All in Good (Face-Chomping) Fun


The fall 2012 semester has been nothing if not unpredictable. President Obama was reelected, although Mitt Romney did give him a run for his money, striking fear in the hearts of those of us not quite ready for another ridiculously wealthy, out-of-touch president. And who would have thought that we’d live through the worst hurricane of our time before the semester was out, shutting down the subway, cancelling Halloween and the New York Marathon—and those were the least of the casualties. The media badgered us ceaselessly, first with nasty election commercials, then with endless footage of storm ravaged neighborhoods, showing utter destruction, loss of human life, and incomprehension of what was to come next. In light of the stress-provoking past few months, I’ve decided to review the guilty pleasure that I’ve taken solace in all semester, AMC’s The Walking Dead, season three.


At the end of The Walking Dead season two, viewers had to accept the fact that the hearth-and-home safety of the farmhouse wasn’t going to last. Sometimes a herd of zombies comes through, knocking down everything you built to feel safe, looking to eat your loved ones. In a post zombie apocalyptic world, these things happen, and fans have to deal with it.

In October, season three opened with our favorite band of survivors exiled from the farmhouse, weary but hardened from seven months on the run, living in different houses, failing to find the true safety that the farmhouse offered. Our charmed first family is in disarray. Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) is eight months pregnant, and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) can’t seem to get over the fact that the baby might not be his. Carl (Chandler Riggs) appears to have sacrificed his childhood to become a good, zombie killing soldier, and refuses to offer any boyish tenderness to his mama, leaving her feeling like her family hates her.

But don’t worry about all that soap opera stuff. In between the human drama, there is plenty of zombie action when the survivors discover a prison that seems to promise enough razor-wire, jail cells, and supplies of food to keep them safe and well-fed indefinitely. With one problem, of course. The previous occupants are still trapped inside, leaving hundreds of orange jumpsuit-clad zombie prisoners mad and hungry for human flesh.

In an epic battle, Rick, desperate to find a safe place for Lori to have her baby, leads the men on a purging mission to rid the prison of non-human inhabitants, encountering zombie prisoners and prison guards, and then a small band of surviving human prisoners with no knowledge of what’s been going on in the world, and who believe that Rick and his crew are the military coming to rescue them.

One of the best things about this show is that no character is ever safe, and so every battle is anxiety provoking.

Season Two Spoiler Alert: Fans learned this at the end of season two, where we lost Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn), Shane (John Bernthal), and even, in a scene both thrilling and touching at the same time, cute little Sophia (Madison Lintz).

The stakes are even higher in season three, since the zombie virus has mutated in such a way that it exists in all humans. No matter how a person dies, they’ll turn into a zombie. Friends and family must agree to shoot or bash each other’s brains in to save them from becoming brainless, flesh-eating monsters in the afterlife. Knowing that any death will result in the undead, Lori has more than one reason to worry that her baby will not survive inside of her.

The seven episodes that follow introduce some new characters, including the sinister Governor, who runs a utopian town with bizarre secrets hidden behind his locked-down gates, and Michonne, the samurai sword twirling ass-kicker who seems to find effective yet disgusting ways to blend in with the zombies, until she has to lop their heads off.

Now is a perfect time to get caught up on episodes because the series has just gone on a mid-season break, scheduled to return with new episodes in February 2013.

Are you obsessed with The Walking Dead? What else are you watching?