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The Walking Dead - Seed (2012) S03E01: TV Recap

Updated on May 9, 2013
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For the uninitiated, The Walking Dead is an adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s comic book of the same name. In the first season, we meet Rick Grimes, a police officer who falls into a coma and awakens to find the world overrun by zombies. Through the madness, he is able to find his best friend Shane, his wife Lori, and his son Carl, who had banded together with a few other survivors. The group makes their way to the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, only to learn that there is no cure ready to combat all the walkers, and no help to be expected in the future. In the second season, Rick’s group discovers another party of the living, led by kindly farmer Herschel, maintaining a relatively safe life on a farm. Upon learning that his wife is pregnant, Rick hopes to make the farm their permanent home. However, during an altercation that forced him to kill Shane, an enormous herd of walkers overruns their refuge. In the confusion, Andrea is separated from the group, but is saved from certain death by a mysterious woman. The rest of Rick’s and Herschel’s people who made it out alive are now on the move, looking for food, shelter, and protection. This is no democracy, though; a hardened Rick is calling the shots.

In the season three premiere, Rick, Carl, and others are clearing an abandoned house of walkers, and searching for any supplies that could be useful. Lori is very pregnant, looking like she could pop at any time. Herschel is visibly older, looking haggard and lean. Carl is carrying a handgun with a silencer, obviously more grown up than the last time we saw him. He finds a couple cans of dog food and opens one up, though there are no dogs around. These people have seen a lot of bad things and done worse to stay alive, so no one says anything about it at first. Being willing to eat dog food shows how hungry they are and how bleak their outlook is. Rick takes the can from Carl and throws is aside, though, unwilling to admit that they are in such dire need. As more walkers approach the area, the group hops into their vehicles and peels out. This house is nothing more than a rest stop, not somewhere they can even bed down for the night.

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes

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Rick and the others stare at a map to decide where to go next, but it’s a hard decision to make. Herds of walkers block off any areas they haven’t already picked over for supplies. Luckily, Daryl, who is handy with a crossbow, and Rick decide to head into the woods for a quick hunting trip. In the distance could be the answer to all their problems: a prison! Though the prison is full of walkers, it could be the perfect place to establish a new life. Once they clear out the main yard, some survivors have cause for optimism. T-Dog plans to get fresh water. Herschel thinks about planting a garden. Beth tells Lori that this will be a safe place to have the baby. If they can get inside, there’s potentially food, weapons, beds, medicine, even an infirmary. Unfortunately, they have used up so much ammo, they are going to have to do most of the dirty work up close and personal.

As they open the gate and enter the next level of the prison in phalanx formation, the group encounters former guards, prisoners, and civilians alike. Most of them are easily taken down with knives, machetes, and a fireplace poker, until the riot-gear walkers show up. Zombies don’t stop coming after you until you destroy the head, so it poses a bit of a problem when you can’t crossbow, chop, or bludgeon through the helmets. Maggie is super-excited when she finally figures it out. Pop the walker up under his faceguard, and you are good to go. “See that!” she exclaims, with the widest grin she’s displayed in the series. The others soon follow suit and take care of the well-protected walkers. Rick faces down one that’s wearing a gas mask. As he removes the hardware protecting the vulnerable zombie bits, the walker’s entire face slides off with the mask. Perfect! Now Rick can easily stab him in the eye and brain. I’m pretty sure if I were in the same situation, I would not have the strength to cleave someone’s head clean in half with a one-handed swing of a machete, but these people have no problem driving any type of object through the monsters’ skulls. Maybe along with zombie-ism, they are contracting severe osteoporosis as well?

Michonne is a fan-favorite from the comics, a badass, katana-wielding, African-American woman who drags two armless, jawless (and therefore harmless) walkers in chains behind her everywhere she goes. When she slices heads in half with her sword, I believe it. Her appearance in the season two finale stirred up much excitement for her appearance in season three. In this episode, we only get two short peeks at what she is up to. First, she looks for aspirin. Of course, she awesomely hacks up some walkers who get in her way, because, as I mentioned, she is a badass. Later, she gives the aspirin to Andrea, whom she rescued at the end of last season. Apparently the two have stayed together for the past few months, but Andrea is looking sick, and the area is becoming more and more infested. Michonne wants to wait a few days to move, probably to give Andrea time to get better. Andrea knows, however, that if she doesn’t leave now, she will be too weak to move later, so the pair (plus Michonne’s pair of pets) leaves the Sportsman’s Deer Cooler in search of a better location.

Once Rick’s group clears out some of the prison cells, everyone gets to pick out a room. Lori starts to freak out, though, because she starts thinking about the reality of giving birth outside a modern hospital. If she dies in childbirth, she might turn into a walker and start attacking the baby, or her husband, or son. She’s also concerned that the baby, who hasn’t been kicking much lately, might be stillborn. In that case, wouldn’t the baby turn into a walker fetus and rip Lori apart from the inside in an Alien-esque escape? One can only hope! But really, how would the zombie baby do that? It wouldn’t have any teeth. Could a baby walker gum someone to death? Its bites wouldn’t have nearly the flesh-tearing power of an adult, but I still wouldn’t recommend nursing it. Maybe bottle-feeding the zombaby is the way to go.

As Rick leads most of the able-bodied adults on an excursion deeper into the prison, the group runs into another pocket of walkers. Glen and Maggie get separated in the rush to retreat, and Herschel panics trying to find his daughter. He is so caught up with her safety that he doesn’t notice the walker on the ground that’s not completely incapacitated. Rick and Glen pick up the badly injured old-timer and drag him into a cafeteria. Walker bites are usually death sentences, but Rick has a plan: he uses his belt as a tourniquet, and starts hacking off Herschel’s leg. This might or might not work, but at least it’s violent, and a great way to introduce the group to new friends. Once Herschel’s got nothing but a stump left and is in danger of bleeding out, Daryl turns to find a crowd of faces staring at them from the kitchen. These aren’t walkers, though: they are live prisoners!

This was an action-packed start to season three. Season two of The Walking Dead was plodding in many episodes. Except for a midseason episode that revealed the fate of Carol’s daughter and the final two episodes featuring Dale’s death, the showdown with Shane, and the subsequent escape from the farm, many episodes were too similar, too meandering, too directionless. Rick and Shane and Herschel were butting heads about staying on the farm over and over again, and that was about it. Season three is starting out with the same excitement and drama as last season ended with. Hopefully, now there is enough going on (taking over the prison, Lori’s pregnancy, the tension between Lori and Rick, Michonne and Andrea’s fate, and the Governor from the previews) to fuel this level of energy though the full season.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9pm Eastern on AMC. Seed originally aired on 10/14/12.

Season 3 Preview!

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