The Walking Dead's Season 3 Premiere: Our Kind of Zombie Apocalypse

The Walking Dead S03E01: "Seed"

Okay. That was badass.

The tonal shift in The Walking Dead marked by the takeover of current showrunner Glenn Mazzara is one of the best turnarounds of a television series as far as I can remember, which goes back at least to last Saturday. Mazzara came on board halfway through Season 2 and turned what was a lumbering character-driven drama with bad characters into an action-packed slaughterfest of survival with okay characters. If it weren't for Mazzara paring the show down to its essentials, we might still be on the farm arguing over who gets to sleep in which tent. But the ghost of Frank Darabont still haunted The Walking Dead at the end of Season 2 with characters that were more annoying and inconsistent than heroic and smart (though there were improvements, mostly because it's hard to be annoying when a horde of zombies is footsteps away from ripping a character's flesh from his face). Good action results in selective temporary amnesia when it comes to flaws, and the picked-up pace of Season 2's second half mostly wiped our memories of the bickering and jealousy that held earlier episodes back. The thrills were cheap, but they worked.

But "Seed," The Walking Dead's Season 3 premiere, was undeniably Mazzara driving the train all by himself. Mazzara understands the essence of the comics this series is based on a lot better than Darabont did, and the Season 3 prison storyline—the best arc from the early issues of the comics—is perfectly matched for Mazzara's shoot-first mentality. More importantly, Mazzara understands what fans want out of the TV adaptation, and "Seed" gave me everything I've wanted. I loved this episode so much I scratched our initials into a tree.

The last we saw the group, Rick was giving his "Well there's the door..." speech when the survivors questioned his methods. This was his group now. As Season 3 began, The Walking Dead made great use of a time jump forward, and guess how many people from the group are still there: all of them. I'm not totally sure how long the jump was, but using the Pregnant Lori Waistline Test, I'd say about 7 months, and it appeared as though it was an uneventful winter and spring. No one we know got eaten, everyone's limbs were still attached to their bodies, and everyone was even wearing the same clothes. Hershel has even gone alt-folk with a bushier beard. I'd say RICKTATORSHIP SUCCESSFUL.

The pre-credit sequence in "Seed" brilliantly updated us on what happened during the off season with ZERO DIALOGUE (how cool was that?). Rick somehow whipped this group of adulterers, pizza-delivery boys, and whatever it was that T-Dog did before the plague into the Voltron of zombie murderers, everyone working together in SWAT-like fashion to increase headshot/headcrush efficiency. These aren't the timid survivors from past seasons. They're clearing rooms, skewering undead brains, and communicating with nods and whistles like hardened veterans of the zombie apocalypse. But as desperate as they were, Rick wasn't about to let them stoop to eating like hobos or former child actors, taking a can of dog food out of Carl's hand and chucking it against the wall as if to say, "Carl, you idiot, you aren't a dog." Retaining humanity is just as important to Rick as keeping everyone alive. Besides, that was generic dog chow! Again, that was all communicated without a single word. Next time I see Mazzara, I'm buying him a drink for that silent opening. He absolutely killed it.

The opening also told us that compared to the comforts of the barn, life on the road sucks. They're nomads now, picking up almost as soon as they put down because zombies constantly want to crash their pad. It's important to understand that state of mind, because it makes their desire to move into the prison for some security so believable. Rick's right: Aside from the hundreds of undead roaming around it (piece of cake for the Zombie Death Squad), the prison is perfect! If it was designed to keep things from escaping, it's probably pretty easy to tweak the place into something that's good at keeping things out.

The plan to get into the prison introduces another drastic improvement over Season 2 (and obvs over Season 1). There WAS a plan. Panicky zombie attacks make for good television, but planned assaults on the braindead meatbags make for great television! All too often in previous seasons, the fight came to the humans as the zombies were the aggressors. Tonight, we saw Rick reclaiming the top of the food chain and taking the fight to the monsters. It was a completely different atmosphere, and by completely different, I mean completely badass. This is the kind of zombie apocalypse I always imagine myself in when I imagine myself in a zombie apocalypse (which is all the time). Did you see everyone laughing and smiling and having a gay old time while blasting away zombies? I want to be part of that. That looked FUN. Even Carol had a blast (another great improvement? Carol's attitude).

And most of the plan made sense! I probably would have spent more time stabbing zombies through the fence until my arms got tired to chip away at the size of the zombie horde, but guess who doesn't want to watch that on television? Pretty much everyone. So aside from that, cordoning off a section of the prison yard for safety was logical and totally within the group's capabilities. It's rare that people in horror movies don't act stupid, and I had a hard time finding people to put dunce caps on in "Seed."

If there was one questionable move, it happened during the clearing of the prison interior. Anyone who's cleared a dungeon in Skyrim or Dungeon or countless other video games knows that interior spaces require a completely different strategy than outdoor spaces. Rick and the gang got the outdoor killing down right, but they took that same tactic inside in the prison, which was odd since the episode began with them using the correct tactic on a house. I'm getting way too technical here (this is just a TV show, after all), but moving along dark tunnels in a big group isn't the way to do it, and that's why they got separated. Corridors have to be covered, the path back to safety has to be secured, and every possible option has to be checked before venturing too deep. The worst thing you can do is bunch up your group so that you get stuck with only a few options. Dungeon-clearing 101! This is what I think about when I watch this show! They left too much space behind them, and that's why they got ambushed. If you're getting ambushed by zombies, you're doing something wrong.

But their bumbling around and frenzied escape further into the bowels of the prison meant bad news for Hershel, who got his leg chomped on by a zombie who broke the first rule of being a zombie by playing possum and just laying there until someone came close. Overall I was impressed by the lack of horror-movie tropes in the premiere, but that was standard Syfy Original Movie plotting right there. Zombies, please make a decision: Do you sometimes catch some Zs and chill out or are you always alert to human smells and sounds?

Quick detour: "Seed" gave us our first taste of real divergent storytelling on The Walking Dead since before Rick joined up with Shane and Lori's group. The winter wasn't as kind to Michonne and Andrea, particularly the latter, who has a bad case of the sniffles. However, if you're going to be sick, you could have a worse protector than the twirling blade of Michonne. You're in good hands, Andrea. I'm sure everything will be fine.

But the real shocker came at the end of the episode, when Rick hacked off Hershel's leg below the knee in an effort to save his life. Why not go above the knee just to be sure while you're down there? I liked Rick's proactive move; the show can't afford to drag out such decisions now that we're zombie apocalypse veterans. If you get bit by a zombie, expect to lose that limb. But the real, real shocker was the discovery of some very-much-alive prisoners still camping out in the prison. And that brings up another dilemma: How much should Rick trust these convicts? Does the zombie apocalypse turn everyone into innocent civilians? A lot of this season will continue to explore the most dangerous threat to the survivors: other survivors.

"Seed" was more of an announcement of The Walking Dead's return and a pace-setter than a real step forward in plot. But it's exactly what I wanted out of the show's return. We'll get to real story next week. It's hard to believe this is the same show that was once such a disappointment.



BLOOD-SMEARED HANDPRINTS ON THE WALL

– I tried to keep track of the zombie kill count in this one and came up with 65 zombie kills. And one owl. That's a LOT.

– Whoever came up with the idea of zombies in body armor deserves a promotion (this has been done in video games plenty of times before, but I still squealed when they stepped out). And the face peeling off the zombie when Rick took its mask off was probably the greatest thing you'll see on television all year.

– Personally, I think Daryl should give Carol what she wants. Why not? And Carl and Beth? Why not! Go get 'em, kiddo! Operation Earth Re-population is in effect.

– Reverse flashlight gun silencer? Badass!

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I'm suddenly reminded of the napping zombies in The River. And now that the show's had its token remembrance, it can drift back off to the quiet corner of hell it's destined to inhabit for the rest of TV history.
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This is a good review but you missed mentioning a couple of big story lines (at least they are IMO) - 1) the tension between Lori and Rick & Carl and 2) the fact that Lori could potentially be carrying a zombie baby.

I guess we'll find out more today about whether or not Hershel will survive, but if he does will he be in any shape to deliver a baby, which is clearly coming any day now.

P.S. Lori's pregnant belly button is disgusting.
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O, and... The Wailin' Jennys FTW!!!
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The silent cold open was GENIUS. High fives to Glen Mazzara.

I was IMPRESSED with how different of a tone this show had than the opening of last season. Pacing is ten times better and there are even a few funny scenes... yes I think Carol and Daryl should just get it on as well:P

I cannot wait to see what happens in the next episode, this episode really stepped up its game.
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I really didn't like this episode mostly because of some details. It seems I am alone in this one. Whiney cowards that had more than enough time to adapt before in season 1 - were crying babies for an entire season on the farm - and now are badass snipers and gladiators? No. And the crossbow infinite ammo? How come it took so long to get inside the prison, since they saw the opportunity in the last season finale? If everyone is infected why chop off Hershell's leg?
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To your last question: If I was the writer on Talking Dead, I'd say, "It is true they are all already infected, so the bite does not transmit the virus, it kills you, and then at the onset of death you turn into a zombie." Something like that.
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Still hoping for Lori and Carl to die. They remain infuriating even with minimal lines and screen time. Lori is STILL questioning every decision Rick makes. Also, have the survivors never seen a helmet before? They looked in awe as Maggie realised you can't go through the helmet you have to go up and under.
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It's a bit strange he cut off the old mans leg, since they already know everybody is infected and you only become a zombie when you die.

A hot knife on the wound to close and clean it, would have made more sense.

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No, the wound will kill you, even if it is cleaned. Rick's way is the only way.
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I would complain about your overuse of the word "badass"...except the word is appropriate! This show IS badass!
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This was definitely an awesome start to the new season. If this is what changing showrunners does then Revolution could use a new one post-haste. Though to be fair, season one was great, and season two ran hot and cold.



A couple of physics and logic failures jumped out at me though:



-The ridiculous accuracy of handguns from last season's finale is back again. No way you're making a headshot on even a slowly moving target from more then 20 feet away with a handgun.



-The slides on the semi-automatic handguns didn't cycle when they fired. Which means they cheaped out, using dummy weapons and CGI'ing in the muzzle flashes rather then using proper blank firing guns.



-Zombie clearing: They did it right in the house in the beginning and in the courtyard but then completely failed inside the prison. You come across a body in a zombie apocalypse, you give it a good whack in the head for good measure, even if it's not moving.



-Exactly how much non-perishable food does a prison stock anyway? Those prisoners have been in there for nearly a year. I suppose if the prison stocks a month's worth of food for say 300 prisoners, and most of the prisoners went zombie just after the food delivery, there'd be enough food for a dozen guys for a year. But how much of that would be non-perishable enough to last a year? Either way, it's gotta be getting close to running out.
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TVP: Textured Vegetable Protein, is one of the main ingredients in school lunches, prison food, long-term storable foods, and MREs.
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The only thing I couldn't stand and actually made me scoff at one point was when Carl was pulling off headshots on the undead from a watchtower across the prison yard. Not with that 9mm, buddy
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How did the guys in armor get infected anyway? Were they were bitten(through armor) or did they died starving in the suit? Any theories?
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Either are plausible. It's also possible that there was a riot and they died in the ensuing skirmish. Anyone who would have gotten trampled in a panicked escape attempt would have also turned, so there are plenty of ways those guys could have died. I think it's less likely that they starved though since they were in the same area as the convicts. The only ones I think could have died from starvation are the the ones they find inside the various towers. They would have been safe from the zombies, but trapped.
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I agree. Finally the show is becoming what it's supposed to be. It was absolutely painful to

get through the first two thirds of season 2, with their constant bickering and getting nowhere.



But the season two finale and this season three opener, was the show at it's absolute best!



Only major peeve here was Hershel's downfall, as you yourself described. That was just the

worst example of 'bad-blocking-neccessary-to-move-story-along' ever seen on screen.

- Why would he just break away from the group without calling out? They were right there!

- Why would he choose to walk directly towards a zombie, in a completely empty hallway?

- Why would he choose to try stride over the zombie instead of walking around it?

- Why would he place his foot in between the arms and legs of the zombie?

- And why the Hell would a zombie suddenly play possum, while all this happened?



That was the single most stupid scene filmed, just to get to the necessary result.

And it would have been so easy to block it more realistic and believable. Brainfart?

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Hey Tim, why does Carl hate Lori now as she mentioned when she was talking to Herschel in the jail? I don't rememer anything from last year about that? Or is it just that he knows she fooled around with Shane?
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Or maybe its just Lori isn't a very likable person. Hate Her!
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It might just be that he idolizes his dad, senses some hostility between the two and is taking sides? Plus, Rick's the fun parent right now since he's letting him shoot and help the group whereas Lori was probably against it? Or, as you said, he suspects Lori was Team Jerk-that-Tried-to-Kill-my-Daddy? Or maybe he's being a 12 year old boy. Who can say?
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"And the face peeling off the zombie when Rick took its mask off was probably the greatest thing you'll see on television all year." This is probably true but i will always give Greg Nicotero the chance to top himself, that guy is a Special Effects Make Up badass!
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Anyone who says this so was "such a disappointment" even in its early goings has got to be a few crayons short of a few box. As a fan of the comic the tv show does exactly what it should, be a companion piece (alternate universe) of the same story in live action. As with any adaptation from written to film there is some issues to address. But its not like its got the budget of blockbuster movie. Part of said budget on such features is about trial an error aka lots of shots for the editing bay. Something highly doubtful The Walking Dead has with measly budget AMC gives the show.



P.S Carl Is the most badass Kid in any Post Apocalyptic thing ever!! Just read the comic, Lol.
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isnt beth like 30 or so though ? :p and how come he wouldnt get infected by chopping his leg off with an axe that had been used to kill zombies ? that didn't make sense at all
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The axe was clean. It was kept in bag, quite possibly for the express purpose of amputations in case something like that happens. Someone else postulated that it's been several months since the farm, so it's possible they came up with a contingency plan in case someone gets bitten?
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They must have gotten zombie blood splattered into their mouths many times before. I guess blood doesn't give them any new infections, while saliva or something else on zombie teeth cause an infection that they'll die from.
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And how about Carl's little crush? Awwwwww! :-)
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" Reverse flashlight gun silencer? Badass! "



Oh! So that's what it was!
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I really liked it, but inconsistent zombie behavior drives me nuts. Not just the Herschel biter, either. Every time we've seen our survivors around zombies and a chain-link fence, they've been trying to beat the fences down to get to them. But not while their having owl for dinner around the campfire. Or when they were about to head to the inner courtyard. They should have just been able to pick those zombies off one by one from behind the fence, but I guess that doesn't make for very good television.
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Also, they aren't supposed to be fast, and it looked like they were running, and one banged on the car as they drove off in the opening scene.
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But yes the Prison arc is a healthy change of pace and setting, if not what appears to be one of the major highlights of the comics overall. But THAT is why the pace, I feel, is picking up, had Darabond stayed, would they really still be on the farm? My guess is no. I think he would have done a fine job handling the change in pace of the story, and that it isn't solely because of someone new taking the reigns.
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"turned what was a lumbering character-driven drama with bad characters "



Ummmm if you mean the whole series leading up to that point then I disavow any credibility you had article writer.



Not only was Darabond a very capable person to develop this show, but he did a fantastic job, and that so called "jealous bickering" is part of the human condition this story analyzes. It's less about the zombies and the people living in said world. Now with that being said it was plodding along and clearly was affected by the shakeup behind the scenes, but I would have LOVED for Darabond to have just stayed and none of that drama happened.



If you truly are clapping for the "stupid drama" going away in exchange for straight up zombie action, I fear you may have missed the point of the whole show (and the comics, if you've heard of them).....also makes me wonder if I should see if tv.com needs to fill any editorial spots on their site :P .
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Clearly, your opinion is more valid than Tim's. You should totally let him have it for not agreeing with you. What the hell was he thinking?!
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Long before Hershel got bit (which was over telegraphed but still somehow shocking), I was telling my girlfriend, "I wouldn't trust any of those 'dead' zombies. I'd be driving a crowbar through every one of their heads, just in case." Followed later by, "See, I told you!!!" :)
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Also, how does suddenly hacking off a limb equal no zombie? And then, as soon as he did it, he says, he's bleeding out. Well, duh. Even so, I love The Walking Dead. Can't wait for the rest of the season!
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u caught off the infected limb before it infects the whole body...its pretty straight-forward
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cut* lol
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It's the only hope they have. They don't know if it's going to work at this point, but since doing nothing = zombie, it's something worth trying at least?
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Plus if he turns, he can't run after you with only one leg and a stump.
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Will Morgan Jones return? He was supposed to meet up with Rick, but it never happened. How nice wouldn`t it be if they meet again!
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I want to know why (and this is since season 1--I've been doing marathons) some of the dead are dead and obviously, some are walkers. Why wouldn't all those people who were laying outside the hospital when Rick came out have been walkers especially since everyone carries the gene? Also, are we ever going to see the man and his boy that saved Rick in the first episode again? What about the very opening scene? When did that even take place? There are so many unresolved issues. Although, I thought Seed was very slow going, it was a nice change of pace, especially since the women were a lot less whiny. However, I was really disappointed that they didn't bring in Michonne until halfway through and then didn't really do a lot with her. I was really looking forward to her particular backstory. Too bad they paired her with Andrea. (ugh!)
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THANK YOU!! Where DID all those dead people come from, in the hospital and on the roads, and wouldn't they be infected also? And who is cutting Carol's hair, and why are the men taking time to shave? Where do the razers come from? Wlhy do they wear long sleeves in the summer? I KNOW it's just tv, but I'm practical minded, and these things, along with all the clean hair drives me crazy.
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Its the first episode!! Relax, plenty of time to tell Michonnes story, which they probably will do. As far as the first episode is concerned we did`nt see under the tarps, every single one of those dead could have brain damage by bullets or beatings. We may see the man and son again but the actor who plays the father is a pretty busy actor so who knows. The opening scene I assume your refering to is when he shot the girl. It took place between his waking up and heading into Atlanta. It happened before he got the horse from the farm.
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That makes sense! lol. Thanks. That's why I love to read other people's perspectives because sometimes I feel like I miss really cool stuff. I should probably just break down and get the graphic novel. I just don't like their format.
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Hey Tim Surrette finally gave a TV Show credit! Was sure when i opened this article he was going to bash it. Although he did manage to bash the first 2 seasons which by the way were fine, clearly not as good as this season is going to be but still Walking Dead's huge following is a result of those seasons. They can't have been THAT bad.

Yet again Tim Surette, I hate you.
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Hey, I just realized why that zombie played possum! Remember Morgan Jones from season 1? He told Rick that the zombies seem to retain some of their memories, which was evidenced by his zombie wife coming back to the house each night and turning the door knob. Remember how creepy that was?

Anyway, they're at a prison now, and a lot of these guys were predators long before they became zombies. Doesn't it stand to reason that they may have retained some instincts like going after the easier prey or appearing harmless so as to get the drop on their victims?
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Damn dude. I was really psyched to see more scenes of Lori folding laundry, Andrea contemplating suicide (when not busy shooting Daryl in the head), Carol crying, and Maggie sexing up Glenn. Because as a female, I could totally relate to making irrational decisions and being awful at life all in between bouts of hysterical crying-- curse you mother nature!

But now... Now it's like I don't even know these women anymore. Suddenly, they're doing supercool things and making smart decisions and kicking serious ass... Well, okay, everyone except for Lori, who taught me the values of swallowing fist-fulls of abortion pills, and for that I will always be thankful to her.

All sarcasm aside though, I was afraid that with the loss of Shane, this show would lose all momentum, as he was the catalyst to most of the drama and action. But Mazzara has done a delightful job of giving the fans what they wanted most. Smart characters. Smart decisions. More action. Less Lori.

This episode was rad and it was like a "Thank You" letter to the fans that said, "Yes, we've been listening to your complaints, and here's the solution."

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hahaha, best comment ever especially the "More action. Less lori" Lori should have been the one to lose a leg instead of Hershel, that would would give Lori's character more meaning and am sure Rick would mind cutting off both legs to save her.
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Lori wasn't bad in this episode. She was helpful in letting Rick out into the yard and securing the fence, and also shot her share of zombies. The only thing she did was try to talk to Rick about what happened with Shane and the baby. She's pregnant and thus emotional and vulnerable and knows she fucked up. I don't approve of how quickly she fell in bed with Shane, but I think she's just trying to work things out with Rick, and he's pretty much giving her the cold shoulder, which is understandable.
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messed up. sorry for the language. :(
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Any post-apocalyptic parents would be proud of Carl. All growned up and shooting walkers with a silencer. *Teary Eye*. I am so proud. Sob!
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"Carl, you idiot, you aren't a dog."

Now I wish he'd actually said that!!!
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Also, one of those prisoners had better be Axel, you follow me?
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"Zombies, please make a decision: Do you sometimes catch some Zs and chill out or are you always alert to human smells and sounds? "



Two types of zombies in TWD Tim, as explained in the comics. There are roamers and lurkers. Roamers will be alert to everything and hunt down their food. Lurkers sit or generally stay still until an opportunity comes by.



It was only the TV series that coined the word "Walkers", before that they were known as Roamers and Lurkers.
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That opening scene and the ending were pretty good! Rick's quick decision and badassery is awesome! Other than that, I didn't find a whole lot of redeeming features in the episode. All that I expected happened in a very boring way, just like any slasher movie. I didn't think it would happen. but I missed crazy, hot-headed Shane. Now if a zombie baby eats Lori from the inside and tears her apart, that would be very satisfying.

Aside from their indoor tactics, one more thing wanted me to facepalm myself. When Maggie showed them how to kill the zombies in armor, they all were like - 'Oh yeah. That could work!' Like DUH! Then Hershel walking into the dead zombie instead of going around it was so apparent and annoying. Now we have playing dead zombies and zombies who have more sense than most humans! Were Maggie and Glenn kissing each others clothes? Isn't ingesting their blood also as bad as getting bitten? Anyway don't worry guys, they're all still stupid and we can expect plenty more hilarious drama to ensue.

- Daryl and Carol have great chemistry.

- I was all about the older girls at that age. But Carl and Beth just shouldn't happen. Lets not make this another edition of Teen Mom.
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Best part of the episode? Lori's screen time reduced to 1:30 mins, YAY!!!! We spent more time watching Carol than Lori, now THAT'S problem solving skills :D



Way to go Mazzara!!!



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Great premiere. I like that in the first four minutes their was no dialogue, just swift movements. Everybody looked like they knew what they had to do until Carl decided that it was ok to eat dog food and Rick got pissed. I wonder what happened those four months on the road to have both Rick and Carl mad at Lori. And is Daryl and Carol getting it on when no one's looking? I don't think cutting off part Herschel's leg will prevent him from turning into a zombie we'll see though. I knew there was going to be a couple of prisoners still left alive. I hope the guys keep them away from their women guy.
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Fantastic opener!

Great action from both parties, Michonne is THE FORCE.

Even made me NOT care for

1. Sarah Wane Callies' blatant overacting (LORIhastodie)

2. using non-functional gun props in the beginning and actors not even pretending to shoot a gun

3. the dungeon action: I get the need of a "clean house" but c'mon ...

BTW what happened to Glenn and Maggie? Are they still barricaded in the tunnels?
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Don't know if you watched the ending or not, but both Glenn and Maggie were with them.
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They met up with the group right after Hershel was bitten. She was holding her dad, cradling his head as Rick performed the amputation.
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Thanx to the both of you - at the end I was admittedly overwhelmed by the events to notice specifics.
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Awesome episode and hopefully this season will be better than the last. The glee on Maggie's face after figuring out how to kill the SWAT zombie was awesome. I too want to do that.
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-I got 67, but I wasn't exactly giving it my all.

-Absolutely. A simple way for zombies to step up their game without messing with their natural zombiehood in any way shape or form. Kudos.

-Daryl and Carol, eh, I could go either way on that one. As for Carl crushing on Beth, I think that's ridiculously cute in the little high schooler inside of me way.

-No complaints.

Excellent return for the show. Can't wait to see more. (And did I read things wrong or do we get something like 17 more episodes this season?)
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"And the face peeling off the zombie when Rick took its mask off was probably the greatest thing you'll see on television all year." I LOVED that part!!! This season's gonna be awesome!!!!!
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Eh, I never thought this show was ever a disappointment, but this episode is....OMFG. My heart is racing still! What a roller coaster that was... Best episode ever! I can't believe I'm saying this: Poor Lori! Also, will Hershel be alright? How come that zombie was lying there motionless? That doesn't make sense, does it?
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It was insane and INTENSE. Thoroughly enjoyed the episode. It's been a while post Season 1 that I actually felt anxious every moment anticipating a zom to chomp on one of them, alas, it happened to Hershel. If the tension keeps up for every episode, it's gonna be a great winter spell. Great job TWD team!
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This episode answered several questions that had been on my mind for a long time. It seems that owls are actually edible. Good to know. When it comes to hacking off a human leg, it'll be somewhat like trying to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, a-one, a-two, a-three tries. And finally even Rick can realize how awful his wife is and decide to ignore that bitch.
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Yeah both Rick and her son are ignoring her now, when Lori was talking about her baby being dead inside her and ripping her apart from the inside I SO got excited about that! sounds awesome :))
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Hands down, the most enjoyable "WD" of the whole series thus far. That zombie/body count was INSANE - they kept killing them and killing them and killing them... GLORIOUS!



Carl following Beth around like a puppy dog? Hilariously touching! Hell, she couldn't do worse... actually, she couldn't, cause there's literally no one else left.



Don't know how next week's episode is going to shape up, but I hope they will focus more on Michonne and Andrea. No point in having them around if they always get only two mentions throughout the whole hour. Seems quite wasteful, in my opinion...



LOOOOOOVE the fact that Rick has essentially ignored Lori for the whole winter! And Carl too!? AWESOME!!! Seriously, if she wasn't pregnant, I couldn't care less about the safety of that broad... Actually, 'ain't gonna lie, hearing her describing how a zombie-baby would eat itself out of her, Alien-style, really made a big part of me wish it would really happen!



And, as for those prisoners... If there's one thing I learned, after watching TONS of 'surviving the apocalypse' movie, it's that you never, ever trust anyone who seems slightly cocky/arrogant/unbalanced to join your group - Shane was a great example of that fact last season. That goes DOUBLE when it comes to convicts (especially from a maximum security prison), and TRIPLE when you have women and a child to worry about. Basically, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING GOOD can come out of helping those guys in any way, shape or form, so hopefully Rick's posse will show them the door... or show them the grave. Either or, THEY HAVE TO GO.



(For more on the whole 'don't trust guys in end-of-the-world situation you wouldn't trust to not roofing your sister at a party' thing, may I suggest you all check out "The Divide", starring Michael Biehn. Just as depressing as "The Road", but with big cup-full of 'God, I wish I could kill Milo Ventimiglia right now!')
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This was certainly one of the best episodes of TWD for me. However, I'm still not going to assert that this is due to Glen Mazzara's difference in vision, though, solely because season premieres are often about "starting with a bang". The quality of this episode certainly wasn't a surprise, despite the slow pace of most of the last season.

While it would make for less "thrilling" scenes, I still don't like the fact that they don't make sure the zombies are dead when they come across some that are just lying there. I was surprised Rick didn't stab or cut off the head of the guard in the booth, instead of him just poking him lightly to see if he'd move before getting the keys. Same applies for the ones just lying there in the hallways, such as the one that bit Herschel. Aside from maybe a little energy, there's nothing to waste by stabbing or slicing.

On that note, I also found it funny that they mention the lack of ammo (again) but basically wasted a bunch in the yard (again). After Rick closed off the open gate, Daryl gives everyone the go-ahead ("Light it up!") to start shooting the rest. What a waste. The zombies are trapped by the gates and will walk right on up to you... it might take a little longer, but how about stabbing all of them, like they were previously doing just five minutes before?

So while the entertainment factor was high, there's still a lot of scenes and choices that are "for the sake of visual entertainment" rather than actual logic or reason. It's a zombie apocalypse! -- I'm sure you can have the characters be reasonable and still make for very entertaining viewing.
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While I'd have to agree with you about the group doing things stupid just for entertainment value let's face facts. Would you really have sat through 40 minutes of them just standing by a fence stabbing the zombies? Without bitching about it being boring?
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This episode was fantastic. So much better than last season. It was suspenseful, gross, and none of the characters annoyed me during the entire hour. That's impressive for this series.
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One thing hasn't changed.... Lori sucks.
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What's the name of song that was played during their stay by the prison cells?
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Parting Glass? Tim provided a link for it right at the top of his review...
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I think hershel called it "parting glass". It was an old folk song from colonial times I think. It reminded me of a movie called 'The Songcatcher" about an English scholar who goes to Appalachia in the 30's to record that type of song before they were forgotten.
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Best TWDs episode since.... EVER!!!
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I think Carl has mourn for Sophia the proper amount of time and Beth is only 5 years older than him. If Arya Stark and Gendry could work out in Game of Thrones, then why not?
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Amazing episode, I'm so glad that the show is keeping the quality it began to establish in the second half of last season. I can't really complain. It balanced action and characters nicely. I can even understand Rick's stupidity by hacking off Hershel's lag without prior thinking. I really did not expect the inmates either, so that was a nice surprise.
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