‘The Walking Dead’ Season 3 Premiere Review

Published 2 years ago by

Danai Gurira Andrew Lincoln and David Morrissey in The Walking Dead Season 3 The Walking Dead Season 3 Premiere Review

After 2 seasons of watching Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) struggle to keep a petulant group of survivors alive in The Walking Dead, things are finally looking up for him from a leadership point of view – but decidedly down everywhere else.

So, in an effort to guide the remaining ensemble down the long road to ruin, season 3 kicks off ‘Seed’ by loosening the narrative’s grip on just how serialized the series needs to be, and by moving the episode along at a much more deliberate pace. This solves two of the show’s bigger problems, in that more progression is allowed to happen off-screen, and the things that are presented in the episode are considerably more interesting. There were glimpses of this in the last half of season 2, which was largely a march toward change for the better. The increasingly burdensome conflict between Shane (Jon Bernthal) and Rick was finally resolved, and the farm where the plot went to die was overrun by walkers and destroyed by fire.

As much as Hershel’s farm had drained the plot of its excitement, perhaps it had been designed as a means by which the audience could get to know and eventually care about these characters. It didn’t really work out that way, however, and by the end of season 2, all we really knew was that this group had a hard time getting along and that they were, more or less, looking for someone to lead them. But despite Rick’s best efforts, the group had largely decided Shane was the way to go. That, of course, was undone with Rick killing his former best friend, and adopting a no-nonsense attitude toward keeping these folks alive. Now, the season premiere sets out to show whether or not the whole Rick’s-way-or-the-highway approach worked out.

Norman Reedus IronE Singleton Andrew Lincoln Steven Yeun The Walking Dead Seed AMC The Walking Dead Season 3 Premiere Review

‘Seed’ gets underway by establishing that even though the prison was revealed to the audience at the end of ‘Beside the Dying Fire,’ the group has spent all winter jumping from house to house, more or less tending to the everyday requirements of survival. The jump in time works by granting the assumption that everyone has had sufficient time to process Shane’s death and to work out whatever problems may still linger between them – at least to the point that their squabbles are no longer as big a threat to the group as the walkers. It also makes Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) being pregnant a far more immediate issue to deal with, and helps explain why Carl (Chandler Riggs) appears to be two inches taller and can gun down walkers as efficiently as his father. Most importantly though, whatever happened during the winter made the group a far more cohesive unit, which is conveyed only by the fact that they’re still alive, but also by how quickly they make use of the prison.

The clearing of the prison yard and cell block, followed by the search for supplies, are the most substantial set pieces that ‘Seed’ has to offer, and they manage to provide plenty of gruesome moments and jump scares to keep things thrilling. The episode also establishes that the state of Rick and Lori’s relationship has been taxed to the point that he barely speaks to her, and when he does, it’s in a terse, matter-of-fact tone. Rick hasn’t gone off the deep end like he seemed he was about to while addressing everyone at the end of last season, but whatever transpired over the winter has earned him enough recognition that even Carol (Melissa McBride) mentions to Daryl (Norman Reedus) the group wouldn’t have survived as long under the guidance of Shane. It shows that although time has passed, the influence of Shane is still significant beyond more than the unasked questions about Lori’s pregnancy, and it also serves as a small victory for Rick, setting up a new direction for the series under his leadership that will hopefully consist of more than watching every argument as it unfolds amongst the survivors.

There are also a few moments that grant a clearer view of the characters’ state of mind, like the comfortable way Maggie (Lauren Cohen) and Glenn (Steven Yeun) look after one another during a rare moment of solace, and Lori’s feelings of regret about Shane and her husband, which are amplified by the fear that she’ll have to deal with a zombified baby, or worse, the group will be forced to put her down if she were to die giving birth. They’re short moments that flesh out where these characters have been, and how those events have shaped them into who they are now. It’s also a good starting off point for whatever drama is to come.

Danai Gurira in The Walking Dead Seed AMC The Walking Dead Season 3 Premiere Review

‘Seed’ also offers something the series hasn’t really done before; it’s allowed the main story to splinter off. At the end of last season, Andrea (Laurie Holden) was presumed dead, even though Michonne (Danai Gurira) had saved her in rather grand fashion. Here again, Michonne’s entrance grants the series some excitement and suspense, as she deftly deals with a store full of walkers in search of some aspirin to give to an ailing Andrea. Even though the episode doesn’t spend too much time with them, it establishes the pair has come to rely on one another, and the lack of medical supplies has begun to take its toll on the survivors. Most importantly, however, Andrea and Michonne’s storyline – though it will likely converge with Rick’s group soon enough – is a welcome break from the blow-by-blow account of what everyone else is up to.

This gives season 3 two distinct storylines to follow, which, if nothing else, should provide plenty of opportunities to keep the tempo from relaxing to the degree it has before. And with 16 episodes in this third season, the worry is that the prison will become as much of drag on the plot as Hershel’s farm was. So, in what appears to be another effort to combat the temptation of comfort that the prison represents, it turns out not all of the prisoners have succumbed to the walkers – and as far as introductions go, hacking off Hershel’s (Scott Wilson) infected leg is about as memorable as Rick & Co. can probably hope to get.

It may be too soon to say that ‘Seed’ is the episode Walking Dead fans have been waiting for since the pilot, but it certainly offered plenty of visceral excitement and intrigue to back that notion up. At any rate, since much of season 3 is supposed to deal with the threat humanity poses to the living, the surviving prisoners and the Governor (David Morrissey) will likely help keep the suspense above the threat of being kicked off a farm.

[poll id="412"]

-

The Walking Dead continues next Sunday with ‘Sick’ @9pm on AMC.

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:
TAGS: the walking dead

164 Comments

Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.


If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it.

  1. I enjoy Screen Rant’s news. But I think I disagree with them on just about every opinion they ever have. You HATED Green Lantern. Can’t stop complaining about Prometheus. And you disliked the 2nd season of Walking Dead?
    And everything I found questionable about this premier- you praise…???

    I should probably just go elsewhere, huh?

    • yes.

      Seriously. That’s ridiculous. Each of those things deserved to be panned.

  2. I think the show is going in the perfect direction. Yes, the first half of season 2 was a drag, and every time Lori spoke I had to convince myself to keep watching, I had to believe she would either die, change her annoying outlook and get with the program, or just S.T.F.U. The fighting between Rick and Shane was so unbearable and plain annoying that he had to go. His death and the last 4 episodes is what kept me happy. Happy we were back to way T.W.Dead should be, happy the farm was in the rear view and now very Happy to be in prison.lol P.S..Lori was way more tolerable in s.3 episode 1. Lets hope they keep her that way!!

    • it will be really difficult to criticize the TWD series, its definitely well balanced.

  3. What to know when its on on freeview. Please let me know dieing to see it

    • 1channel (dot) ch. I watched it two hours before it aired in my market.

  4. The Walking Dead Series is just awesome! I’ve always been glued on my computer ryt from seanon#1 to Season#3. I love it and expecting more from you!!!

  5. Still dont know why rick is so pissed at lori. He killed his best friend and admitted he did it cause shane was doggin him and he wanted it over. He said he knew they were together and didnt blame lori. He said he didnt ask for the job as leader but he did take it from shane. When rick arrived at the group he took iver. I can see whyshane got pissed. Its one thing to want to protect ur on its another to just takr over. Shane was doin a good job. Im not sure if I like rick. Hes kind of two faced. I understand he wants to keep all alive but heacts like he blames the group for that. Hes theone who took overwho took over. family. Its another to demote shane. Im still not sure. whywhy shane was pissed. Ri

    • Rick did not take over the way you are implying. He was a nearly broken man when he arrived at camp. He made suggestions based on the morality that he has and the group followed. He is very persuasive, but the group could have stated that Shane was their leader and they were content with his leadership.

      You can’t be a leader if you have no followers. Rick would have had to get with the program or get his family and leave. I can admit to being able to see things from your point of view. I don’t agree, but I do respect your opinion. I just really like the stable, and solid character of Rick.

      • Sometimes the Leadership characteristics just crop-up from within a person. Just like Shane displayed his character that he is going to survive no matter what even at other peoples expense/lives by killing Otis and as we see Dale full of philosophy and wisdom cautioning people on the consequences of their actions so is Rick, Rick has displayed a natural “Leadership qualities” among which is: He is never selfish (never put himself fist), he thinks ahead of time, respects peoples wishes, never sarcastic, honesty, sacrifice with no real gain etc etc.

  6. I dont know what you people are talking about. I thought season two was amazing. Example. Seinfeld is my favorite show of all my life. I still to this day watch it three times a day. I love Curb Your Enthusiasm because of the work Larry David did on Seinfeld. With that being said I dont even watch the first two seasons of Seinfeld or CYE simply because the show wasnt developed yet. The show got better every episode after that once you understood the character. TWD needed a season or half season strictly for understanding the characters. I thought season 2 was fantastic I totally did NOT expect Dale to die nor did I expect Shane to die. Shane you either loved or hated the guy but I thought he was NEEDED for the shows success. Thats why I love this show. They do whats good for the story not for the ratings. How do we know that say 20% of Shane hard core fans said f**k this im not watching anymore? Season 2 to me was much more about storytelling than season one and I loved it. I just Hershall doesnt die yet.

    • I watch Seinfeld almost everyday too. Could a sitcom get any better ? It’s indeed an all time classic and it happens to be about NOTHING !
      TWD is just perfect as of now. Season two was what it needed to be. There was lot of necessary character development.

      • I don’t think they’re gonna kill off Hershel, the show is better when there’s an old guy. Of course Dale the lawyer from Shawshank would’ve been better but Hershel is fine.

  7. I really don’t get why people keep bad mouthing season 2. Yeah , it got a little more relaxed. So what? Does EVERY episode have to be zombies getting their heads blown or chopped off until it just becomes redundant? They took time to develop a story behind the group. Behind each conflict. Heaven for bid anyone should focus on making characters believable.

    If you’re just looking for a zombie movie with nothing but blood and guts and no direction , there are plenty out there. I take no issue with how this series has gone so far. I hope they keep it up.

    • Throughly enjoyed season 2. It was definitely the right call to develop story lines that gave more insight into these people. It showed what motivated these characters for good or bad. The cast couldn’t simple run and kill all hours of the day. They needed to take root and regroup. It would not have mattered whether they did this at a farm, or in an abandoned Walmart, the story still would have slowed down a tad. They were finally starting to relax and rebuild a semblance of normality. When is that ever overly exciting

      The bickering, the jealousies, the emmergence of personality traits, the establishing of dominance, and the covetous nature of Shane’s desire all tended to way heavy on the viewer, but it was well worth it.

      • Well said :)

      • I watched the first 3 eps of Season 1 but stopped till someone told me that its not all gruesome zombie killing but about character development in the 2nd season. When Bell Satellite promoted AMC channel free through the month of October and put on TWD marathon, I watched and caught up to speed. It was because of Season 2 character development that I got hooked on this show (the 14 hour non-stop marathon also contributed and I recorded a few more shows to finish my marathon the next day). I’ve been bitten now and have to watch it like a zombie!!!! Can’t wait for each episode but now I have to find a way to watch it on the internet or subscribe to AMC channel on satellite.

  8. the episodes is too fast

  9. season two was alright but i think more of the storylines should of been in the prison, like dealing with Randall would be more fitting for prison, and season 3 seems to be going like the comic and speeding things up.

  10. I personaly love the walking dead series, but, season three has been settling too much. I think the series seem to be pulling away from the zombies ad the enemy. I feel in seasn four after it has been established that human are still a genuine threat that the zombies should start evolving.. i think having some some zombies with the ability run wiould be great like their cousins the walker thet could be calked runners

  11. Why so much focus on “character development”? Writers always seem to strive for us to “know” the characters better (and yes, I do understand why) but good writers get it done without the viewer realising what’s been done. Season 1 and 2 both suffered from the desire to manufacture conflict and emotion, with season 2 being the most successful at this.

    I’m not after a hack and chop zombie movie – I just don’t want to feel as though the writer is attempting to manipulate my feelings/emotions so blatantly.

    If you tell a good story well, character development should mostly take care of itself.

    • IT is totally super duper awesome that its like true. Its very very super duper awesome thats why i like wathcing the walking dead

  12. I love walking dead it’s the best thing on tv I just wish there was more episodes in a season I can’t get enough of it :~)

  13. Just watched the first of Series 3 and I’m so Disapointed how each part is very short and the Advertisments are to many and just a Long. Great Program but parts are way to short.