Sometimes real life gets in the way of writing about people *ahem* like zombies, but here goes my very late review of The Walking Dead episode “Killer Within”.
This episode made me cry, pound on the floor, scream, and at one point throw my cat off my lap. Don’t worry, she’s ok. And by the end of the episode, I was speechless. A rarity. This episode proved, yet again, how far this series can go. The writers are very willing to do things to characters that would happen in real life. No one is safe and we never know when our time is up. There are few series that are not written by Joss Whedon in which main characters die. A lot. The difference between Whedon’s shows and The Walking Dead is that ***SPOILER ALERT*** Lori wasn’t anyone’s favorite character. And if she was, you’re watching it wrong.
We start the episode with an unidentified person (other than their shoes) creating a path way through the prison to let walkers in. Clearly this person has a problem with our group. Upon the first viewing, the audience may not pay attention to the fact this person was obviously wearing prison clothing. What is wonderful about this scene is that we are thrust into a scary situation. We know that all of the group’s lives are at stake with walkers being let into the building. We know someone has a vendetta against them. And we know this person is slightly unstable because they put a deer’s heart as bait for the walkers. It was an instant way of putting us at the edge of our seats for the next hour.
The next scene shows the group working in the yard of the prison. Axel and Oscar ask to join the group. They will absolutely do anything. Again, Rick denies them and T-Dog speaks up. ***SPOILER ALERT***… This was T-Dog’s fatal mistake. Remember what happened to Dale a.k.a. Summer Santa? He spoke up against the Ricktator, and yup, he died. And even though I agree with T-Dog to a point, it’s a bad idea to speak up, because that’s when the walkers get ya. So, T-Dog says that the prisoners should join the group and Rick tells the prisoners to stay in their block or leave. That is kind of bull. If someone else came and was able to overpower Rick, would he leave? No, because he is the boss. Rick would not stand for that, so it is really surprising that Oscar and Axel do. As much as I like Rick and thinks that he makes the right decisions for the safety of the group, this is overboard
Back in Woodbury, Michonne is being quiet and curious, looking at bullet holes in the Guard trucks The Governor and his cronies brought back. She observes bullet holes and knows a much different story happened than what The Governor has led the group to believe. She confronts The Governor. And then he does something that is strategically crazy. He asks her to stay in Woodbury and become part of the soldier team. You really think a girl like Michonne wouldn’t question the mission and the motives behind them? She is already questioning your story, Mr. Governor, she sure as hell isn’t going to fight with you. She walks away and I applaud.
At the prison, Glenn, under Rick’s orders, gives Oscar and Axel supplies and they are told to leave. Oscar tries to get some sort of a relationship with Daryl by offering to help fix up the motorcycle. It irritates me that those in Rick’s group are so willing to back down to his orders. These people may be prisoners, but they are still people and are the only two who didn’t do something wild to the group. Michonne and Andrea talk about Michonne’s plan to head to the coast. Andrea is dumb as usual and suggests staying at Woodbury. Michonne informs her that this is not an option. Andrea thinks Michonne wants to leave because she has a gut feeling, but if Andrea wasn’t thinking with her vagina, she would realize Michonne had kept her alive this long and staying in Woodbury isn’t a good idea.
Back at the prison, the group has a brief moment of happiness. A now one-legged Hershel takes steps with his crutches. Everyone rejoices. I almost wanted Hershel to cheer for himself, throw his crutches up and yell “Huzzah!” But then he would have fallen on his replacement Summer Santa face. Instead, something much worse happens. The walkers arrive. They took the bait! Hershel and Beth lock themselves in a gate. Rick, Glenn and Daryl immediately whip out their guns. Preg-o Lori, Carl and Maggie run back into the prison. Carol and T-Dog try to reseal the gate that has been opened. Caution: this is the cat throwing scene. In the midst of the chaos, T-Dog gets bit on his shoulder by a dirty walker. How cruel! T-Dog was never my favorite, but he had his good qualities. It was unfair that there were episodes in season 2 that he didn’t even have a line and then in season 3, we get to see T-Dog develop into a soldier who keeps the group safe. I do believe it was unnecessary to kill him off so soon, other to show us that anyone is up for grabs. Anyhow, he and Carol make it into the prison as T-Dog struggles for his life.
At Woodbury, Andrea gives Merle a map to the farm to find Daryl. Merle and Andrea discuss the group that abandoned them. Merle makes Andrea feel as though she is part of Woodbury with this statement. Andrea then asks Merle if The Governor is a good man. Why she would take Merle’s word over Michonne’s is startling. It is true we don’t really know the relationship between Andrea and Merle before Rick joined the group, but we can assume based off their interactions that she is disgusted by him. Michonne found her, rescued her and brought her back to health of some sort. Believing The Governor is a good man because redneck Merle says so is asinine to me, but then again Andrea is asinine.
The alarms at the prison go off as Rick blames Axel and Oscar. But because Oscar tells him the backup generators are causing the sound, Rick finally realizes they are not the cause of the harm. They all go inside the prison. Carol and T-Dog walk through the prison. T-Dog tries to get Carol to safety. T-Dog’s last moments were his most noble. Caring for her and trying to keep her safe wasn’t something he needed to do. Their relationship throughout the series has not been one that anyone would think much of, so it’s especially touching that he does this for her. Lori, Carl and Maggie are trying to find safety when Lori gets sharp pains. She tells them the baby is coming. Of course the baby is coming. Lori has to make everything harder. Ok, ok, that is me hating on her, but it’s about the last moment I can because all her scenes after this aren’t very hateable. Carl magically finds a boiler room and they hide in there. Later on, Maggie tells Lori to de-pants. While Lori is pushing, might I add, standing up and gripping very tightly onto some pipes, she starts hemorrhaging, and Carl looks on in terror. It would be really terrible to not only see your mom without pants, but bleeding from “down there” would be just as bad.
The Governor plays zombie golf, which I have to say, is the only kind of golf that is cool. He and Merle discuss Merle’s mission of finding Daryl as The Governor knocks down the undead with the golf balls. The Governor convinces Merle that there is no telling whether Daryl is really alive based off the information Andrea has provided. The Governor does promise Merle to put together a search if they can find better evidence that Daryl is alive. And we know what The Governor’s search parties really do. This scene is great because it puts both characters in a new light. Merle cares and The Governor really doesn’t care about anybody, including his right hand man.
Just when Carol and T-Dog are about to make safety, two walkers block their way. Out of bullets, T-Dog commits his last noble act, saving Carol by sacrificing himself to the walkers to give her enough time to get away. The way the walkers tear into his throat, peeling skin away, is nauseating, but by the same token, it was bittersweet because he saved his friend. But of all people, Carol? I digress.
Andrea and The Governor share a drink and a little more…no…not THAT.. at least not yet. They talk about their past lives a bit. The Governor tells her his name is Philip. He also reveals that his wife and child are gone, but that the wife died prior to the outbreak. Note that he does not say what happened to his daughter. And double note that Andrea doesn’t think to ask what happened to her. C’mon now, he’s not good looking. Question everything. Well Michonne does when Andrea tries to convince her to stay. Good job Michonne.
The episode gains momentum like crazy when Rick, Glenn, Daryl, Oscar and Axel all eventually make it to the generator room to stop the generator from running. Inside the room, is Andrew… the crazy inmate from the “shit happens” episode. He must be one tough little punk to survive what Rick did to him, putting him out in a yard with walkers. Andrew is the culprit for the attack. Rick and Andrew get into some fisticuffs and Rick’s gun falls out of his reach. Oscar picks up the gun, and aims it. Both Andrew and Rick think Oscar is aiming the gun at Rick, but last minute Oscar shoots Andrew dead, thus proving further is loyalty to Rick and the group. Oscar then spins the gun around his finger and hands it back to Rick without a flinch. Very cool. What is funny is Daryl is like a sniper with his crossbow in the background the whole time. He looks so stealth.
Back in the boiler room, Lori is fading fast. She refuses to lose her baby and instructs Maggie to cut her open. She then gives Carl this very loving speech that was very tearful. He was the best thing that happened to her yada yada. I’m not going to lie, I wept a little. Only because it would be very sad to watch your mother die like that and a sad way to leave your son behind. The whole thing was very poetic. In a very visual way, Maggie cuts Lori open with Carl’s dirty knife. She tries to pull the baby out, but can’t by herself, so Carl helps. The baby at first seems to be dead, but eventually cries. Carl takes off his jacket and Maggie wraps the newborn in it. Maggie tells Carl that Lori will turn. Maggie heads out of the boiler room and then we hear a gunshot. Carl walks quickly past Maggie with no eye contact. Now I have two problems with this. Who in the hell thinks it’s a good idea for the group to take care of a baby? There is no food with a dead mother. The noise of the cries will attract walkers. Someone will always have to hold it and therefore not be prepared for attack. Inuit people leave behind their youngest and their oldest if they are holding back the journey. That’s a true story. Why wouldn’t you just take them both out? Granted it’s sad, but considering we all assume it ain’t Rick’s baby, it’s not that sad. My other discrepancy is that we never see Lori’s body. It may be to be poignant, but I have learned that if it isn’t shown on screen there is no proof it happened. I truly believe that Carl did not shoot Lori. But the thought of it is enough to make him grow up quickly. Carl is a man in a boy’s body by the end of this episode.
Rick, Daryl and Glenn go through the prison taking out more walkers. They find T-Dog’s remains. Daryl finds Carol’s scarf that was wrapped around her head. They go outside and see Hershel and Beth. They know T-Dog is dead and Carol is missing. Rick turns to get the others and sees only Carl and Maggie holding a bloody, newborn baby. Rick immediately falls down and cries as everyone watches. And this really was the most upsetting moment of the episode. The fearless leader cracks. One half of his world is gone and all he has to live for are these two children. It sets the tone for the next few episodes with Rick and what goes on in his mind. Until next time, “goodnight, love.”
written by Adrian Puryear