Walking Dead Episode 304 — Killer Within
This week’s Walking Dead might have been the grimmest yet. I think I just saw the most horrible thing I’ve ever seen on TV. The kicker is, I’m not even sure which of the horrible things I saw this week was the most horrible.
The episode is titled “Killer Within,” which seems to refer to the mystery person we see at the start, luring some walkers with a deer carcass, then breaking the chain on the prison gate. Mystery person’s walking seems labored, but there are two slippered feet, so we know it isn’t Hershel. Mystery person also lays down a human heart, apparently to lure more zombies into the yard.
The survivors are doing basic cleanup of their new home, moving the vehicles inside the fence, gathering the bodies and preparing the burn them. Glen and Maggie have turned one of the guard towers into a love nest – Daryl goes for the double-entendre, asking Glen, “Are you comin’?”
The two remaining prisoners make a case for joining the survivors, but Rick is taking a hard-ass stance, and most of the survivors back him. Only T-Dog really disagrees. Wait, who? Ho-lee crap, T-Dog has multiple lines! I’ll bet he’s going to play a major role this season and we’ll really get to learn more of his story and…oh.
While everyone is lounging about in the yard, including Hershel testing out his new crutches, the entire group is overrun by zombies. This was a cool set piece because Rick, Glen and Daryl were in a part of the yard separated by a fence, forcing them to run a long perimeter route even while they could see the zombie assault going on. The zombies were suffering from butterhead syndrome, which allowed Daryl to set up a wicked jumping knife attack, slicing through the top of a zombie’s head. That seems like a terrible idea, but whatever. Hershel even gets in some crutch shots.
The prison alarm starts going off, which has got to be one of the most heinous sounds possible. It seems that mystery person is not one of the regulars, because everyone is accounted for when the alarm begins. The sound starts drawing walkers from the countryside, so the two prisoners are quickly incorporated into the group since they know how to shut off the generators and kill the alarm. Everyone is separated in the insanity.
Meanwhile, back at Woodbury, there’s a serenity that contrasts sharply with the total SNAFU going on at the prison. Michonne is deeply suspicious of the Governor (Philip), even suspecting his tale of the soldiers getting killed by zombies is a lie. Merle hits on Andrea, then the governor hits on Andrea. Merle wants to go search for his brother, but the Governor is set against it. It will be pretty interesting to see these two bad-asses go head to head. Eventually, Andrea delays her and Michonne’s exit from the town by a few days. Michonne scowls at this news.
At this point, things get seriously F’ed up back at the prison. T-Dog is bitten, but he plunges into the prison trying to lead Carol to safety. He makes a sacrifice bunt so Carol can advance past some walkers, who chew upon T-Dog. One zombie just tears a massive chunk of T-Dog’s neck away, and on my couch I say, “Holy shit.” My notes say, “T-Dog aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.” Seriously, I wrote that long-hand.
There’s this crazy scene in the generator room where Andrew, who I guess is the prisoner that Rick chased and locked in the exercise yard, attacks him with an axe. He was mystery person, we can assume. It’s a brutal fight between he and Rick, with Rick’s gun getting knocked away while Daryl tries to hold the door against a barrage of walkers. Oscar, the other prisoner, saves Rick and shoots Andrew. But holy crap did you see Daryl approaching Oscar ready to stab him in that crazy “I learned this in ‘Nam” knife-fighting stance?
Then there’s the big thing, the horrible thing, the worst thing. Lori goes into labor. It’s not a good or healthy labor. I hate birthing scenes. Lots of shrieking and yelling and it ends with the sound of a baby wailing, which is an even worse sound than “prison alarm.” This one is 800,000 times worse. First of all, Lori stands up to push, which I guess is the natural way to do it, but seems really weird. Then Maggie is yelling, “Stop pushing, something’s wrong,” and then there’s a lot of blood.
Lori, at this point, insists that Maggie deliver the baby via C-section, even though Maggie doesn’t really know how and even though this will definitely cause Lori to die. Also, Lori doesn’t really know if the baby itself is alive. But she gives Carl this terrible speech about being good and doing the right thing. So her final act of truly horrible motherhood is to idiotically remove herself from her son’s life for the sake of a possibly stillborn zombie baby (not that still, am I right people?). Hey Lori, you can make another baby. You know that, right?
She ends her speech with, “If something feels wrong, don’t do it.” Then she’s all, “Ok Maggie kill me now. And don’t forget the headshot”
Then Carl says, “Hey Mom, handing my knife to Maggie so she can filet you like a carp while I watch feels wrong.”
No he doesn’t. Which means we get to see Maggie cut into Lori followed by the horrendous, gruesome sight of Maggie pulling a baby out of the tatters of Lori’s abdomen (nice play on words with the episode title there, writers). It takes a minute for it to cry, but it does, and it doesn’t try to eat Maggie, so…I guess there will be a baby on this show now? Great. I’d almost rather have Lori back.
No chance of that, though, since Carl tenderly shoots his mom in the head to the sound of violin music. Or did he? It happened off-camera, so maybe zombie Lori will turn up soon. Shortly, Maggie and Carl find the others, Rick sees the baby, and eventually realizes what happened. He goes into the full-on anguish routine, yelling, “No no no” and crying and flopping around on the ground like Brad Pitt at the end of Se7en.
I really, truly respect a TV show that is willing to occasionally force me to ask myself, “Do I really want to watch this anymore?” But there are times when the answer is no. This was not a fun ride this week.