Season 3 wasted no time getting into its groove. After an oddly paced Season 2 with problems happening behind the camera it was good to see the characters back again and even more desperate than when we last saw them. One of the best things about this premiere is that now more than ever before I know every character's name when I watch them. I never once thought, "Who's that?" Or "Oh gosh, who is that and where did that come from?" The writers have gotten the surviving group down to a workable amount of people who can now get equal amounts of screen time. The premiere also excelled because aside from rarely stopping to let you catch your breath it was always on the move trying to secure and find a location to be safe from walkers. As a reader of the books I am pleased to see Michonne appear much earlier than he literary self and have an active part in helping save Andrea, and she's badass too. Still can't completely wrap my head around why she keeps two no-jawed armless walkers with her. Are we to believe that they warn her of incoming hordes? The opening bit was really suspenseful as we see a zombie kill within the first 30 seconds of the program. The bit of exposition indicating that it has been some time that they've been roaming around avoiding hordes for a while especially since Laurie is beginning to show. The only complaint is that them not finding the prison sooner is unbelievable and even if it isn't on a map they still should see it I mean they didn't show it surrounded by trees or as hard to spot it's just there in plain sight. It's even shown in the skyscape of the Season 2 finale for crying out loud. Nevertheless seeing them have to do close-up kills was nice as well as Rick's on edgeness and the exhaustion of the group collectively. Knowing Carl has the hots for Beth creates something extra for him to do which is always good. The real cake-taker of the episode however was after they get into the cellblock and then begin to clear out the rest of the halls of the prison and gets surrounded that was a very suspenseful scene. And Rick's ambivalence toward Laurie and being the King of the group is still taking its toll on him. Them comparing him to Shane is a good callback to days past even though I was Team Shane so I was a little biased even though his death was well deserved for what he did. A lot of the problems with last season was that there were so many threads never resolved: for instance the group that the guy who's group abandons him and they lock up in the shed thinking he'll lead his former group back to the farm was never found. Are we supposed to just be introduced to potential human antagonists and them just let them leave it at that? I get that they needed a threat for the group's location but at the very least mention it or show them. Or maybe they'll show up now. Never addressing something that you bring up like a potential threat is lazy at best. And while it was sad to see Herschel get bit he is the weakest link now that Beth is a potential love interest for Carl. Rick is the lead, Laurie's pregnant, Daryl is a fan-favorite, Carol is a love interest for Daryl, Glen is a favorite as is Maggie, T-Dawg has made it through cutting his arm almost off on a car door so he'll probably survive, so with Andrea dying of sickness that leaves Herschel as the most likely to get gone even though he is the only one with medical experience which is bad for the group. But seeing the ending where they barely get away and then seeing the inmates behind the barred glass, even from the books, was a great sendoff for a premiere episode and will make me come back for more. But this episode may be one of the best TWD has ever had seeing it as proves that they know definitively what they are doing and more importantly where they are headed and know where their characters are without the minor inconsistencies that make fans like me scratch their heads. I hope this episode is a sign that the show is maturing like a fine wine and will continue to blossom into a courageous innovative TV show like it has wanted to be, it just took a bit to get itself on its feet is all.
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