All right you primitive screwheads, listen up: the following post is going to be absolutely dripping with spoilers regarding the season premiere of Walking Dead that aired last night, so if you don’t want your jimmies rustled, go read one of the billion news stories about Felix “I don’t give a fuck” Baumgartner breaking the sound barrier in nothing but a Spaceman Spiff costume or something. This is your first, last, and only warning.
Right, now that we’ve got that out of the way, Sunday’s season premiere paints a much different picture than we were presented with at the end of last season when it comes to Rick Grimes and the rest of his merry band of zombie bait. Instead of a pack of fearful victims being herded like cats, Rick and company have coalesced into a gritty band of murderhobos; the biggest stand-out difference is Carl, who seems to have finally sprouted some hair on his balls and has stopped being the biggest pain in the ass on the post-apocalyptic planet, judging on how he helps clear a house in the opening minutes of a show with a silenced semiautomatic pistol. No more sniveling or petulant “I’m going to run away and get myself in trouble” asshattery from Carl, as it looks like shooting Zombie Shane last season finally knocked him out of his pre-teen bullshit. I for one can’t be more happy about the arrangement, though I was kind of looking forward to watching him eat dog food before his father grabbed the can from him in disgust.
Rick has definitely stepped up as well over the intervening months between the season premiere and last season’s ender as well. He’s gotten harder and more uncompromising, in an effort to keep the rest of the group alive, and while he’s been successful in driving the people in his care along, the stress of having to do so have definitely begun to show; there’s a palpable wall between him and the rest of the group, and nowhere is that more evident than between him and Lori. It’s a great bit of character development and I can only hope that this continues throughout the rest of the season, as it’s going to make for excellent drama to see if he can keep his own shit together in the face of what you know is going to be absolutely horrific conditions.
Speaking of Lori, it seems that she’s finally gotten it through her thick skull that she’s been a big fucking pain in the ass during the first two seasons. Ridiculously knocked up, she’s ready to burst any day now, and the anguish and contrition Lori exudes during the first episode of this season is cathartic to watch, considering how reviled she was earlier in the series. I can only hope that this is part of a longer story arc where she redeems herself in the eyes of her husband and by extension the fans of the show, who have wasted many a breath in condemning her for her passive-aggressive, skanky, shit-stirring ways. The conversation she has with Hershel in the abandoned jail cell shows how tortured she’s been, most likely for months now, and while there’s a bit of schadenfreude in watching her squirm like a worm on a fishhook, it looks like she’s been suffering off-camera long and hard and seems to have learned her lesson.
Hershel is, of course, the most unlucky motherfucker on he planet. I hope that impromptu hatchet amputation he was given actually works, considering he’s the only real medical professional the group has and Lori’s probably going to go into labor by the third or fourth episode. Of course there’s just as much chance he’s going to die from blood loss or a more mundane infection, now that his leg’s off just below the knee. The zombie apocalypse doesn’t seem nearly as romantic as it does on paper, does it?
What about you folks, those that have seen it? What have your first impressions been so far?