Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Preparedness Review of The Walking Dead Episode 304: The Enemy Within

Spoiler Alert !!!

Lori Grimes (to an absent Rick):  Goodnight, Love.

Synopsis:  Knock-Out Punch Number Two of the season.   Andrew, the prisoner presumed killed in Sick, returns and lets walkers into the prison.   The group is separated, with Carol and T-Dog fighting through the prison's underbelly.  T-Dog is bitten and sacrifices himself so that Carol can escape.   Lori, Maggie and Carl find refuge in a boiler room, where Lori goes into labor.  The baby is dying, so Maggie performs an emergency C-Section, killing Lori but saving the baby.   Carl, remembering his father's words from last season, steps up and puts his own mother down to prevent her from becoming a walker.  Rick, Daryl and Oscar proceed to the generator room to turn off the sirens attracting walkers, and are ambushed by Andrew.  Oscar shoots Andrew, saving Rick and showing where his loyalties lie.   They meet up with Axel and Glen, only to find T-Dog's corpse, Carol's scarf, and no sign that she survived.  Back at the main yard, Beth and Hershel emerge from their protective fence, and Maggie brings the baby and Carl back to the yard.   Rick, realizing what has happened, collapses and sobs uncontrollably.

Meanwhile, at Woodbury, Michonne inspects the National Guard trucks and realizes something is amiss; she doesn't buy the Governor's version of the story.   Andrea gives Merle directions to the farm where she last saw his brother, and the first dissension against the Governor's rule is seen when Merle decides to ask him for permission to look for his brother.   Andrea decides they should stay a few more days, but Michonne is adamant that something is off about the good town of Woodbury.

That may be the longest synopsis I have written for an episode, but it deserves it.  This episode is an emotional and dramatic powerhouse that kills of two series regulars and sets up conflict to come.  Most people call that a season finale.  The Walking Dead calls it episode four.

The episode starts on a high note.  The group is making plans to dispose of all the walker bodies in the prison yard to get ready to plant new crops so that they can grow their own food.    Little do they know that Andrew has taken a dead deer and using it as bait, has led walkers into the prison to overwhelm the group so that he can take it back.

T-Dog sacrifices himself to seal off the threat.
The group is caught by surprise, and Hershel and Beth lock themselves into a fenced in catwalk area.  T-Dog, in an attempt to shut a gate opened by Andrew, gets bitten on the back.  Carol shoots the walker attacking him and the pair run into the prison.   Meanwhile, Rick, Daryl, Glen, Oscar, and Axel try to knock out the alarm sirens which Andrew has set off to draw more walkers.

Lori, Carl and Maggie have taken refuge in the boiler room, where Lori realizes that she is dying and so is the baby.   She urges Maggie to perform a C-section.   Maggie does so, killing Lori but saving the baby.  Sarah Wayne Callies and Lauren Cohen absolutely shine in this scene, as Lori tells her son goodbye and urges him to always do the right thing.  I have really never been impressed with Chandler Riggs' acting until this scene and the following scene where he can't look his dad in the eye.  Wow.

Rick and company find the generator room to shut down the sirens and are confronted by Andrew, who gets the drop on Rick until Oscar shoots him with Rick's gun.  Oscar and Axel have finally proven their good will and are accepted into the group.  

Rick learns his wife's fate.   Carl cannot face him.
T-Dog directly runs into walkers, allowing Carol to escape them.   Rick and his group later find his devoured corpse, and Daryl finds Carol's scarf, surmising that she died as well.   The group returns to the courtyard, where Rick finds out from Maggie that not only has the baby been born, but that Lori has died.

The scenes in Woodbury are actually fairly serene, but set up what is sure to be a conflict to come.   The Governor is a confidence man.  Everyone believes he has their best interests at heart.  Michonne is deeply suspicious, especially after the National Guard officer mysteriously dies and she notes the bullet holes in the sides of the Army trucks.  Andrea is ready to stay.  She is tired of being on the road and living from day to day, and after all, the Governor's doctor did save her life.   This pair has trusted each other for months, and now Andrea, in her desire to believe she is safe in Woodbury, seems willing to sacrifice that sisterhood.


What lengths are we will to go to to be safe?
Perimeter security.
Emergency plan - bugout - communications plan.


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