Carol, Tyreese, and the girls discover an idyllic grove but not all of them make it out alive.
Continue reading for a spoiler filled recap and reaction to The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 14 entitled “The Grove”.
It seemed unlikely that not one of the main or supporting characters have died in the second half of Season 4 until this episode. Beyond the shock value when a regular character bites the dust, there is often an added significance to death in the post-apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead. For example, had Judith, who represents hope for the future, got snuffed out by Lizzie in “Inmates”, it would have an underlying implication about the world these survivors inhabit.
Violently killing children is a taboo for many television shows, much more having a child kill another child. It’s an innate reaction to want to protect children from harm, even in a fictional setting. As harsh as it may sound, Lizzie and Mika represents opposites ends of the spectrum, both of which were not fit to survive in the Walking Dead world. Lizzie’s mental instability made her unsafe to coexist with others while Mika could not adapt to hurt other living things.
We Have Peaches
With the two girls, Carol has her second chance to raise them with the skills to survive in a way that she didn’t with Sophia. Her dilemma is to teach one girl to kill humans and the other to kill walkers. Children are highly adaptable and more resilient than we might give them credit for but in the end Carol’s nurturing could not over come their nature. Carol didn’t see Lizzie for who she really was and it cost both girls their lives. The opening scene with the kettle whistling is like a warning sign that Carol missed.
If there’s an over sight in “The Grove” it’s not addressing the events of how Carol rescued the girls in “Inmates”. Did Carol see Lizzie smothering the baby? It’s hard to imagine she didn’t since she was there to save them at the very last second though we never saw it happen. If she did see Lizzie suffocating Judith, why would she leave the girl alone with the baby in “The Grove”?
The dark, subdued tone of the episode punctuated with a couple of hard hitting deaths happening out of the camera’s eye, added to the emotional weight of Carol’s decision to put down Lizzie. The way Carol recited Mika’s words at the end honored the sweet little girl, making it all the more touching and disturbing.
Everything Works Out The Way It’s Supposed To
The house in the grove is a sanctuary for Tyreese because there are no outsiders. Little does he know, their greatest danger comes from the least suspecting members within their group. And the person who he trusts, is unknowingly the same person who destroyed his faith in others when his girlfriend was murdered.
Like the way Carol was the judge, jury and executioner for Lizzie, she wanted to be held accountable for her actions for killing Karen and David. Carol coming clean was building up through out the episode and I’m glad she was the one who told Tyreese, not Rick. Even though Tyreese has trouble putting faith in others, ultimately he has to find it within himself to forgive Carol and to keep his humanity. Looking through the window, he’s seen for himself that sometimes one does have to kill another person and he recognizes it’s a burden Carol will have to carry with her.
After watching this episode, my first reaction is to curl up in a warm bed for a good night’s rest. “The Grove” is a bleak, heavy episode which ups the ante for this half of the season. Melissa McBride’s strong performance showcases she’s a very capable lead actress when called upon. I was pretty sure Carol would survive but I did have some second thoughts whether Tyreese would just blow her brains at the kitchen table, adding to the episode’s body count. But for the sake of both these characters, I’m glad that didn’t happen.
Did Carol make the right decision to kill Lizzie? Are you ready for the story lines to converge?