The Walking Dead is full of pecans, charred walkers, flowers, sorrow and death.
***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***
If you haven’t seen The Grove yet, I suggest you scroll down to the end of this post first and watch the entire episode before reading the rest of the text.
Last night’s episode, The Grove, was probably one of the most sorrowful and depressing episodes of all seasons of AMC’s The Walking Dead, and by far the most stressful of season 4. This is something expected when you put together some characters with deep psychological issues (including two children), the heavy burden of carrying a little baby girl with absolutely no decent conditions to take care of her, and of course, some hungry charred zombies. However, I’m pretty sure the message is clear now for all of us and especially for most of the characters in the show: nowhere is safe, and even more important than that, the living are the real danger, not the dead.
First of all, kudos to the superb job done by Chad Coleman, Melissa McBride, Brighton Sharbino and Kyla Kenedy, especially to Melissa and Brighton for playing respectively the roles of an even more sorrowful Carol and a truly troubled Lizzie so brightly. The group of Tyreese, Carol, the two girls Lizzie and Mika and the baby Judith has been a great surprise so far: when everybody thought they were going to play a secondary part in the whole story, they deliver us a rollercoaster of emotions mixed with some desperate measures that made us forget this was the third episode in a row without Rick, Carl and Michonne, that Beth was kidnapped or even who Sgt. Abraham Ford is. We all knew Lizzie was some sort of lunatic, but what happened yesterday was really jaw-dropping, and it was something Tyreese and Carol will never ever forget in their painful post-apocalyptical journey.
Despite being sisters, Lizzie and Mika revealed themselves as complete opposites: while one cannot kill walkers, the other is truly afraid of having to kill someone alive; while one enjoys feeding rats to walkers, killing bunnies and playing catch-up with zombie “Griselda”, the other prefers playing with regular harmless dolls and eating pecans. Mika was so innocent and convinced that things were going to be just fine, that Carol got really mad at her for not being tougher nor ready to fight the dangers of that new world (which reminded Carol of her little Sofia when she was alive), but in the end it was Mika who was ready to face the new reality, not psycho Lizzie, and when Carol realized that it was too late for both of them.
All the sadness in this episode was so strong that not even the attack to their new “home” by those totally amazing charred walkers, some of the best zombies we’ve ever seen in the show, was able to make things more fun and easier to watch. That scene with the “crispy” zombies was awesome (and just after the episode was over I realized they were coming from the house Daryl and Beth set on fire, proving once again they’re all in the same place, but at a different time) and if it had happened at a different time, in another episode, it would have been epic. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a regular episode with some zombies just being killed; it was much deeper than that.
Anyway, it seems that Carol is the character selected by the producers to do all the dirty work in the show: the moment she saw Lizzie with a knife and blood on her hands, and poor Mika dead on the ground, she already knew what needed to be done and that it was going to be her again. “She can’t be around other people.”, Carol said to Tyreese, and knowing that was the only thing they could do to avoid the same destiny for baby Judith, he sadly allowed Carol to end Lizzie’s life. “Look to the flowers, Lizzie!”, were her last words (the ones always used when Lizzie had any type of psychological issues) to that poor disturbed kid, so disturbed she didn’t even think she was being punished for killing her own sister and for being a huge threat to any living person.
Not only that, after all that melancholy with the deaths of Lizzie and Mika, Carol had the guts to tell Tyreese she was the one who killed Karen. Maybe she knew he was going to forgive her, or maybe he already knew it was her after seeing her shooting Lizzie in cold blood, but she had to let him hear that from her own mouth in order to ease some of her suffering. Now maybe Tyreese’s nightmares with Karen will be over and he’ll get stronger to protect baby Judith and even Carol, or maybe their path to Terminus will be even more excruciating.
Finally, I don’t know how Carol has been able to handle all that pain until today, but I’m pretty sure things will just get worse for her, if that’s humanly possible. Because after losing all she’s already lost and doing all she’s already done, what’s left inside her that’s worth living for? Is Judith now her only reason to stay alive? What will happen when (or if) they find Rick?