‘The Walking Dead’ Comic-to-TV Comparison: Season 5 Premiere “No Sanctuary”
‘The Walking Dead’ season 5 shambled out its 1st and foremost entry with Sunday’s season premiere “No Sanctuary,” but how did it hold up to the comic book continuity? Rick shows the people of Terminus who they're screwing with, thanks to a little help from Carol and an old friend makes a surprising return, so what’s next for ‘The Walking Dead’ as the fifth season kicks into gear?
As AMC’s incarnation weaves in and out of storylines from the books and adds its own original characters and developments, we’ve compiled an in-depth guide for fans of the comics as well as AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ to enjoy! Check all the comparisons we found, and let us know your thoughts on ‘The Walking Dead’ season 5 episode 1, “No Sanctuary,” in the comments below!
The History of Terminus
AMC: The premiere treated us to a bit of Gareth’s history, showing that once upon a time he and his mother (and brother?) were themselves captives of Terminus, after a gang of rapists overtook the compound. We don’t know exactly how the whole “carving up human flesh” thing got started, but we do at least learn that “you’re either the butcher, or the cattle.”
THE COMICS: Granted, this gets a little tricky. “No Sanctuary” didn’t explicitly confirm (as in, literally say out loud) that Gareth and his ilk were cannibals, but for now, we’ll consider them our adaptation of the comic “Hunters” group. That being the case, the small, roving group’s leader Chris seemed all-too-happy to explain to Rick how he and the others lazily descended into cannibalism, beginning with the group’s children.
Zombie Guts Save the Day, Again
AMC: Before heading off on her rescue mission to Terminus, Carol returns to that old standby of coating one’s self in zombie guts in order to throw the undead off your scent, much as Rick and Glenn utilized in season 1’s “Guts,” and Michonne discovered for herself in the third season. And wouldn’t you know it, it still works! Why doesn’t everybody do this all the time?
THE COMICS: Like its AMC counterpart, this technique seems curiously under-utilized by the survivors. Rick used the idea second time to escape from the Alexandria Safe Zone in a time of duress, though no one seems to attempt a group camouflage for extended periods of time in the wild.
Eugene Explains the Cure
AMC: Pressed for information while trapped in the Terminus car, Eugene steps up to explain to Sasha and the others that he belonged to a secret project attempting to weaponize diseases to fight other infections, which itself ultimately caused the zombie apocalypse. Though perhaps not foolproof, Eugene believes they could “flip the script” from one of the terminals at Washington D.C., thereby causing the virus to eliminate the walking dead, rather than perpetuate them. Eugene's full claim:
I was part of a 10-person team at the human genome project that weaponized diseases to fight weaponized diseases. Pathogenic microorganisms with pathogenic microorganisms. Fire with fire. Interdepartmental drinks were had, relationships made, information shared. I am keenly aware of all the details behind failsafe delivery systems to kill every living person on this planet. I believe with a little tweaking on the terminals in D.C., we can flip the script. Take out every last dead one of 'em. Fire with fire.
THE COMICS: Eugene of the books gave a similar monologue in his inaugural post-prison meeting with the group at Dale’s farm, though with a few minor differences. In the comics, Eugene specified that his work with the human genome project was to develop diseases that would only affect people “of a certain…regional background.” Eugene claimed that Washington held the infrastructure needed to put his knowledge to good use in fighting the zombie apocalypse, but didn’t quite specify how they’d do so. Of course, as we’d later discover, Eugene wasn’t quite who he claimed, anyway.
Terminus Gets Barbecued
AMC: Thanks in part to Carol’s assault on the facility, Rick manages to lead the survivors through the compound warzone, taking out a number of walkers and living inhabitants before fleeing into the wilderness. Having seen the evidence of the Termites’ butchery however, Rick initially insists on returning to finish off any survivors, grimly threatening “they don’t get to live,” though the reunions with Carol and Judith quickly take precedence.
THE COMICS: Again, operating under the presumption that Terminus represents the cannibalistic Hunters, the actual confrontation provided far fewer fireworks in the books. Rick managed to track down the group with help from Father Gabriel, Andrea, Michonne and Abraham, surprising them in their backyard camp. Rick calmly asserted that he and his group were in control of the situation, quickly overpowering the hunters and enacting a brutal revenge over the course of the night, ultimately burning the bodies.
They never “carve off a piece and have us a taste,” as Rick jokingly threatened, though the brutality of the slaughter would haunt them for years to come.
Hey Judith, Don't Make it Bad
AMC: Following Carol’s tender reunion with Rick, Daryl and the other survivors, she quickly leads Rick and the rest of the merry band back to Tyreese’s cabin to see baby Judith, alive and well. Sasha embraces her long-lost brother, and all seems well for the first time in a season. Until next week’s undoubtedly soul-crushing horror!
THE COMICS: Nope! Not only had Judith perished along with Lori in the prison’s fall, placing us in all-new territory creatively, but so too had Tyreese and Carol fallen by the wayside before the Governor led his final assault. Hooray for survival!
AMC: Following the premiere’s credits (and really, just a weird placement not to warn people about), a masked traveler stops by Rick’s altered “No Sanctuary” sign, revealing himself as Morgan Jones, just before setting about a different path in search of his former friends.
THE COMICS: Morgan would indeed reunite with Rick and join the group around this time in the comics, though under different circumstance we’ve largely already seen AMC adapt. On the road to D.C., Rick, Abraham and Carl undertook a side-mission back to Rick’s old police station, in search of leftover weapons. Back home, Rick found Morgan still living in his neighbor’s house, though a bit worse-for-wear after the zombification of his son Duane. This story was largely adapted into season 3 episode “Clear,” swapping Michonne in for Abraham, while Morgan ultimately elected to stay behind and continue “clearing” his conscious for failing his son.
Well ,what did you think of ‘The Walking Dead’ season 5’s premiere, “No Sanctuary”? Will Gareth and the other Terminus survivors return to menace Rick once more? What happened to Beth? Did we miss anything else from the comics you might have caught?
Let us know in the comments, and be sure to check back next week for our in-depth comic-to-TV comparison of ‘The Walking Dead’ season 5, episode 2, "Strangers" on AMC!