Jailhouse extermination: ‘Walking Dead’ claims new safe haven in Season 3 premiere

By Ariel Guerra
Staff Writer
aguerra2@lhup.edu

October 18, 2012

Photo courtesy of aceshowbiz.com

Zombies are one of pop culture’s most captivating enemies; starting with George Romero’s 1968 film, “Night of the Living Dead,” brain-eating corpses have invaded our nightmares and daydreams. Recently, the smash-hit AMC series “The Walking Dead” has recaptured zombie mania and made it more popular than ever.

“The Walking Dead” is a TV show revolving around group of survivors struggling to live during a zombie apocalypse.  The highly anticipated Season 3 premiere was Sunday night, and it lived up to every expectation. This season picks up with the same intensity that has constantly enthralled fans.

Here’s a recap: the previous season of “The Walking Dead” ended with the group of survivors fighting off hundreds of zombies, or “walkers” as the group calls them, that swarmed the farm where they were hiding.  The group and the family that owned the farm retreated into the wilderness, fleeing for their lives. After finally settling down after the attack, the group leader, Rick, informed everyone of some serious information:  everyone in the group was already infected.  Absolutely everyone still alive will turn into a zombie when they die.  It is now up to Rick to make sure that they survive as long as they can.

Season 3 of “The Walking Dead” begins with a more aggressive group bursting into an abandoned house and ransacking it, while killing the zombies inside.  Within the first two minutes, we learn about our favorite characters and the winter that occurred between seasons:  Rick is colder and more intense than he has ever been, and his leadership skills are stronger.  However, the stress of the being the leader of group has begun to kill his marriage.  His wife, Lori, is now within her third-trimester of pregnancy requiring the group to find shelter for the birth.  Rick and Lori’s son Carl, widely considered a horrible, pointless character, has transformed into a very capable zombie slayer.

Fan favorite Daryl Dixon, redneck and bad mother trucker extraordinaire, remains just the same, as seen by him hunting and eating an owl, but begins a romance with Carol, who is no longer a nervous wreck after the loss of her daughter and is a pretty nice shooter.

Also a great shot is tough-as-nails T-Dog; the third season is expected to give T-Dog more notable moments than his blood infection in Season 2.  Next is Andrea, who overcame her depression to become one of the toughest, morally centered members of the group.  The last member of the original group of survivors is Glenn, former pizza delivery boy who has grown into the go-to guy for all sorts of dangerous missions.

After escaping a farm that became a temporary haven, the group and the farm family, consisting of pious veterinarian Hershel Green and his daughters Beth and Maggie (Glenn’s love interest), combine to save each other.

Season 3 Episode 1, “Seed,” shows the group desperately searching for a permanent shelter and finding an abandoned prison.  Rick leads the group in clearing away zombies that infest the prison one section at a time.  Known for being gory, the season premiere does not disappoint.  A zombie in riot gear having his face fall off while being killed was just an appetizer of gore before the main entrée.

Towards the end of the episode, a select few of the group explore the lower levels of the prison, clearing away any zombies they meet, when a zombie they thought was defeated bites Herschel on the ankle.  Reacting instantly, Rick picks up a hatchet, using it to amputate Herschel’s leg in an unrelenting, bloody manner, hopefully saving his life.  The noise from the attack and the impromptu operation attracted a surprise: more survivors!  The episode ends with this twist and raises excellent questions.

Don’t forget to follow along with AMC’s Story Sync, an entirely new way to experience “The Walking Dead.” Story Sync offers polls like the “Gore Gauge” where viewers anywhere can rate how gory a particular scene was and inside information including the weekly kill count, which this week was 56+ “walkers.” Rick killing the most with a kill count of 19.  Story Sync is an immersible experience for any fan.

This coming Sunday’s episode of “The Walking Dead” will probably be the most talked about topic for the whole week.  The show masterfully raises intrigue and mystery.  Will Herschel survive the amputation?  Will the survivors in the prison join the group or attack them?  Who will die next? And will Lori’s baby, which she suspects may be a stillborn, survive and be born normally or die and become a zombie (theoretically alive and dead at the same time)?

 

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Posted in: A&E

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