Well, if you didn't have thick, hot tears streaming down your swollen cheeks by the end of Sunday night's episode of The Walking Dead, check your pulse, because you might be a heartless zombie yourself! Or you might just be too tough and cool to cry, like me.
OK, I will admit, I started to get a little emotional when Lori gave that soliloquy right at the end, or when Carl had to do what needed to be done, or when Rick figured out what happened, but that was just allergies, or something got in my eye. Or someone was cutting onions nearby.
Sunday night's episode proved once again that season three is a lot different from the plodding, directionless episodes of season two, when the group basically just sat on a farm telling stories about flowers and pulling fat redneck zombies out of wells.
There were once again major plot developments and questions answered, so if you haven't seen the episode yet and don't want to know about T-Dog dying, Lori's baby being birthed via C-section (turns out it wasn't a zombie), Lori dying during the operation, or Carl shooting his own mother in the head to prevent her from turning into a zombie, stop reading ... now.
Unlike the last two episodes, which took place exclusively in the prison, or Woodberry, this episode bounced back and forth between the two locales, which I'm guessing will be the format for the next few episodes, eventually building up to the two worlds colliding in a bloody mess.
While most of what went down in Woodberry was fairly inconsequential (Governor hitting golf balls, Governor having discourse with Michonne, Merle and Andrea), the prison was a hotbed of action and plot development.
- We found out the identity of that perv who had been spying on Carol (It was Andrew, the presumed-dead prisoner. Don't worry, he's dead now)
- T-Dog got his shoulder and neck bitten off (chicken necks?)
- Lori gave birth and then died. Poetic, isn't it?
Also, we found out that the Governor's name is Phillip. (One 'L', or two?)
I'm loving the pace of the episodes this season, and I get the sense that the producers really aren't going to hold back on trimming the fat each week, accelerating the plot. I'm just wondering, how can they top themselves next week?
Did you know?
- They used a real 6-week old baby in this episode, but sometimes a motorized prop baby filled in.
- IronE Singleton, the actor who portrayed T-Dog, is now working on a show with Neve Campbell called Sworn to Silence and cowriting his autobiography.
(Thanks, Talking Dead!)
Did you notice?
- The sign outside the prison says "No stopping along road, do not talk to inmates. violators will be escorted from grounds & may be subject to arrest". Do people actually do that, just roll up to a prison and stand by the fence like "Hey guys! How's it going in there? Yeah, my fantasy football team sucked this week. Hey can I bum a smoke from one of you guys?"
- Merle describes the location of Hershel's farm as "Route 9 right before it becomes Dahlonega Highway." Now I'm no Magellan, but it looks like that would put it right around here. Neat, huh? Learning is fun.
- For someone whose rap sheet only included breaking and entering, Oscar is pretty handy with a revolver. Maybe he has a military background?
- This week's commercial break infographic was "Steven Yeun's Work Week: Monday - Sweat in the Georgia heat. Tuesday - Perspire in the Georgia heat. Wednesday - Excrete salt water from sweat glands in the Georgia heat. Thursday - Force Sodium enriched Hydrogen Dioxide to transude your epidermis in the Georgia heat. Friday - Fry, Saturday - Drink water. Sunday - Drink more water." Very silly.
I'm really going to miss Theodore Douglass (T-Dog) and his awesome SWAT team gauntlets and plastic riot shield, and Lori, who some people seemed to really get annoyed by, but who I always thought was pretty hot, even if her figure was a bit Olive Oyl-esque.
Yeah, I don't think that's going to get you a SAG card...
When they're walking through the prison yard you can see this big pile of zombie corpses in the background, and of course the first thing I wondered was if it was all extras, or if they were dummies, or if they just had two or three guys in zombie make-up lay on top of a bunch of coats and dirty laundry to create the illusion. I hope it was all extras, because the guy on the bottom with six other dudes laying on top of him was probably wondering if this was worth the $20 bill, the box lunch from Honey Baked Ham and the Walking Dead tee shirt he got for his trouble.
When life looks like easy street...
I've noticed that anytime there is some sweet moment where all of the characters are standing around smiling — like when Carl was going to touch the deer, or in this episode when everyone was loudly cheering for pegleg Hershel to hobble around the exercise yard — something bad usually happens to break up the good vibes. It's like, "hey guys, enjoy this moment and have a nice time, but just be prepared to have your grin turn into a big frowny face in a second."
Hershel is a real cut-up
I kept thinking that it would be really funny when Hershel was testing out his new crutches if he had done that bit from Jackass by pretending to fall down over and over and being really difficult as everyone kept helping him up and handing him his crutches.
A tangled web of lies
So the Governor says that he lost his wife in a car accident 18 months before the zombie apocalypse. But didn't we see what was supposed to be his wife and daughter's heads in one of his fish tanks? And if his wife died a year and a half before all this, wouldn't that be kind of weird of him to dig her up just to cut off her head and put it in a fish tank? Something doesn't add up...
I think you've seen enough of that one...
Axl is trying SO hard to become friends with Rick and company, at one point by complimenting Daryl on his motorcycle and even offering to tune it up! But Daryl is just too cool for Axl and Oscar, who are like the new kids in school that no one wants to lower themselves to be friends with, and Daryl is like "Don't even think about touching it." What Daryl needs to learn is that sometimes being "cool" means being confident enough in yourself to be nice to everyone!
Very funny, Daryl...
When Glenn and Maggie are having some good, dirty fun in the guard tower, Daryl is like "Hey Glenn, are you COMING? Hah-hah-hah..." *LEER* First of all, couldn't Glenn and Maggie have just hung a blanket over their prison cell, or found some other private area inside the prison? Secondly, how old is Daryl, 14?
None more clever
The title of the episode, Killer Within, has SO many meanings! Lori's baby was inside her and killed her, prison escapee Andrew snuck back into the prison and was trying to be a killer (and in fact caused T-Dog's death, if not Lori's), and Carl is just a kid but he has a killer within. You could say the same thing about Oscar. Can you think of any others?
A kinder, gentler Merle
I know that Merle has changed a lot since we last saw him handcuffed to a roof, spitting racial epithets. But this new Merle is so different it's like he's an entirely new character! It's almost transparent that there is a new team of writers behind him now. He explains that being rescued by the Governor made him a new man, which shows that Merle considers the Governor his savior, like a cultist and his guru. I would like it if they made Merle wear cardigans and glasses now.
So Andrea isn't weirded out by Woodberry like Michonne is, but she has to realize that gving Merle a map to Hershel's farm is a bad idea, right? Unless maybe she wants Merle to find the group and get his revenge, because she's still salty about them abandoning her!
What a jerk
Andrew plunks zombies in the dome with rocks and then feeds them rotten venison. You know Andrew, a society is measured by how it treats its weakest members...The Governor is worse, hitting them with golf balls. I hope next time he hits Michael Douglas zombie from Falling Down, and it runs him down and gives him a heart attack with a shotgun.
The spring fashions of Woodberry
It's funny how they show the prison-folk dressed up in sweat-stained tee shirts, dirty dungarees and prison coveralls. And then it shows Woodberry and there are all these glad dads strolling around in Kohl's button-down short-sleeve collared shirts and Old Navy cargos.
At first Michonne's tough-gal act was so cool. But now that they're in Woodberry with no imminent danger, I'm getting kind of sick of her glowering at everything and everyone. Hey Michonne it takes 48 muscles to frown and 12 muscles to smile or something I read on WebMD so why not just walk around with a big sh*t eating grin?
Axl: "We can't live in that place another minute, you follow me? All the bodies, people we knew. Blood, brains everywhere. There's ghosts!"
Axl: "You're trying to prove a point, you proved it bro!"
Oscar: "These were good guys! Good guys who had our backs against the really bad dudes in the joint."
Glenn: "Axl seems a little unstable."
Rick: "I don't want to be planting crops in walker rotted soil."
Merle: "How come we never hooked up?" Andrea: "You called me a whore and a rug muncher." Merle: "Got a way with words, don't I?"
T-Dog: "This is God's plan, he'll take care of me, always has. He's gonna help me lead you out of these tombs."
Maggie: "She's fine. C'mere, let's get your pants off."
Lori: "Carl, baby I don't want you to be scared, OK? This is what I want, this is right. Now you take care of your daddy for me all right? And your little brother or sister, you take care of them. You are gonna be fine, you are gonna beat this world, I know you will. You are smart and you are strong and you are so brave, and I love you."
Lori: "You gotta do what's right baby, promise me you'll always do what's right. It's so easy to do the wrong thing in this world, so if it feels wrong don't do it. If it feels easy don't do it. Don't let the world spoil you. You're so good. My sweet boy. The best thing I ever did, I love you."
What everyone is up to
Rick: Becoming overwhelmed by emotions. Warming up to the prisoners. Telling stories about his days as a copper.
Lori: Delivering a heartfelt soliloquy, then delivering a child, and then being granted deliverance from this hell on earth.
Carl: Experiencing the most traumatic 30 minutes of his young life: watching his mother go through prelabor, then watching her tummy cut open to pull out his new sibling, then putting a bullet in her head.
Glenn: Boffing in the guard tower. Killing zombies.
Daryl: Killing zombies with his new jump-stab maneuver, acting too cool for his new admirer, Axl.
Carol: Dropping the ball when it was time to perform the C-section. Wearing headwraps like Little Edie.
T-Dog: Dissenting with Rick, making his curtain call and sacrificing his meaty bod for Carol.
Hershel: Getting up and about, sporting a cool mini-ponytail and Santa Claus beard. Taking a rain check on Carl's offer to have a race.
Maggie: Banging in the guard tower, doing a remarkably good job of performing a C-section (aside from the minor detail of keeping the mother alive, that is).
Beth: Making eyes at Carl and escorting one-legged Hershel around the prison.
Andrea: Doing shots with the Governor, having second thoughts about bouncing out of Woodberry.
Michonne: Impersonating Nancy Drew and hatching plans to whisk Andrea off to an island resort.
The Governor: Hitting a few buckets of balls at the driving range. Making it seem like he was about to give Andrea a fresh kiss.
Merle: Hitting on Andrea, making plans to go on a road trip to find Daryl.
Axl: Sucking up to the man, folding his arms across his chest and admiring Daryl's badass motorcycle.
Oscar: Earning his stripes by offing Andrew.
Best zombie kill
I liked when Glenn swatted that zombie's head off with a machete, and its scalp went spinning away like a Frisbee disc. It reminded me of this scene.
The one that bit T'Dog's neck like it was an Arby's Grand Turkey Club.
Zombies: I counted 24, for 126 on the season. One problem though: there was a scene where Daryl comes in from a cell block and is like "I just got five of them in there" and Rick's like "Oh well I got four in here." So do we count those? And half the time there's just general mayhem of zombies hitting the floor, and you don't know which ones got iced and which ones just got shoved to the ground. So you know what, I'm just gonna do my best, because at the end of the season if I said that 514 zombies died and it was actually 522, who the heck really cares?
Humans: Three (T-Dog, Lori and Andrew) for 14 on the season. (I realize I had already counted Andrew, so I didn't add him again.) But they also added a human. It's like when you're playing golf and you lose like six golf balls in the heath right in front of the tee box, but then you find one in the woods and clean it off in the ball cleaner, which smells like p'ep.
- Why did the helicopter crash? The pilot called it "light turbulence" but could it have been gunfire?
- Where are Morgan and Duane?
- What's in Milton's special tea? Some kind of serum or opiate?
- What did the Governor whisper to Merle when he first checked on Michonne and Andrea in Woodbury?
- What happened to Carol?
- Was that a deer heart that Andrew used to lure the zombies into the prison, or a human heart!?
A look ahead to next week's episode, "Say the Word"
Rick takes up arms in a fit of rage. The Governor presides over a day of celebration in Woodberry. The prison folk go on a supply run, presumably to Babies R Us. Andrea and Michonne are still arguing about whether to leave Woodberry or not. Milton fends off a zombie with his arm. Michonne is interrogated by the Governor, but she quickly turns the tables on him! Glenn is digging a grave, and he has a heart-to-heart with Axl and Oscar, who kindly offer to help him dig.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun