All kinds of spoilers below. But here's some hathos for everyone:
A reader writes:
While I respect your response to the death of Lori on "The Walking Dead," I had a completely different take.
Lori's decision to die so that her daughter could live can certainly be viewed as selfless, but you omit the fact that her young son Carl was there with her, and that he had to watch his mother suffer through the agonizing death of a Caesarian section performed by an amateur without any sort of anesthesia. Carl later has to shoot his mother in the head to prevent her from rising again as a zombie.
How does her sacrifice – particularly given the slim survival odds of a baby born of trauma, post-zombie apocalypse – do anything for Carl? How does her decision better the chances that either of her children will survive? If there was any chance that she could have lived through the labor, surely she owed that chance to the child she already had.
As a society, we already give a creepy sort of reverence to mothers who sacrifice their own well-being for the sake of their children. Let's not lionize a woman who chose to die while zombies were literally knocking at the door and made her child suffer with her.
This season I noticed that the killing of zombies is more rote, less morally complicated. The reality finally sunk in that to remain human, they had to recognize that there was no humanity left in the dead. To me, the best example of a man losing his own humanity is the Governor. We know he suffered a terrible loss (as they all did), but he snapped – retaining only the thinnest veneer of humanity, but he's really as dead as the zombies.
On a lighter note, I loved this: "I'm one episode behind, because Aaron was away and watching it without him would violate our marriage vows." HA! My boyfriend and I live together and have the SAME agreement. One could not watch on Sunday, so we DVR'd and plan to watch it Friday night! Oh, and by the way, did you ever see this from last season? Very funny.
This show has become better and better each season. I used to scream at the TV for the writers to kill off Lori and Carl because they were so annoying. But when Lori died giving birth – and Carl flashed back to his talk with Rick his dad, about difficult decisions and being a man – and he became the one to shoot his own mother, I wept copiously. I realized how much each of these characters had grown in the last season. I admit, I will miss Lori.
Update from another fan of the show:
As much as I appreciate applying a more complex lens to Lori's sacrifice, one major problem is that, as discussed earlier in the season, in that particular circumstance she was a goner either way: she would either die if she had the c-section because she'd lose too much blood, or if she didn't have the c-section the baby would die, reanimate, and then bite/infect her from within. So save the presence of Hershel or Carol who maybe could have done a better job cutting her open, Lori was dead as soon as she had complications in that boiler room – she simply chose the only chance for one of them to survive, rather than guarantee that they both would not. The rest was just (admittedly gripping) drama.
Also she didn't want Rick or Carl to have to shoot her; she asked Maggie to do it, but Carl insisted because it was his mother. And in the end, that was the right call both realistically and in the context of Carl's character arc. In the comic version of The Walking Dead, Carl makes a series of morally complicated calls while in the process of growing up (and right from the first issues), and that interplay is what makes his character so interesting (unlike the first two seasons of the show, during which he is essentially no more than a plot device). And in a world where everyone turns, to have a friend is to accept that one day you may have to kill them (again) – those are simply the new rules.
(Video hat tip: Copyranter)