Seemingly done with all the behind the scenes Darabont/showrunner drama, the third season premiere provides viewers with a refreshingly engaging episode. No more kvetching back on the farm, instead the show delivers in spades providing more action, tighter pacing and genuine thrills. The writers have finally (wisely) pumped the brakes on Lori, and Carl is no longer a helpless pawn. It’s a few months later and under the new Ricktatorship, the group stumbles upon the prison, which has been completely overrun by zombies. Instead of foolishly unloading all their ammo (like the group of would have in the previous two seasons), they now fight together hand to hand as a single unit, saving precious ammo and preventing other walkers from being drawn to their location by the sound of gunfire. Also, everyone finally gets access to body armor, though makeshift armor would have sufficed until this point; but the show is considerably more satisfying when characters are no longer doing idiotic things.
In the other ‘camp’, we see that Andrea has been sick for a long time, and is ready to give up (again), feeling like a burden to her savior Michonne, who was only briefly glimpsed in last season’s finale. Not having read the comics, I don’t yet see what the big deal is about the katana-wielding Michonne. Here on the show, she isn’t really given any backstory, other than being known for fearlessly decapitating the undead. It’s too early to tell (and not enough information given) with just one episode what her arc will be, but it’s going to take more than fancy swordplay for me to jump on the Michonne bandwagon.
As I mentioned earlier, the action (and gore!) ante has been upped considerably from the clunky previous season, and it’s a smart move giving the fans what they want, with the ‘face-off’ armored zombie being the standout for me. With all the Darabont drama hopefully out of the way, it’s Glen Mazarra’s turn at bat, with the success or failure of the current season resting solely in his hands.
Final Grade: A
TRR TV Revue by Jacob Aquino