Out Of The Grave: This Week on The Walking Dead (Episode 2 / October 21, 2012)

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THE HOOK: With Hershel's farm overrun, Rick and company are on the move again. They come across a prison which Rick feels would be perfect...once it's purged of walkers. But the dead aren't the only danger lurking in the shadows.

THE LOWDOWN: I'm happy to report the adrenaline ride that was the premier doesn't slow down one bit tonight. The writer's seem to have the pacing issue nailed down and I have to say I was worried, not just because of last season but because they've added more episodes to this one and I thought maybe it would slow things down. It hasn't. I think the added padding is to help make the story richer as it unfolds with Rick and his crew as well as Michonne, Andria and the Governor. Sadly, those last three didn't make the cut tonight (bummer), but we will be seeing them in action next week for sure. The bottom line is that structurally the show's writing is strong and that's a very good sign.

The characters are getting the royal treatment this season as well. Not only do they reflect the primal viciousness needed to cope with what they've endured, everyone's bringing their A-game to the table. Like I said last week, I love the new Rick--shoot first, who gives a damn about questions. Love it. Daryl and T-Dog feel like a tighter part of the group too, especially Daryl whose become Rick's right hand man. These two are in sync and work off one another beautifully. Daryl's become one of my favorite characters which is ironic considering he's "all show" (as in, not a character from the comics). It makes sense for the writer's to give us a couple more badasses as it's a lonely title for Michonne to carry all by her lonesome. That, and who knows at this point if she'll live up to her comic book alter-ego (or who they'll kill off). I'm sure she will, but it never hurts to have a "plan B" in your pocket.

We all knew there'd be animosity between Rick's group and the prisoners (when isn't there animosity between the survivors), and seeing as how it's a prison, I don't blame everyone for being on their guards. You'd think these fools would be more receptive to other survivors, but they're not and things don't work out for them as a result. I laughed my ass off when the new guys rushed the walkers in the hallway doing everything Rick told them NOT to do. Priceless. The bloodlust that comes with killing takes its toll on everyone and the dramatic change it has on one prisoner in particular tonight (Tomas), is obvious and downright chilling at the same time. Again, the characters (be it big roles or small) are being handled with extreme care and I can't help but get more and more impressed as we go.

THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 3's second episode is evidence that this show isn't slowing down, getting lazy or taking its audience for granted. As with any series, it takes a couple season to flush out the bugs and get it right. It's a delicate balance, but they're working it like a street girl on Saturday night. Another deadly flower in bloom is Carl (going off on his own to take care of business tonight = awesome). I was worried about him. He felt like too much of a momma's boy there for awhile, but not no more. He's embraced the change and become the mirror image of his comic counterpart (maybe not as methodical yet, but like I said, he's in full bloom) and that's also a thing of beauty from where I'm sitting. I'm still not a hundred percent sure I'm loving the "we're all infected" end of things, but the more I think about it, it does make sense in the real world. There needs to be a reason for zombies, something that makes this show stand above some of our favorite zombie films that just assume we'll "go with it".

ZOMBIE KILL OF THE WEEK: (Minor spoiler)--One of the prison crew gets into it with a walker and gets infected--though no one's completely sure--and then gets it in the face by one of his own brethren. It's pretty cold stuff, but a sweet kill just the same.

BLOOD AND GORE: Again, they're not shying away from the good stuff and we get plenty more tonight. I'm not sure if the level of gore will continue once they've cleared the prison, but then again, there's lots of killing that goes on in the comics that isn't walker related. And if the Governor's storyline stays the same, we'll have plenty more to see in the weeks to come. Oh, and zombie autopsies...gross.

MOST ANNOYING CHARACTER: Maggie. I was never overly fond of her character in the show to begin with simply because she's whiny, erratic and is always looking for the easy way out. I hated her talking to Hershel tonight (what she was saying to him). I know times are tough, but if you can't adapt then what the hell good are you?

COOLEST SCENE: Tonight's showdown between Rick and Tomas is a powder keg that starts within the opening moments of the episode. The conclusion (I'll leave it at that) is all kinds of epic. Shit happens baby, shit happens.



Extra Tidbit: What do you guys think about the "we're all infected" end of things? Smart, or could they have come up with something better?



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