Review: The Walking Dead – Seed
By Jonathan Pilley (@omnicomic)
Like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead is adapted from previous source material. This review is not meant to compare similarities and differences between the show and comic. It’s meant to be read purely as a take on the episode as it stands.
That being said… SPOILERS AHEAD
It’s been a while since we’ve spent time with everyone’s favorite group of zombie apocalypse survivors, but now they’re back. All of them. Well, except for those who weren’t fortunate enough to make it off the farm at the end of season two. Things don’t seem to be going that much better for all who survived, though.
Carl has become someone they trust with a gun. Lori is full-on pregnant (yet still likely reviled by most viewers). The gang has clearly been at the roving thing for a while, moving from house to house, clearing them out and taking what they can. There’s almost a feral sense among them, desperate to find whatever it is they can to survive. Killing zombies is routine, along with staying on the move constantly.
The survivors are experienced at this, learning the routes of the zombie mobs to avoid them and continuing to pick houses clean for survival items. It’s clear they’re weary of the constant grind and need something with stability. They stumble upon the prison, thinking that it could be a veritable bonanza of goods.
Rick is done taking orders and letting the democracy rule. It was stated at the end of season two, but it’s really being shown here in the start of season three. Rick is doling out orders and taking charge; being the leader he’s meant to be, honestly. He’s really taking his new responsibilities seriously, worrying tirelessly about the safety of the group. He’s also making hard decisions.
For instance, the end of the episode featured a mini-tragedy of sorts. Rick makes a split-second decision without hesitation, which was quite refreshing, and really shows that the character is committed to making decisions and sticking with them. This isn’t the old Rick, worried about making sure everyone had a say. This is a new Rick, one who’s determined to let no one else die under his stewardship.
It’s nice to see how much Daryl has both accepted and been accepted in the group. He’s really taking on a quiet leadership role, almost serving as Rick’s right-hand man. He trusts Rick implicitly at this point and readily accepts orders from him, while still maintaining his own sense of independence and autonomy. He’s even showing a softer side, demonstrating some warmth and compassion towards Carol after she complains about pain from rifle kickback.
Who’s got two thumbs, two zombie pack mules and an awesome sword? Michonne! And yes, she’s quite proficient with that samurai sword she wields. She takes up temporary residence in the Deer Cooler, a small sports supply store where her two slaves remain captive, while Andrea sleeps on the floor. It’s nice to see why exactly she has the two zombie slaves and she’s fighting to keep Andrea alive, despite her declining health. The two of them have been at it together all winter, forging a bond.
The prison isn’t a surprise, but it’s effectively used as a character in the show. There’s a scene where a small sub-group of the survivors are clearing out the cellblocks so that they can have a more secure spot for the time being. In the distance, there are moans, bangs and clangs heard, all emphasizing the solitude the group feels despite having each other. Their only company known at the time is more zombies. Even arriving there was actually quite a chilling scene, watching them run between the fences with zombies clamoring for them on both sides.
At the prison, the zombie body count gets high. In the opening episode of the new season, the survivors probably killed more zombies than all of season two combined. They’ve given up on any moral qualms about killing zombies and they just do it, thrust into a mindset to either kill or be killed. The show kept referring to the time gap between the farm and present as “winter,” so presumably they’ve had lots of practice at killing zombies.
The “crack-shot” problem continues, where everyone hits just about everything they shoot. It’s possible that that they really have gotten that good, but it takes most military service members years to become such great shots. These guys have done it in seemingly months. It’s not enough to really detract from the episode, but it does seem a tad bit unrealistic. Then again, we are talking about the reality of zombies here as well.
The thing that shines through in this episode is that differing characters bring existing bonds to the table, but they’ve also formed bonds with each other. An apocalypse is probably a massive bonding event and watching the group find common ground and share it is comforting in a way. The series is just as much about humanity as it is about zombies and the characters do a great job showcasing that.
The season preview showed that things are only going to get tougher for the group before they get easier. Just because they’ve found the prison doesn’t mean that life is all of a sudden perfect. Having said that, the episode was a great start to the season. Whether or not it’s the start of an even better season or another season that drags like season two (only in prison instead of a farm) remains to be seen. At the very least, one thing is clear: the Ricktocracy is strong and the group will live or die by his decisions.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars