05 November, 2012

Review - The Walking Dead 3.04: "Killer Within"


This weeks episode ends with a shocker, the prison group gets a mysterious new enemy, and the body count rises! We get to check in at both camps this week, but more of the action takes place at the prison. Andrea and Michonne are at odds over what do next: stay in Woodbury, or go back out on the road. This argument felt a little tired to me and seems to just be a rehash of the argument over whether or not to stay at Hershel's farm from last season. At least it seems like it won't drag on for as long as that previous debate. The more interesting part of this story was Merle and Andrea's conversation about how she was left behind, and her feelings about why no one in the group came back for her.

Meanwhile Rick and the others are trying to make their happy little federal penitentiary a bit more homey, but things get interrupted when an unseen intruder opens one of the gates and lets in a pack of walkers to wreak havoc on our survivors. It turns out it was the prisoner Rick banished last week. The set up for this scene was good and I liked how Rick, Glenn and the others were somewhat trapped on the other side of that fence and had to watch, briefly helpless, as Hershel and the others tried to get away. Also, T-Dog's final sacrificial act of helping Carol through the prison was a nice tribute to him as a character, even though he was one of the show's least used characters. By far the bigger piece of action was Lori going into labor while fleeing the walkers with Maggie and Carl. But Lori's final contribution might have been one of the show's best dramatic moments, her conversation with Carl and the final birth scene as a whole was spectacular.

This episode touched on a lot themes the show has dealt with before: Rick's moral conflicts as a leader, the trustworthiness of other survivors and the ruthless nature of the walker world. But this episode had high enough stakes to make those themes seem fresh and worthwhile. But it does raise a question which often come up with this show: does it need to kill someone off every week to make the emotional stakes high enough? And can it do those themes justice in the weeks when it's not racking up such a high body count?

I give this episode a 90 out of 100- it started off a bit slow, but the ending was no doubt a memorable one.

Highlights, quotes:

- Is Carol really dead? It felt like we weren't supposed to believe she was.

- Michonne's plan- a nice tribute to Left4Dead and a few other members of the zombie genre

- Merle: "How come you and I never hooked up?"
  Andrea: "You called me a whore and a rug muncher" (Or maybe because you are creepy and racist Merle!)

-  The Governor: "We should visit Augusta; take only the women and let them play. It'll be historic!" - I would totally go on that outing even though my golf skills are minimal.

6 comments:

  1. You can experience my view of this episode in the podcast posted one article below this one.

    Spoiler: I thought it was fuckin' stupid, cheesy, contrived, and awesome.

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  2. Looks like i was way off on guessing when Lori would give birth. lol. But this was a pretty intense ep. RIP T-dog, and Lori... yeah you too, why not. The kid who plays Carl gave a great performance. And the last scene with Rick was really emotional. A fine job by Andrew Lincoln.

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  3. I just watched four episodes of this in the same day and--wow. I have to admit that nothing in this show has made me tear up before, but I did at the end of episode 4.

    It's not that I cared about Lori as a character. She tended to be annoying. It's that they did a great job of conveying how the other characters felt about her passing that made me care.

    In general, this season is way better than last season. If there was a reward for "most improved character on any TV series" it has to be Carl.

    The new character additions are pretty good. I'm intrigued by the Governor ad Michonne is a badass.

    This show goes through more changes in four episodes than a CBS procedural does in ten seasons.

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    Replies
    1. If only every character death on every show was given as much respect by their fellow actors.

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