The Walking Dead 301: ‘Seed’
The Season 3 Opener Was Epically Badass! Caution – Spoilers and Adorable Agro-Snark Ahead…
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.
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!)
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.
Here’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.
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.
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?
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!)
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