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Episode: “Seed” (Season 3, Episode 1)
With the world growing increasingly more dangerous and Lori’s (Sarah Wayne Callies) pregnancy advancing, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) discovers a potentially safe haven. But first he must secure the premises, pushing his group to its limit.
Television’s most maddening show returned Sunday night and after an uneven second season, there was a lot of speculation that the third season and a mass exodus from Hershel’s (Scott Greene) farm would be the charm. For the most part, Executive Producer Glen Mazzara (who took over after Frank Darabont was let go last year), director Ernest R. Dickerson, and the rest of the gang delivered on that promise with a methodical episode filled with much more zombie action and group singalongs than expected.
Unlike most of Season 2, the show wasted no time or words in bringing us up to speed on the current state of all things Grimes and Friends. So, what do we know? Rick is a much more authoritative leader, Lori is very pregnant, and everybody is desperate for shelter and reinforcements. The figurative and literal hunger forces Rick’s hand, who urges the group to press on when they find a potential sanctuary in a prison. (Fans of the comics are in a frenzy over the change of setting, and if you read Robert Kirkman’s comic you know why.)
Once the gang overtakes a small external section of the prison, the gang gets together and has a Kumbaya moment that leads Lori, who is at odds with Rick, to ask the Sheriff for a brief celebration and reprieve from house hunting. Understandably, Rick declines and says they have to make their way into the heart of the prison. The results are muddled. On the plus, they do finally encounter other civilians. However, Hershel ends up bitten and Rick has to do his best rendition of Grimes’ Anatomy, chopping off his leg. Better a peg leg than a member of the undead, right?
We also were offered a far too brief introduction to the katana wielding Michonne (Danai Gurira), who is looking out for Andrea (Laurie Holden). While it was nice to see how skilled she is with a blade, here’s hoping we get to see and learn more about the duo sooner rather than later.
Thoughts from the Undead
Riot gear zombies! How bad ass were those guys? The best was the zombie who loses his face when Rick unmasks him. Gregory Nicotero proves once again that he and the special effects makeup crew are the true champions of this show.
Lori, please stop talking. It’s clear that the show is trying to turn the page on her selfishness, which could be looked at as a good thing. While we appreciated her sympathy for the world weariness of the group and her worries over a potential stillborn zombie baby were well-founded and a bit terrifying, it’s borderline laughable to watch her weep over how her affair with Shane (John Bernthal) played out. It’s a sad truth that I will not mourn her departure, if and when it happens. If anything, Rick and Carl will be the ones I feel bad for. On the other hand, it would be hard to argue that show will not be better for it. Her bi-polar motivations need to come to an end.
Carl (Chandler Riggs) has finally grown up and we’ve grown fond of the gang’s newest deputy. The curious chaos-causing child is gone and Carl is a good soldier, and not too bad of a shot either. He has even developed himself a little love interest, who I dare you to name. Seriously, I’ll give you a second and you can’t use IMDB. (It’s Beth (Emily Kinney). You lose.) And what young teen girl would be able to turn down Carl, with his new Justin Bieber haircut and dapper Sheriff’s hat? He would fit right in with most hipsters, but in this show he pulls it off.
Will we ever see anything big happen to T-Dog (IronE Singleton)? At this point, is it wrong to refer to him as Token? It’s ridiculous and unfair to Singleton how underdeveloped his character is.
Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride), just get it on already.
With sizzling imagery, effective dialogue and action sequences that served a purpose, it appears that The Walking Dead has finally planted the seed for something much greater than we have grown to expect. With any luck, we’ve moved past the unbearably melodramatic moments the series became known for early last season and into a world where Rick and the gang must fight for their lives among zombies and zealots alike. With The Governor’s (David Morrissey) impending tyranny on the horizon, we’re as hopeful as the gang was when they laid their eyes on the prison.
What did you think of the season premiere of The Walking Dead? Let us know in the comments section.