THE WALKING DEAD: 3.04 “Killer Within”
Sorry that I’m a few days late with this. Because I watched it yesterday instead of when it aired, I was already knew that some pretty major stuff happened. I already knew, in fact, which characters were going to die. But actually watching this disaster unfold for the members of Rick’s group was emotionally draining. The writers and actors did a series best job of getting us to care for characters that some of us really didn’t like (Carl, Lori) or know practically anything about (T-Dog.) I was really impressed with this episode. The action was good again, of course, but it scored some emotional resonance that I haven’t see the show successfully touch on since perhaps the first season.
I really liked the slow ramp-up of tension in this episode. How everything seemed calm, with Herschel out walking on his crutches, giving the survivors a dash of hope just before the zombies stumbled in and everyone realized the gates were open. One by one, groups of survivors start getting separated in the chaos, pushed down dark hallways with more walkers at every other turn. Poor T-Dog sacrificed himself (and was rather grotesquely devoured by hungry walkers) so that Carol could escape, though we don’t even know if she made it out alive by the end of this. It’s hard to believe that T-Dog has been on this show from the beginning, because he’s barely been developed at all, which I think has been a real problem. It looks like now that T-Dog is dead, former prisoner Oscar will take his place. I really, really hope that the writers give him more lines, more dialog, and more backstory to work with because the “tokenism” with which they treated T-Dog was embarrassing.
The most traumatic scene though involved Maggie, Lori, and Carl. All three locked themselves in a closet or cell somewhere. The baby was on it’s way, but there were complications and Lori knew she needed a C-section to survive. After a very tearful, gut-wrenching goodbye, Maggie did the grisly work, cutting Lori open to retrieve the baby and leaving her dying on the floor. After agonizing deliberation, Carl used his gun to put a bullet in Lori’s head. I’ve never been a fan of either Carl or Lori, but that final goodbye scene was as intense as it can get. Wow. So sad.
What might have been even worse was when Maggie, cradling the newborn, and Carl stumble back out into the prison yard to rejoin Rick and the others. Rick sees them without Lori and begins to crumble, but he falls apart completely when he looks at Carl’s face and realizes what his son had to do. What a scene.
I don’t have much to say about what’s going on with Andrea and Michonne, since I missed last week’s episode and I’m not exactly sure what’s going on in that little idyllic town-fortress they’ve settled into. It’s clear that Michonne smells something she doesn’t like and wants to clear out of there, but Andrea’s intrigued by the charms of the Governor. I don’t think she should trust him.
A very good episode, but a much reduced original cast. Let’s hope this trend can continue.