The hit show “The Walking Dead” has returned for a new season of zombies, killing and surviving on AMC.
When the show ended its second season, Shane had been killed by a gunshot from Rick and then killed again by another gunshot from Carl after Shane came back to life as a walker. The gunshots attracted a large horde of nearby walkers and Rick and Carl were forced into the barn for safety. They ignited the barn after drawing walkers inside, both to draw attention and to save themselves. In the final battle to save the farm, Jimmy and Patricia were killed, Andrea was left behind and the RV was lost. Andrea attempted to survive on her own and was later rescued by a mysterious woman leading chained, armless walkers.
The remaining survivors were Rick, Lori, Carl, Glenn, Daryl, Carol, T-Dog, Maggie, Beth and Hershel. They recovered on the highway but were forced to make camp there because of a shortage of gas. Rick became irritated with the group and revealed both the truth behind Shane’s death and what Dr. Jenner whispered to him at the CDC.
Dr. Jenner informed Rick whatever the plague is, they all carried it and would return as walkers. The end result would be the same, and it would not matter if they were bitten or scratched by a walker. As the season came to a close, a large prison loomed in the distance.
Season three, episode one
The third season opens with the group locating the prison, fighting off walkers to get inside and trying to turn the prison into a safe fortress. We learn the woman who rescued Andrea is named Michonne. She carries a razor-sharp katana and travels with a pair of double-amputee walkers to mask the scent of her living flesh. On a funny note, they also carry her baggage. She tends to a sick Andrea, who has a fever, as they seek safer refuge.
Once Rick’s group gets inside the prison, all hell breaks loose. The group gets separated, and Hershel, while searching for Glenn and Maggie, gets bitten on the lower leg by a walker. After the group reorganizes and gets together in the prison cafeteria, Rick amputates the leg at the knee. It’s not pretty. It’s one of the goriest scenes in the show’s history.
The group hears some commotion, and when they check out what is wrong, they find surviving prisoners trapped in the cafeteria and surviving on pantry food.
Season three, episode two
The second episode of season three opens with Hershel being brought back to the group’s cellblock. Rick updates the prison survivors on the zombie apocalypse. The survivors eventually come to an agreement: Rick’s group will prepare a cellblock for the prisoners to inhabit in exchange for half of the prison’s food rations. While the surviving prisoners are fighting off walkers under the supervision of Rick’s group, a walker scratches a prisoner named “Big Tiny.” He says he is fine, and Rick seems inclined to let him live, but the prisoners’ leader, Tomas, sadistically kills him on the spot.
After fighting another group of walkers and avoiding a murder attempt by Tomas, Rick kills Tomas. Another prisoner named Andrew strikes back by attacking Rick but gives up and flees. Andrew accidentally charges into a walker-infested prison yard and Rick, who is right behind him, closes the doors on him and leaves Andrew to be torn apart by walkers. Rick, Daryl and T-Dog leave the remaining prisoners, Axel and Oscar, in the promised cellblock. When they return to their group, Hershel awakens after Lori saves him. He awakes not as a walker and remembers what has happened. The amputation was successful.
Season three, episode three
In the third episode, Andrea and Michonne are introduced to a new community of survivors after seeing a helicopter crash. Hospitality is provided to both women and Merle Dixon, a member from season one, is revealed to be alive and part of the group of survivors after he escaped from the rooftop. A survivor of the accident, Welles, informs the leader of the group, “the Governor,” about how he left 10 men behind so he can investigate. The Governor promises if they are still alive, he will bring them back.
The Governor introduces Andrea and Michonne to Woodbury, a small town with 73 residents. They attend breakfast with the Governor the next morning, where Michonne remains wary of the Governor, but Andrea wants to stay in Woodbury longer. Later, the Governor tracks down Welles’ squad and kills all of them, and the men return to town with military trucks. Later that night, in his apartment, the Governor sips a glass of whiskey and enters a private room, which contains three rows of aquariums filled with live heads of walkers. Among them are Michonne’s pets and also the head of Welles.
As the season moves on, Rick’s group and the Governor’s townspeople are on a collision course to meet. This season will be longer that the previous two and will consist of sixteen episodes.
This season premiered with mind-blowing ratings for cable television. The season premiere garnered 10.87 million viewers in its initial telecast and totaled more than 15.2 million for the entire night. Both were records for cable television and made the show the most watched drama series telecast in basic cable history.
The previous record holder was TNT’s “The Closer.”
For the season so far, the show is averaging 10 million viewers per episode.
Viewers better sit back and hold on because this season is just getting started, and things have yet to explode. The season is going to bring unprecedented events of carnage, death and survival.