Written by: John Edward Betancourt
Before we get started, there are spoilers ahead.
It took me a while last night to finally put any words to last night's episode of The Walking Dead. I enjoyed the episode, in fact it brought tears to my eyes with the amazing events that transpired on the screen. So my pause from this particular episode was simply due to the fact that it completely left me stunned. At no point did I ever expect to see the complete and unexpected carnage that went down in such a breakneck fashion despite the fact that we have already lost other characters on the show. But let's face it, there was a sense of doom that permeated last season.
Dale's death was unexpected but somehow necessary, providing the group with a much needed moment to pull themselves together when everyone started pulling in different directions. Shane's death seemed to be building every week, with his dark descent beginning after her murdered Otis and culminating with his attempt to kill Rick.
But last night, last night was truly something else. To see Lori and T-Dog fall in such incredible fashion, it really tore a hole in the show. Yes, Lori was a royal pain the ass and petty, but her last moments with Carl and her penance for all her "sins" certainly made the case that perhaps Lori wasn't as bad as advertised, just that she had fallen in the trap that she asked Carl to not fall into, to not let this world "spoil" him.
T-Dog of course gets to go out like the hero that we never knew. I mentioned earlier how unfortunate it was that he leaves the show after so many missed opportunities to develop his character, so we will leave it at that.
But what struck me most about last night's episode, is the return to its roots. I was one to defend the show in the first half of season 2 when so many said that it was too slow, that there needed to be more kils and so on, and while we have all gotten what we wished for, last night brought us back to basics.
This is a show about our humanity, our need to survive and our need to keep the people that matter in our lives surviving. The last few moments of the episode, when Rick collapsed in tears brought this point around full circle. He never got the chance to say goodbye, he never got the chance to make things right, and since he was clearly waiting for the right time to do it, the finality of it all crushed him.
It was utterly heartbreaking to watch on screen, and an amazing job goes to the producers of the show for pulling this off. This band of survivors are all family now, and each one of them and thematters. All the questions of Rick's humanity leaving are laid to rest now. It was always about keeping his family safe. So here is to hoping that Rick is able to recover from this loss, as since darker days are clearly ahead, and the monster that awaits in Woodbury will only bring more sorrow.