When we last left everyone’s favorite dysfunctional family of zombie bait, they had just left Lotso Huggin’ Hershel’s farm in ashes. They wandered out into the woods–not unlike what ne’er-do-well Carl is wont to do–and Andrea came upon some badass chick with pet zombies, while the others ended up near some ostensibly abandoned-as-fuck prison (but everybody knew there had to be some people holed up in there. Oh, and Rick killed Shane dead; then Carl killed Shane undead.
Seed opens up with the menfolk busting into some abandoned house, killing walkers (and owls) and shit. Everyone looks pretty much the same, except Carl has apparently become harried since shooting Shane, and I don’t say that just because he appears to be sporting a new mullet under that ever-present cowboy hat of his; he’s actually carrying himself like he knows what he’s doing. Hershel, too, has a new appearance; he has a beard. Yeah, that’s it. I guess I should mention how Lori looks like she’s ready to pop that baby out any day now. Her belly looks like the balloon Felix Baumgartner used to reach space. The point? Some time has passed. The group gets a little settled into this humble abode: Carl starts to open a can of something, but Rick opens a can of whoopass on that idea. I guess he doesn’t like baked beans? Rick may not be hungry, but there are some walkers right outside, and they appear to be starving. Seeing this, our merry band makes like regulators and rolls out.
After wandering up the road a piece (only stopping to “wash their panties”, as Daryl so eloquently puts it), they finally make it to this prison we’ve heard so much about. This is when we really see where their time together in this dystopia has changed them: Rick takes charge, coordinating their militant assault on this prison yard that is overrun by zombified inmates. He instructs each of them to take their individual places atop various towers and distraction “you may be eaten” spots, and they do it. That’s the fairly new development that we only started seeing in the season two finale; they’re working together, and they’re doing it well. On top of this, they are killing machines with blood so cold it’s worthy of Dave Chappelle’s Rick James. They kill every single inmate–roughly 100, or so–and do it without breaking a sweat. Let’s hope this is a sign that we’re going to get away from any kind of wishy-washy “maybe we should keep walkers in the barn” sentimentality.
They set up camp in the prison yard instead of going inside for reasons that are not very clear, unless it’s just because most of them are white people, and white people love camping. This is when we get into some awkward moments where Daryl and Carol share a quasi-romantic moment, followed by a singalong around the campfire… what? Yes, they sing, and I don’t know why anyone thought this was a good idea. Anyway, it turns out they camped outside because there are more prison walkers between them and the prison. Rick actually wants them to fight there way inside, but it seems the only fighting anyone is interested in doing is fighting Rick’s idea. I guess they aren’t as cohesive a unit as previously indicated; that’s probably the reason their little campfire ditty wasn’t “Cumbaya”. Daryl still questions Rick’s ability to lead, and Lori seems to encourage Rick to not lead so much. Nobody is on the same page, and Rick is sticking with the decision he made last season: he’s not taking shit, anymore. The problem is: that attitude is alienating everyone, or alienating him away from everyone, which can’t be good in the long run.
The next morning, away from our group, we get another look-in on the exploits of the badass lady with pet zombies. Update: she’s still being all badass out there. Now, back to the regularly scheduled nomads.
Even though nobody was really on board with Rick’s great idea to break into prison, we’re met with the clan doing just that. They bust through a fence with the veracity of Kool-Aid Man and are met head-on by plenty of walkers, but they’re not ordinary walkers; these are prison guard walkers, and they are decked out in riot gear, which is completely awesome. Nevertheless, Tricky Rick and his funky bunch quickly dispense with their armored combatants, and they do so with cringe-inducing effect, including Rick pulling one walker’s helmet off and, with it, ripping off its face; then the creepy bastard just chatters around on the ground for several seconds until you’re oh-so-glad when Rick smashes its face in.
So, with almost no effort, we’re inside the prison, now. This means Lori was bitching at Rick for no reason, yet again; some things never change. Everyone spreads out and chooses a cell to sleep in; everyone except Daryl, because he “ain’t sleeping in no cage.” The man’s mastery of the English language ain’t second to no ‘nother. They’re all pretty cozy in this prison, which means shit is about to un-cozy that ass.
This is when the show, again, checks in with the badass chick. This time, though, we see that she’s still dragging around Andrea, who is sick–well, dying. To her credit, Andrea does tell badass chick and her pet walkers to go on without her. The problem is that I never liked her and still don’t like her, so I’m all for that idea. Leave her. They don’t separate, however. Apparently, the badass chick has some kind of “morality” that won’t let her leave Andrea behind. Whatever.
Back at the Happy Happy Correctional Facility, Lori is going crazy, like, to batshit levels. She seeks counsel from Hershel about her fears of the baby dying inside her, becoming a walker (crawler?), and ripping her apart. Is she serious, right now? She goes on to lament the state of her marriage and her shitty mothering abilities. You know, if you don’t want your son to hate you, try–I don’t know–remembering he exists. Not all the time; I mean, who keeps track of their kids all the time? Just check in on him from time to time. Just a suggestion. Anyway, Hershel manages to chill her out.
Now, most of the group tasks themselves with exploring the prison to find its kitchen, infirmary, etc. This is when something amazing happens: Rick actually tells Carl to stay behind with Lori and Beth, Hershel’s youngest daughter with whom Carl has a… uh… “bond”. Rick convinces Carl by telling him he would be the “last man standing” if something was to go wrong. I know! I was just as shocked as you. Rick actually looking after the well-being of Carl? Who would have known he had it in him? What’s even more shocking is that Carl listened. It’s like a whole new show!
By the way, the group’s little excursion is a rousing failure. They run right into a ton of prison walkers, one of whom promptly chomps on Hershel’s leg. He gets away, but you remember that guy earlier in the series who jumped off the roof and got himself impaled on that fence? You remember what they almost did to try and save him? And guess what they did to Hershel. They didn’t. No, you’re damn right they did. To keep him from dying, Rick chopped Hershel’s leg off. O-F-F. Off. Chopped off. Hershel’s new nickname is “Eileen”. He can wear all his pants twice without washing them. The man has one leg. Do you get what I’m saying?
As Hershel passes out (from the joy of being saved, surely), Daryl calls our attention to a group of walkers behind a steel cage, but wait; those aren’t walkers. There are a group of people still alive in this prison, and they are shocked–mostly at Rick’s chop suey, I’d bet.
This premiere got the season off to an awesome start. I’m sure most of us know at least a little bit about what lies ahead (and the names of some of the characters), but I’ve omitted those things which aren’t known in-universe, yet. Feel free to discuss these things in the comments, but be mindful that other readers may not know what you know; if you’re going to post spoilers, just let everyone know beforehand. Likewise, anyone reading this should be mindful that there may be further spoilers in the comments, since this show is based on source material that plenty of people have already read.