ZPAA ratingLate teens and adults
Offensive contentAs I guessed, they are keeping the gore level high, including a "guts dropping" just like in the old Romero zombie films. There's some kissing though nothing more than affection expressions. Some pigs die terribly as do some humans.
Synopsis & ReviewAfter someone dies in the prison at the end of the last episode, he comes back to take out his cell block. Some good horror thrill moments are eeked out of this scenario. Rick and the gang manage to get things under control but now they suspect some fast-acting flu virus was the cause of the first death and everyone in the block has been exposed. So a quarantine is on. Meanwhile, someone has been feeding mice to the fence zombies, who are about to push down the outer fences. More gross-out battles are in store.
The real heart of The Walking Dead is the human dramas within the larger zombie apocalypse, which we get here. Carol has been teaching the children to defend themselves so they will be tough enough to survive in the new world. She's worried Carl will rat her out to Rick because she's been teaching the children behind their parents' backs. The parents might not agree with spoiling the innocence of their children (kind of like public schools providing sex education whether parents like it or not). Carl eventually decides to tell his father toward the end of the episode.
Rick, in a surprising turn of attitude since the last episode, says he won't stop her as he straps back on his gun. His hope for a brighter future as a farmer seems darkened by his acceptance of the need for readiness. He gives Carl his gun back and seems ready to put his sheriff's hat back on, metaphorically and literally.
I remember Rick's big speech at the end of season two when he told the group they would have to do what he says when he says it no questions asked since they are putting him in charge. Kirkman referred to it in interviews as the "Ricktatorship." It seemed like it would be an interesting development with the prison and the Governor plot lines looming in season three. The "Ricktatorship" never really happened, though. I'm not sure what happened. Maybe the producers lost their nerve; maybe they've found it again. The interesting contrast between Rick at the prison and the Governor at Woodbury is lost but they could come up with something else.
But maybe they'll all die from the flu before anything interesting happens!