Seriable’s Robert L. reviews The Walking Dead 3.01 “Seed”
With the increasing popularity of The Walking Dead, the season premiere was undoubtedly the most anticipated episode yet.
I had mixed feelings coming into the episode. I loved the first season, and I thought the season two premiere was solid, if flawed. But I think that the show has lost a lot of the “horror” that once made it so great. That’s bound to happen with any ongoing TV series, so the question is a matter of what they replace the horror with.
I think what made the second season so frustrating to a lot of fans wasn’t that it focused so much on character drama, but that the storyline became circular. I felt like each week we would watch a few arguments unfold, with some survival/zombie related conflicts, that pushed the story nowhere. NOTE: when I say, “pushed the story nowhere,” I mean we were watching the exact same arguments and situations week after week.
I’m a great deal more optimistic for this season. In watching the premiere, I’m a little bit worried that we might have the opposite problem (the story pushing forward so fast that we don’t get to explore character drama). Not very worried, mind you. This is only one episode and it has the huge job of establishing the world that season three will be based upon. I fully expect it to find a nice balance within the next few episodes.
The opening scene gives us a glimpse of how life has changed for the group since we last saw them. Lori is very pregnant, and some of our heroes look quite a bit different, so we get the impression that several months have passed. There isn’t much dialogue, as they scavenge one particular house, and I think it’s effective in setting up a fairly interesting reveal: after Rick expresses some angst by throwing a can against the wall, the group looks at him anxiously … almost as if they’re afraid of him.
So it seems that his transition to “supreme leader” went well enough, even if everything isn’t carrots and apples.
Other changes are slowly revealed. Things such as Carl fighting, and Carol apparently being able to shoot a gun (something that doesn’t strike me as particularly believable, but since she nearly puts a bullet in Rick, I’ll let it go). What stood out to me the most, though, is how confident the group seemed in fighting the walkers. Not only are the viewers no longer scared, it seems that our characters aren’t either. They seem to have a “we can handle it, so long as we play it smart” kind of attitude.
Rick’s primary goal is to find a place for Lori to deliver, which is why he pushes so quickly to get into the prison. It’s pretty apparent from the get-go that things between Rick and Lori are rough, but the tide seems to have turned. Rick is now the one at odds with Lori, which is a different tone than we had last season.
It’s unclear if something major has happened between them since the last episode. So whether Rick suddenly realized that she was a horrible person, or if she somehow managed to top herself by continuing to be the most self-centered person to roam the earth, we’ll have to wait and see.
Most every fan of the show already hates her so much that it’s kind of hard to feel bad for her. Even when she says, “thank you,” followed by Rick ignoring her, it’s hard to feel like she doesn’t deserve it. Being visibly pregnant helps her cause, but I have to wonder if the writers realized that they created a completely unsympathetic character, and are trying to undo that by causing her pain (which worked very well throughout the first season, I might add).
The episode is full of zombie encounters, one of which gave us a creative bit of suspense, by putting them in police riot gear. Also of note, is the brief glimpse we get of Michonne using her katana. She’s taking care of Andrea, who is now sick. Andrea wants to be a martyr and get left behind, as always. I’m really hoping for a good storyline coming up for her, because her self-pity has been tiresome.
Things really pick up when a panicked Lori talks to Hershel about her baby. She hasn’t felt it move for a while, and is worried that she may have lost it. Obviously the implications of that are frightening, but you get the impression that the only reason the writers would have her vocalize this concern is because we’re not actually going to see it happen. Potentially a scary scene, but at least they recognize the terror of the concept.
(On that note, I’m not sure how well seeing a baby zombie would be received — the concept feels a bit taboo for a TV show. It gives me a lot of anxiety.)
Lori also talks to Hershel about how upset she is that Rick and Carl hate her, which leads me to believe there is some baggage which we’re not yet aware of that happened in the previous months. Hershel practically brushes her aside, saying:
“You know who doesn’t give a shit about [all] that? This baby.”
Pretty much sums it up.
In the final moments of the episode, after a long corridor-zombie scene, we see a zombie bite Hershel. Given that he’s the one person most likely to keep both Lori and the baby safe, Rick quickly cuts his leg off in an attempt to save him. It does seem a bit far-fetched that he would still live, since even a tiny scratch can infect a person, but we’ll see where this leads. It seems to me that Hershel will die very soon.
I do think the show missed an opportunity to make the scene even more intense by extending its length, adding in a bit of arguing, screaming, and crying, but me taking the time to make such trivial complaints demonstrates how good the episode was.
I don’t know what the implications of the still-alive prisoners they find at the end are. Could be awesome, could be a one-episode arc, we’ll have to wait and see!
8/10 Seriable Stars
What did you think about this week’s episode? Let us know in the comments below!