After months of anticipation, The Walking Dead has finally returned with its standard blend of gore and soap-opera-esque drama. The season three premiere artfully combines the slaughter of dozens of zombies with the internal struggles of the notably decreasing band of survivors. In the months that have passed since we last left the group, Lori looks like she could pop out that kid any day, but the baby’s questionable paternity seems to be taking its toll on the Grimes’ marriage.
Several issues have emerged by the conclusion of “Seed” – why did it take the group so long to find the prison? Is it just me, or is Carl more disturbing than ever? And, most importantly, why does everyone need their hair trimmed, yet Carol is able to maintain her tidy buzz cut? Can’t she lend Carl and Hershel her scissors?
This week’s Talking Dead addresses Carl’s creepy detachment. Producer Glen Mazzara explains that “Carl is completely adapted to the world now,” which allows him to participate as a part of the team. Nevertheless, because Carl is growing up in this post-apocalyptic world, he is lacking the aspects of humanity that Rick is still grasping at. This is clearly depicted in the episode’s opening scenes in which the group is ransacking a house and Carl finds two cans of dog food. Upon reconvening, Carl begins to open the food, but Rick promptly tosses the cans once he realizes what they contain. Rick wants to hold onto the illusion of humanity, and willingly eating dog food would only further dehumanize them as a group; whereas Carl fully accepts that this is how things work now, and he’ll eat whatever he has to as a means of survival. Carl’s increasing descent raises concerns about Lori’s baby; if Carl can fall so quickly, what will happen to a child that will have no experience in the world as it was?
Lori’s concerns regarding a stillbirth are brought to light when she admits that she hasn’t felt the baby move in some time. She brings up an intriguing point: everyone has the zombie illness, so if the baby is stillborn, it has the potential to be a zombie already. I’m sure most viewers would agree that this would be fantastic. I can think of no character other than Lori that is completely and wholly deserving of a fate that involves being eaten from the inside out by a dead zombie fetus.
Unfortunately, Lori might not even have the chance to meet this demise, since someone decided it was a great idea to send the only medically trained member of the group into a dark room where there were assuredly hungry zombies. Way to go. If Lori dies before childbirth because Hershel can’t aid and abet the zombie baby with her murder, I am not going to be a happy camper.