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10/14/12

The Walking Dead - "Seed" Recap & Open Thread


We're back in the zombie slaying business! The Walking Dead is finally back with a new episode. Full recap and thoughts after the jump--complete and total spoilers, so don't read if you haven't seen the episode yet.

Great opening episode with jaw dropping ending!


We open to the group dispatching a house full of zombies. They've got improvised suppressors on pistols. Rick's son, Carl, is in the mix, clearing rooms. Near friendly fire incident between Rick and Daryl...gotta watch those when hunting zombies. No hesitation from Carl as he headshots a zombie with a suppressed Beretta.

Carl is looking older...I'm wondering if they'll hand wave that away or if it they show's timeline will have advanced more than a few days...well, Lori is looking quite preggers, so there's your answer. Hershel's sporting a nice beard, too. We're about 7-8 months, give or take, after the exodus from Hershel's farm.

The survivors move into the newly cleared house. Everyone is looking downtrodden, depressed, tired. Rick's frustrated.

No sooner than they settle down than they notice a new herd of walkers encroaching on the home. And like that, they load up again and bug out. So much for that safe haven.

New opening credits roll, ending with shots of the prison before the title pops.

We're back. The group has stopped on the highway to regroup and plan. Rick puts Carl on point. Everyone's on edge. They've apparently exhausted many opportunities in the area looking for a place to settle down.

Lori is looking depressed, Hershel suggests to Rick that she can't take much more moving around.

Daryl and Rick go off hunting and come across the prison that we saw at the end of last season. It's walker infested, but you can see the gleam in Rick's eye. Fences, strong walls...there's hope.

Cut to the group making their way through the outer fence. Lori is really pregnant. Rick looks at the prison--"It's perfect."

They hatch a plan for closing the main gate, which would seal of the exercise yard area. Rick gives out orders and then gives himself the dangerous job of closing the gate.

Rick runs through the walkers, while the other survivors try to distract or provide covering fire. Rick is using one of the suppressed pistols, looks like a Ruger .22, with a suppressor made from a Maglite body.

With the other survivors providing covering fire and distraction, Rick makes it, sealing off the gate with a smart little device made from two caribiners joined by a length of chain.

With the main entrance sealed off, the group makes short work of the zombies now trapped in the yard, cutting 'em down with combined firepower. The yard secured, the survivors move in, happy to have the protection of the prison's fences and barbed wire.

We rejoin the group after dark; they've set up camp in the middle of the yard. Rick is checking the fence. Daryl and Carol off on their own, apparently not yet romantic, but getting there.

Rick wants to go into the prison for ammo, supplies--go in hand to hand, clear out the zombies and take the loot.

Lori speaks for the first time this episode, suggesting they should wait, rest a few days. Rick doesn't have much patience for her. Lori: "I'm just saying, the baby is about to be here and we need to talk about--" Rick cuts her off-- "About what?" They could use some relationship counseling...maybe the prison library will have something from Dr. Phil?

Back from a break, we're in a small town. A living woman - new cast member Michonne - enters a convenience store. We see her for the first time as she hacks up three zombies, samurai style. Picks up some aspirin...guess she's headachey? No Andrea to be seen.

Group is making their way into the prison, hand to hand. Lots of zombies, including zombies in riot gear (video games didn't lie!). The melee weapons aren't getting through the riot armor. Daryl is going to town with his Busse. Some great zombie hand to hand. Great makeup effect as Rick tears off a riot zombies' mask and skin with it. Group seals off a horde of zombies, clears out the rest and then pushes into the prison.

Prison interior is, not surprisingly, nice and creepy and atmospheric. Rick finds the keys on a dead guard. The group moves deeper into the prison. Zombie prisoners trapped in cells, trying to snack on 'em, but otherwise empty. They secure the cell block without much trouble, and the rest of the survivors move in.

There's a glimmer of hope and happiness. Lori reaches out to thank Rick, but he walks off, not interested.

Glenn and Maggie share a romantic moment checking for zombie scratches in the middle of a blood spattered cell.

Funny moment between Carl and Hershel's blond daughter...looks like Carl is planning on shacking up in her cell, 'till Hershel shows up and suggests he find somewhere else to sleep. Carl's a little young, but blondy may be the only single gal around his age left in the world, so...

Roll moody music, cut to commercial.

We rejoin Michonne. No sign of Andrea yet. Michonne enters into a hunting shop, and we see her chained up zombie buddies. No arms, no lower jaws. Great makeup effects. It's a passing shot, and you take it for granted that there are somehow people in that makeup pretending to be zombies. It's totally believable, certainly took hours of design and makeup, maybe CGI, for a passing shot. That's the kind of good stuff you get from this show.

Michonne has Andrea in a back room. She's looking horrible--sick. Michonne passes over the Tylenol. Andrea tells Michonne to leave her, that she kept her alive all winter and will do fine on her own. Andrea -- "If we stay, I'll die here." So they head out.

We rejoin the survivors in the prison, checking their loot from the prison. Some guns, tear gas, flash bangs and some gooey riot armor.

Hershel is called in to counsel Lori. Lori is worried the baby is dead...concerned about how the zombie plague will play out with child birth. Infected zombie baby, infected zombie mom...child birth is bad enough without zombie plague to deal with. Lori's opens up to Hershel, saying it might have been better if she hadn't of made it off the farm; Carl can't stand her (apparently), and we've seen how Rick feels about her these days.

Hershel moves the conversation back to the baby, moving to check it. There's no mention that the baby is dead later in the episode, so I'm guessing it was just Lori freaking out.

Next scene, T-Dogg, Hershel and the others are donning riot armor in preparation for moving into another part of the prison. It's even creepier and more atmospheric than the last. Glenn is wisely tagging directions as they move deeper.

Group rounds a corner and runs into a horde of zombies. They fall back. More zombies cut them off. Glenn and Maggie get cornered in a closet. Others stop to regroup, then moves to find Glenn and Maggie and get out.

Hershel wanders off on his own, past a sleeping walker. The walker of course wakes up and takes a big chunk out of Hershel's leg for his troubles. The group retreats deeper into the prison, comes to a pair of doors locked with a pair of handcuffs, and kicks through. The room appears to be zombie free. T-Dogg mans the door while the rest see to Hershel, who is crying out in pain.

Rick slaps a tourniquet around Hershel's leg. The wound is bad. Very gross. Rick snatches up a hatchet, says "Only one way to keep you alive!" and then, yep, begins to hack off Hershel's leg in an attempt to save him. Not for the squeamish. The look on Rick's face as he finishes the job...man, some good acting.

Just after the leg comes off, Daryl notices that they're not alone in the room--a group of prisoners is watching. He aims down his crossbow's red dot sight, grimy prisoner says what we're all thinking, and the episode closes.

An excellent, edge of your seat opener. Great ending. Poor Hershel.

The stuff with Michonne and Andrea seemed like a bit of an after thought, but I'm sure it will pick up as they meet the Governor.

Do I think Hershel will survive? Doubtful, but really, at that point, death by zombie virus is 100% certain, and amputation would be your only (slim) hope of surviving.

Great acting all around. Rick is clearly more desperate, more on edge than when we saw him last season. He's barely keeping it together.

Were the suppressors plausible? Yes, I think so. A suppressor is not all that complicated to build, and I think given a little time, Rick and Daryl could piece them together. I appreciated that one of the guns looked to be a Ruger .22lr, which suppresses quite well and gets you the closest to the the Hollywood sound effects.

As usual, the comments are open for your thoughts and observations. Have at it!

20 comments :

  1. Great Episode!! Did anyone else notice the impromptu MagLight supressor that Rick was using? And what the heck did Carl have on the front of his weapon? Never seen a supressor shaped like a flower vase.
    I like how they picked up just after winter time. Already counting down until next Sunday.

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  2. That looked like a cut down aluminum baseball bat... Highly impressed with that one :-)

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  3. I didn't notice it from last season or earlier in this episode but in the final shot with the katana chick and Andrea you could see that the zombies she has are serving as her pack mules to carry her stuff. Very cool. At first I thought that she was unstable/lonely and wanted company lol. Now it makes a lot more sense.

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  4. I enjoyed the episode, but was wondering when killing all of those zombies 'up close and personal', why were group members hugging and patting each other over their bodies without cleaning up? A lot of gore - does not seem like a good idea, at least to me.

    I thin Anon I called it correct - tapered aluminum appeared to be baseball bat section. Way to go Carl!

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  5. I liked the phalanx formation that they used to clear the open area. I hope they can find more swat gear. If each person can get a shield and a spear that would be entertaining. I do think that they went to fast and used a lot of ammo to clear the prison yard.
    i wonder if ricks profession pre-SHTF will piss off the prisoners they just found. A zombie baby could make the group break. Great show!!!

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  6. Really enjoyed this episode. I especially liked how their tactics have evolved into what our present day military is used to, just out of necessity- light and noise discipline, posting point man with a suppressed weapon, moving through "enemy" held territory in a tight 360, etc.

    A suppressor isn't hard to make at all. A good machinist with a shop can make one in about 2 hours or less. With the power out and using hand tools? Maybe a day per suppressor. Totally plausible they used a section of aluminum baseball bat and a dead Maglite for parts. I'm suprised they didn't suppress a .22 rifle with a scope. A brick of .22's will last a long time, and a .22 in the noggin will kill a walker just as dead as a shotgun... Just sit up in a tree or wherever and pick em off.

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  7. Okay I have a question for someone who has read the books. What about all the zombie blood splatter??? If they get scratched they get infected, so what about all the blood on the skin, a splatter drop in the eye or on the lip and it enters the mouth or eye or nose??? Or is the infection in the saliva?? And what about after Rick kills Shane and he comes back and Rick thinks everyone is infected and will come back after they die?? Just a few questions and if they get answered later in the comeing episodes just let us know and keep the details out.

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    1. Everyone is infected - you come back when you die, regardless of whether it's a zombie bite or not. Zombie bites appear to give you a severe case of zombi-itis to the point of death, but the blood spatter doesn't seem to have quite the same effect (unlike, say, 28 Days Later).

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  8. At first I thought that the zombies were watching Rick chop off Hershel's leg and saying oh boy takeout. Then one of them says oh sh*t and I realized they were human and just stunned when these new people pop through the door. Then I thought man they have been in the prison all this time eating our groups food. It made a nice counterpoint for the first episode when Rick almost gets killed sitting on the sidewalk and doesn't because he speaks.

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    1. Interesting tidbit that I heard watching the "Talking Dead" show. One of the guests was Glenn Mazara, who wrote the episode. Backstory on the amputation is that the entire group agreed to try it if someone was bitten - they don't know if it will work, but perhaps a shot at not dying. The hatchet came from a medical bag that Hershel was carrying for just that purpose. It was clean and hadn't been used in zombie slaying.

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  9. Oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please let the zombies eat Lori this season.

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    1. My whole family is crossing their fingers on that one, too!! lol

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    2. No luck on that one, she's an ethical zombie...back-stabbing cheater probably doesn't taste good?

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  10. Just want to say thanks for tuning me in on this awesome show. I probably would not have jumped in had it not been for the updates on this site. Fortunately I was able to spend this summer catching up on the first two seasons. Great show indeed!

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  11. Truly amazing--seriously one of the best hours of TV I have ever seen. My wife was screaming during more than one of the scenes (with me wide eyed and grinning). Truly among the best episodes of ANY show I have seen in my life. This ranks up there with Jack Bauer ambushing the presidential motorcade! This show gets better and better--unlike most good shows which rapidly decline. I remember during the first season thinking some of the episodes were down right stupid and silly. And while the second season improved in some ways there weren't quite enough zombies and a little too much Lori drama. If this first episode is any indication for the rest of this season then I honestly think it could be among the best seasons of any show ever. Really well done show!

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  12. If Hershel had taken a clue from Zombieland and did a double tap, he might still have his leg. Didn't even do a single tap.

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    1. I was thinking the same thing. Who walks that close to a dead body when there is room enough to walk on the other side? Who doesn't at least stick something in the heads of those already down, just in case. I know I would have. But then again I guess Hershel wouldn't have gotten his leg bitten and we wouldn't have had such a dramatic scene. :)

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  13. RomeroNJulietOctober 17, 2012

    A thought occurs to me on a second viewing. Our group left their vehicles parked close to the chain-link outer fence, presumably to make a quick retreat had that been necessary. However, given that they had each taken their weapons and ammo with them, were they forced to leave valuable supplies (such as drinking water) in their cars? They sealed the fence behind them and don't seem interested in leaving the prison anytime soon. Wouldn't the presence of gassed-up, loaded vehicles alert other survivors to the presence of a group occupying the prison? Either through desperation or a desire to take the prison, one has to consider that visitors might eventually be knocking at the door. Think back to the ending of Dawn of the Dead, when the bikers battered down the doors and the zombies flooded in. After they secure the key areas of the prison, they should really consider posting an outside watch. Then again, they seem to have their hands full dealing with the previous inhabitants, dead and alive.

    I love this show, and appreciate that the first episode of this season has become my favorite episode. Lets hope they keep this level of intensity throughout the season.

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  14. Enjoyed the show as always....it just bugged me that the semi auto handguns in the prison yard scene werent cycling their slides. That was
    kind of SyFy channel. Other than that great.

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