The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 4 – ‘Killer Within’ Review and Analysis

It is rare that a television show can continue to keep viewers shocked and surprised week in and week out. The Walking Dead was able to do that once again in easily the best episode in the show’s history.


Sunday night’s episode kicked off with a scene of one of the prisoners opening a gate in the prison. The face of the prisoner was not shown, but it was easy to figure out that it was neither Oscar or Axel.

They are seen at the beginning of the episode asking to become part of the main group but are quickly told by Rick that they will never be allowed to join. The only one who shows any sympathy is T-Dog, who believes that these men have shown that they can be a productive part of the group.

The chaos ensues when walkers begin walking in through the open gate. Hershel, who is now walking with the assistance of crutches, is caught up in the chaos the first time he leaves his cell.

While this is going on, Michonne and Andrea still remain in Woodbury. Michonne is investigating the military trucks obtained by The Governor, and is easily able to tell that they were not taken peacefully. She notes the bullet holes on the truck, and The Governor knows that she must be looked after.

Michonne wants to leave Woodbury with Andrea, but Andrea seems to have a soft spot for The Governor. She gets further confirmation of her belief when she asks Merle about The Governor. He tells her that he is a great man, as he took Merle with him when he was near death.

Merle is simply trying to find his brother, which is the main reason he talks to Andrea. He would like to go out and look for Daryl, and The Governor even agrees to help with the search if Merle can get more evidence that Daryl is indeed alive.

The Governor is able to manipulate Andrea by offering her a drink and finally revealing his name to her, which is Phillip. She sees the good in him and tells Michonne that they should stay. Michonne can sense that the town is not a safe place.

Back at the prison, the yard is filled with walkers. The group splinters off into small groups as they attempt to survive. Rick is with Glenn and Daryl, as they were far away from the group when the walkers invaded.

Hershel and Beth are safe inside a locked gate, while Maggie, Carl, and Lori run inside the prison. Carl is able to get the three to safety inside the prison by hiding in a back room. The two left in the yard are Carol and T-Dog, and they are in the most danger. T-Dog is bitten in the shoulder while trying to fight, and Carol follows him into the prison.

Right after this main surge of walkers, the alarm system in the prison yard goes off over the speakers. This only leads more walkers to the yard, and Rick is told by the two remaining prisoners that they have to shut off the generator.

Rick takes Oscar and Axel with him to shut off the generator, and it is clear at this point that they had nothing to do with the situation. They would not openly help Rick if they were the ones to set off the alarm. It would also put them in danger as the walkers are attracted to the noise, so an outside person must have been responsible.

At this time Lori is beginning to go into labor. Maggie is trying to calm her, but it is clear that the baby is on the way. Maggie lies down Lori and begins to help Lori, when blood comes out of Lori. The only solution for the issue is a C-section, which is a certain death wish for Lori.

The chaos is continuing, which is a great shift from last season’s continual lack of action. T-Dog knows that he will not make it even though Carol is following him telling him that she can help him. This does not last long as the two are confronted by a group of walkers. In the first, and final, memorable moment of his character’s existence, T-Dog sacrifices himself to help Carol escape. It is unclear if she actually makes it, as she is nowhere to be seen at the end of the episode.

T-Dog’s death was certainly a surprising happening. He has barely spoken during his tenure on the show but was very vocal last night. He spoke out to Rick about not letting the prisoners into the group. This drew flashbacks to last season when Dale was against killing Randall.

Dale spoke out about not letting the group lose its humanity, which is essentially the same thing that T-Dog was talking about. He did not want to let the two men be left for dead, when they were perfectly willing and able to join the group.

The similarities carry on as T-Dog was killed. Dale was killed in the episode where he defended Randall’s life. It makes sense to give the character a full identity before being killed, but that does not make it any less shocking.

Rick and his group finally reach the room where the generator is housed and has Oscar help him shut it off. At that instant Andrew, the prisoner who was left for dead by Rick, reappears and attacks Rick. They are fighting when a gun ends up in Oscar’s hands. Andrew is pleading for him to shoot Rick so they can take back the prison, but Oscar shoots and kills Andrew. It was a moment that shows Oscar’s true self, as a man who is truly good. It is tough to say the same for Axel as he comes off more cowardly than heroic.

The most shocking part of the episode, and the season, occurs at the end.

Lori is on the verge of dying and losing her baby if a C-section is not performed. It is clear that the action itself will kill her, but she wants her child to live. Maggie reluctantly cuts Lori open after she gives some final words to Carl. It was a very emotional moment to watch a son lose his mother, especially in the fashion in which it was done.

Lori immediately passes out and presumably dies when Maggie cuts her open. Maggie takes the baby and tells Carl that he must shoot Lori to avoid her becoming a walker. He says that he cannot do so, and Maggie leaves the room. A gunshot is then heard and Carl walks out with as stoic a face as he could have.

It has been discussed that it is possible that Carl did not shoot Lori, as it was not done on camera. While I do not find this to be true, it is certainly possible. Carl could have shot a walker or simply fired the gun to give the impression that he had shot her. Either way, she is dead, in the sense that she is at the least a walker, so her character is officially gone.

It was a creative and emotional way to kill off Lori. She has been a pain to Rick for the entire tenure of the show, but he still loved her. She finally does something in a heroic fashion, but unfortunately it leads to her death.

The episode concludes with Rick finding out that Lori did not make it. He breaks down in front of everyone as the episode ends.

Rick’s character will surely be more intense as the show continues. He may risk his life more often because he knows that Carl is old enough to get by in the world. It may even be better to die, which is a view Rick may attain. The only question now is who will take care of the baby, which seems like Maggie at the moment.

With this episode being as great as it was, the next one should surely be just as good as the deaths are dealt with, and the story in Woodbury continues on.

About Steve Kubitza

Being a native of the Cleveland, Steve Kubitza has endured many years of sports torture. He is a die-hard fan of his hometown teams, and also is a fan of professional sports in general. His articles will cover many different stories regarding the latest news, along with his opinions, in the world of sports. He also gets into the world of professional wrestling, offering his views on the current landscape of the WWE. Follow him on Twitter (@KubitzaMSF) to hear his opinions on everything from Cleveland sports to the WWE.


  1. Paul Harris says:

    Slightly disagree with your take on Carl shooting Lori. I reckon Maggie is fumbling for her gun and when Carl says, “No, she’s my Mom.” he’s saying it in a way that as it’s his mother, HE should take the responsibility.

    • Steve Kubitza says:

      I never thought of it that way but I do see how that makes sense. I think it shows how quickly he is maturing. Now do you think that he did in fact shoot her, even though it was off camera?

      • Paul Harris says:

        I’m thinking that he probably did, otherwise he might have said otherwise when he came out an Rick broke down.
        As a plot mechanism, if he did not shoot her, it does leave the chance that Lori can survive and been seen again, like Andrew(?), unlikely IMO, or as a walker. Personally, I think he shot her though and agree with J.

  2. Yeah I think so. The usual case with the show is that less is more. It would not have any on-screen benefit emotionally or plotwise to show the shooting. The emotional consequences are shown at the end with Ricks reaction.

  3. I agree with Paul Harris, Carl wanted to perform this last act of love and care for his mother (by shooting her to stop her turning into one of ‘them’- the Walkers), further showing the accelerated maturation of the boy in a hostile world. There is no doubt in my mind that Carl has carried this out (see later when Rick finds out about the death of Lori).

    “T-Dog sacrifices himself to help Carol escape. It is unclear if she actually makes it, as she is nowhere to be seen at the end of the episode.”
    We do see Carol after T-Dog sacrifices himself to save her. She was found dead in the prison by Rick, Glenn and Daryl and had been badly eaten. It is difficult to tell it was her but Daryl picked up the headscarf she had been wearing and their reaction indicated that it was her, and that she was dead.

    Another important thing that wasn’t brought up in this review is that Merle also is aware of something sinister in the Governor’s settlement, and obviously wants to escape but has had to bide his time.

    “Sunday night’s episode kicked off with a scene of one of the prisoners opening a gate in the prison. The face of the prisoner was not shown, but it was easy to figure out that it was neither Oscar or Axel.”

    Thanks for this, I hadn’t noticed. Going back to watch again to pick up on any other subtleties I missed!

    • Just rewatched the episode and the body (only 1 body) is definitely not carols. Unless she suddenly put on 100 pounds, wore baggy clothes and became black. They just found her headscarf (near the door and nowhere near the body)

      • You beat me to it, I was just about to write the same that the body clearly is not carols, and is definitely T-Dogg, Daryl found the head scarf and seemed to decide that this indicated Carol is dead so they head off to regroup with the other survivors, but her fate is not confirmed.

  4. Paul Harris says:

    “Another important thing that wasn’t brought up in this review is that Merle also is aware of something sinister in the Governor’s settlement, and obviously wants to escape but has had to bide his time.”

    Merle is there when the National Guard guys are attacked and he also knows about the geeky guy experimenting on the walkers (sorry, I didn’t get his name).
    Whether he knows about Philip’s collection, I don’t know, but I reckon he has enough street smarts to realise he’d be silly to defy the Governor.

    I’m interested to see what must be (not read the comics yet), the inevitable Daryl,Merle and Rick confrontation.

  5. Justin Davis says:

    Daryl and Merle are not characters in the comics. They are characters made just for the TV show.

  6. Carol isn’t shown to be dead – that body was T-Dog. She escapes through the door.

    I did watch the episode again though and she goes through and out of the door with her head scarf still completely on. She doesn’t lose it when T-Dog gets eaten. So either its a minor plot hole where they just wanted something to hint at Carols presence to the rest of the characters or she comes back at some point. Either way – there is no evidence to suggest she’s dead. Daryl just assumed she was because he found her headscarf next to T-Dog

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