SPOILER ALERT: The recap for the "Killer Within" episode of "The Walking Dead" contains major storyline and character spoilers.
Glenn and Maggie had enjoyed a little morning romp in the watchtower, Hershel was proving to be pretty spry on a pair of crutches, and Rick and the rest of the survivors were about to do a little more prep work to make their new prison home more permanent.
So, of course, when packs of walkers appeared suddenly out of nowhere right behind the gang's backs, we knew it was going to get bad.
And when a frustrated Glenn asked, "Can't we just have one good day?" viewers should have, but probably still didn't, guess just how bad it was going to get.
For this, in the fourth episode of "The Walking Dead," Season 3, turned out to be the gang's terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day, with two more members of the original Atlanta survivors bidding farewell to the group.
And the group gets smaller … again
So long, T-Dog (IronE Singleton). You were a goodhearted soul, and you valiantly sacrificed yourself to that band of biters so that Carol could try to escape.
And, in one of the series' most heartbreaking, and totally gross, moments ever, Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) sacrificed herself -- begging Maggie to cut her belly open without anesthesia -- so that her unborn child could live.
Welcome to the world, Baby Grimes. Your dad may not really be your dad, since your mom had an affair with your dad's best friend, whom your big brother later had to shoot; and said big brother just had to shoot his dead mother in the brain so that she wouldn't become a zombie and try to eat the very newborn she had just given her life for.
So, yeah … you're walking into some dysfunction there, kid.
And you're just half of the double meaning of the episode's title, "Killer Within."
Back to the beginning
Glenn and Maggie getting caught with their pants down -- literally, as Glenn answered a shout from Darryl while still buckling up his britches -- would be one of the very few moments of levity in the installment.
Mere minutes later, the zombies came a-callin', and everyone scattered to take on the walkers and lock down the prison as Rick and company tried to understand how the walkers had breached the fences.
Their suspects: prisoners Oscar and Axel, who had wandered out of their little corner of the world and wanted to join Rick's group, when they became too creeped out about living among dead bodies.
Rick told them they could stay in their own wing or leave the prison altogether, but before they could hit the road permanently, the walker attack began, an alarm started blaring, and Rick and his crew set off on a frantic search to shut down the prison's backup generator and thus the zombie-drawing noise.
With the survivors scattered, Lori went into labor as she, Maggie, and Carl tried to evade a group of walkers, and that ended, well, it ended, for Lori.
As for Rick, Darryl, Oscar, and the generator room, Darryl kept approaching zombies at bay while Rick shut down the power, but when Andrew, another prisoner who'd been hiding in the room, attacked Rick, Oscar picked up Rick's gun and shot Andrew.
Andrew was the titular killer within. Cast out by Rick in last week's episode, he had somehow survived the walkers and, as was teased at the beginning of tonight's episode, had opened the gates that allowed this most recent zombie attack to begin.
Post-Andrew, the fellas returned to the prison yard, where Hershel and daughter Beth were fine, but Lori, Maggie, and Carl were still MIA -- until a stunned Maggie came out carrying a crying baby as an equally stunned and traumatized Carl followed.
Rick, immediately understanding what the scene meant, dropped to the ground and began sobbing, along with the millions of fans who'd just witnessed the series' most intense, crushing losses yet.
Questions for next week's episode, "Say the Word":
Was T-Dog's sacrifice for nothing? We still don't know if Carol managed to escape the pack of walkers that was nipping at her heels, though Rick and Darryl found her scarf near T-Dog's ravaged body.
In a showing of just how deep the storytelling went in "Killer Within," the action at the prison was interspersed with a few scenes of life in Woodbury, where Andrea and Michonne prepared to leave. But will "Say the Word" find the Governor and Andrea having their own session of "guarding the watchtower," since he looked as if he was about to go in for a kiss when she left his house, and she appeared to also be warm for his form?
Andrea gave Merle a map that will help him find his way to the farm and a possible reunion with Darryl. Why is the Governor so reluctant to let Merle go? Is it about keeping Merle in the compound, or is it about not wanting the possibility of more authority-challenging residents at Woodbury?
Lori's belly being slashed open so that Maggie could reach in, root around, and yank out the baby, and T-Dog's throat being viciously chomped out by the zombies -- will these remain the most graphic, gruesome deaths we see this season, or should the other actors on the show be worried that producers might want to top those deaths later in the season?
And Carl, poor, poor Carl Grimes. A brief rundown of his young life: He was shot by Otis, his only playmate was turned into a zombie, he had to shoot the man who had been like a second dad to him (to save his real dad), he had to witness his mother and her lady parts laid bare as she prepared to give birth to his sibling, he had to witness her stomach being sliced open with his knife, and then he had to shoot her in the head to make sure she didn't come back to life and snack on him. Either Carl is going to continue on his way to becoming a serious hero, or the little dude's going to go totally psycho and end up locked in a basement staring at floating heads in a wall of fish tanks. And at this point, it could go either way.
- Arts & Entertainment