It's finally here! ‘The Walking Dead’ season 3 brings to life its first bloodthirsty episode of the season, as Rick and the others find a seemingly safe haven in a nearby prison facility, but first must endure the deadly task of clearing out its undead inhabitants

Last season’s ‘The Walking Dead’ finale “Beside the Dying Fire” saw Rick desperately trying to keep the group together when a herd of the undead force the survivors off the Greene farm, while Andrea found an unlikely rescue from the sword-swinging Michonne, and Rick revealed a terrifying truth about the walking dead, so what will the new season bring?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘The Walking Dead’ season 3 premiere “Seed!”

In a sequence completely devoid of dialogue, we open on Rick, Daryl, Carl and T-Dog clearing out a house full of walkers.  With the house secure and the other survivors brought in, Daryl kills an upstairs owl for food, while Carl finds a few cans of dog food and prepares to share them with the group.  As the other survivors eye the cans with a resigned disgust, Rick examines and ultimately hurls the items away, not wanting to sink to that level.  There isn’t much time to let things sink in however, as T-Dog eyes a herd of outside walkers approaching the house, leading the group to pack up and take off down the road.

Hey, a new title sequence!  Sweet.

Out on the road, the convoy pulls over to plot its next move.  With increasingly fewer options and more and more herds at every turn, Rick determines they’ll head west as Hershel points out that the very-pregnant Lori can’t take much more of the constant movement.  Daryl and Rick take the brief respite to go hunting, eventually finding themselves face to face with a prison facility infested with walkers!  Daryl dismisses it as a shame, while Rick sees it as an opportunity.

Cutting a small hole in the outside, the survivors run along a fenced area trying to gather as much of the walkers’ attention as possible.  Rick stations the others in guard towers to pick off the zombies in the immediate clearing, as he himself runs through the path to seal both entrances, gaining a temporary stretch of land for the group to find security in.  After all the walkers fall, the group celebrates their new-found, if pitifully enclosed freedom.

That night, the group sits around a fire and enjoys some hearty owl, plotting ways to make the prison livable as Rick patrols the fence looking for weaknesses.  Off in the distance, Carol brings Daryl a plate, eliciting a sexy shoulder rub as her rifle’s kickback pains her.  The moment seems to turn romantic for a moment, as Carol half-jokingly proposes they screw around, but the two mostly laugh off the idea.  Mostly.

Back at the fire, Beth reluctantly sings “The Parting Glass” to entertain the group, when Rick finally joins the circle.  Acknowledging the group to be exhausted, he presses that they need to push on another day, and work to clear the rest of the prison in hopes of finding food, medicine, weapons and supplies.  Lori tries to talk him out of it in a moment alone, allowing the group a few days to rest, but Rick coldly brushes her off and dismisses any notions that they need to talk about the state of their marriage either.

Elsewhere, walkers lurk about a local pharmacy, when a mysterious figure draws their attention.  Before they can even gurgle, a katana slices off their heads, as Michonne grimaces at their corpses, and picks up the aspirin she came in search of.

The next day, Rick, Daryl, Maggie, Glenn and T-Dog enter the next section of the prison, keeping a tight formation to hack and slash through the droves of walkers.  Their most difficult kills come from undead guards outfitted with riot gear, though Maggie manages to devise a way to take them down, as Rick tears off another’s gas-mask to find its undead face pops off with it!  The area seemingly secure, the five press on inside to clear Cell Block C, bringing in the others to settle in to their new digs.  Daryl refuses to sleep in a cell, while Carl gets a little too comfortable hanging around Beth, and Hershel wards him off.  Lori thanks Rick for his efforts, but he once again ignores her.

Meanwhile, Michonne strolls through the infested town into her hideaway, passing her armless pets as she finds a deathly-ill Andrea moved from where she left her.  Michonne offers her the aspirin and water to ward off her illness, though Andrea stubbornly refuses to be made a victim.  Seeing through Michonne’s words, Andrea realizes that more walkers will soon descend upon the surrounding area, and they’ll need to head into the wild once more.  Still under the weather, she and Michonne set out into the forest, her pets in tow.

While the group arms up and prepares to head deeper into the prison, Lori calls Hershel with her concerns about the baby being stillborn.  Worried that the baby could kill her from the inside out, or kill them both in the birthing process, Lori begs Hershel to put them both down should the need arise.  Hershel assures her things will be alright for both she and her family, as the group heads out onto their mission.

Flush with darkness, Rick, Daryl, Hershel, Glenn, Maggie and T-Dog attempt to find their way through the corridors, before finding themselves overwhelmed by walkers.  Desperate to escape, Glenn and Maggie get separated, and in his efforts to find them Hershel steps too close to a seemingly inanimate walker.  The ghoul springs to life and bites the elderly farmer in the leg, before Rick arrives to the sound of Hershel’s screams and puts the creature down.

Still plagued by incoming walkers, the group carries Hershel to a nearby cafeteria and seals the entrance, as Rick makes the decision to hack the man’s leg off as a means to prevent the infection.  As Hershel passes out from the shock, five figures pop up from behind a nearby counter.  When Daryl trains his crossbow at the threat, he sees them to be five living inmates of the prison, astonished at what lies before them!  Holy shit indeed!

We couldn't be happier to have 'The Walking Dead' back, and in such fine condition too.  We were surprised to see so little of Michonne and nothing of The Governor just yet, but the action sequences of clearing out the prison, and the sheer bad-assery all of the group now seems to exhibit more than make up for any lacking screen-time.  The reveal of the living prisoners was especially well hidden, and another complication we look forward to exploring as the season goes forward.  There wasn't much in the way of hard drama, but the mere thought of having 'The Walking Dead' back and in such fine form makes 'Seed' one of the better episodes the show has ever had.

Did you get your fill of thrilling zombie killing?  What did you think about the premiere? Check out all our other 'Walking Dead' season 2 coverage, and join us next week for an all-new episode recap of ‘The Walking Dead’ season 2 episode 2 “Sick” on AMC!

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