Review: Walking Dead: Killer Within

Whooo-ey. Spoilers EVERYWHERE. Both hark and behold.

I said somewhere in my reviews for this season that the writers were punishing me for my bitching about last season, and that holds with a bullet this episode. They pretty mercilessly take down both T-Dog and Lori, the first who has been a walking punchline of tokenism – a fair number of reviewers have been doing a T-Dog line count, which is not pretty –  and the latter a fan un-favorite to the n-th degree. On the one hand, that’s probably nifty, clearing the ground of characters like the rotting walkers that the Rickocrats are working on clearing in the opening scenes, so they can plant the ground for new crops. On the other it’s a bloody chicken out on characters who the writers generally suck at writing, and forget trying to improve on them, take ’em down.

Oh wait, nevermind.

I mean, we have already two other poorly sketched black characters, so buh bye Theodore Douglas. We didn’t know shit about your life previous to the zombie apocalypse, we could rely on you to stand blackly in the background, and maybe utter a line or two that literally anyone else could for the entire show. Sniff. Smell you later.

Which brings me to Lori. Her arc with the pregnancy has been riddled with some gender bullshit, down to whatever magical drug she sent Glenn off to get in whatever episode when she made the baby Jesus cry for even considering abortion in the zombie apocalypse. And Walking Dead isn’t the first or the last show that pulls out the egregious birthin’ babies scenes, but come the fuck on. The average labor takes twelve hours, which doesn’t do when you’re parceling out some ham-fisted dialogue and bloody body horror. OMG!! TEH BIRTHIN’ BABIES.
Okay, whatever, I’m calming down. I wrote on an envelope near my computer the following lines, spoken by The Guv: “The scenery has changed, the landscape, but the way we think…” He doesn’t complete the thought, but my widdle ears perked up at this statement because of some personal wacky theories that are mine and mine alone.

Zombie stories are on some level landscape pictures that run the slow pan over the American landscape and take our pulse or the lack thereof about what we think about soil and race and movement and teh wimmens. Landscape pictures tend to be male holdouts, Alamos of homosocial enclaves – like a prison? Just saying – and it’s not a huge surprise that a show that is setting up a soft-spoken lunatic against an ironically not-so-effective badass – seriously, Rick, make sure the dude is dead when you consign him to death, lest dramatic irony bite you (or T-Dog) in the ass – would spend this domestic death this way. Zombie narratives are hell on domesticity – they tend to make it shallow and worthless – but it really could have been something if Lori could stick around to do something other than die valiantly and womanly in a big freaking gross out. Jesus Christ.

I’m acting like I hated this episode, which isn’t really accurate. Lincoln continues to impress, with his near wordless reactions that cut more deeply than his wife’s loss, though Carl’s flinty-eyed pre-teen of death routine I could do without. I thought most of the scenes with The Guv were unnecessary – Andrea is being a big dumb girl; Michonne can scowl and make lamely leading statements – but other than my usual racial and gender bitches with the writing, the action in the prison was taunt and fun to watch. And I’m going to give the writers mad props for writing in this level of character death on episode freaking four. Let’s just hope it isn’t for nothing. Killing Lori off certainly clears the ground, but we’ll see what they plant in her place.

2 thoughts on “Review: Walking Dead: Killer Within”

  1. Nice post. I almost feel like Lori got off on her predicament, as fucked up as that is. She was all, “YESSS!!! Baby BREACHED!!! I get my dramatic exit!!!” That woman couldn’t wait to deliver the whole “and don’t forget to stab me in the brains when your’e done” martyr line.

    Moaning Rick really unwound me, though. (As did TEH CHILE straight-facedly blowing his mommy’s face off, but that unwound me in a different way, like by making me want to vomit.) When Maggie came out holding the baby with no Lori, his reaction disturbed me. Maybe because he’s mostly emotionless, so his tears meant something to me? I don’t know.

    Oh, and by the way, I’m totally the fuck in love with Lauren Cohan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.