Episode 1 (and all of Season 3) for the most part is more or less a transitional piece setting up events and majors changes soon to come in Season 4 (we’ll get to these in October when Season 4 launches and not one bite sooner.) While a lot does happen in Season 3 the story remains mostly focused at and about the Prison where the group takes shelter in.
Since the title of this episode was called “Seed” I will try to capture all of the seeds that were planted to start off Season 3.
Seed of Hope: After being on the run from “buying the farm” (see Season 2 Cross Section) the group transitions to a prison that will potentially provide shelter, ammo, medical supplies and much needed food. This was a huge win for the group especially when Lori is very near term with Shane’s baby (c’mon we ALL know it was Shane’s. And if you want more controversy ready the original story arc in the comic.). Carol and Daryl begin a much anticipated connection. Letting down some barriers and hopefully in Season 4 we will find out if these two do indeed hook up. We discover that our friend Andrea is doing ok (for the most part) and hanging out with Michonne the katana wielding loner. We also learn that the Walkers can be used as a tool when we find that Michonne has 2 armless/jawless “pets” on chained leashes.
Seed of Doubt and Disparity: Its starting to sink in with Lori that the rift between she and Rick will never be repaired. Rick himself is ever losing touch with his senses is doing all he can to make sure the group is safe. He has disconnected himself from any personal feelings or obligations. Rick and Lori’s son Carl is increasingly getting frustrated with being the “little kid” and tries to assert some sort of leadership role on his father. Carl does not believe that there will be a cure or a return to normalcy and has fully embraced the apocalyptic lifestyle. This attitude is causing problems not just with his family but within the group as well. Clearly Carl is doubting his role in the group, the leadership of his father and how to handle situations as they arise.
Seed of Loss: Herschel tries to deal with leaving his farm and having to see it go up in flames at the end of Season 2. Where Dale used to be the voice of reason of the group and kept everyone anchored I believe come Season 3 Herschel is a ghost of the way society and life used to be. A metaphor of the past following Rick’s lead hoping for some sort of renewal and catch up. And by the end of Episode 1, he loses his leg too after being bit by a Walker. This can also tie into Seed of Hope as it was not known before that you could remove a limb to prevent turning from the virus. (Note: This is actually in conflict with The Walking Dead video game by TellTale games where the main character gets bit on the wrist and soon after amputates his arm but still turns despite this.)