The Walking Dead - S03-E04 - "The Killer Within"

The Walking Dead Season Three, Episode Four.
"The Killer Within"

Worst. Day. Ever

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Imagine trying to tell someone who doesn't watch The Walking Dead at all what happened at the end of this episode.

“This woman goes into labour in a prison that is overrun with zombies. The only people there to help are her twelve-year-old son and a veterinarian’s daughter. Once it becomes apparent she needs a c-section that she will not survive, she asks the vet’s daughter to do it. So the baby is cut out of her while her son watches. She dies. The baby lives. And the boy has to then shoot his mother so she doesn’t come back as a zombie.”

That is some gruesome, gut-wrenching and bleak shit and sounds even crazier when you put it in perspective. My initial reaction, which I’m assuming is the most common one, was shock, horror, uncomfort, and genuine emotion. The more I thought about it, though, I came up with a few things that make me wonder how this bold choice will affect the show:

1. Will the writers be able to handle the emotional weight this puts on the rest of the characters?
So far, character development and dialogue has not been among this show’s strengths. The writers are really swinging for the fences on this one and I really hope they don’t fumble through this.

2. Where does the show go from here in the shock department? What will it do next to try to one-up this?
Please don’t make Rick shoot his own baby in the head if it dies.

3. Where is the line between horror thriller and misery porn?
Too much of stuff like this and it is going to turn a lot of viewers off. There is only so much death, not to mention gruesome and emotionally devastating death, that people can handle. I hope the show tones down the deaths for a bit.

What I liked about this episode:
1. The chaos that ensues when the deer heart brings all the walkers to the yard. It’s a mad scramble for survival. T-Dog gets bit! Hershel is on crutches! Everyone is split up! Who is turning on the alarm!? Lori’s going into labour! This is madness! No, this is The Walking Dead!

2. Lori goes out with one of the most unforgettable scenes I’ve ever seen on TV. Whatever you thought about it, it will be something you’ll remember about this season.

3. I should’ve known T-Dog was going to die as soon as he actually expressed an opinion about something at the start of the hour. But seriously, he needed to go. One of the least-developed main characters on TV I've ever seen and it seemed like the writers finally just decided to cut their losses.

What I didn't like about this episode:
1. I wish they hadn't included any Woodbudy scenes at all. Or at least kept them in the first half of the episode only. It was pretty annoying to have all the tense, chaotic events at the prison be inter cut with boring, repetitive scenes about Andrea wanting to stay and Michonne smelling something fishy.

2. This is more about the show in general than specifically this episode but it is really a waste that T-Dog, a character who has been around for so long, can die and you really don’t feel a whole lot because he was basically a cardboard cutout of a character. His death could have been so much more meaningful.

One final note on Lori: I haven’t hidden my hatred for Lori in these reviews and dammit if I don’t hate her a little more now for making me sympathize with her and subsequently unable to enjoy her death. She just had to redeem herself in a heartbreaking scene with her son while sacrificing herself for her baby. Why couldn't she just die as a result of something idiotic she did so I could at least rejoice in her character leaving the show.

I almost forgot to mention that while I didn't come close to tears while Lori was saying her last words and then dying, I’ll be damned if the show didn't almost get me with the flashback to Rick telling Carl “no more kid stuff” and that he’ll never be ready for his parents’ deaths. Good grief.

Steve, how miserable did this episode make you feel? Any tears?

No tears, but it was an emotional roller coaster for sure!

Ya, trying to explain last night's episode to someone would have been damn near impossible. Todd was over and came in three quarters of the way through the episode and we tried to bring him up to speed. He asked why we watch this show, just from the explanation we gave him he couldn't handle everything that went on.

I was on the edge of my seat most of the episode. During the scene when Herschel hobbles out and everyone is looking at each other that is when I jumped up in my seat. I knew shit was about to go down. Everyone was too spread out and too far away from each other and too starry eyes. 

You pretty much covered the major deaths. So I won't touch too much on those. Other than Lori's actually making me more emotional that I thought her demise would have made me. I was impressed with T-dog though. Going out like a champ! Leading Carol to safety and then strong arming the two walkers. Now the question is did she make it? With Daryl finding her scarf with no other indication of what happened.

The other scene when I started yelling at the TV was in the generator room. During the altercation between Rick and Andrew I was freaking out! Then the barrel smashed Andrew in the head, when they both look up at Oscar I was frantically yelling at him to shoot Andrew and give the gun back to Rick, securing his allegiance. I loved watching Daryl slunking behind him, ready to jump if anything was to pop off. I guess with Oscar added into the mix they had too many black people on the pay roll. Can't have that while filming down in Georgia. I do hope however that he will take on the role of Tyreese, the big black power house from the comics.

Although the Woodbury scenes were a bit of a rift in the excitement I am curious what Merle is going to do. Will he try and get more information for the Governor, if so how? Or will he just take off? He has a good thing going on there but how devoted is he to finding his brother? And what about our fearless female fighters, will they be broken up? Split over their difference on the Governor and Woodbury and their lack of communication with each other. Will Michonne uncover more oddities surrounding the Gov? Even though it broke up the action it did open up more questions. 

The final scene blew me away. The raw emotion from Andrew Lincoln is spectacular, the mix of joy, confusion, sadness and pain was brilliant. He gains a child, loses a wife and more than likely has lost a piece of Carl. When he bends down and looks at Carl you can see the moment when his heart breaks in half. Rick drops to the ground in agony and then the credits pop up, with no music, at all, just silence, as you sit there, blown away...


-If the baby survives, how much of a drag is it going to be having a baby on the show?
-Will the baby even survive? No milk, no formula, no exactly the best environment for a baby. Not to mention babies have a tendency to make noise...lots of noise. 

-What are they going to name the baby? Did they say if it was a boy or a girl?
-They could name it Zombie Magnet, or Life Ruiner. Just a few suggestions.

-Will the season finale be a golf showdown between The Governor and Rick at Augusta National!? Seriously, though, The Governor has a decent swing. A little too much movement in his left leg, but looks pretty good overall. Rick wouldn't stand a chance.
-You would critique his golf swing

-How much time will the show spend on grieving for Lori? It might be smart to have some short, emotional scenes of mourning at the prison next week and have bigger, more eventful stuff happen at Woodbury.
-That would provide a good juxtaposition between the groups. And something has to happen at Woodbury soon, nothing is that safe for 3 episodes in this show.

-Did Morrissey (the singer, not the actor who plays The Governor) write this episode? Talk about sad bastard.

-My concern now is Carol. It seemed like that door lead out into the yard. Was it safe or was it the back yard that Axel and Oscar referred to as being over run?

-Also Carl. How is that going to affect him? Not only did he see his mom's vajaja which can be damaging enough, but he watched her get sliced open, and then he had to shoot her in the head. Jesus!

Blair’s Episode MVP: Lori. For dying. And doing a surprisingly fine job of it.
Steve’s Episode MVP: Carl. That boy manned up more than ever that episode.
Blair’s Episode Grade: A-
Steve’s Episode Grade: 2 thumbs way up
Blair’s Deadpool Pick: Hershel
Steve’s Deadpool Pick: The rest of Carl and Rick's humanity