(May contain spoilers for those who haven’t been keeping up with the episodes)
Close to ten months have passed since that fateful day. The day where Rick Grimes killed his best friend and the farm was overrun by zombies. It has been close to 10 months since Rick became the dictator, in order to save everyone.
‘The Walking Dead’ season three started back up on October 14th, 2012. So much has changed throughout the series that any true fan will love. For starters (and clearly obvious), close to ten months have passed ever since Rick’s group started to have major problems. At the end of last season Rick had told everyone what he had learned when they all went to the CDC-every single one of them carried the zombie virus. Rick had kept it hidden to protect the group, and partially to deny it himself. However, once his ex-best friend Shane pushed him too far, Rick discovered first-hand that Dr. Jenner had been telling the truth: they all carried the virus. Once everyone discovers the truth, some of them suggest abandoning the group, no longer trusting in Rick’s judgments. This caused Rick to snap and confess to killing his friend in order to protect the group. He continues to mock them, saying that they wouldn’t last out there with him. At the end of last season’s finale, he said ‘this isn’t a democracy anymore.’ Thus, the ‘Rick-tatorship’ had begun.
Ten months later, the group has survived a winter. Everyone has become a strong, single unit that can take down anything in their paths. However, they are still outnumbered. During the winter, the group survived by fighting as little as possible while keeping on the move. What little resources they could scavenge, they have saved and used effectively. So far, the ‘Rick-tatorship’ has succeeded. However, as seen through the first 5 minutes of Season 3, Episode 1, no one dares talk when Rick is moving. This shows that the trust they once had has now diminished to a basic necessity to follow him.
Many of the characters had also changed. Lori, Rick’s wife, is now at the end of her pregnancy, and the group is trying to find a safe place for her to give birth. Carl, Rick’s son, has finally become a part of the group’s fight and can now hold his own against the zombies called ‘Walkers.’ Daryl has stayed by Rick’s side as his unofficial ‘enforcer.’ Hershel, the owner of the farm that was destroyed, has now grown a beard, and the weight of all the things that have happened has finally taken their toll on his elderly body.
Rick has changed the most, compared to everyone else in the group. At the beginning of the series, Rick was new to the zombie apocalypse. He quickly adapted and learned what he must do to survive. However, whenever he had confronted another survivor, Rick had always tried to compromise with them; hopefully letting everyone walk away unharmed. During season 2, Rick killed two survivors as self-defense. At the climax of the season, it was either him or his best friend who would survive the tension that had broken out between the two of them. Rick was the victor, but something snapped inside of him.
Rick no longer tries to be the nice guy, whether it is with other survivors, or even some members of his own group. He has now grown distant towards his wife, and is purposefully trying to become distant to everyone else.
At one scene, Carol-a survivor of Rick’s group-calls Rick a ‘mini-Shane.’ For those who are still new to the series, Shane was once Rick’s best friend, who later slept with his wife, and slowly became a monster that wanted Rick dead. This comment reveals how much Rick has changed. However, Rick still shows compassion to his group. He will stop at nothing, and I literally mean nothing, to save every single one of them; even if he becomes a monster himself. Rick has also proven that compromise means very little to him now. I will not go into extreme detail, but Rick proves in the second episode that he will not let anyone be a threat to his group or to himself. It is either leave them alone, or die.
After patrolling, Rick and Daryl find a prison. After discussing it with the group, they try to take the giant fortress for themselves. They succeed and take the Yard with ease. At night they rest and enjoy a peaceful time around a campfire. Meanwhile, Rick is patrolling and moving away from the group. He finally rejoins them and tells them that they will be taking the inside of the prison the next morning. Lori tries to talk to him, but he just brushes her away now. Once they finally reach the inside, all Hell starts to break loose once again.
As Rick continues to take more of the prison, trouble starts brewing. Will Rick’s group make it through another season, or will Rick be gunned down by a member of his own group? With tension high and haunting blasts from the past reemerging, how far will Rick go in order to protect everyone? Or will they be consumed by the undead that walk among them? All I know for sure is that the adventure is far from over…