Written By: Glen Mazzara
Directed By: Ernest Dickerson
The Story: Months have past since Rick Grimes and his ragtag group of survivors escaped the Farm after Walkers overran it. Lori is heavily pregnant, morale is low, but salvation rears its head when the group stumble upon a zombie-ridden prison…
The Verdict: THE WALKING DEAD returns for it’s third season, firing on all cylinders, and easily topping previous season premieres. There was much to be nervous about, for sure. Would the show survive without showrunner and executive producer Frank Darabont following his departure midway through the making of the second season? Would the Prison storyline be as dramatic and hard edged as it was in the Comics? And would newcomer Danai Gurira cut the cake as fan favourite Michonne? Based on this impressive season opener, yes to all three questions.
What impresses most about SEED is how full of pace the storytelling is, despite it’s need to set up all the new locations, characters, and situations. There’s no pussyfooting around here, as it’s straight into the Prison storyline, a gutsy move that keeps the tension up so high that this reviewer at one point dug his fingernails so deep into his wrist, it left marks!
The action scenes are fantastic, with plenty of the gore and over the top, puke inducing violence one’s come to expect from THE WALKING DEAD since it first began way back in 2010. Particularly interesting is the way the group have become better at working together as a single zombie slaying unit, especially in the cases of the more innocent characters like T-Dog, Carol, and Carl.
The prison interior scenes are nerve shredding! Ernest Dickerson and his cinematographer eke every opportunity to keep the scares coming, particularly in the dark corridor scenes, which will no doubt have had everyone watching at home on the edge of their seat!
The final moments are the real kicker though, as Herschel takes a bite from a lurking Walker, and as a result, loses his leg when Rick hacks it off to stop the infection spreading. It’s extremely graphic, painful to watch, and the performances of both Scott Wilson, Andrew Lincoln, and Lauren Cohan only sell the pain and the sheer desperation of the situation all the more! And need I remind you that this is only episode one of SIXTEEN!!!!
SEED is a tremendous, first class piece of television, and shows all other US TV Shows just how to write a perfect opening episode!! Full of nerve shredding tension, dark hints at possible storylines, and its fair share of terrifying sequences, as well as some emotional character moments, THE WALKING DEAD Season 3 is off to a phenomenal start!
Best Bit(s): Can’t decide this week, so special mention to the inspired silent, uncomfortable pre-titles sequence, the beautifully restrained moment where Lori confides to Herschel her fears for her unborn baby, the dismemberment of Herschel’s leg, and that brilliantly leftfield cliff-hanger, which was just…’shudders’!
OK Carl, We Forgive You: Love that Carl has stopped being that idiot kid that kept wandering off and getting people killed last season, and has instead turned into a bit of a badass with a shotgun.
Oh You Teases: Only one short sequence featuring Andrea and Michonne! Many will feel cheated. Don’t head to the forums just yet though, as showrunner Glen Mazzara has said that their story will be a bigger focus later on this season, with some episodes possibly featuring only Michonne and Andrea! I. Can’t. Wait!
Great Gore: Best moment of zombie action this week? The gross but bloody excellent bit where the gang remove the helmet of a riot-squad bedecked Walker, only for his whole face to come off!! Urghh! But Awesome, all the same!!!
Rick: “Only one way to keep you alive”. ?(chops off Hershel’s leg).
Join us next week for part two of THN’s THE WALKING DEAD Season 3 Blog!