The Walking Dead 301: ‘Seed’

Written by  //  October 15, 2012  //  Televised Entertainment in Review, The Theatre  //  9 Comments

The Season 3 Opener Was Epically Badass! Caution – Spoilers and Adorable Agro-Snark Ahead…

The Walking Dead 301 "Seed" Header Image

After a Season 2 finale that found our group on the move after the farm became overrun with Walkers, we join Rick’s clan (minus one Andrea, who was rescued by the most badass female literary character of all time, Michonne—suck it Buffy!) several months after the events on Hershel’s farm and find them reduced to roaming and scavenging.

The Walking Dead 301 "Seed" Photo 1 - Hershel and Rick

First two observations right off the jump: 1) It is about fucking time someone had the “genius” idea to pick up a goddamn MAP and start tracking where they have been and how many Walkers they have come across, 2) It is also about fucking time the women and Carl started learning how to defend themselves (although Carol, you still bother the shit out of me, more on you later missy) and okay, 3) Lori’s bellybutton. Wow.

Okay, so after the coolest opening shot ever featuring a total “fuck you Lost, this is how WE do” zombie eyeball camera-spinout, the gang heads into an abandoned house searching for food. Was anyone else bothered by Rick throwing away the can of dog food Carl found? Look I get it; you’ve got stuff like “dignity” and “standards” but come on, man. Times, they are a-tough. If I’m starving and I’ve got a group of fellow starving people to feed, screw it, give me the can of dog food. When the apocalypse goes down I’ll be with Carl and the other survivors raiding the local Petsmart for some Purina Select. (Now with more Shame-Gravy!)

The Walking Dead 301 "Seed" Photo 2 - Rick Finds the Prison

After the new opening credits which I like very much (mainly because the utterly dirty-dreamy Norman Reedus gets fourth billing) Rick finally notices the prison and they set about trying to break the perimeter.

The Walking Dead 301 "Seed" Photo 3 - Carl

The Walking Dead 301 "Seed" Photo 4 - Breaking the PerimeterHere’s my first problem: why did they waste all that ammo taking the Walkers down in the yard? I mean, it was pretty awesome action-wise but come on guys, you were safe inside that outer fence you could have taken your time and picked them off slowly, gone out there in that circle-group of mayhem and taken them out with machetes to shut the gate; there was no need to use all that ammo. Maybe you will say it was necessary to get the job done quickly, but I say that’s crazy talk. Because later, when they really needed it fumbling around in the dark, they (surprise!) were running low.

The Walking Dead 301 "Seed" Photo 5 - Group Camping

Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself because I also need to call out… you guessed it—creepy ass Carol. I think I speak for more than just the many Daryl-Groupies I’ve met over my travels on the interwebs when I say, “What the fuck, Carol? What exactly are you trying to do?” Ignoring the vom in the back of my throat after she tries getting Daryl to screw around with her (like that’s ever going to happen… that had better NOT HAPPEN) what is she doing screwing around with his head? In preparation for the premiere last night, like many others I re-watched the last few episodes of Season 2 and I noticed something I failed to pick up on last season: slowly but surely Carol has been trying to pick at Daryl’s loyalty to the group. Telling him he is “just as good as them” when none of us have ever doubted that, she has been quietly questioning Rick’s leadership and subtly trying to get Daryl to break away from the group with her and I don’t get it. Maybe it is because I’m a little protective of my TV-hubs, but it bothers me.

The Walking Dead 301 "Seed" Photo 5 - Lori

But you know what doesn’t bother me? Rick finally giving Lori some “I quit this bitch” attitude! He is here to keep her and Carl safe and make sure her possible-Shane-spawn gets delivered, but that’s about it. With pointed looks and angry eye rolls, we see that the Grimes family is seriously fractured. A new and hardened Carl has sided with his father (did he learn what his mother was doing with Shane?), and like Mazzara stated last week, Lori really is the odd man out in this family dynamic. It is so bad she has to ask Hershel to be the one to take her and the baby out should they die during childbirth. I mean, if you can’t even ask your own husband to shoot you and your new baby in the head, just what the fuck is up with the state of your relationship?

The Walking Dead 301 "Seed" Photo 6 - Zombie

After they make their way into the prison yard—actually hold up, can I break narrative for a second to just savor the new effects budget? It looks like those effects Emmys and noms have paid off and the budget woes that plagued Darabont in the first season are a thing of the past for Mazzara. Not only is the prison set (which Glen informed me is a set, not something they are filming on location at an abandoned facility, more on that in the next issue of Stiff Mag!) incredibly detailed and totally creepy. The riot gear zombies! The face-ripping-off helmet zombie! Gah! It was the height of too muchery and I loved it! (And the promo shots we are seeing for Woodbury are sick!)

The Walking Dead 301 "Seed" Photo 7 - Defensive Circle

After they get into the yard and gain control of a cell block—shout out to Maggie for stepping up and filling Andrea’s boots to be the group’s Girl-Baddie—sit the fuck down Carol I’m not talking about you we are NOT squaresies and never will be, especially after that “Oh my shoulder is sore from the recoil” bullshit—they take a unit for themselves (and we find out that Andrea is still very much alive and has spent the winter catching a case of the icks and becoming total besties with Michonne) they set out to further take control of the prison. Here is where viewers finally see what the comic’s readers have been wondering about for two seasons now: once bitten, it is possible to stave off infection if the affected body part is amputated. Which Rick brutally sets about doing, hacking away at Hershel’s leg with an axe after he gets bitten going after Maggie and Glen when they got separated from the hunting party.

Unfortunately for Rick and the others they learn something else comics readers already know: the Walkers aren’t the only thing they need to worry about lurking around in that prison. And if the show decides to go in the same direction the books did, things are about to get seriously fucked up—and incredibly graphic—for our group.

All AMCtv photos by Gene Page © TWD Productions, LLC

About the Author

"Two Fingers" Berben

Our illustrious managing editor, Vanessa “2 Fingers” Berben, gets in fights with her friends about how much deeper they should be feeling this episode of TNG. A researcher/curator for Nintendo's i.TV app, you can stalk her around the web at The Huffington Post, Starburst Magazine and FEARnet and in the latest issues of Starburst and Stiff Magazine. Follow her (preferably whilst humming the Imperial March) on twitter , facebook and tumblr.

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9 Comments on "The Walking Dead 301: ‘Seed’"

  1. Mark in Omaha October 15, 2012 at 5:59 pm · Reply

    Liked this episode a lot, glad to see they are putting money back into it. It will never be a great show, but it is entertaining, a lot better than Revolution for example. I thought the no or little dialogue was effective. I also thought they might have been reading some of the criticism of the show, seems like they made some attempts to address the issues. They have acquired better firepower, and everyone is using firearems, they even had some silencers when they walked into the farmhouse at the beginning. I didn’t pay a lot of attention, but they got rid of the old credits. They also attempted to make Lori more sympathetic. Did you get the impression her and Carol were going to share a cell and not her and Rick? Carol is less whiny. T-Dog had lines and screen time. Carl was more competent and not running off like last season (or getting himself shot). Wow to Hershel getting his leg chopped off! Will that even work? They are already infected does a non-lethal bite really really infect you? Did you also think that Carl has the hots for Maggie’s sister? I was saying last year that Carol was messing with Daryl’s head. She kind of acts like they’re a couple or something. Did you catch the dialoge when he was rubbing her shoulder? She asked him if he wanted to mess around, then he turned to go down the ladder and said “Ill go down first” and she said, “all the better” .

    • Alistair Blake Arabella
      Alistair Blake Arabella October 16, 2012 at 3:16 pm · Reply

      Eeewwww! I missed that and that’s nasty. Carol’s nasty. Sorry, I really don’t like her as a character. She’s weak, and now she’s manipulative. T-Dog and Daryl will be getting much bigger parts this season now that the Shane/Rick/Lori storyline is over. The writers wanted all of them to step it up a notch. They want us to see that in the months between seasons they’ve all trained harder, gotten smarter and faster, and are working together as a unit.

      I loved the touch of adding silencers, makes so much more sense. I believe that Carol and Lori are sharing a cell, remember when they finally went to sleep, Rick took watch right there at the cell block door – he was just sitting against the wall hunched over. His job was to keep them all safe, not sleep with his wife. Carol probably stayed with Lori to make sure nothing happened during the night – w/o modern medicine this pregnancy could get bad really fast. I wonder if Carol’s going to become an enemy once the baby is born – will she want to take it away? Keep it for herself?

  2. cristina October 16, 2012 at 3:31 pm · Reply

    yes! badass episode for sure. did a great job of showing how they’ve evolved to cope with their world. that winter musta been brutal. i still don’t like lori (or more to the point, the actress playing her) but when she spouted off to hershel the litany of horrors that could happen in her situation…dayum. i do sympathize with her a bit more. tho i don’t fault rick at all for his attitude. and carl sure has “aged” – getting that hard, seen-too-much look. his should be a really weird coming of age story. liking maggie a lot – definitely stepping up to the plate and her relationship with glen is a nice sweet spot amidst the despair. ugh, carol. being without a partner must be harder in that world – it’s not surprising she’d try (coz, cmon it’s Darryl!) i know you’re not gonna want to hear this, but in an apocalyptic situation where there isn’t much opportunity for ‘hooking up’ – i’m actually surprised daryl wouldn’t hit it. i mean it’s a horribly fucked up world, they’ve lost anything that was dear to them and could die a horrible death any minute. stranger things have happened, just sayin. OR maybe something *did* happen over the winter and darryl’s just trying to leave it behind. (Mark in Omaha, ha! i didn’t catch that last line of hers, thanks). I know, ewwwww! Excited about michonne – there wasn’t enough about her and carol this episode but plenty mo’ a comin’ soon. loved the last line, after poor herschel’s impromptu amputation. yeah, that was quite a sight. and things are getting *more* graphic soon? holy cow.

    • Alistair Blake Arabella
      Alistair Blake Arabella October 17, 2012 at 4:21 pm · Reply

      Yeah – Mazzara said he really likes the Maggie/Glen romance – it’s sweet, I kind of felt like when they first started hooking up it was more of a “well, he’s there” kind of a situation but they’ve grown to really love each other AND I’m so glad that Maggie’s becoming a little badass in her own right.
      I don’t *think* at least, at least hopefully, that AMC would allow the show to go in the same direction as the books do in regards to the graphic violence that’s about to go down with the female characters. Think about it, in reality, what it would be like to be a woman in that situation – you would have to literally watch your ass at all times. So the comics are a little more realistic as to what would happen to women in this new world. I just don’t think it’s stuff that AMC will want to show on TV. I hope that they don’t even try to imply it – I’ve never been able to sit through movies that have assaults in them, it’s just too icky.

  3. Mark in Omaha October 16, 2012 at 5:45 pm · Reply

    This might be a strange question since I’m a guy but is Rick not getting over it a guy thing? Because I think he should forgive and forget. There is an exercise where you have to leave civiilization, go to a new world or something, and who would you take, what kind of skill sets do you need. Besides the obvious, I said you need to bring along a counselor to help everyone get along. They could use a good counselor.

    Why are you guys all ewwww about Daryl going down on Carol? The only choices are Daryl and Hershel, and Hershel doesn’t look like a cunning linguist.

    Got a joke, if Hershel gets fully infected, will he be a Herschel Walker? (former running back for Univ. of Georgia).

    What do you mean by incredibly graphic? Without giving away any spoilers If this turns into a rape fest or something, I’ll quit watching. I was channel surfing the other night and came across some movie, it had barely started, two teenage girls handing out in a motel room with some wimpy emo boy, smoking a cigarette that was supposed to be a joint or something. Then three people came into the room, Aaron Paul was one of them. So I thougt I’d watch it to see where it went, and holy crap did it get dark in a hurry. Emo kids Dad is an escaped convict, tries to get him to rape one of the girls, stabs the other one and makes her friend watch her bleed to death, I bailed. Found out later it was the remake of Last House on the Left, it gets even worse. I know I took a left turn there, can’t stand torture porn movies and I hope Walking Dead’s not going there.

    • Alistair Blake Arabella
      Alistair Blake Arabella October 17, 2012 at 4:26 pm · Reply

      Well, that’s exactly what happens in the books – I mean, if you really think about it, in reality it would be very, very difficult to be a woman in this world. You would have to be on the defensive at all times. So the books get into that in a very violent, graphic way – I’ve never been able to read them because of that – I’m like you – I just can’t stomach rapey stuff. It’s too much for me. I’ve only read summaries of the books because I don’t want to read about that kind of crap. I’m hoping that the show won’t even try to imply that it’s happening, that they just decide not to go in that direction. Because it’s about to get very bad for the women in our group. The movie you were watching was the remake of “Last House on the Left” – and if you thought that version was bad, don’t even try to watch the original. Talk about graphic!
      Okay – my thing with Carol is that I find her weak, she annoys me. And I totally have a TV-crush on Daryl, so I want him to be with a cool chick. Maybe Andrea? Or even better – Michonne! Think about it – not only would it create awesome drama when Merle eventually comes back and sees his brother with a black woman – but it would defy the stereotypical way movies and books always pair up the black women with the black men – it’s annoying. As a person of mixed race myself, I would really love to see more interracial couples on TV and film.

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