SPOILER ALERT! Stop reading now if you don't want details on the first episode of The Walking Dead Season 3.
They should’ve left him on the farm. Seriously.
Hershel (Scott Wilson) loved that farm more than his own kids. They should’ve let him die there instead of bringing him into that dark prison, just to get his leg chewed up by a rude, sneaky undead walker.
But hey! At least a lot happened on The Walking Dead Season 3 premiere. A little less conversation than Season 2, and a lot more action. In fact, there was so much action that even Carol (Melissa McBride) was spotted not being useless! She was told she had become a good shot, and proved that right wrong immediately by almost killing Rick (Andrew Lincoln). Maybe she did that on purpose. We know her shoulder-massaging hint to Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) was on purpose, and she even tried to seduce him. Girl … focus on pulling your weight around camp. Don’t “screw around” with our dirty-sexy eye candy.
The first episode was called "Seed,” which referred to a few things — 1) the two core plot seeds planted this season, of the Ricktatorship group at the prison, and Michonne and her armless “pets” with Andrea; 2) Hershel’s reference to wanting to plant some seeds on the prison grounds to start a garden and literally set down roots (guess not!); and 3) the very pregnant Lori’s (Sarah Wayne Callies) little seed inside, which Daryl cleverly called “Little Shane” and Lori thinks she may have lost, turning him or her into a little Alien baby.
Is it possible that Hershel won’t die? Rick did chop off his leg, leading Hershel to pass out. Did that do the trick? Will he die from bleeding out? Will he be saved? Who are those people in the prison? Is one of them a doctor? It looks like, next week or later this season, we’ll meet them, plus head to Woodbury to meet the Governor (David Morrissey) and perhaps get the story of that helicopter in the sky.
But if Hershel checks out, that makes Lori doubly screwed. She has to give birth in a prison during the zombie apocalypse and the one doctor — a veterinarian, at that — is apparently closed for house calls. If she weren’t so freaking’ Lori about everything, we’d feel sorry for her.
Read on for a full recap of Episode 1:
LET’S NOT STAY IN THIS SILENT HOUSE
Nothing sets a good tone like making the first shot of the season an extreme closeup of a zombie eyeball — especially when that zombie is about to be destroyed. Take that, anyone who thought there weren’t enough walker kills on Season 2! Rick, Carl (still wearing Rick’s old hat), T-Dog (IronE Singleton) and Daryl clear a house of walkers, with long-haired Carl (Chandler Riggs) getting his own kills in. Should we be afraid for or of this child soldier? And did Daryl have to kill and eat that owl? How cool would it have been for him to adopt him like his own Hedwig? He’d probably be useful for things. If Andrea were there, she would’ve helped them clear the house, instead of having four guys (including a kid) do it. There’s almost no dialogue in the opening scene. Everyone is too tired, jaded and just apparently not excited about these paltry digs. So they leave. It’s like House Hunters — we need to see the next two options before deciding on the keeper.
PRISON: A ‘PERFECT’ PLACE TO HAVE A BABY!
The survivors park their lovely cars on the road and break out a map — deciding they’re blocked in by a huge load of walkers. Interestingly enough, Carl and Beth (Emily Kinney) are put on point to guard the group. Good to see her put to use too! Rick doesn’t want to move house to house anymore, and Lori is super preggers (months have passed) and needs to not be so mobile. So … they decide to storm a local prison, which has its own huge group of walkers in the yard. “It’s perfect,” Rick says. It does have great backyard space. But whoa, what’s this? “Carol, you’ve become a good shot,” Rick says. It would’ve been great to see that development. Good to hear, though. Did Carol have a single walker kill to her name on Season 2? So what if she almost shot Rick as he was badassing his way through the prison yard? At least she was doing something. Did anyone count how many zombies died in that also nearly silent shooting fest? The Talking Dead will probably share after the episode, but the writers must’ve been picturing critics when they planned for all those deaths. Too slow for you? Bam! Not enough gore? Bam!
No one has ever been happier to head to prison than this sad little group. Will it have showers?
Apparently it’s not time to enter the prison yet. T-Dog shares a plan to dig a canal under the fence so they can have plenty of fresh water. He really should just head for the coast like he planned. He doesn't have an "ally" in this buddy system. Everyone else has someone to pair up with. Hershel, the farmer, is looking more and more like a crazy mystic preacher. (Or maybe just Dumbledore?) He wants to plant some seeds and grow a garden. Don’t count your chickens quite yet, man... Beth gets overly optimistic, telling Lori this will be a great place to have the baby. Yeah. Except for the part about having no OB/GYN or facilities. Hershel being a vet is not quite the same. But at least Beth has a pretty singing voice. Shades of Amy from Season 1...
CAROL + DARYL = ROMANCE? NOOO!
Do you see them as a couple? It’s just … they always seemed to have a warm, caretaker relationship but not romantic. Still, she brings him food and he jokes about “Little Shane” having quite the appetite. Snap! They debate the merits of Rick vs. Shane as leaders. Carol has shoulder issues from lack of rifle use, so Daryl massages her arm and she jokes that it’s pretty romantic out there. “Screw around?” She has good taste in men, but… no. Maybe Daryl and Andrea would’ve made sense, but don’t make these two be a real couple, please?
RICK WANTS TO DIG FOR GOLD, LORI WANTS TO PATRONIZE
Rick makes a speech — his favorite pastime! — about how this was a great “win” but they have to push just a little bit more. (There’s a big homecoming game coming up...) “This place could be a goldmine,” Rick says. They could have major supplies inside. He noted that most of the walkers had uniforms like guards. “These a--holes don’t stand a chance,” he said to Carl. So the father/son dynamic has shifted quite a bit from parental concern to an almost peer respect. Lori does her favorite thing, which is to approach Rick and start a sentence with “I appreciate everything you’re doing, and we all do...” followed by words to the exact opposite effect. She said everyone is exhausted, can’t they just rest for a little while? They both want a way for everyone to be able to get comfortable somewhere. What does she think he’s doing? “Your absolutely best,” Lori says. And just as we’re thinking “how patronizing,” Rick says, “Don’t patronize me.” Good! Keep standing up to her. Pregnant or not, she needs to chill.
LOOK, IT’S MICHONNE!
In her first scene since she saved Andrea with her two armless “pets” on the Season 2 finale, we see Michonne (Danai Gurira) enter a general store, inhabited by a couple of walkers. She uses her katana to do some slicing, then picks up some aspirin. That’s it! No shots even of Andrea yet.
The opening house and prison yard kills were just a warmup to the massive zombie massacre inside the prison. This time, lovebirds Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Glenn (Steven Yeun) join the guys inside as others — like Carol, Lori and Hershel — try to distract the walkers from the outside. It’s great to see Maggie unleash, since this is the girl we met on Season 2 when she rode onto the scene on horseback and beat a zombie down with a baseball bat. She has a great knife neck kill — and even she knows it’s good, turning to Glenn with “Did you see that?” They spot a civilian killed outside, so it’s not just guards and prisoners. Inside the prison, it’s dark, natch, but they don’t immediately come upon walkers. They settle in. Glenn checks Maggie for scratches (the good kind of romance!), Carl may have a crush on Beth, and for some reason Carol gets stuck babysitting pregnant Lori. Rick seems to be feeling the weight of the Ricktatorship at this point. He always was pretty intensely earnest and it may be catching up to him.
ANDREA IS ALIVE … BUT BARELY
Michonne heads into a deer cooler, where she’s keeping her two armless pets. It’s also where Andrea is staying — that’s who the aspirin was for. Michonne is taking care of our girl, who is hurting and seems to have quite a fever. The others should’ve gone back for Andrea, but she can tell them off later. Andrea wants Michonne to leave because they (walkers, apparently) are coming. Michonne won’t leave. Andrea said she saved Michonne’s ass all winter, which is another hint to the time that’s elapsed. “If we stay, I’ll die here,” Andrea says. So they leave. Womance in action!
LORI THINKS SHE LOST THE BABY
Uh oh. Or thank heaven? Would you want to bring a baby into this? But Lori said if they are all infected, so is the baby. What if it’s a little zombie baby and rips her apart like the Alien baby? How wicked would that be? Lori said if she and the baby become walkers, they should be put down. Don’t hesitate. (Is that some foreshadowing?) Lori thinks it might’ve been better if she’d never made it off the farm. “My son can’t stand me,” Lori said, “and my husband, after what I put him through.” Don’t forget most of the fans, Lori. But still. Rick is the one who
shot stabbed Shane, not Lori. Hershel has to remind Lori the baby doesn’t care about all that.
THEY GOT HERSHEL!
Hershel was with the group trying to clear another section of the prison, and an undead walker bit him in the leg. Mean! So he won’t be planting those seeds. Rick bloodily chops off his leg, so it’s possible he’ll somehow make it. On top of that, there are some humans already living in this prison! We may get to see them next week (or later in the season?), when we also meet the Governor ... and eventually check out that chopper.
What did you think of the premiere? Enough action for you? Worried for Lori? More worried for Andrea? Most worried for Hershel? Impressed by Carol’s newfound confidence and flirtation skills?
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