Yes, there will be SPOILERS in this article. If you have not watched “Seed,” DON’T READ THIS. Unless you don’t care about spoilers. If you don’t care about spoilers, then read on, MacDuff!
How stupid is it to take the only doctor into a dark, twisty, walker-infested cell block for reconnaissance purposes? Amazingly, blindingly stupid. And if the characters on last night’s The Walking Dead had just listened to me as I screamed at the television, they would have known that.
But, I’ll get to that later. Let’s start from the top!
The season three opener, “Seed,” started by showing us how much our intrepid band of survivors have grown. They spent the fall and winter running from the herd of walkers and are now a well-oiled machine with nary a squeak of back-talk. Last season ended with Rick’s declaration that he was no longer leading a democracy, and that they could take it or get the heck outta Dodge, thankyouverymuch. Unsurprisingly, everyone left decided to abide Rick’s leadership.
They move from house to house, now, scavenging for supplies, putting down walkers, and getting out just ahead of the herd…or at least smaller bands of walkers.
Was it just me, or was anyone else out there happy to see Carl taking point on a house scavenging expedition? Not because I want them to treat him like an adult, you understand. And not because I think he deserves it. No, I want Carl involved because then there’s a greater chance of the little punk getting eaten. Eat up, walkers; he won’t be missed!
So, this life of constant travel and foraging is rather wearing, as you can imagine, specifically on Lori, who is now enormously pregnant. I’m talking the turkey timer has popped and you can see her belly button through her shirt pregnant. More steady and defensible diggs are definitely a priority.
Lo and behold, Rick and Daryl stumble upon a prison (THE PRISON), and the group decides this could be a good site to dig in for a while. They embark on clearing the fenced-in yard of walkers, and we see that members who hadn’t really been pulling their weight previously in the walker killing department have stepped up their game. (I’m looking at you, Carol and Beth). I mean, Carol almost shoots Rick, but accidents happen, right? Sheeeeeeesh. Give that woman a stick and let her poke them through the fence like the other non-effectuals. I thought this was actually a pretty good strategy, really. I mean, you’re on one side of the fence, the walker is on the other, you’ve got a sharp pointy thing, and you stab them! Seems logical to me!
That night, Rick informs them that they need to get inside the prison. Before Rick’s pronouncement, the scene is a much needed downgrade in action. The group is gathered around a campfire, and you can tell they’re all trying to pretend everything’s okay, and it’s safe. Hershel even asks Beth to sing a song. She does, and Maggie joins in, completing the sense that they’re all just on a camping trip…if you can mistake walker shuffling and moaning for coyotes and other wildlife.
Rick’s argument makes sense: If the outbreak caught the prison population early, there could still be much-needed supplies inside. The weary walker-stalkers eventually agree, and the next morning Rick, Daryl, T-Dog (who doesn’t get a real name), Glenn, and Maggie head in.
Now, let’s kick it over to Andrea. (This is not how the show flowed, but I’m infusing a sense of suspense! Can you feel it? SUSPENSE!)
At the end of last season, Andrea was rescued from walkerizing by katana-wielding Michonne. Michonne’s pretty sweet; she whips her blade around like she actually knows how to use it! How refreshing! Andrea has been all Laverne and Shirley with Michonne throughout the winter. But, now, Andrea is ill and Michonne shows off her skillz and super sharp katana on an aspirin run. Andrea’s sure she’s had it and is about to kick the bucket; she’s so sick. And she looks sweaty and pale, so, obviously, she’s on death’s door.
After Michonne gives Andrea the medication, Andrea declares that Michonne must leave her. The sick woman would only slow Michonne down. But, that’s not going to happen, right? This is television, and Andrea’s an interesting character. So, Michonne loads up her pack-walkers (Yeah, that’s right. Michonne has pet walkers on chains! They don’t have arms or jaws, so they’ve effectively been neutered. But, she totally uses them as pack animals, making them carry supplies, bed rolls, and the like. Nice.), and the pair set out to presumably keep ahead of THE herd of walkers or another group of the nasties.
We didn’t get very long with the two women, but it was enough to check in, allow us to see Andrea’s still alive, and underscore how awesome Michonne is.
Now, back to THE PRISON!
Rick, Daryl, T-Dog, Glenn, and Maggie made quick work of the inner prison yard, clearing the way and introducing some new looking walkers to the viewing audience. These new guys really made an impression on me because they were dressed in riot gear, and some were in gas masks. The show seemed to want to emphasize them, too, judging by the close-ups and near misses. The few in gas masks were particularly scary. Eeeeee!
There were a few walkers in civilian garb, introducing the idea that some others may have made it to the prison before our group. We’ll see about that in coming episodes, I’m sure.
They closed off another part of the inner yard that had a bunch of walkers and entered the prison itself. Strangely, there were no walkers to greet them. I know this was done on purpose to instill that all important and often false sense of security for the group.
They came upon an empty cell block, dispatched two walkers still in cells and secured the area. The rest of the group came in and set about choosing cells for the night.
Daryl declared he wasn’t “sleeping in no cage,” and bedded down on an upper walk way. Personally, I would have been more than glad to sleep in a cage! Bars! Security! Daryl doesn’t need those, though. He’s Daryl. He’s got a crossbow.
The next day, Lori decides that she hasn’t gotten enough screen time, and summons Hershel to hear her complain. She’s worried (understandably) about the baby. Is it dead? She hasn’t felt it move. What if it’s already turned inside her? At the end of last season, the group learned that everyone carries the “virus” (for lack of a better term) inside them. So, will it tear her apart? If she dies during birth, Lori wants Hershel to “put her down.” (Sounds good to me.) And then, there’s Rick! He hates her, Lori just knows it! WAAAH!
Shut up, Lori.
Hershel has better bedside manner than I do, however, and calms her down.
Soon, Rick leads a group farther into the prison in search of supplies and the hope that the commissary and maybe the infirmary might be untouched. And who knows? Maybe they’ll find more ammo, too.
And who goes with Rick? Let me tell you: basically all the dudes and Maggie. So, our merry band is Rick, T-Dog, Glenn, Daryl, Maggie, and Hershel.
What’s that you say? Hershel went along into a dark, twisty, scary walker-infested section of prison that hasn’t seen the light of day in who knows how long? Hershel? The group’s DOCTOR? (Yes, he was a veterinarian, but come on! That totally counts in a zombie apocalypse!)
I yelled at the screen as I saw the group file out of Cell Block C. And, no, they didn’t even talk about who was going, or how it was decided who was going. Rick just told Carl to stay behind because he’d be the only “man” left if they all got killed, and could he look after every one? Carl decided that was a worthy cause, and didn’t balk at his father’s insistence. FOR ONCE. And this could have been our chance to free ourselves of Carl! ARGH!
Flashlights lighting the way, the explorers crept down hallways littered with half-chewed bodies and grisly cheap scares. Yes, they were cheap; I jumped a lot. Glenn was spraypainting arrows on the wall to show them the way back, which I thought was an excellent idea. Kudos, Glenn!
Finally, they rounded the wrong corner and came face to face with lots-o-walkers in jail garb and prison wear. EVERYBODY RUN!
Maggie and Glenn somehow got separated from the rest and ducked into a storage closet of some kind. Rick, T-Dog, Daryl, and Hershel found a place to hide, too, and waited until the coast was clear before venturing back out into the hallway. Hershel, being the dutiful father that he is, started rasping out a hushed “Maggie?’ As he stepped over a body, it OF COURSE, came alive and bit his leg.
SCREAMS! I yelled, Hershel yelled and the walkers heard both of us, because here they came! Nom, nom, nom! The guys scooped up Hershel and high-tailed it down the hall where they found a locked door. After breaking the lock, they rushed inside, blocked said door, and turned their attention to the IDIOT doctor.
Rick, quick on his feet and thankfully handy with a hatchet, CHOPPED OFF HERSHEL’S LEG in an effort to keep walkerizing from spreading and the doctor from turning. EEEEEEEEEEEEW. And awesome.
Hershel passed out, and then he started bleeding out (Tourniquet be darned! His leg was just chopped off!). In the midst of trying to decide what to do, some movement drew everyone’s attention to a fenced off area that I’m going to assume is a kitchen area. The room they were in kinda looked like it could be a cafeteria of sorts. There were bodies, and they were moving. BUT, they weren’t walkers! After an exclamation from one of the guys behind the fence, the screen went dark and the episode was over.
OVER? I swear this was a FAST hour of television.
So, just to sum up: The group is at the prison, Hershel got his leg chopped off, and there are more survivors in said prison. Hijinks will ensue. Andrea is still with Michonne, and judging from next week’s preview, it looks like they’re about to run into the Governor.
Overall, I really liked the season opener. The action was well-paced, and the needful stupidity was sufficiently dramatic (WHY DID THEY TAKE THE DOCTOR?!).
What did you think? Was this first episode enough to keep you coming back?