The Walking Dead returns for its third season, and our survivors have grown lean and experienced. We immediately see the necessity.

Title: “Seed”

Cast and Crew

Directed by Ernest R. Dickerson
Written by Glen Mazzara, from the graphic series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Robert Adlard.

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes
Sarah Wayne Callies as Lori Grimes
Scott Wilson as Herschel Greene
Laurie Holden as Andrea
Jeffrey DeMunn as Dale
Steven Yeun as Glenn
Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene
Norman Reedus as Darryl
Melissa Suzanne McBride as Carol Peletier
Danai Gurira as Michonne
IronE Singleton as T-Dog
Emily Kinney as Beth Green
Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes

Additional cast and crew information may be found here.

Premise

Months have passed, and the survivors give us a good example of how they’ve stayed alive. Then they find a zombie-infested prison, and see the potential to build a secure home. It will come at a cost, however.

High Point

1. No sane woman has ever had Lori’s particular prenatal fears. These accomplish what fantasy and horror so often do—-introduce something that couldn’t exist in the real world, yet which reflects the real world.

2. I applaud the opening. The group members now function like experienced survivors of the apocalypse.

Low Points

1. Why do so many of the characters use handguns, when rifles would be plentiful? Oh, wait—it’s because in this show, a kid with a handgun can fire off headshots with a pistol from 100 yards. I’ll accept zombies as the basis of the series, but not this, and it could be easily corrected.

2. Why did they take their aging medic into that danger? Did Rick take Landing Party lessons from Captain Kirk?

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6 The cliffhanger felt original, but we’re seeing a lot of what they show has done before.

Effects: 6/6

Story: 4/6 They kicked off this season with a suspenseful story, and hordes of zombies. Still, the episode felt too much like a videogame /haunted house sort of affair. They gave us a strong payoff.

Acting: 6/6 The acting remains strong; some of the lesser characters still require further depth and dilineation. Still, we had some moments of this: Carl’s adolescent flirtation with an older woman, T-Dog speaking lines that suggest he has thoughts and feelings.

Emotional Response: 5/6

Production: 6/6 The show has apparently returned to first-season budget and production levels.

Overall: 5/6

In total, “Seed” receives 35/42

Final Comment

Between this show and the general cultural fascination, I’m beginning to experience zombie fatique. They need to get to the governor quickly, and give us a menace that isn’t familiar. Fortunately, the show’s runners appear to recognize this fact.