This week on The Walking Dead, SHIT GOT REAL. Spoilers!
I’ve been really hard on The Walking Dead this season, but that’s only because I want to see great. Season three has, so far, been an improvement over the previous season, but any time I see something that remotely looks like a stalled storyline or totally out-of-character action, I get ready for more of the same dull, senseless inaction from season two. However, every episode so far in season three has moved the story forward, even if only in increments. This week, several characters’ stories came to a close while tensions continued to heighten at the jail and Woodbury, and the show took a twist I really wasn’t prepared for.
The surviving prisoners at the jail were really not happy about being forced to live with the corpses of their former comrades, but Rick and company give zero flips about their comfort. Before long, the prison is overrun with zombies, and before anyone can figure out whose fault it is, T-Dog is bitten. Finally. Look, I’m sorry, but there are some characters I’ve had pegged as expendable from the start, who are seemingly only in existence to add to the eventual body count. T-Dog was on my list from the beginning since, as a character without a fleshed-out personality, he appeared to be a great choice to get the axe (or bite). Inexplicably, T-Dog made it through two whole seasons unscathed, only to be unceremoniously bitten in the prison yard. He later sacrified himself by throwing himself at some zombies to save Carol, and while it might seem like less of a sacrifice if you already know you’re going to die, giving himself the worst imaginable death so that someone else could survive was still pretty noble. RIP, T-Dog.
In Woodbury, Michonne is increasingly suspicious of the Governor, and rightfully so; even without the bullet-ridden, bloody truck, he still gives off a totally creepy vibe. Andrea is oblivious to the vibe, and wants to hang out in Woodbury some more, while Michonne is itching to get out. After some weird pseudo-flirting (seriously, what is it with this show and uncomfortable attempts at romance?) with Merle, Andrea spent some time with the Governor, because she is terrible at making decisions. Since the show has diverged from the comic so much, I have no idea how this story is going to conclude, but it looks like things will be getting climactic next week.
As it turned out, the zombies in the prison were let in by one of the original prisoners, whom Rick and his buddies left for dead. When Oscar, one of the complainers from the beginning of the episode, had the opportunity to shoot Rick, he shot the perpetrator instead, which I guess will earn him Rick’s trust.
While Rick was shutting down alarms, Lori went into labor, naturally. Locked in a room with Maggie and Carl, Lori can’t deliver and begs Maggie to give her a C-section. Even when things were looking really bad, I really, really didn’t think Lori was going to die in this episode. Even after she said her good-byes to Carl, even after Maggie (under protest) sliced her open and the blood came pouring out, even when they both saw her lifeless body on the floor, I was sure that some TV magic would have her open her eyes. It wasn’t until the gunshot that I accepted that she was actually dead, and Maggie’s sobs actually made me a little emotional. And I didn’t even like Lori!
It got even worse when the displaced prison-dwellers met back up and Rick saw Maggie, covered in blood with a baby in her arms, Lori noticeably absent. Rick fell apart as his ten-year-old son held it together, and it was a powerful way to end the episode. However, I’m now wondering if that forced marital drama between Rick and Lori for the last few episodes was just so that her death would pack a more emotional punch. If so, it’s a cheap move that didn’t really make me feel any differently, but I was still sad to see Lori go out like that.
Okay, The Walking Dead. Not bad this week. I’m glad we got to switch between the prison and Woodbury, instead of having each episode stall one group to develop another, and I’m hoping that they’ll converge soon. But please, cut it out with the Carl and Beth stuff. Just because he has a gun doesn’t change the fact that he’s ten. It’s weird.