Spoiler Warning: If you haven’t seen this episode and don’t want it spoiled for you, turn away now! We’ll be discussing many of the main plot points and revealing a few shocking twists that may potentially ruin the surprise for many fans. You’ve been warned, so continue on at your own risk!

Killer Within

Season 3 of AMC’s The Walking Dead is packed with a fusillade of heart-wrenching emotional plot twists and zombie-killing action, exposing the true mastery behind the series and the characters that are forced to do anything it takes to survive in this ruined world.

Episode four, “Killer Within”, is perhaps the most shocking episode to date with its gruesome and tear-inspiring emotional drama, pushing Rick and the others far past their breaking point. Two of the main characters are killed off in “Killer Within“, leaving the group shattered and their kin in emotional shambles, fracturing the tight-knit order of their world with one fell swoop.

The episode starts out with an unknown man breaking the lock on one of the fences of the group’s makeshift prison-home, and he also lays out freshly killed game to attract dozens of walkers.

Its clear what this unknown malefactor wants to do: sabotage everything our group and lead them to their deaths at the hands of grisly zombies. After being led into the now unsecure prison yard, the unknown survivor turns on the prison’s sirens–which acts as a literal dinner bell that warbles half across the area, bringing droves of hideous undead to the prison.

Scattered

Rick and the others are scattered as the walkers break into the prison, having to run and find refuge wherever they can. Its surprising to see how much damage one clever man can do, betraying the entire group and putting them in direct danger. The group is scattered into three groups: Hershel and Beth in the first, Carol and T-Dog in the second, and Carl, Maggie, and Lorie in the third. The rest of the survivors–Rick, Daryl, and Glenn–have been separated and make their way back to the prison’s main square, leaving a trail of mangled corpses in their wake.

In the last episode, the survivors come across a band of convicts who had been housed in the prison’s cafeteria. Rick and the others made a deal with the convicts: they stayed in their area, and Rick and his troupe stayed in the other. After trying a coup, most of the convicts were killed, leaving behind two convicted felons who swore to their ex-affiliation with the dangerous miscreants and that they had nothing to do with the planned uprising.

Rick instantly thinks that these two men set off the alarm and sabotaged the gates, however they swear to their innocence and offer to help dispatch of the zombies, turn off the blaring sirens, and find the lost members of their group. One of them actually ends up saving Rick’s life after the unknown saboteur is finally revealed and killed, showing his loyalty and allegiance to the group.

Back at Woodbury

The chaotic moments within this episode are countered with the serene, secure town of Woodbury, focusing on Michonne and Andrea’s daily routine. Andrea also comes in contact with Merle–Daryl’s estranged brother–who actually seems to be quite calm and easy-going now, which is quite different from the cocky psychopath that we saw in season one.

Andrea tells Merle that his brother, Daryl, is still alive and well and tells him of her time at Hershel’s farm and how she came to be left behind when they were overrun by walkers. Merle gets a kick out of that, flirting with Andrea and telling her that they have something in common: they’ve both been left behind by the same people. While he does seem quite capable of villainy and deceit, Merle seems to be genuinely interested in finding his brother.

Andrea also discusses a few things with the Governor–who in last week’s episode exposed his true sadistic and cruel nature–and plans on going with Merle to look for his brother and the rest of the survivors. Michonne is still wary of the Gov and of Woodbury, naturally skeptical of  the living as they can sometimes be just as bad–or worse–than the dead. While Andrea seems to warm up to the Gov, Michonne tells her to keep her guard up, as its kept them alive thus far.

Chaos and Casualties

As all hell breaks loose and chaos runs rampant, the walkers storm through the prison, wreaking total havoc on the living. The three groups flee to their safe zones, but there’s  too many walkers to deal with, and the group suffers a few casualties in the process.

T-Dog is bitten, and sacrifices himself to be eaten alive by walkers to save Carol’s life, who would have been overrun if not for T-Dog giving up his life. T-Dog was bitten beforehand, right after the walkers started overrunning the prison, so he would have turned soon after he died anyway…however it’s still tragic to see him die in that way as he’s been a huge part of the group’s muscle and has been with them through so much.

The most emotional scene, however, is when Lorie, Maggie, and Carl finally find safety and realize that the baby is coming. Now. What terrible timing, huh? That’s The Walking Dead for you: whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. In a horrible twist of fate, Lorie has to give birth in a dirty hidey-hole deep in the confines of the prison, and has no anaesthetic or anyone to help her besides Maggie and her son.

Luckily Maggie had been taught by Hershel–who thankfully thought ahead and impaired his knowledge with everyone in the group, especially Carol…but she’s far away–and she knows a little something on what she’s doing. Things are complicated when Lorie bleeds too much and apparently can’t give birth the normal way…so that leaves the more brutal and life-threatening Cesarian.

Lorie defiantly insists that Maggie bring her baby into the world whatever the cost. She knows that she is going to die, and Carl has to watch his mother’s life slip away to give new life to his sibling. The scene is extremely daunting and emotional, and will bring tears to anyone’s eyes. The actors deliver their performance in such a believable manner, displaying such raw human emotion that it’s hard to look away from the screen.

After it’s done, Carl realizes that they have to finish the job and execute Lorie or else she’ll come back as one of those…things. All the members of the group have made a sacred pact with each other to kill one another before they turn, offering some assurance that they won’t become another marauding ghoul who feeds off the flesh of the living.

Catch the latest episode of The Walking Dead on Sunday 9/8 central on AMC. For more information on the show and previews for episode five, check out AMC’s official website.