It feels like The Walking Dead has been taking those “too boring!” criticisms to heart, as this year they’re determined not to stand still for a single second. I don’t want to say too much in this intro, but um, wow, I’m starting to get whiplash.
So, another big episode then. Best get going, and yes, full spoilers within. Stop now if you’ve not seen it.
T-Dog And Other Forgettable Side Issues
This is one of those weeks where my thoughts basically divide into “ending” and “rest of episode”, so that’s how we’ll structure the review. In many ways, this is an obvious horror series episode. Our heroes are talking about the rare good day they’re having, and then, weirdly, are surprised when zombies show up to ruin it.
The carnage at the prison is intercut with a few Woodbury-set scenes, which advance the Governor storyline fractionally, but mostly re-state things we already knew. I can see they don’t want to take away from the drama back home, but still.
Oh, and T-Dog dies. No, I don’t care either; they’ve struggled to find a role for this guy and I was surprised they didn’t casually knock him off in the season two finale. His death achieves nothing other than keeping Carol alive slightly longer and providing extra cringey gore, and not only that, he doesn’t even get to be Cast Fatality Of The Week. His kicking the bucket is totally overshadowed by what I’m about to write about…
The Main Horrible Death Of The Week
Of course, I mean Lori Grimes dying horribly. Her plotline of looking mournfully at Rick could’ve grown old if it ran much longer, so I can see the logic. Kill her off while we’re still feeling sad about the state of their relationship, rather than bored.
Still, as central maternal figure and wife of main character, she’s a bigger loss than T-Dog. In fact, his role as Token Black Character is filled this very week by hulking convict Oscar. Maybe they’ll try to bring Carol up to fill the Lori gap, who knows.
But pulling back from the future a moment, her final scenes are sad, surprising and, even by this show’s lofty standards, unpleasant and hard to watch. Well executed, which distracts from the fact they come out of nowhere. Of course, Rick will be feeling guilty because he indirectly caused this massacre by trying to kill that dude in episode two.
So, by itself a thrilling episode, although time will tell whether the big death this episode is necessary for the storyline, or an attempt to stop us complaining about being bored. They don’t have enough characters to continue this pace of slaughter, so hopefully a new tactic is forthcoming.