Season premiere review: 'The Walking Dead' - 'Seed': The parting glass
"The Walking Dead" is back for a new season. I reviewed the beginning of the season on Thursday, and I have a few specific thoughts on the season premiere coming up just as soon as I eat an owl...
As I wrote on Thursday, "Seed" is a terrific episode, continuing the show's pattern of excellent premiere episodes. What I particularly liked was the way Glen Mazzara let so much of the story unfold in silence, whether it was the wordless pre-credits sequence that told us just how depressing our heroes' lives had become, or the sequence where Rick and company cleared out the prison yard. The latter was as exciting because of how everyone's body language and teamwork told us how much better they had gotten at zombie-fighting as it was because of specific methods they used to kill the walkers. The world has changed, and these people have changed (as have the show's opening credits), and those action scenes were very welcome in the way they illustrated that transformation. Rick's group isn't happy, but they are a damn machine at this point. Even Carl has become much more of an asset than a hindrance at this point.
We also get some cool action elsewhere, as Andrea's katana-wielding new pal takes care of the local walkers — and gives us evidence that a decapitated zombie head won't die until you damage the brain itself. (And that's only the second-grosses image of the hour, after Rick removing a zombie's helmet and peeling the skin off its face along with it.) We still have to learn more about her, and the armless walkers she keeps on a leash, but at the very least, it looks like Andrea's in capable hands.
Because so much time is spent finding the prison and beginning to clear it out, we only get a few snippets of the emotional places the characters are in. Hershel has adjusted to losing his farm, for instance, and Carol has become a productive member of the group again after her grief over Sophia. And Rick is holding the very pregnant Lori at a distance, understandably holding a grudge for all that went on with Shane. Not sure how my interest in the interpersonal parts of the show will work if/when the action slows down, but the balance here was just fine.
More to talk about next week, including the fate of Hershel after Rick chops his infected leg off, and what's up with those prisoners our heroes found at episode's end, but for now, let's go to the comments, after the usual warning.
Once again, let me remind you again of this blog's No Spoiler rule and how it applies to this show, as I've had to delete a bunch of comments the last few weeks that violated it. Basic things to remember before commenting:
1. No talking about the previews for the next episode.
2. No talking about anything else you know about upcoming episodes from other sources — and, yes, that includes anything Mazzara and Kirkman have said in interviews.
3. No talking about anything that's happened in the comic that hasn't happened in the TV show yet. You want to refer to Andrea's new friend by name, go for it, but no details about her beyond what's been seen in this episode. As with "Game of Thrones," the goal is to treat "The Walking Dead" TV show as exactly that, and not as an excuse for endless comparisons with the comics. If you want to talk about the comics, feel free to start up a discussion thread on our message boards.
With that in mind, what did everybody else think?
Alan Sepinwall may be reached at email@example.com