WARNING: THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS.
One glorious day in 2011 while scroll wandering through Netflix via an X-Box controller I stumbled upon a show that I had heard good things about. Positive reviews from several friends — even the critical ones, had me convinced that I’d stumbled upon a goldmine. I decided to play the first episode… It was called Mad Men and while I was entertained, I realized that I wasn’t in the mood to watch further. It was just days later that I returned to Netflix to seek out episode two of Mad Men when I spotted The Walking Dead. It was zombie related so I was automatically sold. Season one was conquered that night and I haven’t looked back since. (I’m still planning on getting back to Mad Men one of these days.)
I’ve been anticipating this premiere since the credits rolled on season two’s finale. Sunday October 14th had shades of Christmas level excitement. It was difficult to suppress my antsy ways but a hefty serving of football games sufficed. Now, after patiently waiting, it’s about that time. Plop on the couch, grab snacks – then realize that the graphic nature of this show erases appetites – thus no treats are necessary. Just you, a TV and silence.
9:00: A quick recap of last season is given to remind everyone why they (justifiably) hate Lori. And that Rick isn’t taking anyone’s bickering anymore. The Ricktatorship begins.
9:01: Well would you look at that?! We get a shot of Curious Carl inside of a house. Seeing Carl inside of a house is holographic-Charizard-rare. Of course it’s a dangerous, zombie occupied home, but still a house nonetheless.
9:03: Daryl shoots an owl with an arrow and I cringe, taken over by my inner PETA member/Tootsie Pop’s Mr. Owl loving self.
9:04: Hershel is looking beyond unkempt. I know post apocalypse grooming opportunities are hard to come by but someone please fetch this man a razor.
9:05: A dialogue free first five minutes? Interesting. Still it managed to deliver those goosebumps with the eerie intro music. It’s worth noting that they’ve created a brand new opening credit sequence. It’s cool and all, but not seeing that broken framed photo of Shane reminds us that there’s no more Jon Bernthal. R.I.P. Shane.
9:06: The group seems to be strangely cavalier around walkers and unexplainably more skilled with the firearms.
9:07: As someone who watched many of these episodes for the first time via ad free Netflix, I’m dreading these commercial breaks. And it’s only seven minutes in before the first of many intermissions.
9:10: Daryl and Rick head out for hunting and stumble across the prison field, which is littered with walkers. Kind of casual for a pretty huge moment.
9:11: Not since attending the trashiest of clubs have I seen a pregnant woman who looks like she’s in the wrong environment. Of course, Lori doesn’t have a choice while third-trimester-dancing-chick does.
9:13: OK, when were the badass certification classes taken? Everyone is getting in on the action, even Carol. Everyone’s skilled with their guns suddenly. Even Carol is getting in on the action which is a surprise since she’s typically been on the sideline for two seasons. Also, completely off topic here but she reminds me so much of Jamie Lee Curtis that it’s distracting. All I can think of is Activia and Freaky Friday every time she’s onscreen.
9:20: T-Dog looks like he’s moving up the rankings. More lines, more killing – good for you, man. I feel like his zombies-killed to lines spoken ratio last season were not up to par.
9:21: By show of hands, who else finds this will-they-won’t-they Daryl/Carol sexual tension uncomfortable? An awkward massage got weird when she asks him if he wants to “screw around.” She follows that up with a witty remark inviting Daryl to “go down” on her. Slightly nauseating considering that they look like they’ve not come in contact with a shower in a recent weeks.
9:26: Rick is kind of being a douche to his pregnant wife, but after two seasons worth of being a terrible person it’s hard to feel sorry for her.
9:32: Former prison guards are now armored zombies and they give Rick and company trouble. They can’t shoot through their armor or hit their shielded faces. Maggie realizes the neck area is exposed, stabbing one in the throat. Most impressive duh-scovery since the Power Rangers realized that they had to punch the new Putties in the “Z” to defeat them.
9:33: We see the flesh of a zombie’s face peel off and are quickly reminded just how talented The Walking Dead makeup and special effects folks are.
9:37: The crew has a cellblock to stay in courtesy of an aggressive takeover. Rick disses his gracious wife, Lori, shooing away her thank you like she’s a fly at a picnic. Moments later Hershel totally cock-blocks little Carl who was thisclose to shacking up with Beth.
9:39: Obviously they spent a fortune on the previously mentioned makeup/special effect personal because they didn’t have the funds to invest in a decent looking prop belly for Lori. Goodness, it’s really that noticeably bad. A pillow under the blouse would’ve been a better look for a woman who’s supposed to be with child.
9:45: Our first Michonne and Andrea sightings of the season! Very brief and unsatisfying, like when you crave mozzarella sticks and then finally get ’em and it’s like, not bad but not what you imagined.
9:48: Lori discusses her fearful theory that her child could be stillborn, turn into a zombie and tear her apart from the inside sounds awesome and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to see that. She tells Hershel to kill her without hesitation in the event that turns into a walker and tries to attack which is like, a no brainer that goes without saying. She’s in tears, convinced that her husband and son hate her… If only she knew how many of the shows fans feel about her, she’d be crushed.
9:54: Commercials. More of them. If it wasn’t for spoilers, I’d let shows run their entire season before watching so I didn’t have to wait on pins and needles between episodes or experience advertisements.
9:57: Hershel’s been bit! Very sad moment here but what does this do for Carl’s chances with Beth? Too soon? Probably since the flesh is still being stretched and chewed from Hershel’s ankle.
9:58: Rick chops Hershel’s leg off with the surgical prowess of a caveman, reaching Saw levels of graphic images. But wait, does that even work? I was under the impression that getting bit was a wrap, despite amputation.
Why didn’t they just lock themselves in a cell and kill each walker one-by-one through the bars? Ohh, because it’s a TV show, that’s right. Anyway, the episode was fantastic and suspenseful as usual, ending with a cliffhanger that leaves us thirsty for me. Let’s buckle up for a season full of Carl not staying in his cell when told to, walkers being stabbed in the eye, Andrew Lincoln’s perfect facial hair and characters we adore unexpectedly meeting their demise.