32. Lori’s Death
Episode 304 “Killer Within”
Original Airdate: 11/4/2012
Submitted By: John Tateossian
This scene is often described as a major turning point on this show. A scene where many people lose someone they love while also gaining another member of the group. A truly sad moment in the shows history and also encompassing one of the most devastating loss for Rick and Carl.
While in the prison an unknown person sets off the alarm causing hundreds of walkers to swarm the prison and the surrounding fences. The group is cut off from each other causing panic and chaos. Others are lost as well protecting their friends until we finally see Carl, Maggie and Lori alone in a boiler room trying to keep away from the approaching walkers.
Lori goes into labor in front of Carl and Maggie, but luckily Maggie knows what to do. However Lori soon realizes Maggie will need to cut the baby out of her if either of them wants to survive. Maggie and Carl, both realize what this means are hesitant, but also both have to come to terms that to save one life another must end. Maggie successfully delivers the baby but it leaves Lori in immense pain and bleeding out. Maggie picks up the gun to put Lori out of her misery and prevent her from turning, but Carl insists he do it since she is his mom. Maggie takes the baby and leaves the room while Carl and his mom share a truly emotional look. First time viewers find it hard to believe what is about to happen and are wishing Hershel will appear and be able to fix this. We cut to Maggie crying and holding the newborn baby when a gunshot rings through the room and the audience gasps. Carl walks out of the room stone faced and changed forever.
The scene gets worse when everyone meets in the courtyard with the threat eliminated. Rick checking to make sure everyone is okay when he hears the cries of an infant. He turns to see Maggie holding his (or not his) baby. However the look on Maggie and Carl’s face is not one of joy, it is of heartbreak. Rick immediately realizes what this means. His wife is dead and his son had to pull the trigger. Rick also breaks down in tears along with Carl and crumbles to the ground in grief and horror.
This scene is pivotal to the character development of Carl and Rick. It also gives us Lil Ass Kicker aka Judith a fresh new innocent life in a world of terror and death. The death of Lori changes Rick and Carl some might say for the better and others for the worst. After the death of his wife, Rick goes on a risky self-mission to kill the remaining walkers in the prison while also slowly losing his mind. This is where we see the birth of “Crazy Rick”. Putting himself in danger in a fit of rage and grievance while also having conversations with dead people and seeing his dead wife around as well. This also changed Carl in a drastic fashion as well. He is no longer an innocent child anymore that needed protection. In his eyes he can protect himself and do what it takes to protect others as well.
The loss of Lori completely changes two of the main characters of our group who are still around today and most likely will be for a very long time. They will remember this moment as not only one where they gained a daughter and sister, but also lost a mother and wife. This can cause conflict within as both feelings collide. Rick becomes unstable after these events and makes decisions more irrationally while also acting on emotion while Carl sees this event as him growing up in his post apocalyptic world. This even truly changes the attitudes and personalities of two of our main characters making it one of the Top 100 scenes of The Walking Dead.