The Walking Dead Review: Life and Major Death
That was certainly not what I expected would happen when I tuned in for The Walking Dead this week.
Everything seemed to be going well in both the prison and Woodbury. Glenn and Maggie were getting it on like a couple of bunny rabbits, the Governor was doing his best Tiger Woods impression, Andrea was drinking the Woodbury Kool-Aid, and even Hershel was walking and talking.
It was nice for the moment to see plenty of smiles on the characters' faces.
Yet, while the Woodbury portion was more of an extension of "Walk With Me" - with the conflicting opinions of Michonne and Andrea - the prison got another unfortunate dose of blood and death.
Can the characters ever catch a break? Is anyone really safe on this show?
In a lot of ways, I'm surprised that two main characters were killed off (and I say two because I don't buy Carol's so-called death. We never saw it happen on a show that loves to depict every bloody detail). It just felt too soon.
I had a nagging feeling that T-Dog was going to meet his demise this episode. For a character who hasn't had a ton of lines and spent most of his time agreeing with the majority of the group on issues, as soon as he began to question Rick and voice his thoughts, I knew he was done.
Granted, his final bow-out was full of heroics - from closing the gate from the walkers and even getting Carol further to safety - before he was violently ripped apart. He definitely didn't whine or cry, so I give his character props in that regard, but at the same time, I'm not sure we ever really knew T-Dog.
Which makes me wonder, was T-Dog's death necessary?
Yes, I understand the walkers were everywhere and backup was pretty non-existent at the moment, and I even understand that with the way the world turned out, everyone's going to die at some point. But was T-Dog's death done because it would add a level of scary drama and a chance to get rid of a member for the sake of a show killing off one of its characters?
Maybe I just wish T-Dog had gotten a little more story to him before he kicked the bucket.
But I was certainly shocked and grossed out by Lori's death and the baby's birth. I never saw that coming... definitely not this season at least.
Frankly I couldn't believe what was happening at the same time Maggie was cutting into Lori's stomach. She can't die. Sure, she loses Carl all the time and cheated on her husband, but this is Rick's wife!
And to top it off, Carl had to pull the trigger on his own mother to keep her from returning as a walker. Say what you will about the acting, but as a character, for Carl to have gone through all the crazy experiences he has gone through? I'm not sure he can ever get off the dark path now. An intense moment for sure.
Yet it was the heartbreaking performance by Andrew Lincoln that gut punched the show's closing moments.
Those tears and uncontrollable emotions were so raw and real that I felt for him. And even with Rick and Lori having that huge distance between them, it was evident that he still cared for her. For a guy who has been pretty stone cold, to watch him sob and collapse to the ground threw out a real vulnerability on not only Rick but the group as a whole.
What a way to end the hour.
I bet Rick won't make the mistake of letting anyone go next time.
It will be interesting to see how Rick handles the two prisoners after all this, even after Oscar saved him from the vengeful Andrew. Will Rick let them join?
And as much as I liked Merle sort of squaring off with the Governor and asking to search for Daryl, or the Governor mentioning his past (he never said his daughter was killed, did he?), the prison sequences truly overshadowed everything else.
"Killer Within" started off following something of a routine path that we've seen on this show, but by the end I was left speechless. I'm still not sure if I'm just shocked Lori is actually gone or that the show chose to go there so early, but one thing is for sure: The Walking Dead Season 3 has done a great job of sucking me in and not letting go. This is probably the most compelling season yet, and continues to have me clamoring for more and more.
What did you think? Were you shocked by the deaths? Did Carol survive? Will Rick be able to recover? What will they name the baby?
The Walking Dead: "Killer Within"
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.