[Editor's Note: This post contains spoilers for the November 11 episode of AMC's "The Walking Dead."]
I'm not one to cry easily from stories projected on a screen, but this show has done it to me twice.
The first time was brought on by the season one anguish of a father forced to put down his undead wife, and the second time was just last week, when Rick lost his wife to a post-apocalyptic C-section.
So I tuned in to this week's episode first hoping that I wasn't about to walk into a back-to-back sob ambush, but also curious to see how Rick, who so far had been spared the ultimate grief of losing a loved one, would cope with Lori's death.
Sunday's installment picked up in main-street Woodbury in the middle of an eerily idyllic festival. Milton, the brains behind the town's improvised zombie lab, described it to Andrea as a "party," even as he perhaps sarcastically gestured that "mere words cannot describe the festivities ahead."
The "party" was far away from the prison-stage where the tragedy of Rick Grimes and his band of tormented survivors was taking place. Torn apart by anger, macho Rick ignored his son and newly born daughter to storm through whole corridors full of zombies in an exhilarating, gory quest to find the late Lori Grimes. (Major kudos to the never-disappointing special effects crew behind this bloody spectacle.)
Rick, having only one word in the script for "Say the Word," was reduced to a bloody violent mess, and so we were left to look elsewhere for a depth to his fury.
In two occasions it was up to Glenn to give us that: once as he pleaded with Rick to leave the gory entrails of the prison, and again when he confided to Hershel that he would rather see others die before losing more people from their group. It's in that exchange that I was reminded of Shane, Rick's once patrol partner and "best friend," who more than once questioned Rick's ability to protect his wife and son.
Meanwhile, it was up to Maggie and Daryl (with his sweet poncho!) to leave the prison in search of "something a baby can eat," and they found it at a thankfully empty child care center. I'm still glad this show has mostly avoided kid-zombie killings, with the opening sequence to the pilot and season two's standoff at the barn being notable exceptions.
After having caught possum-dinner and returning to the prison, Daryl got yet another chance to shine as he cradled the newborn with the newly acquired baby formula (is there anything he can't do?). And for the record, I hope his recommendation to name the baby "A-kicker" sticks.
Of course, the sorrow of putting down undead children is something only the show's audience is spared. To the characters in the story, it must be a daunting reality. A reality apparently too daunting in some cases, even to the Governor, who instead chose to hold on to his own reanimated daughter.
In one of this week's reminders of how creepy he is, we were treated to an afternoon hair-combing session with his restrained undead daughter, while Michonne tried to catch a glimpse of his activities through the window.
With the town's seemingly guaranteed safety and all the nice chats with Mr. "I'll-never-tell-you-my-name-just-kidding-it's-Philip," Andrea seemed more convinced than ever to stay inside Woodbury's walls. It was Michonne who continued to carry a steely mistrust of this new environment and the man who controls it.
And so it was with that divide between them - and after a final stand-off in which she put her sword to the Governor's neck - that Michonne bid adieu to her winter-time companion (and possible cuddle buddy) with an ice-cold "you'd just slow me down anyway."
That evening, as Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Mr. Saturday Night Special" blared in Woodbury, we were invited along with everyone else in the cult-ish town to cheer from the stands as its chosen favorite past-time took place: a gladiator-like mano-a-mano between fighters encircled by zombies.
While the Governor tried to appease Andrea's nerves (and ours) by confessing that it was all staged, it was interesting to see that not all involved (like Milton, who grudgingly assists in the production) were thrilled about it, and not everyone in town partook in the "festivities."
Back at prison hell, Rick found the room where Maggie extricated the baby from Lori's womb, only to find blood stains, a walker with a full belly, and a ringing telephone. There, as he picked up the receiver, the curtains closed on this episode with Rick Grimes' only line: "Hello?"
A few side notes:
* Did I see a Michonne smile? She was so thrilled to get her katana back!
* I would've hated to be the production assistant who had to scribble pages upon pages of the Governor's crazy doodles.
* I wonder how long it'll take Mr. David Morrissey to perfect his southern drawl.
* Will Michonne's prophecy that no one gets out of Woodbury come to haunt her?
And of course:
* Where is Carol?
Share your thoughts on these and other aspects of this episode on video or comment below.
what does bullying mean to you?
Thank God for amazing TV shows like TWD. They are the answer to the current creativity crisis on the silver screen. The most commented film of the week? Breaking Dawn 2 – bleargh!!!
now leave it be..there production is not kept well and will be "yanked" out at some point.
Aww shucks, Ize wa gwine ta gib t-dog ma gubment cheeze too! Lawsy, lawsy.
re. Daryl "Is there anything he can't do?"
Am I the only person who expected him to start breastfeeding the baby when he got it in hand?
Count on him to look around and say something like, "How hard can it be if a woman can do it?"
I know who is on the other line of the phone call. I really didnt think they would include that from the graphic novel. Interesting. Run , Michonne, Run! I want Merle to turn good-guy!
she went into all the phoney stuff...what about the bank books
i don't care...
we are watching you like a hawk–we set the trap and there you are every single time.
I am so hooked on The Walking Dead! I just started watching the show a couple months ago, but i started with season one and am completely caught up. Sunday nights are definitely the highlight of my week. I didn’t follow the comics, so I am going into this as a new fan. I was shocked to see that they chose to kill off Lori and save the baby. In my opinion, in a zombie apocalypse, they should not have gotten rid of a good team member for the sake of a new baby they will have to take care of! However I’m not complaining because I’m sure it will make for good TV. I am a HUGE Daryl fan, just like everyone else. I heard that he wasn’t even in the comics so I sure hope he sticks around! He is definitely a fan favorite and I can’t wait to see what happens with him as the season goes on. Also, where on earth is Carol? Who was on the other end of the phone? And is Rick going to lose his mind? These are just a few of the millions of questions running through my head. It’s going to be a wild season that is for sure, and I can’t wait!
If someone is a vegetarian and they become a Walker, are they still a vegetarian? bahahahahahahaha
Sorry You Got Turned Into A Zombie (I'll Be The One To Put You Down)
Don't let these posts get to you. The comic book is VERY different from the series.
that just blew me away man...thanks DD
It's funny how mad everyone gets. How do you know what i'm saying is the truth? Have any of you ever heard the phrase "Dont believe everything you read"?
to cover the blogger exploding on paul-
can't act for beans...HERO
its trying to cover it up and say it was fixed...B A L O N E Y
close cnn for today
i'm not paul i'm 2 words so don't rope into this one.
Paul - you're an A**hole. Learn to keep your mouth shut (fingers still ..whatever).
i can feel it!!!!!!!!!
Although I don't care about the show and just read spoilers, I do agree that people like Paul should stop writing what they know about the comic books... good for you that you know it... don't be a dbag and spoil it for others who actually care.
Daryl-Best character on the show hands down! i can not get enough of this show!!!
To all those comic book readers – stop writing about what is going to happen. You're ruining it for everyone else and that is selfish. To those who are just trying to guess what is going to happen? – That is great so keep on writing.
Best show ever!
mark-what are you referring to?
no walker has not eaten lori yet.
Yet? Interesting, thanx for info.
its kind of like those shows.
The director of that episode said the Walker with the big stomach ate Lori, thus you see her hair coming out its mouth
Did that full bellied walker eat Lori?
You all have to start watching The Talking Dead. They explain the episode. Greg Nicotero said yes, the walker at Laurie, that was her hair coming out of her mouth.
Ew, zombie dental floss. I missed the show last night, have it recorded, tho.
boston cream pie later.
I got French silk, want some?
Anyone that has read the comic books know that it's Lori speaking to rick on the phone. Rick found the only way to cope with losing her and is imagining speaking with her.
I can't believe the show killed off Lori! What on earth are they supposed to do running around with a crying baby?!
sorry to ruin it for you but the baby doesn't last long.
Paul – for those of us who have not read the comics –thanks for ruining it for us – your a prince!
Thankfully, Paul, the TV show doesn't stick to the comics. From other spoilers I read Lori was supposed to die at the hands of the Governor. Given the show didn't go that route (from spoilers I've read, there are plenty of examples wear certain lead members were supposed to die and didn't, weren't supposed to die and did, or don't even exist in the comics), there is no way to say for certain whether they will keep the baby alive.
and who better than its mother to raise and PROTECT it. That was totally stupid. They are killing of too many main characters. Stared with Shane, now Lori.
it's Lori on the other line! rick's gone crazy! mwahahaha!
oh right, spoiler alert.
We're asking Walking Dead viewers to answer that mysterious phone call over at MLive's WD Blog, while also offering a sneak peek at next week's episode. Here's the link: http://www.mlive.com/tv/index.ssf/2012/11/the_walking_dead_blog_rick_the.html
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