The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 1 recap

Picking up right where episode one left off, with Hershel’s leg amputated and a group of strangers happening upon Rick & Co. The others are a group of prisoners. Rick & Co. are like, get the F*CK out of our way while we try and save this dude, and the prisoners are all, WTF?

Despite the huge ratings over the last couple years, I feel like The Walking Dead doesn’t get enough credit for the stellar quality of filmmaking (tele-making?) that goes on. I know narrative and acting-wise it can sometimes be a crap shoot, but the technical aspects are incredible. Check out the lighting in the hallway scene. You don’t even see lighting that good in many movies, let alone on TV.

Norman Reedus is forty-three.

Daryl faces off with the prisoners, who, it turns out, have not left the prison since the apocalypse and are probably the only survivors of the jail.

Heavy moment. Rick leaves Glenn in charge of Hershel to put him down if he comes back all zombified. The absence of Stupid Shane is allowing for these others characters to grow so much, and the show is really better off for it. Shane was such a drain on the show. He’s not missed at all.

The prisoners really don’t have any idea what happened. Rick has to tell them the world has, essentially, ended. The prisoners (who seem to have no names), literally have not left the prison cafeteria since “a riot broke out”. The scene drops in the factoid that it’s been ten months in the show’s timeline. Narrative expediency!

Oh-ho. The prisoners are trying to get rid of Rick. Um, guys, he’s been known to kill people who get in his way. I’d just, like, roll with whatever he’s saying.

Officer Rick is turning into one scary motherf*cker. When he says he’ll kill you, he means it. I’m not sure Andrew Lincoln is getting enough credit for the work he’s doing as Rick. It’s such a flashy part, but, like Timothy Olyphant on Justified, he plays it so straight and plain it looks easy.

The look on Daryl’s face when he sees the prisoner’s food rations is a prime example of understated acting. Norman Reedus is DEFINITELY not getting enough credit. Also, HE IS FORTY-THREE YEARS OLD.

Am developing such a Glenn crush. Take-charge Glenn is the best Glenn.

Maggie and Luna Lovegood have one of those conversations that probably isn’t necessary. We can assess how everyone feels about Hershel’s chances just by looking at their faces.

“Look, I know I’m a sh*tty wife and I’m not winning any mother of the year awards,” says Horrible Lori. Well, at least she knows.

Rick, Daryl and T-Dog set off with the prisoners to clear out a cell block. What are the odds on the obnoxious would-be alpha prisoner meeting a horrible fate? No one out-alphas Rick.

Back to the amazingly-lit hallways in the prison. The prisoners do not understand how to kill zombies. Like, at all. The look on T-Dog’s face says it all. He’s all, “These silly motherf*ckers.”


Carl brings back supplies from the infirmary and Horrible Lori gets on him about going off alone. Carl is being kind of a punk.

One of the prisoners, Tiny, skulks off while the others kill zombies and gets confronted on his own. In one of those spectacular sequences from legendary monster makeup designer, and show producer, Greg Nicotero, the handcuffed zombie slips his cuffs by tearing his hand off. SO GROSS.

Uh-oh, Tiny’s been bit.

Alpha Prisoner puts down Tiny with a tire iron/hammer thing. Yeah, Rick’s going to end up having to kill that dude. He’s too aggressive.

Is anyone else starting to dread scenes with Carol? I feel like she’s becoming the Stupid Shane of this season. She brings dread with her wherever she goes. Also she wants a zombie carcass to practice performing a C-section on, because Lori will probably need one. This seems like…a bad idea. (Glenn has reservations, too. And don’t we trust Glenn? If he doesn’t feel good about something, we don’t either.)

Alpha Prisoner is really sh*t at listening to Rick. Also, he tries to kill Rick by throwing a zombie on him.

OH MY GOD. Rick straight up kills Alpha Prisoner with a machete to the head for the whole “tried to murder you by shoving a zombie on you” thing. This season is SO DARK.

Continuing the “abandon hope, all ye who enter here” theme, Hershel dies and Lori does CPR. Another shocking moment as he appears to bite her, but it turns out, she successfully revived him.

Rick lets the remaining two prisoners into their cell block. It looks like the prisoners were executed in their cells, calling back to the hospital from the first season.

I just want to reiterate that Norman Reedus is forty-three. !!!

Hershel opens his eyes and they’re clear. Cutting off his leg stopped the spread of the virus. A wee ray of sunshine after all.

Mysterious POV watching Carol practice the C-section from the woods. Interloper from Woodbury? Or just random camera placement? (Really hope it isn’t random camera placement because that sh*t pisses me off.)

Speaking of things that cause dread, Rick and Horrible Lori are talking. Rick just has zero interest in reconnecting with Horrible Lori. It’s kind of sad, really.

Status check:
Officer Rick – He’s great! *please don’t kill me*
Horrible Lori – Full of regret.
Hershel – Alive.
Andrea/Michonne – Absent from episode.

Worst thing seen/heard this week: Rick killing Alpha Prisoner. I mean JEBUS.

Zombie kill of the week: Alpha Prisoner with the tire iron/hammer thing to Tiny’s pre-zombie head.

Photos courtesy AMC