chaos, fist fights, automatic weapons, machetes, mayhem? You won’t be disappointed. And the writing is superb. George A. Romero will be proud, as the characters, drama, and yes, social commentary is spot on and lives up to everything we’ve come to expect from this series. The moral dilemmas continue, along with the killing of humans and walkers alike.

I must say for the sake of this review, I have condensed the story to an outline. For, as I mentioned earlier, there is some time shifting and going back and forth in time to tell the story. But the way they did it, it’s all very coherent, and all of my WTF questions were answered in a timely fashion that didn’t frustrate me in the least. Furthermore, we didn’t lose anyone (yet), and our heroes kick all kinds of ass, and are reunited with an exciting escape from Terminus, with Carol redeeming her past sins and leading them all back to the cabin to Tyreese, who hands Rick his safe baby girl, and reunites with his sister for a big, fat happy ending.

As previous series have been in certain locations (Farm, prison, etc), I expected this season to perhaps be in Terminus for a while. Well, no. Terminus is in flames ...

The good news (for the storyline, at least) is some of the Termites survived (the main a--hole in particular – you’ll want to behead this guy yourself), and our main man Rick is hellbent on killing each and every last one of them! No one can walk away alive.

It will be highly satisfying for this viewer to see them die ... slowly. I can’t wait to see the red handled machete ...

I’ll holla after Episode 2 with my thoughts. Until then ... Apocalypse!

Our thanks to Shannon Larkin for his recap of Episode 1 of 'The Walking Dead' Season 5. Godsmack recently released their latest album, '1000hp,' which is available at iTunes and Amazon.

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