The season opener for AMC’s The Walking Dead was so intense, so filled with moments of insanity, that one could easily say it was the best episode of the series. However, I’ve been guilty of saying this a few times in the past. This series just gets better and better.
In case you’ve forgotten, Rick Grimes had to off his best friend Shane after the dude went rogue and then turned walker. Then he went a little crazy while letting the remaining group know, “This isn’t a democracy.” And also, Lori is ready-to-pop-preggers with a baby that could be either Shane’s or Rick’s. This is making things a bit awkward for Rick and Lori and they don’t seem to be talking much these days. I’m going to guess that Lori’s labor won’t be induced by third trimester pregnancy sex with Rick. And that’s when you know things are bad between them because Andrew Lincoln couldn’t look any more attractive in his sweat stained police uniform.
The group is a collective of seasoned pros now. They scavenge abandoned houses like it ain’t no thang and even little Carl is about as awesome as ever. He is a super badass now, shooting creepy zombie women left and right without even batting an eyelash. The kid finds dog food? Little bastard is going to munch it down like a boss. As Daryl eats a prized owl and the forlorn group looks at Carl opening the can of dog food, the audience realizes that shit has hit an all time low. They all look exhausted, filthy, and unhealthy. Apparently, it’s been a rough winter since they left the farm. Grimes grabs the dog food and quietly throws it away from Carl. It seems like nowadays Rick doesn’t even need to speak and everyone knows their orders.
By the way, the new intro is nice. But let’s be real here, Hyundai SUVs during the zombie apocalypse? I’m not bagging on the brand, but could we at least have more rugged and reliable vehicles around? Thank God for Daryl’s chopper.
Daryl, a man of always elegant phrases, says to Rick, “Hey! While the others wash their panties, let’s go hunt. That owl didn’t exactly hit the spot.” The two men go scouting and find a goldmine of a new base camp. A freaking prison! Queue the coolest prison raid in the history of prison raids. If the producers want to sell us a video game based on this show, this episode would be its selling point. I even loved Carol’s apology as she missed a sniper shot from the tower while Rick went to close the inner gate and I can’t stand Carol.
Speaking of weird Carol and Daryl moments, I’m really glad that the massage he offered her was not romantic and I’m hoping that it never evolves into that. Norman Reedus is freaking hot and he should be banging Lady Gaga in the Judas music video, not some old bag of bones named Carol. Not that Carol is ugly or unwanted, but this is Daryl we are talking about. She seems to be more of a mother figure in this series.
Dear writers, thank you so much for introducing Maggie to this series. All female characters prior to Maggie and the newest female badass Michonne have been whiney bitches at best. Andrea gave it her best shot (literally) and is just not reliable. Maggie came riding into last season on a horse while playing polo with the walkers’ heads and she accompanies the men into the next cell of the prison. She even demonstrates how to off the guard zombies who are wearing full riot gear: trachea slice!
There were a couple of ‘holy shit’ moments during this episode, one of them being a guard’s wet juicy face detaching with his riot mask and revealing the host of Tales From The Crypt. Gross. Finally, the group locks down one cell and the women and children are let inside. Lori, for all her whining is actually displaying some legitimate fears concerning her pregnancy. You can’t help but feel badly for her and the possibilities she is contemplating, things like the baby being a still-born zombie or Lori dying during childbirth and becoming a zombie who would then attack her own child. Hershel tries to comfort her, but honestly if you’ve ever had pregnancy nightmares you know that these kinds of worries are not even remotely insane.
Just a side note: Maggie and Glen have officially become adorable. As Glen checked Maggie for scratches from the walkers and held her in the prison cell, I swooned just a little bit. Guilty. As. Charged.
Pan over to Michonne and Andrea. Michonne (Danai Gurira) is now the coolest character to ever grace this show’s repertoire. She carries a samurai sword, she isn’t afraid of anything, and most of all she has two pet walkers that she just carries around with her for no foreseeable reason other than it’s super badass. I’m sure those of you graphic novel aficionados will queue me in on her reasons, but honestly as a viewer this isn’t important. It just kicks so much ass.
Michonne is taking care of Andrea, who seems to be ill with a very heavy chest cold and fever. Andrea tells her to leave and not worry about being dragged down by the illness, but Michonne refuses. Are these two romantically involved? Please say yes! This would be the hottest and most epic lesbian romance since The L Word.
The group back at the state penitentiary decide to lock down the current cell and take all the dudes (and Maggie) to clear the next section of the prison. I’m going to make the natural assumption that the light switches Glen didn’t try in the hallway were obviously out of order and that flashlights make everything much more suspenseful, even if it is broad daylight outside. Glen instead spray paints arrows to let the group remember where they’ve been and prevent them from getting lost. However, they hit a colony of walkers and the group gets separated. Glen and Maggie hide in a closet while the others search for them.
Maggie calls out for her father Hershel, who steps over a walker leaned up against the wall. Unfortunately, this walker is still alive and kicking and also, biting the shit out of Hershel’s leg. The group finds an outlet into what seems like a visitors room and close the doors behind them. Rick Grimes goes to town on Hershel’s leg with no mercy. He ties off the wound with his belt and then tells him the only way to keep him alive is to hack his leg off with a small ax he just happens to be carrying. And that’s exactly what Grimes does, he hacks off the old man’s leg and it takes longer than we are all comfortable with. Hershel goes into shock and then passes out from the pain. This incident will really complicate Lori’s labor process since Hershel is definitely out of commission now.
Before the credits roll, a group of human beings call out to them from a locked cell.There are people living in this dump and they’re all convicted criminals. This should prove interesting.