The dead have reentered millions of homes with the season premiere episode of “The Walking Dead.” Fans are reunited with what was left of the group after the farm was overtaken by walkers in the final episode of season two. As the episode begins we learn that winter has passed, and during this time span, relationships have grown while others have started to fall apart.
It was a disappointment that seeing how the group survived the winter and what life was like was skipped over. In previous episodes characters have alluded to trying to survive through the winter, which seemed to be setting up an interesting take on the zombie apocalypse. Unfortunately, the producers decided to skip over this part for the time being; while possible flashbacks could show parts of it, the season starts off adrenaline packed anyway.
The group has been on the run scavenging from house to house looking for supplies and a safe place to rest as Lori’s (Sarah Wayne Callies) baby nears. But with no luck in finding a new safe haven, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) eventually stumble about a walker infested prison. Despite the prison being overrun by walkers Rick sees the prison as a perfect opportunity for a stable shelter. With little ammunition left the group is forced to battle the herd of walkers hand-to-hand with their knives, arrows, spears and make shift weapons. They succeed without any casualties and claim one of the cell blocks loaded with beds, new weapons and most importantly for the group, a source of safety.
The prison also brings a whole new atmosphere and set of adventures for the group. As learned by the end of season two, nowhere is safe anymore. It is a statement that everyone in the group has taken seriously and is forced to mature due to it. Every member has come acquainted with shooting and having to take down walkers, especially Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Beth (Emily Kinney). During season two, both showed their fear of the walkers with Carl not being able to kill the walker that eventually killed Dale (Jeffery DeMunn) and Beth who was about to kill herself after losing all hope. But now both have shown no fear wielding a gun, especially Carl who no longer hesitates when he sees a walker and matured to a kid soldier. Carl and Beth have also shown a spark between each other that might grow throughout the season.
That was not the only relationship development since season two. The whole group in general has become a little closer over the winter and even began to trust Rick’s new “dictatorship” policy. While within in the group Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie’s (Lauren Cohan) relationship seems to have gone to the next level, and Daryl and Carol (Melissa McBride) have seemed to become a little closer as well. But the relationship that seems to almost be non-existent anymore is Rick and Lori’s. With everything that Lori has put Rick through in the first two seasons, especially not fully supporting Rick’s decision to kill Shane, Rick keeps his distance, but is still concerned about the baby.
The prison is not the only thing brought forth in the opening episode that was alluded to at the end of season two. Fan favorite, Michonne (Danai Gurira) who was seen saving Andrea’s (Laurie Holden) life at the end of season two, is back with her jaw-less and armless pet walkers. Not much is known about her background yet, just that she is a pro with a samurai sword and that she has been taking care of a sick Andrea.
The excitement level from the end of season two has definitely transferred over to season three with plenty more to come. This first episode has already set up many future story lines. The prison sets up the show for many possible twists and turns, already starting off with Hershel’s (Scott Wilson) health now in jeopardy and the walkers are not the only ones the group is sharing the facility with. Along Michonne’s story is yet to be told, a new antagonist in the governor (David Morrissey) soon to come and teased return of Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) are sure to make season three the best yet. The next episode will air on Oct. 21 at 9 p.m.
-Published in The Oswegonian