Sunday night’s episode of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” became the biggest hit of the fall with the premiere of its third season after it surpassed all other non-sports programs on at the time.
According to The New York Times, “The Walking Dead” attracted 10.9 million total viewers to tune in for its 9 p.m. EDT premiere and for good reason: The ending of the second season left fans of the show with an insatiable desire for more episodes.
The series finished off the last season with the farm sanctuary being burnt to the ground and the news that Lori was pregnant and going to keep the baby. Shane was killed by Rick and turned into a zombie, or as they say on the show, “walker,” and the group found out they were all infected with the disease and would turn into zombies no matter how they died.
But the most exciting part of last season was when Andrea was saved by a ninja-like woman who carried chained walkers with her who were missing their lower jaws and arms.
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In the season premiere the crew is shown breaking into a house, and viewers soon learn that they have exhausted their sources for goods.
Conveniently, however, they find a prison that Rick believes will have the auxiliary, medicine and shelter that will be perfect for them. After killing some of the zombies that were within the gates of the prison, the crew moves into one of the cellblocks.
At this point in the show, Lori is near the end of her pregnancy, and even though Rick is being standoffish with his wife, he is desperate to provide her with everything she’ll need so they can properly take care of the baby.
The group presses further, and ultimately gets stopped by a horde of zombies. Maggie and Glenn get separated from the group, which is when Hershel leaves the safety of Rick and the others to search for his daughter.
He steps over a zombie, who is presumably dead, but is startled when the zombie reaches over and bites him on his Achilles tendon.
Hearing Hershel’s screams, everyone comes to his aid, saving him from being injured any further.
When they arrive at the safety of their cellblock, Rick hacks off Hershel’s foot with a hatchet out of desperation to save his life—most likely so he can help deliver his child.
Though Hershel isn’t pronounced dead, Rick says he’s bleeding out and it’s assumed that his days are over.
Andrea and the ninja woman aren’t shown much on the first episode, but it’s clear that the two have developed a close bond, with the currently unknown woman refusing to leave Andrea behind even though she is potentially deathly ill.