AMC's smash horror hit The Walking Dead is back and as brutal as ever. Our favorite zombie-apocalypse survivors have made it through an entire winter by the time we meet up with them in the season three premiere "Seed." Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Co. storm an abandoned house, only to find it has no food. The group seems to have been doing this song and dance all winter, but now they are extremely low on ammunition, food and medicine, and need a permanent place to stay. No worries, though, as they find a warm and welcoming abode, relatively speaking, in the form of an abandoned prison full of zombie walkers. Rick leads a charge to take the prison yard and eventually the prison, where they find solace in a small section of the prison's cell blocks.

Notable changes have occurred since the previous season. Carl (Chandler Riggs) is now much more comfortable with a gun in his hands, and Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) is pregnant and about ready to give birth. Rick and Lori haven't been speaking all summer, probably on account of the fact that Lori almost sabotaged Rick's leadership and may be pregnant not with Rick's baby, but Shane's (Jon Bernthal), whom Rick killed at the end of season two. Lori is also worried about bringing a newborn into the awful world, and she's concerned that the fetus could be infected the way the rest of the group is — remember, Shane bizarrely came back to life as a zombie after Rick killed him.

Meanwhile, Michonne (Danai Gurira), a samurai sword-swinging badass who carries two walkers on a chain leash, is officially in the picture. She has been taking care of Andrea (Laurie Holden), who got separated from Rick and the group when Hershel’s (Scott Wilson) farm was overrun with walkers. They set out on a trek of their own to find Andrea some medicine, but we'll have to wait until next week to follow up on their progress.

Back in the prison, the group continues to explore the cell blocks in order to find food and medicine, but the halls are dark and they soon get ambushed by a pack of zombies. In their scramble, Hershel is bitten by a walker, and in a futile attempt to save him, Rick pulls out a hatchet and attempts to sever Hershel’s leg above the bite-mark, but Hershel passes out from blood loss. Looking on at the scene are a group of non-walker prisoners, truly horrified by what they have just witnessed, and our survivors realize they aren't the only ones in the prison.

Yet to make an appearance this episode is David Morrissey as The Governor, who plays a high profile role in the comic book series and will surely be an intriguing character in subsequent episodes. Fans should also anticipate the return of Daryl's (Norman Reedus) brother Merle (Michael Rooker), who was last seen in season one severing his own hand, which had been handcuffed by Rick, to escape zombies.

Season three will air in two parts, with eight episodes this fall, and eight more slated for the start of February. Catch The Walking Dead on Sundays at 9 p.m. E.T. on AMC.

In the meantime, watch the trailer for Season Three of The Walking Dead below:

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