[WARNING: Major Walking Dead season 3 SPOILERS below!!]

In this week’s episode of The Walking Dead, the series’ many “annoying Lori” critics received a shocking surprise: Lori died! Now that Lori is no longer around to cause controversy, it’s time to put her character to rest with one final question: Did Lori ever redeem herself?

According to series star Sarah Wayne Callies, Lori didn’t get the chance to. But she does admit that some redemption was needed in her relationships with Rick and Carl. Speaking with the press today, Callies touched upon the topic of Lori’s redemption, revealing that her death happened sooner in the season than was originally planned. Because of this, Lori didn’t have a chance to fully redeem herself, though the character was taking steps to do just that.

Here’s what Callies had to say:

“There were some very specific things that mattered to me to find with Lori in the third season. And redemption was a big part of that – a sense of redemption in her marriage and a sense of redemption with Carl.

“And while I don’t think either of those were ever achieved completely – because that would tie things up in a package that’s far too neat for our show, and I don’t think honest in life – I think we took steps down that path in a way that not only dramaturgically served the show, but in a way that I’m grateful to, personally, because I have such a profound affection for Lori.”

While Callies’ statement does officially validate all of the Lori critics out there, her point about things being too neat that they become dishonest does have quite a bit of merit. At its core, The Walking Dead is a dense, dark character drama. Instead of large progressions in the series’ storyline, we’re presented with an intimate look at the day-to-day struggle of surviving an apocalyptic event. The normal, everyday decisions that are typically overlooked in any other series are now highlighted while already polarizing characters become even more so – including the decisions they make.

So maybe the fact that Lori has critics is ultimately a good thing. If people weren’t invested in the show, nobody would care about Lori’s decisions or actions. And while it’s true that there were a few things she could have done differently, it’s impossible to deny the fact Lori is responsible for quite a bit of character development on the series. The characters of Shane, Rick and Carl all benefitted from Lori’s decisions, good and bad (in the eyes of the viewer).  For example, even though Shane’s death could be said to be a result of Lori’s actions, the end result was Carl transitioning into a more competent, lethal character – which fans of the comic books know can be a very good thing.

And much like Carl, there something else fans of the comic series know: Lori’s ghost haunts Rick. While we currently don’t know whether or not that aspect of the comic book will be implemented in the television series, Sarah Wayne Callies has said that she’d love to return to reprise her role, if needed. And if The Walking Dead doesn’t want to use ghosts, they can always do flashbacks. Either way, this may not be the last you’ve seen of Lori Grimes. 

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The Walking Dead airs Sundays @9pm on AMC