Warning: massive “Walking Dead” spoilers lie ahead!
If nothing else, “The Walking Dead” knows how to rip your guts out. No one knows that better than Lori Grimes, estranged wife of Rick, worried mother of Carl — and the latest casualty of the zombie apocalypse.
The dearly departed Mrs. Grimes exited “The Walking Dead” in brutal fashion on this week’s episode, but not without one final moment of heroism: trapped in a room with zombies outside and her baby on the way, Lori convinced medically-untrained Maggie Greene to perform an emergency Caesarean section that would save her unborn child, but kill her in the process. Moments after her death, Lori’s son Carl — who witnessed the grisly act — put a bullet in his mother’s head to ensure that she wouldn’t join the legions of the undead. The episode closed with a devastated Rick learning the news, leaving the self-imprisoned survivors worse off than ever before.
Readers of the “Walking Dead” comic books have long known about Lori’s eventual fate, even if the exact circumstances and timing surrounding her demise on the show were radically different from the source material. Regardless of the method, Lori’s death was an eventuality that actress Sarah Wayne Callies not only understood, but fully supported going into the series.
“I think dramaturgically Lori’s death provides the story something it can’t do without,” Callies told MTV News about her character’s eventual fate well before the climactic death ever aired. “I love this job, but my job as an actor is to serve the story, and I think at a certain point the best way Lori can serve the story is by leaving it and by destroying the leading man.”
Callies’ thoughts on the need for Lori’s exit are well-documented, as the actress made similar comments in a Hollywood Reporter interview ahead of season three: “I’ve played this character with an eye toward an end.” That end most certainly arrived now, and even if onlookers are shocked by the loss, Callies would be among the first to say that the outcome was inevitable.
“I think it’s one of the things that happens in the comic books that would be very hard to work around,” she concluded about Lori’s demise. “I didn’t take this job thinking it provided me a 15 year tenure on television.”
Do you agree with Callies that Lori’s death was necessary? Will you miss her on the show? Let us know what you think in the comments section below or let me know on Twitter @roundhoward!