This week's The Walking Dead recap reminds us all that this "isn't kid stuff" [SPOILERS]

Fair warning, fair readers: There is no way to discuss this episode of The Walking Dead without major spoilers, because this one was probably one of the most emotionally impactful episodes of the season, maybe even the series so far. Serious things happened to major characters; one of them could have been predicted by fans of the comic, but another was pretty unprecedented. What I can mention ahead of the jump (and all the spoilers) is that we have more with Merle, Michonne, Andrea, and the Governor, and it looks like our separated factions will soon reunite.

Once again, this recap contains major spoilers for The Walking Dead, so proceed with caution.

Judging by the reactions on social media (where I hope you weren't spoiled due to some people having a total lack of self-control), this episode, called "The Killer Within," is one that caused any waning interest to return with full force. It's been a strong season so far, but this hour was positively gut-wrenching and proved, once again, that no one is safe from Robert Kirkman's zombie apocalypse.

We begin back at the prison, where some routine zombie maintenance was taking place. The inmates are getting restless and believe that they've paid their dues. But they also don't want to be left alone in a prison full of zombies (or ghosts). Some discussion takes place, but an alarm suddenly goes off, and the zombies come a-running. Everyone is separated -- a be-crutched Hershel stays safe with his younger daughter after some of the most successful physical therapy ever (known as "suck it up, or be eaten by the undead"). Lori, Carl, and Maggie head off in one direction. T-Dog and Carol head in another, and Rick, Daryl, and Glen try to find the generator to turn off the alarm.

But first, let's go back to Woodbury and the Governor to see what's going on there. Here is all we need to know: Michonne still doesn't trust the Governor (for good reason), Andrea is ready to leave, but might change her mind, Merle is getting curious about finding his brother (and also why he and Andrea never hooked up, I'm guessing that him being a racist hothead might have something to do with it), and the Gov continues to tell beautiful lies. And his name is Phillip, but we know he's a liar who keeps heads in jars.

Back at the prison, T-Dog is bitten by a zombie. On the shoulder. As we learned two weeks ago, you cannot just cut off a shoulder to stop the zombie virus (which they all have anyway), so it looks like the end for Mr. Theodore "T-Dog" Douglas. But not before he and Carol head back into the prison and he sacrifices himself by flinging himself into a gaggle of zombies to let Carol escape. Good night, sweet T-Dog.

Meanwhile, Lori has gone into labor. She, Maggie, and Carl find a zombie-free shady spot, but Lori knows what's really going on here. She wasn't able to have a natural birth with Carl, so the only way this baby is coming out is if it's cut out of her. And that probably means the end of Lori.

Rick, Daryl, and Glen -- and the inmates -- eventually make it to the room with the generator, where Andrew suddenly pops out of nowhere! Last we saw that guy, Rick had chased him through the tombs of the prison and left him for dead in a pen of zombies. But he's back -- until Oscar shoots him, proving that he's an ally. So, that's good!

Back to the shady spot: After Lori tells Maggie that it's up to her to deliver the baby and let her die, she tries to conjure up all the maternal wisdom she can for Carl in her remaining minutes. It's a truly sad scene, and even sadder when you remember that Rick never really made things right with her. They exchanged a sweet glance across the prison yard right before the day's chaos, but that was all the time they'd get.

We get a flashback to Rick giving a similar, but less urgent speech to his son, telling him that the "kid stuff is over," then handing him a pistol. When the baby is out and Lori is still, Carl knows what he has to do -- prevent his mother from "turning." Maggie, who accepted her grave task and performed, still can't quite wrap her head around the situation and tries to leave the room, but there are zombies outside. The moment she comes back in, she hears a gunshot, and a stoic Carl briskly walks past her. Yup. That happened. (Though we didn't actually see it, did we?)

With the zombie situation under control, everyone starts to come together. Except for T-Dog, whose partially-eaten remains are found by Rick et al, and Carol, who has disappeared. Back outside, Rick waits for his son and his wife. He sees Maggie, holding a baby, and Carl, holding a gun. He puts it together and loses it. Loses. It.

Look, everyone had their problems with Lori. She wasn't always written very well, but no one can deny how heartbreaking a scene like this is. But more importantly, this was another stark reminder that not even the most established and crucial characters on The Walking Dead are safe.

Photo credit: AMC

Previously: This week's recap of The Walking Dead finally catches up with Andrea and Michonne -- and the Governor [SPOILERS]


  1. They tell you to be careful with what you wish for. I’ve been praying for this to happen since season 1 and now that it happened it left me devastated.
    That’s some good writing right there…. Big balls AMC… hats off to you.

  2. This was the most amazing episode of the series to date. I’m still holding out hope for Carol. I like her a lot.

    The show reflects a layering of characters, like it would happen if something this devastating did occur. They ebb and flow, some making an impact and some just passing by.

    As long a Daryl is still alive, I’m okay.

    1.  Without humans or animals inside, zombies graze like sheep.  We just never see that side of them because as soon as a human gets near enough, they perk up and start snarling. 

    2. The real question is who is keeping the dead, shot in the head prisoners from decomposing the last, what, 10 months or so?

  3. Please stop trying to force these TV recaps.

    I love this site, and have been reading it for ages, but this is not a TV site.

    I know TV recaps are the in thing, and they’re basically easy pageviews, but it’s beneath you folks. Be better than every other site out there that’s jumping on this bandwagon.


    1.  why?  there are a lot of people that follow boing boing who enjoy walking dead.  what’s the problem?

    2. Please get your own blog and become the change that you want to see.

      I know that feeling like you have a right to dictate the content of a site because you happened to click on it is the in thing, but it’s beneath you. Be better than every other whiner out there who’s jumping on the entitlement bandwagon.



    This was a pretty decent episode! Poor T-Dog… given almost nothing to do for most of the show’s run, then killed. At least he got a hero’s death. And Lori, well, I won’t miss her character much. Ever since she flipped that car not paying attention to the road I thought that she was too stupid to live. At least this makes Carl a lot more interesting and is likely the triggering event for Rick losing his shit and being stripped of his leadership (as in the comic)

    Also, how do approaching hordes of undead keep not getting noticed until they’re 10 feet away? 

    Also… Andrea should know better than to trust Merle. Also Michonne is a terrible strategist. Sure, tell the guy you suspect of being a murderous psycho exactly what you think of him! Comic Michonne wouldn’t be so stupid. 

    Also we’ve seen the governor… I wanna see friday night zombie fights!

    Also @twitter-119130280:disqus forget telling BB what or what not to post. I’ve been down that road, it leads to Antinous snarking at you. Turn back! I’m an AV Club reader for TV stuff but I enjoy the contrast with what gets posted here. Different take on the episode, different discussion. It’s just fun, if you don’t like it just keep on scrollin’ !

      1. Sorry I thought the spoilers warning on the article covered it. When I get into the comic on future posts I’ll tag it. 

  5. Excellent point about the viewer (or Maggie, for that matter) not seeing Carl shoot Lori.  Wouldn’t that make for a devestating TV moment if Rick finds the former-Lori shambling down a prison hall? 

    1. I hope they don’t do that.  That’s kind of “cheating” in a way.
      That said, this episode was excellent and brutal.

      1. Yeah, that’d be cheating.  Sure, Carl’s just a kid, but it’s not like he hasn’t been headshotting moving targets all season now.  And part of the point of his character’s very existence is how this new life is stripping away every vestige of sentimentality from him.

        If she ain’t gone for good, then someone needs their WGA card revoked.

  6. There seems to be a theme in this episode about people we think are dead who aren’t. I hope Carl didn’t really shot Lori and Carol gets to Lori and saves her. Then again, that just might piss me off.

  7. First Dale, now T-Dog and Lori and possibly Carol all in the same episode? Look, I like gritty and unpredictable as well as the next person but they’re killing all my favorite characters and I’m tempted to not watch again. Personally, I think Carol survived, (though it’s unclear how she could have exited the same door as Rick, Daryl and the inmates and not been seen by Herschel and daughter #2). If they kill off Carol, Glenn or Daryl, I’m outta here. I never liked Rick and Carl has always been zombie bait.

    1. Agreed, Carol started off annoyingly weepy and useless but she’s grown on me. I like Glenn but I can see him sacrificing himself for Maggie to dramatic effect. But if Daryl dies before Carl? I’ma burn some shit down.

  8. Lori died during childbirth. She’s gone. And they did start calling T-Dog, ‘T’ this season. I mean, he hung around for longer then people thought. Oh, I loathe Andrea as much as I loathed Lori. She’s smug, self important and oblivious. How can she NOT be on her guard? I hope she gets taken out.

  9. First, since I don’t go to TV sites, I’ll just put this here: FUCK YEAH, T-DOG!  Most heroic self-sacrifice of the series so far, for me.  And completely believable.  You know that’s exactly how he would do it.  I too wish he’d had more of a complex story arc, but at least he went out right.

    As for Carl….it had been bothering me that Lori was treating him as if they were still living in Mayberry.  In reality, through most of human history (including a lot of the world right now) 12-year-olds do a lot of adult jobs and face a lot of danger on a daily basis.  Acting like Carl is supposed to still have a “normal” childhood instead of acknowledging that he is stepping up appropriately for the situation was bad parenting, in my book.

    And one more thing.  Yes, we got lots of foreshadowing about the prior C-section.  Still, from a purely practical POV, it makes sense to risk the baby dying (and *possibly* Lori) by waiting to get back to Hershel/Carol ASAP to deal with a stillbirth rather than choosing to kill an adult (with no guarantees about the baby anyway).  Now there’s a noisy, helpless baby with no lactating female around.  I think the writers made some cultural/gender assumptions that aren’t necessarily born out in actual survival situations.  Although, having said that, it does fit with Lori’s character to have an idealized notion of “my baby, my baby” as opposed to thinking rationally about what makes sense for the safety of the group as a whole.  Still, Maggie has a good head on her shoulders and should have argued against the idiocy of slicing Lori open like that.  To me, that scene read like what a bunch of stereotypical male writers *think* women would do in the situation.

    1.  You’re right. When Lori started with the “save my baby” crap, I rolled my eyes and started surfing the guide. I know this is based on a comic but puh-lease. I guess it’s par for the course though. Over nine months into this and these people still haven’t learned the first rules about how to survive a zombie apocalypse, (Herschel stepping over a corpse with no head wounds for example). All that time they wasted on the farm when they could have been making it impregnable! Come on guys! Zombies can’t climb! Strong fences and no ground floor exits or windows in the house and you’re gold.

    2.  If she were thinking rationally about survival and the good of the group, she’d have taken those damned morning-after pills and thanked the good lord they were available. Come ON.

  10. Sorry as I am to see T-Dog go, at least he’s finally free of the writers who obviously didn’t give a shit about him, judging by the NO LINES they gave him. “Good thing we didn’t do anything stupid, like shoot it” re: the walker falling in the well last season was about as good as they saw fit to give him.

  11.  Not “Come ON, chgoliz,” of course. Come ON, woman pregnant in the first months after the ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE.

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