NOTE: This article contains spoilers. If you aren’t caught up, don’t read this!Â One of the Lost writers’ great crimes was to pepper their story full of deus ex machina in the later seasons. Sun discovers that she’s pregnant on a deserted island. We then learn that all newborn children die on the island. This in the first two seasons. Then the writers twist the story, delivering Sun from the island and ensuring that her baby is born in a safe environment.
At the end of the series, Sun’s baby turns out to be the most frustrating dangling plotline of all. The writers, eager to distract from the shattered mess of the actual story, introduced a parallel universe in which every character gets their heart’s desire and there is no time, and it all ends up being about how â€œhey people, we’re all going to die someday.â€
The Walking Dead seems to be there already, only four episodes into its third season. The title, â€œKiller Within,â€ is upsetting to consider in the context of a main character having died in childbirth this week. I prefer to think that it refers to the virus inside all of the survivors, not the newest member of the Grimes family. Everyone is one hundred percent certain to turn after death, and become a threat to those dear to them.
Lori’s life has not been preserved by the gods of this fictional universe. Instead, a confluence of bad eventsâ€”including Rick leaving Andrew for dead when he should have just machete’d him, a vengeful Andrew then setting a trap for Rick, the triggering of the prison’s alarm system, Carol, T-Dog, Lori, Carl, and Maggie being cut off from home base–assures that Lori is in the worst possible situation to go into labor.
Minutes before her death, Lori begs her son to remain good, sweet and honorable. â€œYou can beat this world,â€ she says, and we, like Carl, have trouble believing it. Carl is the one who has to shoot Lori (offscreen), and the trauma of the act shows in his coldness as he walks past Maggie after the deed is done. An intelligent young man, Carl may grow to blame and resent Rick for leading them into the deathtrap of this prison.
Farewell also to T-Dog. I would have liked one scene at least where he got more than two lines out at a time. A character can not talk much but still convey feeling and opinion. T-Dog has always seemed to be the odd man out, the extra guy in the background. Before his death by zombie bite and subsequent self-sacrifice he expresses sympathy for the surviving prison inmates, but that’s as far as it goes. No reasons for him suddenly showing compassion are given.
As Rick’s group gets ripped apart, the allure of Woodbury grows for Andrea. If the remains of Rick’s group make it to Woodbury in the shape they’re in, the Governor will make it a power struggle, one where Rick is in poor condition to fight back. It’s a good bet that they will arrive in even worse shape. The casualty rate is ramping up in this third season, and it’s not even halfway over.
With Lori gone, it seems the show is preparing to alter the dynamic as it did in season 2, with the fusion of Hershel’s camp to the original survivors. Hopefully it will be the Dixon boys moving to center stage. With Andrea informing The Governor (who is all too eager to win Andrea’s trustâ€”by the way, his name is Philip), the two camps are bound for a confrontation, and Rick is not in any kind of mood to put up with Merle. Hopefully these two will cross paths again, and soon.
There aren’t many flashbacks in The Walking Dead, and for the most part they have been effective. Leaping back and forth in time was a gimmick abused so much in Lost that it ultimately broke the suspension of disbelief for many fans (myself included) by becoming a show about time travel. Instead of a deus ex machina a week, we see a world actively working against the survivors in The Walking Dead.
There is some hope, but it’s a very gory kind of hope. Hershel is recuperating, the only known bite survivor so far thanks to Rick, who deserves some credit for saving the man with the most medical expertise. Lori’s baby is not trying to eat Carl or anyone else, so the baby was saved in time. There is no way around the virus, but life can continue.
Just have a squeegee handy.
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