Season three begins! Is there a show with more anticipation behind it that this? Not in our house. This is the only show that my family clears its calendar for. We don't catch this on a replay...it has to be watched as it happens. The only other thing in my television schedule that has earned that place is pro sports, but that is a story for another day.
I will be posting the reviews this season immediately following the broadcast. I will be watching it at 6PM PST, 9EST, and 2AM GMT. There WILL BE SPOILERS! So please, if that is a concern, don't read this review or any of the others until it is the right time for you. Now, on to the episode...
With the highest body count of any episode to date, the gore hounds will love this one. The episode does a several month fast forward--Lori is visibly pregnant--and hunger is a problem for the survivors. There is a scene involving a can of dog food that really sparked a conversation in our home. The AMC sync even had a question about whether or not it was right for Rick to stop Karl from eating it...surprisingly, almost 70% of the poll agreed. I'm sorry, but lack of protein and starvation opens up a lot of menu choices.
One thing is clear, Rick is the leader of the band and his word is law. Karl has obviously been learning on the fly and is actually a help instead of the errant child of last season. (The best thing about that is that now we can focus on despising Lori for other things.)
There is minimal dialog in this episode. The characters have to carry the episode with expressions and body language. I highly recommend watching this episode more than once just to observe how expertly these people stay in character. There is a great moment between Daryl and Carol that breaks the tension and earns some laughs.
The early dilemma besides food is Lori's soon-to-arrive "bundle of joy". The possibility of having the baby on the run is not appealing. When they stumble upon the prison, there is a belief that they have found refuge. All that remains is to clear it out. My only problem with that sequence was the number of blind corners. It leads to great suspense, but prisons are all about big open spaces and long, straight corridors.
We get a peek at Michonne. She is on the move with Andrea, who is suffering from the flu or some similar ailment. It is clear that they have built a bond during their time since meeting in the woods at the end of season two.
The effects are, as always, top notch. The best thing I saw was the return towards the storyline that those of us who read the graphic novels came to love.
Naturally, the episode ends with a dramatic event. I don't think that this series needs to use hooks any longer. The fan base isn't leaving.
Let's hope that this is what we have to look forward to in season three. For many, the second season was just a bit flat at times until the final two episodes.