It’s a TV sort of day today at acslater.com, but that wouldn’t be complete without mentioning that “The Walking Dead” starts it’s third season tonight, a season that is sure to be its best. If you’ve read the comic books then you kind of know what we’re in for with the prison, the governor, woodbury and Michonne, it’s going to be a good one. We’ll be back later with a full recap of the episode, as always, so make sure to join the discussion in the comments.
With the world growing increasingly more dangerous and Lori’s pregnancy advancing, Rick discovers a potentially safe haven. But first he must secure the premises, pushing his group to its limit.
Some time has passed since we last saw the zombie-killing Brady Bunch. Winter has come and gone and despite not having found a permanent place to setup camp, they managed to survive, albiet a bit hungry and worn down. I thought it was really cool how, for the first 5 minutes of the episode no one said a word. As the group scavenged an abandoned house for food and shelter, they all seemed to understand one another and didn’t need to speak in order to get things done. We are also shown that Carl has grown since we last seen him, not really physically, but in the sense that he is now trusted with a gun and able to go off on his own and help out the rest of the group. It’s nice to know that we won’t just be focusing on him getting lost or getting into trouble (not to mention getting people killed; Poor Dale).
The group is at the end of their ropes. Laurie is ready to expel a baby at any moment and the moving from place to place isn’t helping. They need a place to settle down. Even though we were able to see the prison far off in the distance at the end of last season, the group wasn’t able to find it while they survived the winter. But now that they have, it’s time to clean it up and make it a home. I love the fact that we wasted no time getting the group into the prison. I was worried that it was going to be another “Sophia” storyline, where we spend 6 episodes walking around the woods looking for something they don’t know exists, until one day they just happen to stumble upon it. It was a nice change of pace from the first half of last season, to actually find the prison and make our way inside within the first hour of the show. It shows that the writers are listening to the audience and giving us what we want, and that’s definitely a good thing.
In order to make the prison inhabitable, the group needs to clear out the the walkers. There are a couple dozen of them roaming through the yard, with a handful more lurking at the gates going into the actual cell blocks. After the rest of the group creates a distraction, Rick makes his way to the gate into the cell blocks and closes it off so they can focus on clearing the yard first. The first part of their plan goes off without a hitch; the walkers are pretty easy to pick off through the fence as Rick handles any stragglers that come his way. Once the gate is locked the rest of the group makes their way in for a nice bonfire and sing-along, but of course Rick isn’t satisfied.
Lori suggests that Rick just give the group a couple days to relax in the yard before attempting to clear out the inside of the prison, but Rick is adamant that they need to move forward. The next day Rick and the guys, plus Maggie, minus Carl, make their way into the entrance to the cell blocks and start picking off the walkers. They manage to clear all of them out of the front area and make their way into the cell block where they find a completely secure area where they can lay their heads. It’s perfect… for now.
The next day Rick takes his group of zombie-killers further into the prison as they try to find guns, food, medicine, as well as make it a safe place to live. This is, of course, where things go bad. The group gets separated when they run into a herd of zombies around a corner. Maggie and Glenn duck into a room while Rick, Hershel, T-Dog and Daryl duck down behind a wall until some of the zombies clear. Hershel is obviously a moron and should have been smarter, but of course he can’t let Maggie go and has to run out and immediately start looking for her with no regard for the fact that you never know if that zombie laying against the wall is dead or not. Well this one turned out not to be… and it takes a huge chunk out of Hershel’s calf. The group drags him into what appears to be the prison cafeteria and Rick makes a decision, the let needs to come off if Hershel is to have any chance at survival.
They obviously don’t know how the virus spreads or if hacking off Hershel’s leg will even prevent it, but there is no time to hesitate. Rick ties his belt around Hershel’s thigh and starts hacking away at his shin. Hershel clearly passes out from the pain as the leg bloody falls off the rest of his body, at which point Daryl feels someone looking at him. He turns his crossbow towards the kitchen of the cafeteria to see a group of survivors peering back with a look of shock as they just witnessed Rick hack off Hershel’s leg… the end.
What a solid season opener for The Walking Dead. Like I said, I’m glad they got right to the prison and didn’t waste time walking around the woods like lost puppies. The prison is obviously going to be the main setting for the rest of the season, but with the Governor storyline and Woodbury coming into play as well, I don’t think things will get stagnant. I also forgot to mention that we did see Andrea and Michonne in a few scenes as well. They survived the winter together, but Andrea has fallen ill and the walkers are starting to learn of their location in the back of an abandoned business. They obviously can’t stay there any longer, but Andrea isn’t doing so well, which, I have a feeling, is going to be what leads them to Woodbury and the Governor.
I can’t believe we have to wait another week for a new episode, but I’m glad this season started off with a bang. As much as I love Frank Darabont and loved what he did with the first season, there’s no doubt that the show is much more action packed without him. I think he just wasn’t used to the TV format, but that’s not to say that he couldn’t direct the shit out of a Walking Dead movie.
So what did you guys think of the premiere?