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Season 3 exploded last week with the 4th episode of the season, “Killer Within,” in which a heart wrenching bunch of losses occurred that had tears on all of our pillows. We are now bereft of Lori as well as T-Dog, and the passion and grace that the two of them brought to the series.
After spending last week in mourning, we all brushed ourselves off to watch episode 305 of The Walking Dead, "Say the Word," on Sunday. It contained several references to the comic books and most of them were very dark. The episode confirmed a big change that we were all expecting for the series, specifically because of Lori’s death. It is safe to say that the old version of The Walking Dead we saw in the first two seasons has died along with her and T-Dog. And it does not look like it will be back as a walker.
First off, let’s go to Woodbury.
So The Governor has a zombie daughter.
We meet Penny for the first time, who was already familiar to many of the comic readers. The Governor has been keeping some creepy zombie paraphernalia in his abode, but a walker daughter is something that was unexpected. Watching him gently brush his daughter’s hair added some humanity to the Governor, but the sketchy things we have been seeing from him outweigh that touch of humanity. Especially the creepy looks he’s been giving our Andrea. (Andrea! We want to love you, but you are making it very hard!)
Andrea and Michonne break up!
After showing a crazy display of girl-power slicing ten walkers in one shot, (Let’s be real, that scene helped us get over Lori being gone), Michonne has left Woodbury. She is sans Andrea, who understandably trusts Woodbury as a safe-haven and decides to stay. This seems to be a smart decision on Michonne’s part from what we have seen of the Governor, but it is assumed that one of his men will not be far behind her.
The Walker Games.
This was also a much talked about scene from the readers of the comics. The Walker Games are our first glimpse into what the people of Woodbury do for entertainment. Apparently they hold a walker/human-wrestling match starring Merle. The zombies are tied up of course, and have their teeth taken out, so nobody worry! Except Andrea. (We may have forgotten this, but she was a civil rights attorney pre-apocalypse, and a successful one at that!) To her, the games are “sick and barbaric,” but the Governor will probably brainwash her into thinking otherwise. If our prison clan doesn’t meet up with Woodbury soon, the now solo and much too flirty Andrea could be in some real danger. Andrea, let us love you again!
Back at the the prison, poor Rick has lost his mind. He is in a constant state of dizziness and has yet to acknowledge his two children after their mother's death. One of the darkest scenes shows Rick hacking away at a bloated walker next to only a bloodstain where Lori used to lie. Some fans have responded to this hoping that maybe Carol took Lori to safety or that Carl had not really shot her and that she had turned. Unfortunately some of the writers have favored the idea that the walker actually consumed Lori’s body. This is some dark, hellish writing. Rick finds the bullet that Carl shot and continues to mourn in his disturbed way. Hopefully he finds a way to live soon because the group will need to work together again if the Woodbury clan ever shows up.
Throughout all the darkness that we have seen on The Walking Dead, it is those moments of peace that we most cherish. It is the last quick smile that Rick had with Lori when Hershel started walking again, or the lighthearted moment around the fire back at camp in season 1 as Dale shared his inspiration, moments before Amy was killed. It was the moment Carl had with the deer just before Otis accidentally was shot through. Just when we are so down trodden and think that hope is gone for good on the show, there is a scene where Glenn, Maggie, Daryl, Hershel, Beth, Oscar, and moustache prisoner (Fine, Axel) gather around the new baby. Daryl cradles her in his arms, and girls all over the country were swooning. The group is all smiles as they think of possible names. Carl, as strong as he is now, suggests names of the powerful women who have gone. He mentions Jackie, Sophia, Andrea, and even Lori. This kid is amazing. The group finally settles on “Little Ass-Kicker” brought to us by Daryl. It is one of those amazing and heartwarming moments that happen less often now because of the new given circumstances of the show. It also affirms that this baby is going to be a center point of hope that could rally the group back together and get them through these two deaths.
The biggest question of the night was, who is on the other line of the ringing phone? After Rick’s walker-bashing tantrum, an oddly placed phone in the heart of the prison begins to ring. “Lori speaking how may I help you?” some fans wished. Kidding aside, could this be all in Rick’s imagination? Is it Carol from another room? Dale with some inspirational words? Shane? Michonne? Morgan? Rick’s mother with some much needed advice or support? It may even be Lori calling from heaven. Comic fans seem to know the answer, but spoilers have kept quiet and who knows what turn the writers will take.
The show has taken a turn for the darker, with zombie cage matches, walker daughters, and Rick gone off the edge. Fortunately, even with Lori gone, we can still feel her presence and how her death continues to affect us. These dark scenes were fan favorites from the comics, so those fans should expect to see more of them come into play. We will find out who is on the other line this Sunday on AMC with episode 306, "Hounded." Also, is Carol’s death being downplayed, or will she show up alive and well? I know everybody is aching for “Caryl” and “Darol” to have a reunion after he put that Cherokee Rose on her makeshift grave. (He has to be in love with her, right?)