Is that the end of the prison? It seems like it’s completely overrun now, and even if they did go to all the trouble of patching up the fence and clearing out all the zombies again, I doubt they’d ever feel safe there again.
Sorry, I meant to say ‘AAAAGH! Everyone is dead!’
Zombies, and I may have said this in a previous review, are really only frightening when they appear in a suffocating mass, and this episode had the Walking Dead’s best example of that. Someone sets off the prison alarm and cuts the fence open, so that all of the dead from the surrounding areas shuffle over. The manfolk are clearing out the yard and so are separated from the women, children and one-legged Hershels when the swarm arrives. It’s the most effective (in terms of entertainment and people-eating) zombie attack since the end of season two when the farm was overrun. It was definitely the most tense. The farm attack had a lot of open space to run into, here the cast were driven into the winding maze of the prison, where they probably know the layout about as well as the viewers – not really at all.
I had been trying to avoid hearing about it on the internet, but everyone who had seen this episode when it aired in the US seemed to be freaking out over all the deaths. So I knew there would be brains, but I didn’t know whose. I think that actually added to the tension, as everyone was split up and weaving about a zombie-ridden maze, it felt like anyone could have died.
But it was T-Dog first. Poor T-Dog. Never got to develop into a proper character. He got to say some things in this episode, trying to be the voice of humanity with regard to the two prisoners. Letting them loose in a world of zombies would effectively be killing them, he argued, just like Dale did when this exact debate came up over that kid on the farm last season. He got a noble sacrifice death and ended up as what looked like a hollowed out ribcage. I don’t think his death is going to change the path of the story very much, and it wouldn’t surprise me if nobody really remembers, because who else died? Lori died.
Lori, it’s safe to say, has not been the most popular character. I chuckled last week when she said “I’ve been a terrible wife and mother” and Rick kind of looked away and said that she hadn’t been a terrible mother, I suppose. She goes into a labour that lasts about two minutes and insists that Maggie give her a C-Section with a knife that’s probably dripping with zombie entrails. She dies, obviously, and she gives an emotional speech to Carl while she does it, which, while it wasn’t completely unmoving, was overshadowed by my feelings of “oh good, Lori is dying”. Rick sure sold the grief at the end though, it was convincing enough that it almost made me retrospectively sad that she didn’t make it.
And now they have an infant. This is a world where keeping fully grown, heavily armed adults alive is a considerable task. What are they going to feed it? How are they going to stop it from crying when they’re trying not to be noticed by zombies? The baby raises a whole new world of problems that I’m not overjoyed to have to deal with, and I’m just watching the thing. Every cool zombie attack or chase sequence that the writers come up with now has to include the question “who’s got the baby while this is happening”.
Also Carol is “dead”, but it’s TV so if you don’t see a body, they’re alive and waiting for the most dramatic moment to reappear. I won’t write her obituary just yet. (Preview: “hasn’t done much that’s interesting either”).
For all the prison maze death and running, a decent chunk of the episode was taken up by Michonne and Andrea in Woodbury. Michonne is suspicious and gradually figuring out things we already know, Andrea is growing attracted to Merle, the Governor (“Philip!”), a park bench that will just end up abusing her, and the abstract concept of being a jerk. Can’t remember anything significant happening here. Looks like they’re not leaving for a bit, though Merle wants to go find Daryl, so we’ll get a meetup sooner or later. If the main lot aren’t staying in the prison, I suppose they’ll end up here somehow.
Thinning of the cast continues, though it looks likely that prisoners Oscar and Axel will take over from T-Dog and Lori as the one black guy they’re allowed to have in the cast, and the whiny one who would be completely reasonable in real life but a drag on a fantastical TV show.