To Better Days

Season 3 Episode 4 “Killer Within”

The Episode

This episode begins harmlessly enough. But as always, I’m balling my eyes out by the end of it. Every time. We lose two of our Atlanta group and it’s not pretty for either of them. Meanwhile, Andrea is growing closer to the governor, day drinking and making toasts. “To better days”, she says. Oh Andrea, you have no idea.

Our group at the prison is getting shit done this day. Moving cars, making plans. They’ve even got Hershel some crutches and he’s taking his first walkabout. Glenn’s just had a roll in the hay in the guard tower with Maggie and complaining about a few walkers outside the fence. At first it seems like the major conflict this episode is going to be with the surviving two inmates, Axel and Oscar. They aren’t happy with the living situation and want to join. Rick and most everyone else except T-Dog, want them to get lost. However, that conversation takes a back seat when the prison is sabotaged by we don’t know who just yet.

While Rick, Daryl and Glenn are way down at the prison entrance, they spy a group of walkers behind the rest of the gang up at the prison. It’s a mess as everyone scatters and the others try to get back quickly to the prison. Hershel and Beth barricade themselves from the walkers. T-Dog and Carol escape to some prison corridors. Lori, Maggie and Carl go in and hide in a mechanical room.

At this point, it’s sad to say T-Dog gets bit. He’s a trooper though and goes down fighting. When it doesn’t look pretty for him and Carol, he sacrifices his body to help Carol get away. That’s a helluva way to go and although he didn’t deserve to die he did deserve to be sent off in such a way that captured his essence. It was a good death.

In the middle of all this chaos, alarms at the prison start going off, attracting more walkers. Rick is going crazy over it. The inmates start helping them at this point, which I bet will grant them some bonus points. They take Rick to the generator room so they can power it down and get the alarms to stop going off. What they find there is one of the bad inmates survived and set this trap to kill them. More bonus points to Oscar for killing the dude and saving Rick’s life.

black roseAnd then there’s Lori. Even as I try to type this I’m welling up with tears! Lori goes into labor while they are hiding in the mechanical room. It’s not looking good for her. She begs Maggie to give her a C-section even though it guarantees her death. In Lori’s last moments, I pretty much forget all the annoying crap she’s put us through. She’s just a mom and all she can do now is say goodbye to her son. My god is it heartbreaking! We’ll find out a long way down the road how much Lori’s last words stuck with Carl. But for now, it’s just Lori’s best attempts at setting things right for her family’s future.

And then it gets worse. As things are calming down outside, Maggie and Carl bring the baby out to meet the group. Rick puts two and two together and realizes his wife is dead. Much like I let go of all Lori’s bad behavior, Rick appears to do the same. He crumbles to the ground, broken and distraught. I cry all over again at seeing him like this.

This is one of the saddest episodes of the show. It breaks my heart over and over again. After losing T-Dog, it’s easy to think, “oh that’s our big loss for now”. But then they take Lori away too and everyone is just destroyed over it. I am hoping for better days for this group.

Best of the Episode

The surprise walkers. It’s such an amazing shot when the situation goes from being happy to afraid in the blink of an eye. The camera is doing a pan of the group helping Hershel to walk for the first time. Everyone is smiling and Rick and the others are smiling back from the lower prison. The camera finishes panning and then starts panning back. One second, no walkers, the next second, a lot of walkers. It’s a piece of classic cinematic gold. It compels us to have that momentary jolt of fear out of our sleepy state of happiness.

Lori’s goodbye. I can’t even get into it without wanting to cry. Lori’s last few minutes are touching and tragic. She does right by her son with her words of wisdom. “You’re going to beat this world.” “Do what’s right.” “If it feels wrong don’t do it.” Her words did so much to shape Carl for things to come. Lori will always be the worst, but at least she got one thing right.

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