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TWD: Lori Grimes Is Dead, And It’s Stupid To Think Otherwise [Op-Ed]

Lori has to be dead

COMMENTARY | A lot of Walking Dead fans just cannot cope with the death of Lori Grimes.

Occurring so soon in the fourth episode of season 3, the aptly-titled “Killer Within,” Lori’s death was considered a shocking interruption to an otherwise engaging emotional storyline. Critics praised the bold move, but many on the internet have come up with “persuasive” theories suggesting that Lori could still be alive. If you are one of those who thinks that this could be the case, I urge you to stop and accept that Lori is dead.

Furthermore, if the show proves me wrong and Lori did in fact survive, you should realize what a bad thing that would be for the show. I will defend this statement to my dying day: There is no way that The Walking Dead‘s writers can pull off Lori’s magical survival without completely jumping the shark.

I argued in a previous post that The Walking Dead is declining in quality, and that the writers are beginning to use character deaths for cheap shock value and reaction at the expense of meaning and “deep, human emotion” that the show was previously known for.

I’ll argue the opposite in this post, mainly because while I disagree with the way the show’s writers kill off their characters, I believe that what is dead must stay dead, and “cleverly” killing off Lori only to reveal that she somehow pulled through not only cheats and manipulates our emotions, it suggests to us that the creative minds of The Walking Dead regard their audience as deeply stupid.

I hope to God that this is not the case.

Backing up: Various polls, forums, and blogs suggest that Lori Grimes may have survived her medieval C-section and coup de gras head-shot provided by son, Carl. Presenting various “facts” regarding the handling of Lori’s death, many have crafted decent cases for her survival. FACT: Lori’s death occurred off-screen. FACT: Rick didn’t discover her body nor her bones in episode five. FACT: Rick found a bullet, but where was the blood? FACT: There’s no way all that Lori could fit into that zombie’s tummy. FACT: Three graves were dug, and only one body is actually buried.

The theory: Carol, who was saved by T-Dog from hungry zombies at the expense of his own life somehow discovered Lori, passed out, after Carl failed to kill her. See, he couldn’t take shooting his mom, so he either spared her, or didn’t really look when he pulled the trigger and missed her all together. Carol, having trained herself to perform a C-Section on a gross dead zombie body, absconded with Lori to the infirmary, patched her up, and nursed her back to life.

There’s just one problem. This theory fails to take a step back and realize how asinine Lori’s survival would be.

Please hear me, internet. Lori’s “miraculous survival” would be a cheap shot. Cheaper than killing her off in the first place.

Not only does it make irrelevant the emotional detour of the season as various characters learn to cope with her passing, it just amounts to lazy storytelling based on cheap thrills meant to somehow increase ratings that were already stellar before The Walking Dead started treating their characters like one-dimensional plot contrivances, killed moments after they finally start to take shape and the writers allow us to get to know them (T-Dog, anyone?).

It would be a classic case of jumping the shark. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, jumping the shark refers to the exact moment in a TV show when our suspension of disbelief disappears completely. We stop believing in the show, and we stop caring because the plot has just become too damn untenable and unrealistic, and for those of you pulling for Lori’s survival?

You shouldn’t wish something like that on the best-rated cable TV show in history. Furthermore, you shouldn’t wish that on The WalkingDead so soon. Let it get to season seven first, like a normal show that jumps the shark. Such a thing arguably needs to happen, but it should be delayed as much as possible.

Furthermore, Sarah Wayne Callies has been doing the traditional “Welp, I’m dead” press round-ups since her ignoble departure. She has been arguing that Lori had to die in order for us to get Rick into an interesting emotional place. Now, we can debate that, but these press appearances seem to make it pretty clear that Lori has taken her final bow.

If not, and this has all been staged by The Walking Dead production team, then there’s no other way around it: They think we’re incredibly stupid. I’m urging you not to play into their hands if they ultimately do pull the rug out from under us.

Furthermore? I think Rick wants Lori dead. I sincerely do. You saw how he went to town, sticking that stuffed zombie like a pigright in the stomach where he thinks his wife’s remains are. Rick and Lori have been on the rocks throughout the entire series. It was the very first thing talked about way back in the pilot episode during that fantastic conversation between Rick and Shane, and it set the tone for their relationship.

There was a lot of anger there, and if the writer’s are smart, they play to those emotions within Rick. Not only is he sad about Lori’s death (of course, he loved her) but because of their volatile relationship, he should also interestingly feel relieved. Then, he should compound that relief …

… with guilt.

Now that’s character development.

Last round-up of opinions: I do think that Carol is alive. Not only because Melissa McBride was absent from the post-death press round-up populated by Callies and IronE Singleton (T-Dog), but because stalling her return only to reveal that she was turned into a zombie somehow (like her daughter, Sophia) wouldn’t be a clever full-circle kind of thing, it would be incredibly redundant. And if Daryl started looking for her a la Sophia and found her alive, it would provide a very emotionally rich and redemptive moment for the show.

Zombie-Carol would only prove what I’m beginning to suspect. The Walking Dead is not as good as we think it is.

But I do hope I’m wrong.

Sound off! I invite criticism, discussion, everything you’ve got. Do you think that Lori survived The Walking Dead?

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14 Responses to “TWD: Lori Grimes Is Dead, And It’s Stupid To Think Otherwise [Op-Ed]”

  1. Michael LaGrange

    Lori had to die at some point I believe. I mean maybe not so early in the season but if it were to be this season atleast later on. I don't read the comics but from what I'm told Lori was on track to do this season anyways. I know tv shows always derive from comics/books/video games and what not but still she had to die at some point. So no I don't think it was a cheap pop for ratings at all. Yes Lori is dead and I agree with you. My only issue is showing Carol practicing the C section is now completely meaningless and usless.

  2. Eric Bulmer

    Killing off main characters for shock value? No. If Kirkman has made one thing very clear in the books, it is that no character (save Rick himself, whose journey this is) is "safe", which is something that really sets his work apart from other comics. While departures from the written storyline are necessary and have added immeasurably to the show, deaths such as Lori's keep the show true to the spirit of the comic in that anyone, at any time, may perish. If you don't read the comic, you'd better prepare yourself for many more "cheap shocks".

  3. Marisa Wilson

    why would they waste all that air time with carol learning and preparing for this birh if none of the skills were to be used? that would be called misleading the viewers and a waste of our time.. It has to come into play at some point or they wasted money and our time, I don't think these professionals would do that. I intend on seeing carols skills come into play somewhere.. at sometime..otherwise the show went into a direction and hit a wall with no purpose..if not lori. it will be maggie she uses her skills on. otherwise it was pointless to watch those episodes based on that subject.

  4. Rob Moya

    exactly like you said. this article is crap. The writer has even gone on record to say no one is safe and has even alluded to the fact that Rick himself is not safe and will "eventually" have to reach his fate. TWD is not your typical crap show. Viewers that are hoping for the predictable, lazy show or ending that they see with others are in for a ride. This is great TV, just sad that no one realizes it.

  5. Mark Munroe

    I thought I had it figured out that carol was going to save Lori, but after seeing that Daryl found carol alone that blow that theroy out of the water, but… that just spawns a new one.. When the power was turned on in the prison all the cell blocks and doors opened… I'm figuring that there were more people in that prison (possibly an incarcerated doctor) and Lori's return will be the season finally…

  6. Barry David Davis

    What eric bulmer said pretty much sums up where the show will be heading. No reason to think otherwise, since it's been quite loyal in its interpretation of the comic. Rick's group will keep changing, and this in turn makes the story much more realistic, appealing and intense to watch. No one is zombie proof. except prob chuck norris.

  7. Ednardo Capati

    I'm sorry but I have to disagree regarding Lori being dead. I didn't read read the books and this is solely my opinion. In my observation, I found it kind of illogical or quite unnecessary to hide Lori's execution/death from the viewers. If it's purpose was to stir up controversy, it would have been similarly controversial having to see her get shot by her own son, confirming her death. It would have greatly propelled Carl's character maturity. Shane's death was one of the greatest shockers, and we all witnessed it. But still it drew the show more attention.
    Another point of observation is that, those who were not literally shown to have died, actually didn't. Except for Sophia of course, but we still saw her 1 last time, walking, dead! But take monroe for example. When Daryl fell off, there was this scene he was imagining his brother talking to him as if he was alive. And alas! Come season 3, he is! I have yet to say anything about Morgan and his kid. But I have a feeling Ill see them again. Now going back to Lori. We didn't actually see her die. And I dont recall any instance in the series seeing a walker drag its prey to a different location to feast on it there. Its clear to me that a walker eats flesh at the very spot it gains access to it.
    The telephone conversations. – This for me, was one of the major indications that Lori is still alive. The phone calls point out the possibility of other survivors still within the prison who might have found Lori and attended to her immediate surgical and medical needs. The idea of other survivors within is quite logical seeing how Rick's group had greatly reduce it's number. Minus Daryl, even. They have to have reinforcements, the governor is coming for them and he's out for blood! If the phone calls were just in Rick's head, there was no need for him to have supposedly spoken to other people before Lori. It should have been Lori on the first call. I forgive you for calling me stupid because I think otherwise. Im just keeping an open mind. But I do agree with you on rge idea that this is somewhat making the show a so so. They have to make a pretty darn good and convincing twist for me to accept that Lori's survival still falls under the realm of "realistic". Otherwise, my admiration for rye creators will greatly drop.
    Lastly, and although I believe that Lori is still alive, I just dont quite buy the idea that Carl didnt have the heart to look at shooting her mom un the head. After realizing he was greatly responsible for Dale's death, his character evolved so amazingly that for me, among all the characters, he was the one firmest on holding his own during crunch time. So firm he even seem like cold blooded at times. And having Lori alive will just destroy all that, showing to us that he's not that "weapon" just yet. That he's still a kid after all.

  8. Benjo Negranza

    nice take bro…mas masakit pagkamatay ni lori sa comics, ok na rin na naging ganyan ang exit niya sa tv series…regarding sa imaginary phonecalls ni rick, it only goes on to show that he snapped, coping system niya yung kunwari tumatawag si lori sa phone…

  9. Anonymous

    You REALLY need to read the books Ednerdo!! In the book, Lori is killed by the Governor and is still pregnant. She was shot through the belly running with Rick and Carl to escape the over run prison. She very well could be alive but they are gonna officially kill her at the end of the new season (probably when the Governor attacks the prison). Also, the person that Rick is talking to on the phone is Lori the whole time! He is imagining that it's her and in the book he actually takes the phone with him and occasionally talks to her to make himself feel better. The writers changed it up a little for the show! Daryl and Meryl are not even in the books and Dale lives past the prison escape. Anyway, Lori and the baby do not make it through the prison escape and I feel THAT is how the new season will end because the baby would not fit in to the rest of the story after the prison unless they are not really gonna follow the books at all but that would be a shame. I do hope they come up with an awesome way to bring Lori back until "the escape". Keep it closer to the books!!! There is other stuff you don't see (in the series) like the fact that one of the 4 convicts lies about what he's in for (serial killer) and says it's fraud so they have to deal with him. READ THE BOOKS!!!

  10. Cedric Putzolu

    This is all interesting to read all different point of view. But there is definitely something blurry with Lori's death. My first reaction was to say " noooo!!! She is not dead"
    The all scene was very confusing, and the apparently "stuffed" zombie seated down next to Lorie's blood stain was like they are trying to hide something.
    Carol, practicing and the new characters just coming in and out of the prison could have just bumped into her when rick almost lost it and killed them all off and hid her elsewhere.

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