Review: ‘The Walking Dead’ episode 3.4, ‘The Killer Within’

Credits: AMCTV.com

Review: ‘The Walking Dead’ episode 3.4, ‘The Killer Within’

On tonight’s “The Walking Dead,” the proverbial brains hit the fan. On a show where things constantly go wrong and the odds are eternally against us, this time things went really, truly, horribly wrong in the most frustrating way possible. Mayhem ensued. The violence was senseless. There were all these… feelings.

We can’t say any more about the most recent chapter in the grimmest show on TV without revealing crucial information, so consider this your official

SPOILER WARNING!

Tonight’s episode came with a body count. And we’re not talking guest stars or Red Shirts here. Tonight people who we cared about kicked the bucket. And. It. Was. So. Freaking. Frustrating.

On the bright side, tonight’s “The Walking Dead” taught us many valuable life lessons. For one thing: never leave anyone for dead without making absolutely sure they are indeed dead. They will not just forgive and forget.

For another: do not trust the writers of “The Walking Dead” with your fragile human emotions. They will laugh at them, rip them from your mutilated carcass, douse them in lighter fluid, and set them on fire. Seriously. Abandon hope all ye who watch “The Walking Dead.”

We have now completed the evolution of Carl from little boy to stone-cold zombie apocalypse superhuman. Because no one’s done growing up until they’ve wasted their own mother after watching her have a cesarian section with a hunting knife and no anesthesia, am I right?

Speaking of which, the stand-out performances in this episode were from the Grimes family. From Sarah Wayne Callies (Lori) tearfully saying goodbye to her son before giving up her life for her baby, to Chandler Riggs (Carl) coming full circle and realizing he will have to be the one to bury his parents, to Andrew Lincoln (Rick) just completely shutting down when he finds out about Lori’s death, this family had a heartbreaking day.

In a night of frustrating moments, possibly the most frustrating was the death of T-Dog. Why? Because it was pointless from a storytelling point of view. After becoming an essentially background character in all of season two, I had assumed the writers were keeping him around so he could have a big show-down with prodigal Merle in season three. After all, they didn’t give him anything else interesting to do on the show.

Serves me right for making assumptions. No, T-Dog wasn’t being kept around for a future conflict with Merle, or for any more interesting plot development than his own heroic, self-sacrificing death. In the end, T-Dog’s prediction to Dale in the season two premiere was correct: he was disposable and alone. Even when his last crucial decision (to give the two surviving prisoners a chance) turned out to be right. And that was truly tragic (we’re looking at you, unforgiven TWD writers).

While all hell is breaking loose at the prison, Michonne is investigating the suspicious behavior in Woodbury and Andrea is making googly eyes at literally all the worst men. Merle and the Governor? Really? I mean what was she thinking? You can smell the psychopathy on them a mile away.

I may be grumpy about having my feelings stomped upon during “Killer Within” but I must admit that this episode is an excellent example of just how freaking good this show has gotten. I thought TWD reached its pinnacle with the season three premiere and that it was in danger of losing momentum. Nope. Tonight TWD showed us that things can always get more drastic, more intense, more violent, more heartbreaking, more awesome.

Read More by Jess d’Arbonne

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