Well, well, it seems that much has changed since last we checked in with Rick Grimes and his merry band of ZombiePocalypse survivors.
In Sunday night's season three premiere, 'Seed' (referring to Lori's gestating baby, I guess?), we catch up with the crew, who have apparently weathered the winter by bouncing from zombie-ridden house to zombie-ridden house, stopping occasionally to murder owls and scavenge cans of Smeat and Champion's Pebbles dog food.
Judging by the epic sweatstains under Rick Grimes' underarms, spring has returned to Georgia.
During the passage of time, though, the dynamic of the group has changed up a bit:
- Old Man Hershel looks much more gaunt, and has grown a Denver Pyle beard.
- Rick is really giving Lori the cold shoulder treatment. Maybe if he took some Cialis or Levitra he and Lori could sit out on a beach in separate bathtubs, holding hands.
- Carl looks older and more awkward, and his voice is starting to change. It's like when Walt aged in "Lost", so they just made him disappear into another dimension. (Another Lost reference: this season starts with a close-up of a zombie's eye. Eh?) Carl also seems to be developing a romantic interest in Beth. He's like "I got a real funny feeling in my dungarees."
- Daryl and Carol also seem to be cozying up together. Daryl gives Carol a back massage, and she's like "This is pretty romantic, wanna screw around?" and he's just like "Aww shucks..."
- Andrea come down with something, but Michonne will keep her safe.
Luckily for us, while much has changed during the long, cold winter, the producers of the show are still giving us just what we want: violence and gore.
As opposed to some episodes last season, which sometimes had just a zombie or two here and there, this episode featured so many zombie kills that my zombie-kill counter broke. I think I need to invest in a baseball pitch counter to keep track of all the zombie kills from now on.
Even that might not have helped tonight, though. I started off by typing something like "Glenn impaled a zombie by the fence" and then it became "Glenn two more" and then I just started typing "i" for each kill and pretty soon my screen looked like Jack Nicholson's typewriter in "The Shining."
If I had to come up with an educated guess, I'd say that somewhere around 75 or 80 zombies were laid to rest with all the prison clearing and all that. (UPDATE: I went back and watched again, and I'm pretty sure there were 60 on-screen kills.) I don't know if they'll keep up this pace, especially once the West Georgia Correctional Facility is secured, but I do get the feeling that we're in for an especially bloody season.
Some of the highlights of all the slaughter:
- Rick peels the gas mask off of one prison guard zombie, and its face comes off at the same time. Then Rick stabs the guys face up.
- In the house (useless information, the address was 565) they find some frail old woman zombie, that actually appeared to be some sort of animatronic thing and not an actor in make-up. It reminded me of the talking half-corpse zombie woman in "Return of the Living Dead."
- Rick hacks the heck out of Hershel's leg with a blunt axe to prevent the spread of his zombie bite (oh yeah, Hershel got bit by a zombie, BTW). Hershel passed out from the pain. The best part is how they didn't bother to just show Rick swinging an axe and squirt little shots of blood up and make gross noises. They actually showed the axe hitting the leg, close-up, and then they showed an extreme close-up of the raw, oozing stump. LOL, I love this show!
So aside from all the violence, the plot was advanced by the survivors starting to secure the prison, Michonne and Andrea setting out from the Sportsman's Deer Cooler to look for the others, and the cliffhanger at the end, a group of non-zombie prisoners turning up in the prison cafeteria!
Rejoice my friends, "The Walking Dead" is back, and better than ever!
Did you notice?
- As the survivors run away from that first house, there is a blue soccer cleat stuck in a pile of dirt outside. What, did Diego Maradona live there or something?
- There is also some weird Christmas display on the wall inside the house. Only it's not something normal, it's like three little stuffed Santy Clause dolls tied together. Those people that like to buy Christmas decorations year-round are an odd bunch.
- The sign on the wall of the Sportsman's Deer Cooler says "The Buck Stops Here". Hey, those hunters must be Orioles fans!
- Rick and Carl have home-made silencers on their guns now! I don't know what Carl's was, but Rick's looked like a flashlight. What is he, MacGyver?
- Michonne's awesome walker pets were carrying all of her luggage for her, including what appeared to be a guitar case!
Maggie and Beth sing the blues
You can buy the song that Maggie and Beth sing around the campfire — The Partin' Glass — on iTunes, if you're into that kind of thing. Does anyone know what the other song from the episode was? I think it plays when they're heading into the prison. It sounded kind of folksy, and it was something about it being late at night and too quiet or something like that.
It's always so awkward when someone tries to sing a song or play the guitar around a campfire, because no one can talk, you just have to sit there and listen with this magical look on your face like "Oh, aww, it's so beautiful!" And then when they finish they get all quiet and embarassed for a second, and you have to be like "Dude, that was so good! Aww man, that was awesome bro."
Well excuse me, Jacques Pepin!
Carl goes out of his way to find a nice can of dog food, only for Rick to grab it and chuck it into the fireplace, right as he's about to dig in. Sheesh Rick, sorry, I didn't realize this was The Four Seasons!
Sometimes it's fun to act silly
When the adults are preparing to explore the prison, little Carl dons a riot helmet and starts chuckling like a chuckle-head with Beth when it topples off of his head. Then Rick is like "Gimme that! Cut out all that horseplay!"
The part that looked the most scary, but also the most fun!
Didn't it look like it would have been so fun to be exploring those dark hallways of the prison, shooting up zombies!? It looked like some kind of awesome haunted house that they always have out in the sticks at this time of year, the ones that kids stick fliers in your windshield advertising. Only it wouldn't be as fun if it wasn't fake, and it might also have been better if you get to take a hayride through it and they had caramel apples and cider at the end.
I thought it would have been funny...
If, when everyone was talking about what kind of amenities the prison might have (Rick: "Armory!" Hershel: "Commissary!" Daryl: "Infirmary!"), Glenn had chimed in: "Arcade!"
You can win the Hyundai!
Hah. I don't know. It's just kind of funny to me how hard they try to shoehorn a cross promotion with the Hyundai Tucson into a show about surviving in a world overrun by reanimated corpses.
The little old lady one in the house. I mean, the one whose face came off was pretty awesome too, but this isn't "Awesomest zombie"
The one whose face came off when Rick pulled his gas mask off. I was like "Hey is this The Walking Dead or the Grateful Dead!? Haha! Yes! (The Grateful Dead released an album in 1976 called "Steal Your Face" Get it?)
Daryl: "While the others wash their panties, lets go hunting. That owl didn't exactly hit the spot."
Lori: "What if it's stillborn? What if it's dead inside me right now, what if it rips me apart?"
Andrea, to Michonne: "I wont have you dying for me. Good soldier, won't leave your post: screw you."
Hershel: "Sing Patty Riley for me, I haven't heard that I think since your mother was alive."
Best zombie kill
When Michonne lopped off two of their heads at once with her Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Leonardo sword.
Hershel's legs: 1/2. (NOTE: in the comics, it was Dale who lost his leg once they got to the prison. So, just think about that…)
What everyone is up to
Rick: Pacing around the prison yard, doing jump kicks and hacking off old men's legs with a hatchet.
Lori: Freaking out about her bun in the oven. Confiding in Hershel.
Carl: Flirting with Beth, who towers over him. Trying to eat dog food, and horsing around.
Andrea: Catching a serious case of the sniffles. Acting sassy.
Glenn: Trying to be Banksy with his graffiti art. Volunteering for suicide missions.
Daryl: Flirting with Carol. Sleeping on perches. Wearing a cool cape made out of a stoner poncho.
Carol: Flirting with Daryl. Almost shooting Rick. Weakly attacking a walker with a tire iron.
T-Dog: Knocking fools down with a plastic riot shield.
Hershel: Having his leg bitten into like a big salty turkey leg at the RenFest.
Maggie: Fighting alongside the men. Stabbing zombie prison guards in the Adam's apple.
Beth: Performing duets with Maggie. Making Carl get funny, warm feelings in his Underoos.
Michonne: Finding travel size packets of aspirin for Andrea. Making her two pet zombies carry all of her luggage.
- Is Lori's bebo gonna turn into a zombie inside her tummy and rip her apart from the inside out?
- What will become of Hershel, know that he done got bit by a zombie?
- Who's in the helicopter?
- Where are Merle Dixon and Morgan and Duane?
A look ahead to next week's episode, "Sick"
We meet the Governor and visit the quaint little town of Woodberry, and we get inside the cockpit of the mysterious helicopter, which seems to be in for a rough landing!
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