The Walking Dead Recap: An Hour To Die For

The Walking Dead Season 3 Lori's DeathYou know how I always warn you West Coasters not to look at this Walking Dead recap until after you’ve seen this week’s episode? This time, I really mean it. No, seriously, West Coasters. Do. Not. Read. This. The rest of you, of course, can. Once you’ve composed yourselves, that is…

When you tune in to The Walking Dead, you expect blood and guts. But this week’s episode — “Killer Within” — delivers an additional (and quite possibly scarier) bodily fluid: tears. Once your eyes are dry enough to focus, read on:

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THE NO G8 CAMPAIGN | At the top of the hour, someone — we don’t see who, though it’s presumably the same someone who was spying on Carol two weeks ago — drags a deer carcass onto the prison grounds so as to draw away the walkers long enough for him to cut the chain on the gate. This, we know full well, is not good. But it isn’t until later that we learn just how very, very not good it is.

LIFE OR SOMETHING LIKE IT | After that bit of dreadful foreshadowing, we pick up with our gang, who are still busy making the penitentiary habitable. Well, except for Glenn and Maggie. They’re up in the guard tower getting busy in a — nudge, nudge, wink, wink — altogether different way. Hershel — looking more like Santa Claus every week — proves to be a natural at walking with crutches. The only dark cloud that anyone can see on the horizon is Axel and Oscar, the inmates that Rick banished to their own cellblock. They still want to join the group — more so than ever. But Rick still won’t let them. Only T-Dog — getting lines at last! — is willing to give them a chance. Wait, T-Dog’s getting lines?! This can’t end well for him.

OUR TOWN | Meanwhile, in Woodbury, Michonne — without ever raising her voice — gets in the Governor’s face about the (yeah, right) zombie slaughter of those ill-fated soldiers. Noting the bullet holes in their vehicles, she wonders aloud when walkers learned how to shoot. For her part, Andrea still seems more interested in getting in the Governor’s pants. (And the feeling appears to be mutual.) Needless to say, she’s reluctant to stick to her and Michonne’s plan to leave town and head for the coast.

O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? | After Andrea gives Merle a map and directions to Hershel’s farm — and after he stops staring at her chest — he tells the Governor that he wants to go after Daryl. “Not a snowball’s chance in hell,” the Governor says by using words like, “Mm, maybe if you get some more concrete information.” So much for Merle’s idol!

AND NOW THE SCREAMING STARTS! | At the prison, all hell breaks loose when an alarm sounds — basically, a dinner bell for every walker within earshot! Plus, the place is suddenly overrun! (See also: that cut chain on the fence.) Since Oscar knows a little bit about the control room, Rick allows him to accompany him and Daryl to switch off the siren. There, they discover that the troublemaker is none other than Andrew — the inmate that Rick left to die outside! Rather than shoot Rick and take back the prison, Oscar shoots Andrew. But the chaos he’s unleashed hasn’t even begun to take its toll!

ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN | Separated from the group with Carol, T-Dog is bitten. Rather than call it a day, however, he insists on leading her to safety. It’s “God’s plan” for him, he says. And he believes it so much that — pass the tissues! — when they’re cornered by two walkers, he heroically tackles them, allowing himself to be eaten alive so that Carol can escape! (Mind you, our gang — upon finding Carol’s scarf with T-Dog’s remains — assumes that she’s also a goner.)

DEATH BECOMES HER | Holed up in the boiler room with Maggie and Carl, Lori goes into labor. Unfortunately — as we knew was a likelihood — she needs a C-section… which she is well aware will kill her. Maggie doesn’t want to perform the operation, of course, but Lori’s mind is made up. So, in what has to be the most harrowing scene this series has given us yet — Tissues! Dammit, we need more tissues! — she tries to say goodbye to her son. “It’s so easy to do the wrong thing in this world,” she tells him. (“And I’m sorry for all the wrong things I’ve done,” says the regret etched across her face.) The surgery itself is a gory affair, but when it’s over, Carl has a new sibling. And — oh, right — it’s not over. Because, to keep Lori from turning, Carl has to shoot her in the head. When Rick realizes what has happened, he collapses in a heap. And, frankly, that’s what I wanted to do, too. What. An. Episode.

Okay, your turn. How shocked were you that T-Dog died? And, for heaven’s sake, Lori?! Once your sobbing abates, hit the comments.