In a world filled with flesh-eating zombies and up to no good humans, it is obvious that no rules can be followed – and No Sanctuary proved that and then some.
It isn’t just the fact that the season’s premiere of The Walking Dead shattered records, scoring a touch-down with 17.3 million viewers, but it is also the way it did that.
Usually, a season’s finale is the most intense episode of the year, while also leaving the viewers with a cliffhanger. Its point is to wrap up all the loose threads and point us in the right direction, as to where the show will continue in the next season. And the final episode of the 4th season did that, in a way. The group was on his way, on separate paths, towards Terminus (a sanctuary for the living). They arrive there but their reunion is interrupted.
The 4th season’s finale does tie up some loose ends, but leaves us with an even bigger one: how will they escape the meat train? How will they escape the cannibals? And that is because it was obvious from that episode that Terminus was a haven, but for cannibals only.
If we compare this debut with the most recent shows, we can see that The Walking Dead left aside all the rules and made some of its own – after all, the world it describes is one lacking any. The heroes were left in grave danger and the first episode of the 5th season became actually a continuation of the 4th season’s last episode.
Furthermore, given the fact that No Sanctuary was in fact a mini-action flick on its own, it can also be said that The Walking Dead also threw overboard the slow pace with which other shows debut their seasons. We were cast right in the middle of the action, action which didn’t end until the end of the episode.
When we were left with another question: where will the show take us next?
Over the time, the main critique brought to the show was that it had no clear pace at all. In other words, it was said that it became repetitive and that, for this reason, it became boring, with the same arcs described over and over again.
It is pretty clear now that it isn’t so. There are no rules. Nobody is safe. And The Walking Dead has its own speed.