The Walking Dead episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 1
Directed by Ernest Dickerson
Written by Glen Mazzara
Featured music "Noisy Sunday" by Patrick Watson
Original air date October 14, 2012 (2012-10-14)
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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"Seed" is the third season premiere of the post-apocalyptic horror television series The Walking Dead, which aired on AMC in the United States and in Canada on October 14, 2012. The episode was written by showrunner Glen Mazzara and directed by Ernest Dickerson. It is set eight months after the second season finale and focuses on Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his group of survivors' discovering and entering the prison complex shown on the previous episode. Meanwhile, Michonne (Danai Gurira) cares for an ailing Andrea (Laurie Holden).

"Seed" is the first non extended-length premiere of The Walking Dead. The episode received general critical acclaim, with many critics praising its return to form in levels of gore, tension and urgency. Many also noted it as an example of showrunner Glen Mazzara's promise for a "higher level of action", as seen in the earlier episodes of the series. The episode also featured the promotion of Michonne to a series regular from featured stand in.

Upon airing the episode garnered 10.9 million viewers, breaking several records not only for the series, but television history as well.[1]


Eight months after the herd of walkers overran the farm of Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson), with the world growing increasingly dangerous and Lori Grimes' (Sarah Wayne Callies) pregnancy advancing, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his group are now in search of a safe haven, as Lori is due to give birth any day. Rick and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) happen upon a prison complex, while hunting for food. The group clears out the outer prison courtyard of walkers and secure their position within the fences. As many of the dispatched walkers wear prison or guard uniforms, Rick believes the prison may have fallen early during the epidemic and could hold a large supply cache. They plan their approach for the next day.

Meanwhile, Andrea (Laurie Holden) has fallen severely ill since being separated from the group and being taken in by Michonne (Danai Gurira), the hooded figure that rescued her from Hershel's farm. Michonne keeps Andrea in a meat locker as she scours for aspirin or other medication to reduce Andrea's fever. Andrea feels like a burden to Michonne and tells her to proceed without her, but Michonne refuses and sets out for a safer refuge with her.

Rick and his group methodically clear out the inner prison yard of walkers before moving into the prison to clear out a cell block. Daryl notes one wore civilian clothes, suspecting there may have been a breach. Rick and the others start clearing away the walker bodies, giving Lori the chance to confide to Hershel that she fears her child may be stillborn and re-animate as a walker, but Hershel calms her down and affirms the child is still okay.

Rick, Daryl, Hershel, Glenn (Steven Yeun), Theodore "T-Dog" Douglas (IronE Singleton), and Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) go on a scouting mission to other parts of the prison, many in total darkness. The group inadvertently comes across a group of walkers in the darkness, and Hershel is bitten on the leg. The group quickly barricades themselves in a commissary, where Rick chops off Hershel's leg to prevent the infection from spreading. As they look to stop Hershel's bleeding, they find they are not alone: five surviving prisoners are watching them from across the room.


File:Danai Gurira (14587377649).jpg

Danai Gurira makes her first appearance as Michonne. She was officially announced, during an episode of Talking Dead, to have been cast. During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Kirkman said "there's a lot to that role, and Danai, more than any other actress, showed us that she could exhibit that strength and show what an intense character she could be and, at the same time, have that emotional core and be able to show a vulnerability to a certain extent that we don't see much of but is definitely there." He added, "She really was the whole package, and I think she's going to do a really good job".[2] Danai later commented on implementing her comic counterpart's traits:

"I was trying to really investigate a character and allow her to have as much dimension as possible and crack it open even more. What you see through the writing and vision of the creator, you add to it by bringing your full humanity and by really delving into the character's background and their motives and fears; all those things can make a multidimensional character come to life. That's how I've been trained from the beginning and how I've created characters in the past on the stage or through my playwriting. I plan to bring all of that to the table to allow Michonne to be as rich and complex as possible. I'm excited to bring her to life as someone who really has a lot of life and a lot of complexity."[3]


Critical response

The episode received critical acclaim. Zack Handlen, writing for The A.V. Club, gave the episode an A− on a scale from A to F.[4] Eric Goldman at IGN gave the episode a 9.2 out of 10.[5]


Upon its initial broadcast on October 14, 2012, "Seed" broke several records when it reached 10.9 million viewers, becoming the most-watched scripted drama telecast on a basic cable network in history, and the most-watched episode of the series to date, surpassing the previous record held by the season 2 finale, "Beside the Dying Fire". It was ultimately surpassed for the former record by the season 4 premiere, which was then surpassed by the season 5 premiere. The season 3 premiere saw a 33.4% increase in viewership from the season 2 premiere, "What Lies Ahead".[1]


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