How Does Your Garden Grow?

Season 3 Episode 1 “Seed”

The Episode

Season 3 I would describe as the beginning of the Golden Age of the show. The characters, the plots, the creativity and the writing are all at their best from here on out. This season is no slouch; it is pivotal in the show’s success. “Seed” is a great first episode and I will share with you why I think that.

Walkers…everywhere

As much as they were present in the first two seasons, we get nothing like this episode. We get up close and personal from the very beginning with that zoom out from inside the zombie’s eye. That was pretty cool. Then there is a never-ending supply of walkers at the prison. And we see more creativity with them as we don’t just get decomposing people, some of them are wearing SWAT gear making them harder to kill.

Experience

Our group isn’t so weak and helpless anymore. They are almost different people. Most of them are pretty good shots with a gun. None of them are afraid, not in the same way they were before. I’m sure they are still fearful about their situation but they have better reaction skills and can handle basic takedowns. They even demonstrate when taking the prison using better tactics, like working in a circle to prevent from being blindsided and making coordinated attacks one step at a time. Maggie at one point even looks excited when she kills one of the SWAT walkers; she smiles from ear to ear.

The Woman with the Sword

They still don’t reveal her name but she is clearly on the expert level of the zombie apocalypse. She’s without her hood this time we meet her, so we get to see a bit more of who she is, which turns out to be all serious. She is not playing around with that sword. But she also has clearly made a friend in Andrea who is currently very sick, so we also see she’s not heartless.

Daryl and Carol

This episode really gets the shipping going when Carol teases Daryl by fake flirting with him. It’s an adorable moment. In this moment, I really did want these two to get together. They have become extremely close and the lines might be a little blurred right now. Perhaps the writers are dangling a “will they or won’t they” for us. Maybe they don’t even know.

Stuff and Thangs

Rick is appearing to keep his promise from the end of Season 2. His face says all business. Before they found the prison during the episode, it didn’t appear he was doing too well at running the show. They were moving from house to house, starving and looked generally miserable. Rick caught a break finding the prison. But he’s not even nice about things when everyone wants to celebrate a little. After taking the prison yard, all he can do is talk about getting inside and all the work they have to do. It’s also clear Rick and Lori have not made up. She’s about ready to deliver so this grudge between them seems to not be letting up. Rick barely talks to her and when Lori tries Rick blows her off withthat famous line, “I’m doing stuff….thangs.” His pushing might also prove to be a bad move as well. After getting inside the prison, they make another push to find supplies inside, which results in Hershel getting bit. No one wants Hershel to die, so Rick hacks off his leg above where he was bit. Is that going to work? We haven’t seen anyone live through something like that before. If that works it is some very handy knowledge we’ve just gained.

The Prison

run down prison corridor

I know the lesson after the farm was don’t ever think you’re safe, but how could you not think you’re going to be safe inside a prison. The place is built to prevent people from getting in or out. We’ve got double-layer fences, concrete walls, a maze of hallways and cells to use for defense and offense situations and new equipment like the riot gear for armor. It is a seemingly perfect place to reside. It also offers a lot as far as plot goes. For starters, our group finds a small contingent of living prisoners inside in a surprise ending to the episode. Can they make friends or is this more bad news? And with Lori ready to deliver, it seems like this is definitely going to be the place that happens. I suppose it’s a lot better of an option than out on the road. It may not look nice or be ideal, but it provides them with a lot of safety to give her and the baby the best chance.

Hershel talks about planting seeds in the prison yard to grow crops, the obvious reason for the episode title. But another seed has been planted for the season. There’s a bit of a metaphor I think for the growth we’re about to see. I very much enjoy this episode as the season opener. It has a lot of the scares we expect from a zombie show (ugh, I hate having to use that term but it fits). It also sets up some major plot lines for the season in a very natural way. It doesn’t feel forced or out of sync. We get a lot of drama, excitement and a little bit of comedy. It’s a pretty well-rounded episode even after I’ve watched it a zillion times.

Best of the Episode

Taking the prison. The coordination of our group is on point here. We have some folks distracting walkers, some our on cover duty and then there’s the leg work folks. Everyone is chipping in and working together. They clear the field in a matter of minutes and then go inside to do it again. It’s a master class on walker takedowns. Except for poor Hershel….

Hershel. Are we or aren’t we about to lose Hershel?!??! I’m mostly sad for Maggie and Beth. They’ll be devastated. And that gore when Rick chops his leg off! I mean he hacks away at it and it is stomach turning! But we’re left with a bit of an unknown. He’s not dead yet so perhaps there’s a chance they just saved him.

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