The Walking Dead season premiere recap: 'No Sanctuary'

October 13, 2014 2:02 AM

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During its grim run this summer, The Leftovers took heat for its relentless bleakness. And sure, it was an emotionally wearying portrait of societal and personal dysfunction mixed with a fair amount of dog-killing, but did it ever have a guy threatening to break an adorable baby’s neck? Or, say, a zombie in flames eating a guy’s face? Or have an episode where off-screen rape counts as one of the less disturbing scenes? Nope. Welcome to season 5 of The Walking Dead, which would never be confused for Rick and Company’s Good-Time Shenanigans.

Even for a series that traffics in darkness, "No Sanctuary" is a bold restatement of purpose by writer/showrunner Scott H. Gimple and director/executive producer Greg Nicotero. This show has had some intense season premieres, but none has rivaled the nearly eight and a half-minute pre-credits sequen...

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