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The Walking Dead has been hailed as one of the best shows on TV for its use of over-the-top drama and character realism. Many of us can identify and relate to the characters of the series as they struggle to survive the terrifying nightmare that is their life, and the show itself has become a powerful and moving saga of human trial and tribulation.
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SPOILER ALERT!

If you haven’t seen this episode and want to keep everything a surprise, make sure you don’t continue reading!

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The highly anticipated Season 3 Premiere proved that with time things only get better. This introduction to the third season of The Walking Dead shows just how far our ragtag team of survivors–Rick, Carl, Lorie, Darryl, Herschel, Glenn, Maggie, Carol, and T-Dog–have come since last season, progressing from a fumbling bunch into a group of deadly zombie hunters.

This season also focuses less on personal strife than the collective troubles that all survivors face, including the age-old struggle for food. Food is less than scarce, and our team of survivors is forced to scavenge in order to maintain just enough energy to travel.

And with Lorie’s pregnancy, the importance of food is stressed even more, and is something that weighs on all the characters. Still, they band together and hold up a defiant attitude, and don’t let their personal feelings get in the way. The group isn’t divided like it was in Season 2; they are all allied together out of necessity to survive.

Walking Dead

In the constant search for food and shelter, the survivors become traveling nomads and mark their paths on a map. They’ve become markedly more resilient and efficient in terms of safety and security, and don’t take any chances. Rick has become the bona-fide leader of the group, and seems to not only represent order but a veneer of calm that doesn’t shatter even under the most extreme stressful moments.

Watching the characters mature and strengthen their fortitude is always something that I have liked about dynamic cast…but this newfound hardness comes at a cost: Rick and Lorie’s personal relationship, for example, has become stressed to the point where she believes Rick holds her in constant contempt.

This radical change provides for extremely entertaining sequences of action wherein everyone–from Carl, who’s grown up into quite the zombie-slaying badass to Carol, the mother of the late Sophia–pitches in to slay the undead. Seeing the team work together and kill dozens of zombies provides almost more action in the first episode of Season 3 than we’ve seen in the last two season combined.

The characters still constantly carry around the weight of impending doom and demise, and although it does have its toll upon their psyche, it doesn’t demoralize them as it once did. Instead, they all look to Rick for commands and trust in his ability to maintain the group, and this seems to help facilitate some sort of control in a world full of chaos. It certainly helps to keep your mind on orderly tasks and form a routine when the world outside has fallen apart.

Walking Dead

Viewers are also treated to a side-story that cuts to Andrea, who in Season 2 was rescued by the mysterious samurai-sword wielding huntress who leads two walkers on a metal leash. This huntress character represents one of the strongest and quite frankly awesome characters in the show, and teamed with Andrea who is already quite a tough woman, they form a formidable duo who stand good odds at survival. We don’t see much of the two in this episode, but it’s always nice to see a side story that focuses on different characters.

After coming pretty much every house and location they can find, Rick and the other survivors come across a prison that’s crawling with walkers. In season 2, our survivors would have had nothing to do with an area this huge crawling with undead…but they’ve changed and hardened, and have learned that risks are required to stay alive. Rick decides that the prison is too good of an opportunity for safety to pass up, and the group works together to slay an entire field of undead. Soon they take control of the prison and make it their home.

Right when they think they’re safe, Rick decides to take a recon team to scout the inner areas of the prison to look for food and supplies. And it’s during this search when things go wrong, and their troubles just begin…

If you missed The Walking Dead Season 3 Premiere, you can watch the full episode for free on AMC’s website. But hurry, it’s only available for a limited time!

[author] [author_image timthumb='on']http://www.puresophistry.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Derek.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]As an inspiring games journalist who aims to make his mark in the gaming world, Derek has an affinity for all things classic, retro and Indie. An avid fan of everything nerdy, Derek has a huge collection of Star Wars figures and enjoys everything geeky from medieval fantasy to high-tech science fiction. While he’s a fan of all things gaming, he has a soft spot for wacky Indie Games that herald the golden days of gaming from his childhood, especially RPG’s and classic side-scrollers. He has established himself on multiple gaming sites and is looking to make a career out of his passion for video games.[/author_info] [/author]