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'The Walking Dead' Premiere: Taking The Prison Could Cost Them One Of Their Own (VIDEO)

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"The Walking Dead" returned for its third season premiere, and the episode immediately delivered plenty of the show's signature brand of zombie fighting. The action picked up after Rick and his band of cohorts had survived a hard winter together by staying on the run, and before too long, the group discovered the prison promised in the closing shot of the second season finale.

It was an episode that saw Lori nearing her due date, and this group of survivors "clearing rooms, skewering undead brains, and communicating with nods and whistles like hardened veterans of the zombie apocalypse," as TV.com described. Even Carl became an independent and trusted member of this elite undead-fighting force.

But finding sanctuary in the prison won't be an easy task. They've cleared one cell block, but the prison is filled with zombies. While exploring it, they were chased on multiple fronts by zombies. The hoard was so overwhelming, they didn't get out unscathed. Hershel was bit on his lower leg, leading Rick to make the quick decision to chop it off. As he did so, some other men -- presumably prisoners -- were looking on.

And with that, the new season was off to a roaring start, earning praise from critics almost across the board. EW wrote, "And that, fellow viewers, is how you do a freaking season premiere." HuffPost TV's Mo Ryan has seen the first two episodes, and boldly declared this may be the best season yet of "The Walking Dead."

Keep up with all the action of "The Walking Dead" every Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.

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