When it comes to The Walking Dead we’ve learned that the producers/writers are willing to put the cast of characters through some hellish situations. The recipe for success seems to be a cast of likeable characters, mixed with a few annoying characters, tossed in with a few evil characters, sprinkled with zombies and lots and lots of blood. This last week’s episode of The Walking Dead, “A Killer Within,” had one of its mot awkward and gut wrenching scenes thus far.
Here’s your spoiler alert for those of you who haven’t had a chance to watch last week’s episode. If you don’t want to know what happened, you better not read any further.
Here’s the big spoiler. Lori dies. FINALLY. At least that’s what I was thinking as soon as I realized the writers were setting up the scene so they could kill her off the show.
As many of you know, Lori was pregnant and living in a zombie-filled world. The group was living in a prison facility waiting for Lori to go into labor. They planned to stay in the prison where the group’s veterinarian could deliver Lori’s baby. A zombie bite and an axe to the leg changed that plan, however. Instead, another member of the group, a nurse, began practicing C-sections on zombies in case she had to assist Lori during labor. (Lori had a C-section when she gave birth to her first and only child, Carl.)
Anyway, as things usually go in The Walking Dead, none of the plans and preparations came to fruition. The group became separated when walkers somehow made it into the prison grounds, leaving the members of the group to scramble in many different directions. Lori, Carl, and Maggie got separated from everyone else and began frantically running down the halls of the prison. They found a “safe” place to wait so that Rick could clear the prison grounds from the wandering walkers, and then Lori went into labor and discovered that she would have to have a C-section.
Lori convinced Maggie to perform a C-section. She was adamant that the baby had to survive even if it meant she had to die. Maggie reluctantly took Carl’s knife and cut Lori’s stomach open and, with Carl’s assistance, delivered the baby.
In the process Lori died. Carl told Maggie that they couldn’t leave Lori there or she would turn into a walker. Carl turned to Lori’s body to say goodbye. He had a flashback of his father telling him that the time for childish things was over and that everyone was going to die. Then Carl hugged his mother and shot her in the head to make sure that she didn’t turn into a walker.
As I thought back about what I had just witnessed, I began to wonder if The Walking Dead had gone too far. After all, it’s a scene that portrays the birth of a child, a time when many parents experience the most joyful feelings of their entire lives.
The more I think about it, the more I think the delivery scene itself was necessary to the show. In Season 2, Lori tried to convince Rick to let Carl die after he had been shot. She claimed that life just wasn’t worth living anymore. Rick convinced Lori, however, to let Carl live so he could experience the joys of life. In his mind, even the small moments of seeing a live deer wander through the woods, or the joys of being with family, surpassed the fears and tribulations that came with living in their current zombie-ridden world.
By the time Lori went into labor, her world had completely fallen apart. Her zombie-free world was gone. Shane was dead and she and Rick had essentially separated. She seemed like a sad woman who was destined to be alone in a cold, lonely world. Yet, in the end, she was willing to give up her own life so that her baby could survive.
I think many of us can learn a lesson from the scene. Even though life can be difficult at times, if we look, we can find little joyous moments that can make our lives worth living. It also displays that a mother’s instinct to protect her children is stronger than anything. Often we hear about abortion in cases where the mother’s life is in danger. We don’t hear all that often that a mother abandons her own life when the life of the baby is in danger. This scene is a good reminder that those instances do take place.
The scene where Carl has to shoot his mother in order to prevent her from becoming a walker has meaning too. Loved ones die. Blessings pass. The good times fade. As life gravitates towards real world problems and trials, there comes a time where we have to say goodbye to the past and face the future.
At least I’ve convinced myself that those were the lessons the writers of The Walking Dead were trying to teach us. Who knows, maybe they just wanted us to see a bunch of blood and a horribly awkward scene unfold.
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