posted by @bnjmnVONDOOM
The Walking Dead is back! After almost seven months everyone’s FAVORITE zombie show has returned in a big way. With the appearance of Michonne and the prison lurking in the distance (finally), this was sure to be a BIG opener and it did not disappoint. Allow me to distract you from your still throbbing boner (or lady boner) to embark on this captivating premier.
DAT OPENING SCENE It’s hard to organize all of my thoughts about this opening scene; it was amazing in so many ways. First off, it was completely void of words. The only audible communication is a whistle here and and a scoff there, and in the end that’s what makes the scene so powerful. It’s projecting everything that we (the audience) need to know from the characters’ body language- no dialogue was needed. We start inside an unknown home with the camera locked on the front door. The door gets kicked in and we see our first red flag. Rick pulls up a handgun with a silencer on the end. I don’t remember them finding silencers anywhere, so it had to have happened off screen. I wonder what else could have happened off screen?
Rick puts a new hole in the head of the closest walker and T-Dog quickly melees his undead pal with a fireplace poker. Daryl appears to lend a hand with his crossbow, of course. Finally, Carl comes eagerly through the doors brandishing a similar handgun/silencer combo. The four clear the house and let the rest of the group venture inside. We see Ricks hair is a little longer, Hershel is looking like quite the southern gentleman with his silver beard, and Lori is MEGA pregnant. She looks ready to burst.
OH, okay! So there was a considerable time lapse between seasons, got it.
As everyone gathers in a main room we see Carl uncharacteristically INSIDE the house – the kitchen actually- looking for food. He happens across two cans of dog food, gathers them and heads back to the group. Here is where the actors really nail this shit out the PARK. Carl returns to immediately start opening his spoils. Rick catches a glimpse of his son and saunters over to see what hes opening. Rick looks at the can, gives a part confused part angered look and throws the can at the wall. The camera snaps back to Rick- his insecurity is practically PLASTERED on his face. Some very awkward seconds come after as everyone is either looking at each other or blankly at nothing; these seconds are what really hooked me. You could plainly see how nervous and unsure Rick is. Even before his big power speech last season, the group would still always look to Rick for answers. He knows that and accepts that, but it’s clear he doesn’t know what do. The rest of the group looks exhausted and malnourished. They’ve run out of food and have no place to settle down to anymore- they would probably be panicking, but they just don’t have the energy. The group seems utterly fucked. It is these few seconds where the emotion is practically palpable that got me hooked for the whole season (not to mention having the knowledge of the comic series to keep me informed on whats yet to come *cough*Governor*cough*).
T-Dog alerts the group of the surrounding walkers, everyone grabs their shit and get the fuck out of dodge. As they head into the cars, Maggie eyes a wood cutting axe near a stump by a neighboring house. She quickly springs to grab it. That kind of felt like a showing of, at least for Maggie, how adapted they’ve become. I mean, maybe I’m over-thinking it, but she was scouting for weapons. It wasn’t weird or forced, she just DID IT. I thought it was a nice little insight.
WHEW, okay. I’m going to try not to go into that sort of detail with the rest of the episode. I don’t want miss the next episode…
So the group stops on the road to game plan and figure all that good stuff out. Daryl proposes a little hunting excursion for himself and Rick. The duo venture off onto a trail and eventually stumble over a correctional facility. They look on as the clarity washes over Rick. The two return to the group and Rick immediately starts giving orders; he NEEDS this prison. They penetrate the first fence then patch it up behind them. Glenn offers to make a run through the second fence to a guard tower, but he is refused and the job falls on Rick. He and Lori go to the gate together as she shoots him a “I hope you know what you’re doing” look and he hits her with a “BITCH, please. I got this SHIT”. Rick 23 skidoos through his zombie bros as Glenn and the others are making quick work of some walkers through the fence. As they would… you know, seeing how they’re ROTTING CORPSES and all. So Rick gets to the guard tower, pulls out a rifle and starts popping the rest of the herd, even letting out a relieved chuckle while hes doing it. Everything seems to be going according to plan for once!
The gang settles in the yard for the night around a fire. Rick is circling the perimeter militantly to make sure everyone is holed up nice and tight. Carol and Daryl have a little bonding time to themselves. Carol mentions how they never could have made it this far with Shane. Beth and Maggie sing a song at Hershels request that brings the wandering members back to the group. Rick follows the song by telling everyone that he plans on pushing into the prison the next day, explaining that it could be brimming with food, firearms, ammunition, and medical supplies. Lori sidebars with Rick, asking him to let that days victory be enjoyed a few days more. Her pleas are refused so she changes the subject to the couple needing some time to talk about all that’s happened between them: all the cheating when Lori thought Rick was dead, Loris baby possibly being Shane’s, and Ricks eventual slaying of Shane. That too was bounced off as Rick tells her that he’s “busy” and that after all that he’s “still here”.
We cut to what looks like a corner store with some walkers sloppin around when SUDDENLY: Oh shit, what just pushed that dead mother fucker? Who’s this bitch? OH FUCK, its that dame from the season 2 finale! You see her cut those pricks heads off?! She’s badass as Hell!
BACK AT THE PRISON: Rick, Daryl, Glenn, Maggie and T-Dog are infiltrating further into the prison in a tight circular battle formation. The mini militia smash and slice their way through into a cell block. Once cleared, the rest of the group join them to pick a cell and bunk down for the night. As everyone splinters off to their possible new homes, we are shown Glenn checking Maggie for scratches and they have a nice little moment of peace where they don’t have to think about whats going on outside and can just be with each other.
COMMERCIAL and then WE’RE BACK!
It’s that BAD bitch again! Oh man, I bet some zombie fucks are about to get their undead shit pushed in. Wait… where’s she going? Who the fu- oh hey, its Andrea. LONG TIME NO SEE, STRANGER.
So apparently after saving Andrea’s life, she and our mystery woman (I’m just going to refer to her as Michonne- it’s easier and not spoilery) have been traveling together. Andrea quips that she has saved Michonne’s ass a few times during the winter. But whats this? Andrea doesn’t look so hot. In fact, she looks pretty fucking sick. Michonne gives Andrea some pills with some water to chase them down with. Whats wrong Andrea?! We don’t know! But we do know that the two need to get the fuck out if either of them plan on being alive. They start their trek to wherever they’re headed, accompanied by Michonne’s two armless, jawless, and toothless zombie lover boys (they act as a sort of cloak in the comic. I’m sure they’ll explain that if you’re just fucking PATIENT). Lets check in on the gang!
Rick and the boys have been doing some exploring since we left them and they got themselves some LOOT. Bullets and armor, among other things. Everyone’s skin looks pretty clean so they must have found some water or used some existing supply. Everyone besides Daryl of course- he’s still as dirty as the day he shot his way out of his mommas womb. Carol comes to acquire Hershel for Lori’s sake, as Lori is expressing some concerns about the baby. They know that everyone is infected, what if the baby is still born? Is she going to have a zombabie eating her from the inside? Hershel does his best to calm the raving woman. Lori also takes this time to vent her frustrations with her son and husband. Again, Hershel does his best to console her.
Now T-dog, Rick, Daryl, Hershel, Glenn, and Maggie suit up to go a little further into the prison and see what it can yield. Flashlights in tow, the six of them try to navigate themselves through the dark hallways. A small herd of walkers separate Maggie and Glenn from the others. The rest go back to look for them but Hershel gets a bit sloppy. He steps over a resting zombie who grabs himself a heaping helping of Hershel ankle to enjoy. He gets rushed by the others to the closest room they can get into and barricade. Rick knows immediately that he HAS to cut off Hershels leg to save his life. He grabs a sheathed hatchet and goes to work severing the affected leg at the knee. After its done, Rick pulls back with a “whoa” and a visible uneasiness. It was a moment that said even after all the time hes spent in this new fucked world he lives in, hes still not totally desensitized. He knows this is a living human friend who he has to SERIOUSLY injure to save his life in the long run- Rick hasn’t lost his humanity. He yells “hes bleeding out!” towards the end of the scene right before Daryl tells him to stay down. Daryl rises and points his crossbow at something he might need to shoot. It’s a screened wall with some figures on the other side. Daryl pops his flashlight on to see that they’re all uninfected prisoners. CLOSEUP ON AWESOME ‘STACHE GUY. “HOLY SHIT!”
A cliffhanger taken right out of issue #13! I’m sure a lot of peoples main concern are who those people are. Are they actually all prisoners? Are they actually not infected? But I’ve read the entirety of the comics so I think I know where that’s going. What really interests me is a factor I HAVEN’T seen in the books. The whole Andrea / Michonne dynamic is totally new to me and has peaked my interest. I want to know whats wrong with Andrea. How did it get to that point? What else have they been doing together? What has Andrea learned? Its a nice deviation from the series that gives a long time reader something new to enjoy. Those Hollywood writers! Always looking out for the comic reading audience!
Those are really the only two big questions in the show. This episode did an amazing job at reintroducing us to the world and bringing us up to speed a bit. The lapse in time gave the characters room to grow and you can see it vividly in this premier. There were so many moments that were so little but said so much. I feel like these characters are really getting into their roles within the group now. Even Carl doesn’t seem like such a booger anymore. He seems a lot more mature and eager to be able to lead like his father.
Rick is the real wonder to me. Hes finally accepting that total leader role. Rick is starting to over work himself physically and emotional and his desperation to keep these people safe might kill him in the process. This is the heart and soul of the books: seeing how a normal man reacts after being thrown in the shit. Will he lose himself? Will he abandon his morals, or can he learn that he may need to stretch them in this new world that no one could have prepared him for? That’s what’s exciting to me about this season, seeing Rick getting tested to his limits. I’m fairly confidant that a lot about Rick will stay on course with the books, but man I cant wait to SEE THAT SHIT ON THE TV!
I have a closing note but it felt really awkward every time I tried to insert it in the main article so I’m going to awkwardly tack it on the end! The only “why on Earth is this happening?” moment I had was the whole Hershel getting bit thing. Why the farts would you bring the closest thing to a DOCTOR you have on a mission to explore the pitch black, possibly zombie infested hallways? The only thing I could think of was that they killed off Dale last season and he ended up being a pretty main character for a long time. I’m thinking they killed Dale to just trim some fat for the show and incorporate parts of Dale in Hershel. Let me know what you think in the comments!
Like this article? Fucking hate it? Let us know in the comments section!