T-Dog (IronE Singleton) is attacked in a scene from "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page / AMCtv.com )
Before fans of "The Walking Dead" fans get caught up in the next sure-to-be-perilous episode, let us reflect on a huge development from the last installment that was all but overlooked in the emotional aftermath surrounding the tragic death of Lori.
Yes, I’m talking about the savage death of T-Dog, the brawny warrior who was one of the moral compasses of the small group of survivors caught up in the nightmare of the zombie apocalypse. Sacrificing his life to save Carol, T-Dog was literally ripped apart by murderous "walkers."
On one hand, it’s not surprising that T-Dog’s demise was overshadowed by Lori’s fate: She died from blood loss while undergoing a vicious C-section to save her baby. She was the lead female of the group, dealing with the strain of the relationship with her husband Rick, and her final moments with her son Carl — who had to shoot her in the head to keep her from "turning" — were truly gut-wrenching.
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Couldn’t T-Dog have been given a more ceremonious departure? He’s been mostly in the background, but was gradually becoming a more decisive, valuable member of the group. Killing him off in the same episode as Lori seemed uncharacteristically abrupt: We barely got a chance to grieve before we had to move on and worry about Lori and the others.
Also, we were robbed of what could have been a pivotal moment in coming episodes: the reunion of T-Dog and his redneck nemesis Merle, whom T-Dog abandoned on a department store rooftop.
Even more troubling, T-Dog was the only African American member of the survivors, which was already a bit of a stretch since "The Walking Dead" is set in Atlanta. And to top it off, he seems to have been already replaced by convict Vincent, who, like T-Dog, is African American, big, muscular and has a shaved head. It's like the producers of "The Walking Dead" just exchanged one powerfully built black actor with another.
What do you think? Should T-Dog have received a better sendoff?
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