‘The Walking Dead’ season 3 episode 1 recap: Locked Up
Welcome to your new home. It’s a jail. All of the criticisms leveled at the second season of The Walking Dead were valid, in my opinion: too much standing around talking, too much Carl. Things picked up towards the end, but the producers needed to inject a jolt of adrenaline to get the series back on top with season three. The verdict is in: they did it.
We open up with some time having passed since the season finale (we can tell because Herschel has a beard) but not a lot of time (we can tell because Lori hasn’t had the baby). They survived the winter, but life on the road is starting to run them down. The group also hasn’t reunited with Andrea. The first five minutes of the episode are totally free of dialogue, as the crew sweeps a house and then clears out when they see walkers coming.
Rick and Daryl find the abandoned prison that we saw in the closing minutes of the season two finale and realize that it’s a perfect place to fortify against the zombie horde. Except for the fact that it’s infested with the zombie horde, but they can deal with that. In a grisly action montage, Rick and crew sweep through the prison, first sniping all the walkers in the yard and then going to ground to pick off the stragglers. Once the central area is clear, things settle down for a bit.
Oh, and Andrea? She’s sick as hell and hanging out with Michonne, the mysterious sword-swinging woman that we got a peek at last season. That lady knows how to handle a walker, so I’m curious to see how things are going to go when she meets the rest of the cast.
The next day, the group splits into teams to clear out some corridors of stray walkers. They discover that a bunch of them died in their cells and rose again, leaving them pretty pissed off. A group separates Maggie and Glenn from the rest, leading to a tense scene that culminates with a dormant zombie chewing into Herschel’s leg like it was a Slim Jim. Instead of putting a bullet in him, Rick opts to amputate his leg, hoping that it will keep the zombie virus from spreading long enough for him to deliver the baby. And, in one of the best cliffhangers the show’s done yet, the amputation is observed by a group of surviving prisoners, and the only thing they can say is “Holy sh-t.”
Agreed, anonymous prisoner. Agreed. Great start to the season, can’t wait for next week.