We’re not even four episodes into this new, third season of The Walking Dead and we’ve already seen more action and plot development than the entire second season combined. Don’t you remember a year ago when we were sitting around on Hershel’s farm not finding little Sophia? Wasn’t that exciting? With four more episodes left this year (not to mention the back half next year) The Walking Dead is finally living up to its potential. Also: spoilers. Lots of spoilers.
Rick and his crew have been on the move after the ambush at Hershel’s farm, happening onto a massive prison complex hinted at in the finale to season two. The prison has a small crew of prisoners that have survived, but the facility is still loaded with the undead, making security paramount and every inch captured that much more important to hold onto. Most of the prisoners are killed when they try to take advantage of our crew with a pair left to fend for themselves in a cleared out cell block. As Kelly pointed out, there were probably more zombies killed in just the premiere than the entire second season. These deaths are rapid fire and incredibly violent. It’s so damn awesome, I’m tearing up just thinking about it. Sniff.
Rick has always been the soft-spoken leader, but in the wake of Shane’s betrayal, he has become something fierce. He can’t seem to make amends with his wife, Lori, and it’s obvious that their relationship is probably in shambles forever. Lori is pregnant, a major plot point from the previous season and finally gives birth in episode four, only to pass out from the shock of the C-section in the midst of an impromptu birthing. Carl, their son, now long-haired and empowered (also, a stubborn little shit) deals the final blow before she can pass away and return as a zombie, knowing now after Shane’s demise that any deceased person becomes one. When the baby failed to breathe initially, I actually thought it had died and became a zombie as well, which would’ve been a super macabre way of dealing with the whole situation.
The crew’s doctor, Hershel, is bitten early on and Rick acts quickly to chop the infected leg off. Hershel lies bedridden for weeks as he recovers, putting everyone in a pickle as Hershel had only been able to pass off so much information beforehand. When an escaped prisoner summons hordes of zombies to the prison, everyone is caught off-guard and we lose T-Dog and Lori in the same swoop, being replaced by the two prisoners that they had previously cast aside. Now with a newborn they have no idea to provide for along with new threats from the outside, how will they handle?
The last we left Andrea, she had been left behind at Hershel’s farm, finding herself in the care of the hooded Michonne, who totes two jawless zombies as mules and as layer of stealth protection against other walkers. They wander the wilderness for eight months until they happen upon a helicopter crash and an armed militia searching for survivors. It’s here that we discover that Merle (Daryl’s brother) has survived (sans right hand) and now works as an armed man for The Governor, a charismatic southerner who leads a small, heavily armed community called Woodbury. Andrea seems to fall under The Governor’s spell, but Michonne is skeptical. It’s not long before we discover that this hamlet’s sly-talking leader is far from saintly. Upon recovering the barely-living pilot of the helicopter crash, he seeks out the rest of his unit who he ambushes for their supplies and ammo.
What devilish plans does The Governor have in store? Stay tuned next week…