Our recap of last week's season premiere of The Walking Dead!
The Reborn Reviews the Undead
PhoenixEquinox’s The Walking Dead Reviews
Season 3 Episode 1: Seed
(And yes there will be spoilers of the first two seasons.)
The Walking Dead is an unprecedented event in the history of comics on television. It’s not the first live-action comic book TV show. It’s not the first TV show about a comic book not produced by Marvel or DC. It is certainly the most violent live-action TV show based on a comic book, but that’s not what I’m driving at either. Then how is it unprecedented you ask? It is the first live-action TV series based off a singular comic story. (And yes I have to specify live-action because of those Image cartoons no one liked in the 90’s.) This comes with positives and negatives. The positives are clear in that the story is laid out in front of the people making the show as an easy road map on how to make their TV show. For example, season 1, for everyone who isn’t reading the book, is essentially the first trade paperback with some “minor” alterations (cough cough Shane’s death cough cough). The negatives that come with this are that if you stray too far from that map by moving events around or adding/dropping characters from the book, purists will get pissed off and you’ll lose a chunk of the fanbase. So far The Walking Dead hasn’t been able to lose the core fanbase even though certain characters have died too soon and they’ve replaced Tyreese with Daryl (Think about it, I’m right). And that is also unprecedented. Let’s see if they can keep up this good favor and not screw up some of the best parts of The Walking Dead in Season 3.
This season starts off unlike season 2 in that some time has passed – one winter to be specific – and the group has become more like a well-trained military squad then the dysfunctional family we were left with at the end of season 2. They start the episode taking over a house from a bunch of walkers in a precise, organized way. After ransacking the house for scraps they become wary on where to travel next because they’re running low on everything that matters and they don't want to encounter anymore herds of walkers. Rick and Daryl go looking for more food and they stumble upon a prison which Rick sees as the ultimate safe haven. After they find it, the episode pretty much turns into a zombie killfest. A lot of this episode was dedicated to killing zombies. They clear out the prison yard. They clear out a cell block. This episode has no shortage of blood, gore, or violence. (a zombie’s face even gets ripped off.)
There are small flickers of plot throughout the episode, such as Lori and Rick's relationship perching precariously over a cliff, though Rick hasn’t acknowledged it. Other than that, it seems that everyone else has become closer, especially Daryl/Carol, Glenn/Maggie, Carl/Herschel & Beth, and Andrea/Michonne. Wait what? Michonne? Yes Michonne, the mysterious character from the end of last season who had two walkers on leashes (played by Danai Gurira who for those of you who read the book is a dead ringer for Michonne and continues the show’s uncanny ability to cast people who look exactly like their comic counterparts). Although she gets little screen time and even fewer lines, we learn that her and Andrea have become closer over the winter, and that Michonne is very good with a katana, using it to decapitate several walkers in an abandoned convenience store.
There are some twists and turns that happen when they try to clear out more of the prison (some of which not even I, a seasoned reader of the comic, saw coming), but I won’t reveal them here so you have more incentive to watch the episode if you haven’t already. Overall, there was lots of death, but not a lot of time devoted to character development since they say most of that was done in the winter. For comparison’s sake it felt kinda like the transition from Young Justice to Young Justice: Invasion, in which they took a 5 year lapse where many of the relationships in the original show were altered, but they left how that happened as a mystery. Although The Walking Dead isn’t as extreme as that, it still has that feel to it. So as far as the first episode goes, I think it was a success and that my minor issues with it will be solved over the next 17 episodes. The Walking Dead is back and it’s good.
S3Ep1: "Seed" Final Verdict: 4.5 out 5 stars.