OK, you've been warned...
Season 3 of The Walking Dead began this past Sunday with the season premier episode "Nebraska". The show did quite well in the ratings and AMC decided to bolster the season with 16 episodes. After a 2nd season that struggled a bit to get momentum going I was looking forward to seeing how this season began.
Unfortunately I fell asleep early Sunday night due to the early return flight we had coming home from Orlando that morning. Thankfully, I had it on DVR....
OK, the third season starts right where the 2nd left off, with Rick putting the zombie Sophia out of her misery after Shane initiates a all-hands-on-deck zombie turkey shoot with Herschel's family and neighbors that had been turned and kept in the barn the entire time our group of survivors had been there. After an all too predictable moment when a zombie who wasn't shot in the brain - but decided to play dead for a bit anyway - almost bites someone and has to be killed again, thus keeping the agony for Herschel's family going a bit longer, the show gets down to its normal "lets talk all the time" format.
"Rick's survivors" try to sort out there feelings about the entire affair and whether Herschel had lied to them all along about Sophia being in the barn or not, all the time Shane and Dale snarling at each other....get a room guys. Basically the majority of them think that they did the right thing by shooting the barn zeds....I agree. While they all agree that Herschel was wrong to think that the zombies were simply "sick" and needed to be put down, the do all show that his views about respecting the deceased were partially founded by disposing of the bodies of their family and friends by burial while burning the other bodies...makes sense.
"Herschel's survivors" fare a bit worse with one going into catatonic shock, Maggie wondering about her future with Glen now that Rick's group has no further reason to stay and Herschel reverting to a former vice. Upon realizing that his hopes for a cure or a better future were pretty much in the outhouse, Herschel travels to town to go to a bar for the first time since his daughter's birth. As he is the closest thing to a doctor that both groups have, with the catatonic girl and pregnant Lori present, Rick and Glen go to find him and bring him back. They do find him at his old watering hole with Rick even taking the time to mention that Glen volunteered to come get Herschel, possibly hoping to make sure a union between Glen and Maggie with Herschel's blessing and agreement would be possible...and possibly solidify both groups on the farm.
The bar is also where a interesting event takes place. While sitting there having yet another long discussion about wright and wrong, hope versus death, blah blah blah...in walk two armed strangers, Dave and Lou. Both are tough East Coast types from the Philadelphia area that have been traveling from place to place trying to find a safe haven from the undead. One of the rumors they followed was that trains were taking survivors to Nebraska. "Why Nebraska" Glen (I think) asks. Low population (less people to turn into zeds), high gun count is the answer. Like all the other red herrings that they had followed, the Nebraska rumor turned into a dead end for these two travelers. If Dave looked familiar its because he was portrayed by the same actor that played Rene in the first season of HBO's True Blood series, which I am sure many of you also watched if The Walking Dead is on your viewing list.
Anyway, the initial conversation between the two groups is casual enough with even a toast between all of them saluting their departed friends and family. As the conversation goes on Dave begins to try and home in on exactly where Rick and crew are staying and asking if they can stay there as well. Rick flatly refuses to tell them the location and refuses to offer shelter to the men...this despite the fact that this is the same request he made of Herschel just a few episodes (days in terms of the show) before. The tension grows between the two parties as Dave's questions get more and more direct and Lou decides to relieve himself in front of them on the floor while at the same time asking if they had women that he could have sex with. You could feel a palpable sense of desperation from Dave wanting to do anything to secure some safety, or at least some refuse from the life he had been forced to live, even after he basically admits that he and Lou had been forced to "do things to survive"...indicating some undeclared by obviously not really honorable actions.
The tension comes to a head when Dave goes behind the bar supposedly to get something else to drink and it appears he is trying to get a drop on the armed Rick. He grabs for his gun on the bar and is shot dead by Rick, who also turns and shoots Lou at the same time and calmly walks up to him and puts another in his head from close range. This tells me 2 things about Rick....#1 he is making claim to Herschel's farm as their home (don't expect much traveling this season) and #2, the Rick is a deeper character than we had been lead to believe. In earlier episodes in Season 1 where they had to interact with others he had tried to talk his way out of situations (Latino gang), here he simply killed them. Kind of a pity because while I saw no use for Lou, at least they way he was portrayed for the 5 -10 minutes on the show....Dave definitely had a good vibe about him as a character I might of liked to see come along.
Anyway...to me that was the big part of the show I remember...oh, yeah Lori gets stupid and goes looking for Rick, hits a Zed in the road and flips her car and gets trapped in it...end of baby I guess? Maybe a good thing seeing how its Shane's for the story line....he is once crazy guy these days...