Let’s get the SPOILER WARNING out of the way ‘kay?
This is a recap/review/discussion post on the latest episode of The Walking Dead so it WILL contain loads of spoilers about the episode. If you haven’t seen this week’s episode yet and you don’t want to read any spoilers I strongly suggest that you skip this post and come back after you’ve seen episode 14 of The Walking Dead. You’re pre-warned so don’t complain if you read anything that you do not want to know as yet, because that will make you the opposite of Daryl Dixon….
The Walking Dead Season 04 Episode 14 “The Grove”
‘After finding an idyllic place to establish a new shelter, the group starts to question whether it is possible to go back to the way things were.’
Written By: Scott M. Gimple
Directed By: Michael Satrazemis
Where do you start with a discussion on what happened on this week’s episode of The Walking Dead? So many feels right? At one stage I actually felt like someone punched me in the gut, that’s how deep that sinking feeling felt. And even though I knew what was coming, it still took my breath away. In fact, I think The Walking Dead has just had its Red Wedding.
I’ve been predicting since episode 4.01 that Lizzy is up to no good. She was the little girl who named the walkers at the fence of the prison. I was convinced that she was the mystery person who was feeding the prison rats to the walkers at the fence, causing the fence to collapse from the weight of all the walkers that was leaning against it. She always just seemed a little off to me and then of course there were the terrifying scene where she started to smother Baby Judith after they escaped the prison attack. But I don’t think anything could’ve prepared us for how this sad story who conclude itself in the end. Lizzie killed her little sister, just to proof to Carol and Tyreese that she will come back to them, because she didn’t stab her in the brains. But what was even more shocking was the fact that Carol then killed Lizzie, because they couldn’t let her be around other people.
The pre-credits scene shows a peaceful kitchen with a kettle boiling on a stove and music playing. You almost think that it’s a flashback scene when you see Lizzie running in the garden but the shot widens to show that she’s ‘playing’ with a female walker. After the credits rolled by, we find the group asleep on the railway tracks. Carol and Lizzie is keeping watch while Tyreese and the other two girls are sleeping. Tyreese seem to be having nightmares, undoubtedly about his girlfriend Karen, that was killed by Carol earlier on in season 4. Carol and Lizzie are talking about Sophia and how she died, and Carol says that although she was a wonderful girl with not a mean bone in her body, that’s also the reason why she’s dead. She ran away, instead of fighting. The next morning Carol talks to Tyreese about how different the girls are and how she’s concerned about their survival. Mika is too soft and how Lizzie is batshit crazy is confused about what the walkers actually are. She doesn’t see them as dangerous, she sees them as different.
While Carol and Mika go off in search of water, Tyreese stays behind with Lizzie and Judith. A walker approaches them but he gets stuck on the railway tracks (see people, that’s why our parents said we should never play on the railway tracks) and when Tyreese tries to kill the walker with his hammer, Lizzie tells him not to because the walker is stuck, and they don’t always have to kill the walkers. Uhm, yes, Lizzie, you actually do have to kill all walkers, we don’t distinguish between the good, the bad and the hungry walkers. Anyhow, Tyreese backs off and they leave the walker on the track. Out in the woods, Carol is pushing Mika to see if she would kill someone or something if necessary. Mika straight out admit that she can’t kill people, she can kill walkers but even during the prison attack, she couldn’t bring herself to kill their attackers. Carol tells her that she should toughen up and be prepared to kill, else she’s going to be the one who ends up dead. They find a house in the middle of a pecan grove and Carol suggests that they should stay there for a while.
Carol and Tyreese goes inside the house to check if there are any walkers lurking about. On the outside Lizzie is fretting that they would kill any walkers they might find on the inside, and while Mika is telling her off about the walkers being dead, they get attacked by a walker falling over the porch railings. Mike shoots the walker in the head and Lizzie starts crying because the walker died. Mika starts soothing her, telling her that she should ‘look at the flowers’ like she’s supposed to and to count to three. Now more than ever it’s clear that Lizzie had issues even before the apocalypse, and that the zombie experience maybe made it worse. This also raises questions about how the experience is altering the children, if you think of how trigger happy Carl has become and how he sees killing walkers as him ‘winning’. The group also sees smoke in a distance, of what I am convinced to be the shack that Daryl and Beth burnt down two episodes ago.
That night we get a glimpse of what a normal night for the group could be like. They are sitting around the fireplace inside the house, breaking open the pecan nuts the found in the grove and chatting about how good life could be if they stayed at the house for a while. The next morning we go back to the opening scene of Lizzie playing with the walker outside the kitchen window. Carol runs outside and she shoots the walker, just in time to save Lizzy but Crazy Lizzy starts screaming at her for killing the walker. ”She’s my friend and you killed her” she screams at Carol while Carol is trying to calm her down. Oh man, by now my stomach was in knots, I just knew that this wasn’t going to turn out well, this little girl is so delusional about the walkers, she is definitely going to get herself or the rest of the group killed.
Later in the episode, Mika catches Lizzy feeding a mouse to the walker who got stuck in the railway tracks. Again she admonishes her sister about her warped ideas about the walkers, to which Lizzy replies that she can hear them, and that they want her to turn. Just as she’s reaching out to let the walker bite her, they are attacked by a group badly burnt walkers. Serious props to the make-up artists on The Walking Dead – the make-up and special effects on the walkers were beyond awesome. Some of them seemed to be simmering with smoke coming of their burnt corpses. It was so cool! The four of them manages to kill all the charred walkers.
That night Carol asks Lizzie if she can finally see what the walkers are and what they want to do to the people. Lizzie says that she knows what she needs to do now to make them understand. It was right about now that my stomach sank into my shoes, because you could see the crazy in her eyes. After the smothering incident I was scared that she would try to kill Judith during the night but it turns out that she planned to do something even worse than that.
Carol and Tyreese went out hunting in the forest when Tyreese confesses that he’s having nightmares about Karen dying. You can see how uncomfortable Carol is and as they walk up to the house, they see Lizzie standing over Mika’s dead body. Her hands were covered in blood and she was holding the knife while she was telling them that Mika would come back, they’ll see, because she didn’t hurt her brains. As Carol and Tyreese was trying to approach her she pulled a gun on them and told them that she was just about to kill Judith as well, to show them that the walkers are just different to them, they’re not dangerous. After Carol managed to convince her that they’ll wait for Mike to come back to life, Tyreese took her and Judith inside the house while Carol stuck the knife through Mika’s brain, to make sure she doesn’t back to life as a walker. That night Tyreese tells Carol that he found out that Lizzie was the one who was feeding the prison walkers and it was she who dissected the rat. He also wonders if it wasn’t her who killed David and Karen too. Carol could’ve used this as an easy way out but she says no, Lizzie would’ve let them turn. After weighing up their options, Carol is the one who says out loud that Lizzie cannot be around other people.
They had several options and I believe they chose the right one. That child is not fit to be in contact with other people. She’s going to keep on killing people just to see them come back to ‘life’; she’s a good and proper serial killer this one and no amount of talking or explaining was going to fix her. So Carol did what she had to do, she took her to the back yard and after telling her to look at the flowers, she shot her through the head. Wow what a moment. This is my KILL OF THE WEEK even though we didn’t see the actual killshot. I chose this as my kill of the week because of the emotional intensity that went into this scene. My heart went out to Carol during this scene. I’m sure this must’ve been one of the toughest things she’s ever had to do. This is a woman who lost her daughter during the zombie apocalypse and she got a second chance to be a mother when she took in Lizzie and Mika, and to have to kill your foster daughter, after she’s killed her sister, must’ve been rough. Melissa McBride deserves an Emmy for her acting during season 4 of The Walking Dead, her character has grown so much since we met her in season 1 and she’s been brilliant in season 4. Gees, I hope they don’t decide to make Carol the next big death for season 4.
After shooting Lizzie, you could see that Tyreese and Carol were floored with the gravity of what happened that day, and it was during this moment when Carol confessed to Tyreese that she was the one who killed Karen. I think it was a smart move on her part; Tyreese was a part of the decision to kill Lizzie so he would understand now more than ever what she went through when she decided to kill Karen and David. She gives him the gun and tells him that he should make the decision on what to do about this. He surprises her by telling her that he forgives her for what she’s done. You can see the surprise on Carol’s face but she accepts what he says to her. The next day they set of on the railway tracks on the road to Terminus.
Did they go too far during this episode? I know the content from the comic books were more graphic than what we saw last night but surely it must be wrong for a “good guy” adult to kill a child? Somehow it bothered me more to see this on the TV screen that what the panels in the comic book bothered me. But it made for an absolutely brilliant episode. At least we got some of our big questions answered and we got closure to the Crazy Lizzie storyline. But let me tell you, that image of the baby booties hanging on the grave gave me chills. This was a good and proper goodbye to the innocence.
Let me know what you thought in the comments section…