Seed (The Walking Dead)

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The Walking Dead episode
Rick Grimes discovers the Prison for the first time.
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 1
Directed by Ernest Dickerson
Written by Glen Mazzara
Original air date October 14, 2012 (2012-10-14)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Beside the Dying Fire"
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The Walking Dead (season 3)
List of The Walking Dead episodes

"Seed" is the twentieth episode and the premiere of the third season 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 six 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 a herd of walkers overrun the farm of Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson), Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his group are now in search of a new home. Meanwhile, Rick's wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) is due to give birth any day. After being chased out of an abandoned house by remnants of the herd which still infest the area, Rick and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) go hunting for food and happen upon a prison complex. With the help of the other survivors, Rick manages to enter the prison courtyard. They lock themselves inside the first gate and kill all of the walkers within a fenced yard. Noting that the walkers they encountered were prison inmates and guards, Rick believes the prison fell early and thus could still hold a large supply cache. As the group settles in for the night, he urges them to continue onward into the prison in the morning.

Meanwhile, Andrea (Laurie Holden) has fallen severely ill since being separated from the group and being taken in by Michonne (Danai Gurira) who was the hooded figure that rescued Andrea in the woods at the end of the second season. Michonne has kept Andrea in a meat locker and encounters walkers while raiding a pharmacy to retrieve aspirin 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.

The following day, Rick and the others manage to clear the prison yard, circling up back-to-back and moving as a unit to clear all the walkers in the enclosure. Daryl notes that one of the walkers they killed was a civilian, hinting at a possible breach of the prison's security. The group clears out a cell block to sleep in. Lori confides in Hershel, believing that her relationships with Rick and their son Carl are ruined. She also fears the baby is stillborn after feeling no movement, and worries that the baby might reanimate and devour her from the inside out, or that she could die during childbirth and endanger her family. Hershel calms her down and tries to get her to not worry about it. 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. They forage through the pitch darkness with flashlights until further progress becomes impossible. They get split up after stumbling upon a cluster of walkers and Hershel, in an attempt to back up and locate the missing Glenn and Maggie, gets bitten on the leg by a seemingly "dead" walker. Rick chops off the bitten limb with a hatchet, in hopes that amputating the affected body part can stave off infection. As Hershel passes out from the pain and blood loss and Rick scrambles to find something to stop the bleeding, Daryl discovers they are not alone – there are five surviving prisoners watching them.


Critical response[edit]

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.[2] Eric Goldman at IGN gave the episode a 9.2 out of 10.[3]


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]


  1. ^ a b Ho, Rodney (October 15, 2012). "AMC's 'The Walking Dead' season 3 opens with record 11,2 million viewers". AccessAtlanta. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  2. ^ Handlen, Zack (October 14, 2012). "Seed". The A.V. Club. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  3. ^ Goldman, Eric (October 14, 2012). "'Seed' Review". IGN. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 

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