In this week’s episode of The Walking Dead, Tyreese and Carol learn in pretty much the worst way imaginable just how far gone Lizzie really is. But the bigger shock is that that horrific revelation isn’t even the most devastating thing that happens in “The Grove.” Read on – if you dare.
CHILD’S PLAY | After an opening vignette in which we see Lizzie playing tag with a walker in a bucolic backyard – hello, foreshadowing! – we join the tween head case on the road to Terminus with Tyreese, Carol, Mika and Judith. While keeping watch with Carol one night, Lizzie asks if she has any children, and she tells her ward about Sophia and how she didn’t have a mean bone in her body. “Is that why she isn’t here now?” Lizzie asks. Outta the mouths of (psychotic) babes. The next day, when Carol encourages Mika to toughen up, she insists that she’s not a killer, she’s a runner. “My daughter ran,” Carol emphasizes, “and it wasn’t enough.” But Mika’s convinced that, like her mom used to say, everything will work out the way it’s supposed to. Yeah, right. Meanwhile, Lizzie – ever the proponent of zombie rights – stops Tyreese from killing a disabled walker on the train tracks.
HOME, SWEET HOME | While a fire burns somewhere in the distance, Carol and Tyreese leave the girls outside while they check out a house near the titular grove. Lizzie is giving one of her speeches about how walkers are just misunderstood when one comes lumbering toward her and Judith, forcing Mika to shoot. And shoot. And shoot, until finally she hits the head. Afterward, Lizzie won’t say why she’s such a wreck, but she IS such a wreck that her sister has to calm her by making her count flowers in the garden. Later, having moved into the house, Tyreese basks in the unfamiliar comfort of a real living room, and Mika suggests they live there for good. Which maybe they could, if Lizzie wasn’t so twisted. The following morning, Carol is making tea when she spots our opening vignette transpiring outside. Aghast, she runs out and dispatches the walker, sending Lizzie into full-on meltdown mode. “She was my friend,” she screams, “and you killed her!”
KID STUFF | That afternoon, Carol takes Mika out hunting and suggests that, even though she’s smaller than Lizzie, she’s smarter, so she may have to look out for her sister. Unfortunately, Mika maintains that she just isn’t a killer – and proves it by refusing to shoot a deer. “We have peaches,” she points out sweetly. At the same time, Tyreese is warming fast to Mika’s idea about staying put rather than continuing on to Terminus. “I trust you,” he tells Carol, “and I don’t know if I can get that anywhere else.” (Lord, you can just see the words hitting her like a ton of bricks.) It doesn’t seem meant to be, however. Lizzie’s so messed up that, when Mika catches her feeding a mouse to the walker on the tracks, she considers becoming a walker herself in order to make everyone understand that they’re not monsters, they’re just different. And for a second, it looks as if she might let the walker bite her, too. But her nonsense is interrupted by a pack of walkers still smoking from that nearby fire. There are so many of them, and they are coming so quickly (well, for walkers), that even she helps Tyreese, Carol and Mika shoot them down.
UNHAPPY HAUNTING | Thinking that Lizzie now gets it (if only!), Carol, too, begins to contemplate making a go of it at the grove. If only she didn’t have that terrible secret hanging over her head… The guilt she feels over killing Karen (and what’s-his-name) almost overwhelms her when Tyreese admits to her that he has nightmares about a stranger murdering his girlfriend. “Tyreese… ” she begins, and we think a confession is coming, but it doesn’t. Instead, she offers comfort, and not guessing the reason for her tears, he assures her, “You did right by everyone,” and pulls her into a heartbreaking embrace. And that’s when things get REALLY dreadful. When Tyreese and Carol return to the house, they discover that Lizzie has murdered – MURDERED! – her sister. It’s okay, though, she says, because she didn’t hurt Mika’s brain. This way, she can come back and teach them all about how lovely it is to be a walker. “Judith can change, too,” she suggests. Needless to say, once Carol has taken the gun away from Lizzie and sent her inside with Tyreese, she has a well-deserved breakdown.
JUDGMENT DAY | Reeling, Tyreese wonders aloud whether Lizzie also killed Karen (and that other guy). But Carol points out that she would have let them turn into walkers, not burned them. WTH are they going to do? Carol offers to leave with Lizzie – she certainly can’t be anywhere near Judith. Trouble is, Tyreese and the baby couldn’t make it on their own. Really, this leaves just one awful option. So, as Tyreese watches from a window, Carol takes Lizzie outside. Poor crazy thing thinks Carol’s mad at her for holding a gun on her to make sure they let Mika turn. She doesn’t get that she’s in trouble because she killed her sister. Let’s pick a bouquet for when Mika wakes up, Carol suggests. “Just look at the flowers.” And, while Lizzie’s back is turned, Carol shoots her. That night, as she and Tyreese sit across from one another, utterly shell-shocked, she pushes a gun toward him and quietly admits that she killed his girlfriend. “Do what you have to do,” she says. He grips the rickety table and asks if Karen suffered, if she was scared, and wraps his fingers around the weapon. “Do what you have to do,” Carol says again after answering his questions. But rather than take vengeance, Tyreese says, “I forgive you.” And, at last, we get to draw our first breath since this scene began! After what’s transpired at this place, though, they can’t stay. So once again, off they head down the tracks to Terminus… right past the walker that Lizzie wouldn’t let Tyreese kill.
Okay, your turn. What did you think of the episode? Were you surprised that Tyreese didn’t kill Carol? Hit the comments!