It’s one hell of a bad day for Rick in this week’s episode of The Walking Dead. Read on for our SPOILER-filled review!
Season 3, Episode 4: Killer Within
While Rick and his crew are working away on getting the prison better protected, the two remaining prisoners come out pleading to have a better place to live. They’ve tried to clear it out but they can’t get the bodies outs due to walkers being able to access that area of the grounds. T-Dog is the only one who thinks they aren’t the bad guys the others believe them to be and the original deal stands. In Woodbury, Michonne takes a look around the vehicles and discovers bullet holes and blood. When confronted by the Governor, she raises questions about why no one would simply drive away or why there was no funeral for the pilot they saved. As Hershel goes for his first stroll, a herd of walkers attack. T-Dog discovers the back gate is open. When he goes to close the gate, he’s bitten by a walker. In Woodbury, Andrea gives Merle a map to the farmhouse and asks him about the Governor being a good man. While Lori, Carl, and Maggie try to get away from walkers, Lori goes into labor. As Lori pushes, Maggie realizes she’s bleeding and something is wrong. Cornered, T-Dog sacrifices himself so Carol can escape. When they reach the generators to try to shut down the alarms going off, Rick is attacked by the prisoner he locked out two months ago. When he pleads with one of the prisoners to shoot Rick, he shoots him instead and gives Rick his gun back. Lori decides that the only way the baby can be delivered is to have a c-section done, but knows she’ll die in the process. Maggie pulls the baby out, and Carl shoots Lori before she turns. When Maggie and Carl bring the baby, Rick is destroyed learning Lori didn’t make it…
Ho-lee cow. In one hour, we’re taken from one end of an emotional spectrum to another. The episode starts on a mystery of who dropped a deer carcass into the prison grounds and opened the gates as just a “oh great, now this is happening” type of moment before moving us to more of the Governor’s brand of crazy as he tries to woo Michonne over to be one of his little soldiers before giving us a happy moment seeing Hershel up and moving without seeming at all beaten down by his predicament. We keep going back to Andrea seemingly just wanting to be plugged by the Deputy Governor (if you catch my drift), before going back to perhaps the worst day Rick and crew could ever experience.
What’s really interesting about this episode is how nearly insignificant, in the greater scheme of things, the segments not surrounding the walker attack is. Yes, it’s all important in the long run because we still get to see more of how something is rotten in Woodbury. Aside from Michonne stacking evidence against the Governor, even Merle has to question his loyalty a little bit. Merle wants to search for Daryl and bring him into Woodbury, but the Governor doesn’t seem so excited about the prospect. In fact, notice the little facial tick under the Governor’s right eye when he tells Merle that he “needs” them there? That was so minor and almost unnoticeable but it was the only thing I could see on his face. It was a crack in the otherwise perfect facade the Governor has built around how he treats those he’s brought into his inner circle. These are all important advances in that subplot, but it’s nowhere near as important as what comes later.
I should have known T-Dog’s time on the show was done. He was such a badass for the first time in the show’s history in the first two episodes of the season. Even in this episode, he expressed himself over the situation of the deal with the inmates in a calm and logical way. In the two previous seasons, whenever T-Dog had a chance to give an opinion, most of the time, his ideas and position was built around his own self-preservation. This season, he wasn’t just a capable enforcer that seemed perfectly at place next to Daryl in that role, but his argument to have the prisoners join the group showed that he was thinking for others and not just himself. At that moment, I should have known the same fate would befall him as it did Dale when he fought for the life of the kid they held captive at the farmhouse. You’d think I know this is the way it works after years of reading the Walking Dead comic – a character becomes likable and someone you can root for and the moment you like him more than you ever had before, he’s killed off.
The main takeaway for this episode, though, is the death of Lori. Now, we all know that Lori’s really not a well liked character by about 95% of the fans of the show and the comic, but just as her death was in the comic, that doesn’t make this a moment expected when it happened. Just a week ago, I discussed this very topic with a friend saying I couldn’t imagine the television series taking the same route as the comics just because of the gruesome nature of her death there. It was bound to happen, but I almost expected her to live through this season before her exit. As twisted as having her be murdered while holding baby Judith resulting in both of them dying, there’s an added psychotic twist to Lori’s death in the television series. Already having shown that he’s growing up faster than he would have normally, it’s Carl who doesn’t wait around to find out if Lori will survive (though it’s fairly clear that she didn’t), or if she’ll come back as a walker. Carl is left to make the ultimate grown up decision by putting his own mother out of her misery. No matter how much you like or dislike Lori, the scene was handled so emotionally, and seeing Carl work out his decision based on what Rick told him about death was a pretty defining moment for both Carl and Rick. It certainly will lead to a potentially hairy scene when Carl tells Rick what he had to do.
Without a doubt, this episode will change the series from this point forward. Rick will be all over the place for the rest of this season. He’s going to range from unbelievably sad to a bundle of rage. There is no other episode so far that has been more defining this one. The repercussions of these events will have consequences well beyond this season alone. This episode acts as a moment you can point to that splits the series in two – the era before Rick’s world was turned upside down, and after. We’ve yet to see how this will play out, but oh boy things will never be the same again.
Just when we thought the series was setting up a relatively epic showdown between Rick and the Governor pitting the two leaders who are complete opposites in how they handle their roles, throw into the mix a missing Carol, and T-Dog and Lori dying, and Rick’s group isn’t going to be in any kind of mood to deal with a moment of shenanigans if the Governor and Merle show up to mess with them. However, I also believe this shattered group dealing with these losses may be easy pickings for the Governor to try to romance with the lovely Woodbury only to torture them in the long run. Either way, I wish it was next Sunday right now.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Emotional and shocking. One heck of an important episode for Rick going forward.||None.|