The Walking Dead – The Grove

 “You fight.  You fight.  You don’t give up.  And then one day, you change.”
Melissa McBride appears as Carol and Chad L. Coleman appears as Tyreese in scenes from AMCs The Walking Dead, season 4, episode 14 -- The Grove -- that aired on March 16, 2014. - Provided courtesy of Gene Page / AMC

Tyreese and Carol, along with Lizzie, Mika and baby Judith have stopped along the tracks on their way to Terminus.  Lizzie doesn’t want to sleep, thinking that Carol needs her to keep them all safe.  She tells Carol how she saved Tyreese during the prison attack by shooting two men.  Lizzie does express some regret at shooting the man in the head, rendering him unable to turn.  That should have been a clue for Carol right there.  She wonders if there will be children at the Sanctuary and asks Carol is she had any children.  Carol says that she did and tells Liizie how sweet Sophia was – “Not a mean bone in her body.”  Lizzie asks Carol if that’s the reason Sophia isn’t here anymore and Carol says yes.

The next morning, they continue on, while Carol and Tyreese talk about the two sisters.  Carol thinks that Lizzie is confused by what the walker really are, that Lizzie just sees them as being different.  She says that Mika is worse, because she doesn’t have a mean bone in her body.  Carol is telling the girls about Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn when they smell smoke.  They decide that they should find some place to rest and find water.  Tyreese sees a walker down the tracks and Lizzie stops him from finishing it off.  Carol is trying to explain to Mika how she needs to toughen up, but Mika says that she can run from the walkers.  Carol tells her that running isn’t good enough, her daughter ran.  Mika says that she’s not like her sister, she can’t kill people because killing is wrong.  When Carol asks her what she’d do if they were trying to kill her, Mika says she’d feel sorry for them.  Carol keeps insisting that Mika has to change.  They then see a house, which makes Mika smile.  “My mom used to say that everything works out the way it’s supposed to.”

When they reach the house, Carol and Tyreese go inside and have the girls wait outside with the baby.  A walker comes out and starts for the girls.  While Lizzie just stares at it,  Mika fires several shots, finally stopping it.  Lizzie starts to cry, not because she was afraid, but because the walkers are just different – something like humans, but not quite.

The group settles into the house and Tyreese marvels at the fact that they have a real place where they’re safe and comfortable.  Mika suggests that they live there.  The next morning, Carol is putting a kettle on the stove and sees Lizzie outside playing with a walker.  She runs outside and stabs it.  Lizzie becomes hysterical, screaming how Carol killed her playmate.  “You don’t understand!  You didn’t have to.  She was my friend.”    Tyreese watches the scene from the window.

Later on, Carol and Mika go hunting, hoping to spot a deer.  When they do, Carol tells Mika to go ahead and take the shot but Mika can’t.  She tells Carol, “We have peaches.”  It’s so clear and simple to Mika.  Back at the house, Tyreese tells Carol that Mika might be right.  They could stay at the house.  It does appear to be a nice setting with a built-in family and comfortable surroundings, but things are seldom as they appear.

Mika spots Lizzie running and follows her.  Lizzie is back at the tracks, with the same walker she saved the day before.  She has a mouse in a box and feeds it to the walker.  Mika tells her that the walkers are bad and they want to kill them.  Lizzie looks back at her sister and says “Maybe I should change and  then you all will understand.”  While they talk, burnt walkers emerge from the woods and the girls run for the house.   Tyreese and Carol hear the screams and run to the girls.  All of them, Tyreese, Carol, Lizzie and Mika shoot at the walkers – something that doesn’t go unnoticed by Carol.  When they get back inside, Lizzie says that she shot at them because she had to help stop them.  Carol asks her if she now understands what they are.  All Lizzie will concede is that she now knows what she has to do.

The next morning, Carol and Tyreese talk about staying at the house.  She likes the idea and Tyreese says that it doesn’t mean that they can’t go to Terminus some other time.  He just isn’t ready to be around a lot of people yet.  He talks about the dreams he has of Karen, that sometimes he talks to her and sometimes he sees her in a crowd in a city he’s never been in, before everything happened.  Then, on bad nights, he sees someone kill her – a stranger.  He tells Carol that the people who are living are haunted by the dead.  The whole world is haunted.  Carol says that they might be teaching them, not haunting them.  He tells her that she should never be ashamed of who she is and they hug.

They return from their hunting trip and find Lizzie, holding a knife, covered in blood.  Behind her is her dead sister.  She assures Carol and Tyreese that it’s okay because she didn’t hurt Mika’s brain.  When Carol tried to move towards her, Lizzie pulls a gun on her.  She tells both Carol and Tyreese that they have to wait – then they’ll see what she’s been trying to tell them about the walkers – that they’re just different.   Carol, horrified, calmly tells Lizzie that they can wait but she has to give her the gun.  She want’s Lizzie to go with Tyreese and Judith and get in the house. Lizzie starts to tell Carol that Judith was going to be the next one she’d change.  In shocked disbelief at what the girl is saying, Carol says that Judith can’t even walk.  She lets Lizzie know that she’ll just tie Mika up with her shoelaces and wait for her to become different.  When the three finally do walk away, Carol falls to the ground, sobbing.  She takes her own knife and delivers the final wound to Mika.

In the house, Carol sits at the table and Tyreese tells her that he gave Lizzie some food, and checked her for any knives.  She also had a box of mice and admitted to feeding the walkers at the prison.  Tyreese wonders if Lizzie killed Karen and David but Carol says that it wasn’t her.  She tells Tyreese that they should leave Lizzie.  “She can’t be around other people.”

Carol takes Lizzie on a walk, telling her that they have to get some flowers for Mika.  Lizzie senses something different in Carol’s demeanor and asks her if she’s mad.  She apologizes for pointing the gun at Carol thinking that’s why she’s upset.  She tells Lizzie that she’s not made, that she loves Lizzie.  Then she tells her to look at the flowers and while Lizzie does as she’s told, Carol shoots her.  (A scenario straight from “Of Mice and Men”).  With Tyreese watching, she heads back to the house and helps him dig two graves for the girls and a third for the home’s former owner.

Afterwards, the two sit at the table with a jigsaw puzzle and Carol pushes the gun towards Tyreese.  She tells him that she killed Karen and David to stop the outbreak from killing other people.  She pushes the gun to his hand and tells him to do what he has to do.  He asks her is if it was quick and whether Karen was scared, but Carol says that it was painless.   Tyreese begins to close his hand around the gun and Carol repeats, “Do what you have to do.”  He lets go of the gun and says,  “I forgive you.  You’re never going to forget it happened.  You did it, it’s a part of you now.  Me, too.  But I forgive you.”

They decide that they can’t stay in the house and leave with Judith.  We hear Mika’s and Carol’s voices, from their earlier conversation, with Mika saying how she’s afraid and Carol telling her that one day, you just change.  They head back to the tracks, putting distance between themselves and the same walker that Lizzie fed.

This had to be the saddest episode of the series.  Once again, the survivors are reminded that there is no such thing as a home, no safe place and that, sometimes, the threat comes from within.  We don’t know what Lizzie was like before the apocalypse, or if it was the thing that changed her.  She, like Carl, was at an age where they can remember a world before it all happened but, unlike the adults,  they don’t really understand these things, these zombies, and what’s happened to them.   Judith will never know any other world.

It was also hard to tell if Tyreese forgave Carol because he saw that she knew how to do what had to be done.  She killed Lizzie out of necessity – the kid just killed her sister to prove a point, for Heaven’s sake – just the way she thought she had to do with Karen and David.   Of course, Carol could be the crazy one, so traumatized by the loss of Sophia that she can justify her decisions to herself and then convince the others that what she did was right – that is, except for Rick.

Only two episode to go.  Not nearly enough.


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24 Responses to The Walking Dead – The Grove

  1. OMG, OMG, OMG, I am still processing this episode. I personally would have blown that chick away as soon as she gave me the gun but that’s just me, OMG, OMG, OMG!!! This show is killing me, lol!!

  2. I thought she was going to kill HERSELF to prove her point, not poor little Mika.

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  4. LaineyLainey says:

    What an amazing episode. So many contradictions in this one; the innocence of Mika vs. Lizzy’s insanity, the warm safe living room suggesting family vs. The danger that Lizzy posed to this family, the tea kettle on the stove suggesting a sense of normalcy vs. Lizzy playing tag with a walker…. It was a roller coaster of hope and despair. Can’t get the image out of my head of Lizzy with the knife with Mika’s lifeless body behind her and baby Judith on the blanket. What a nightmare. Carol deserves a break,..that poor woman. But There are no breaks for anyone in the zombie apocalypse.

    • Lainey, this episode was so shocking, especially on the heels of the past few which were relatively quiet. Carol needs to give herself a break. She doesn’t have to make the hard decisions on her own. She seems to be overcompensating for Sophia and what she sees as letting her daughter down.
      Melissa McBride was nothing short of amazing last night.

  5. Kaereste says:

    I’ve never seen this show but reading this recap just gave me a major brain freeze. ICK. How scary! And now I’m wondering where they get so much ammo to shoot at these things and if the deer can be zombies and nevermind….

  6. SAC says:

    I had such a sense of sadness about this episode. Not the like sadness I felt when Hershel was killed, but in the fact that Lizzie in her confused/damaged little mind had to be taken out. There was no other option. This episode was so well written and the acting was great. I have to say it was one of my favorites. Love your recaps Empress!

    • “I had such a sense of sadness about this episode. Not the like sadness I felt when Hershel was killed, but in the fact that Lizzie in her confused/damaged little mind had to be taken out. There was no other option.”
      SAC, That’s probably the best description of this episode. The decisions get harder and harder.

  7. BB says:

    I just had the chance to watch the episode OMG. It was one of the best episodes yet. Melissa McBride is an awesome actress. She was on the Talking Dead afterward. I love this show.

    • BB, I watched Melissa on Talking Dead today and she seems to be as good and smart a person as she is an actress.
      We’re going to need a support group to recover from this episode. It was an OMG heard round the world.

      • BB says:

        I thought it was funny that the Comedienne guest noticed the flower scene from episodes back and compared it to the flower scene with Lizzie. I wouldn’t have caught that. Did you notice the yellow flowers on the table on the Talking Dead? Definitely some smart people connected with this show.

        • No, I would never have caught the flower thing if she hadn’t mentioned it. I love when writers use details to enhance the storyline. It was one of the things that I liked about Breaking Bad – no detail was insignificant.
          I couldn’t get over how smart and insightful the actresses who played Lizzie and Mika were -poised and intelligent beyond their years.

          • BB says:

            Agree, the casting for this series is great, especially since most of them are unknowns, at least here in the US (since a few of the major characters are not from the US). It’s so funny to hear them with southern accents on the show and then when they are on Talking Dead, they have British accents or wherever they are from. lol.

  8. Buttercream says:

    This was by far the saddest episode .. I thought when Laurie had the baby and her son shot her was bad enough … this episode answered the question who was feeding the zombies back at the prison … so sad to see Carol and Tyreese bury their bodies .. finally Carol confesses .. such sorrow and depression at the kitchen table … sad scene … thought she was going to shoot herself … I’m still thinking of the episode and it’s days later …

    • You have to give the writers a heck of a lot of credit when all of us are still thinking and talking about it. There aren’t too many TV shows that have that effect.

  9. disgrazia4 says:

    I finally was able to read your blog today Empress and I will tell you I am still traumatized by that episode. As Lainey says there is just so much to take in and the contradictions are heartbreaking!! I continue to watch and warn but no one heard me on Lizzie. Oh, and Carole was wrong. It was Mika who was the braver of the two girls. She would have been fine had the Carole seen the real danger. Mika’s weakness was in not being able to define what her sister was or being able to identify the danger in it. It was, after all, all she knew too and the one grown up in their life who was also their teacher (Carole), couldn’t see the one danger in their midst, Lizzie. It was an incredible episode and thank you for your clean and clear blog. I loved it! ❤

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