News Column

AMC's Walking Dead -- New Season Opens at Furious Pace

Oct. 13, 2012

Mark A. Perigard, Boston Herald

walking dead, season 3, premiere, review

Oct. 12--"THE WALKING DEAD" Season premiere Sunday at 9 p.m. on AMC: B+

"Walking Dead" fans might be the most bloodthirsty viewers alive.

On message boards, they hope and clamor for the deaths of major characters, the more gruesome the better.

They might be the only fans who want major characters killed off en masse.

Some complained that last season was too slow.

Especially the first half, set at the farm.

The third-season opener of the No. 1 basic cable show on Sunday should sate any lust for slaughter.

The gore splatters fast and furiously.

Warning: Minor spoilers follow.

Several months have passed since we last saw Rick (Andrew Lincoln) pretty much declare himself dictator of the small band of survivors.

The group has been basically roaming the area since being forced off Hershel's (Scott Wilson) property. They've learned to become a cohesive fighting unit. That's the good news; the bad news is, they are being hemmed in by growing herds of ravenous undead.

Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) looks to be about 20 months pregnant. Rick can barely grunt at her. Their son Carl (Chandler Riggs) loathes her. In this dark world, he's grown up fast and has become a capable executioner. It's not the childhood Lori could have ever imagined for him.

There is a brief interlude updating us on the whereabouts of Andrea (Laurie Holden), believed dead by the other survivors, and the machete-wielding Michonne (Danai Gurira). Their circumstances are no less dire.

On one of his scouting missions, Rick spots a prison and has a crazy idea: Storm the facility and use it as their new home. They'll be safe behind the gates, for a time, anyway.

What could go wrong?

There is the bloody matter of eliminating the walkers roaming the grounds.

A major player suffers a horrifying injury.

And that prison holds more than walkers.

"Dead" is always at its most unsettling -- and poignant -- when its characters have a moment to breathe and to address their dark, nightmarish world.

Lori may finally engender some sympathy among fans as she acknowledges her fears that either she or the baby will die in childbirth and return as zombies.

Lincoln digs deep as Rick, a man who goes to savage lengths to protect the group in the Oct. 21 episode. He seems to be erecting an internal prison to protect himself from the horrors he's seen as well as inflicted.

Some will wonder if he's gone too far, if he can ever come back from what he's done.

Got to say this for "The Walking Dead," it can still manage a scare. One scene late in the Oct. 21 episode made me flinch.

Those who have read the long-running comic from Robert Kirkman know how Lori's pregnancy turns out. I don't have a clue how it will play here, but I would love to see a zombie baby.

Can you imagine anything more perfect for Halloween?

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(c)2012 the Boston Herald

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