[Warning: This story contains spoilers from episode 414, “The Grove,” of AMC’s The Walking Dead as well as the comics it is based on.]
AMC’s The Walking Dead on Sunday again hammered home the concept that only the strong will survive in this new world where threats come in every form.
During Sunday’s episode, Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino) turned out to be a bigger threat than anyone realized and was revealed to have been the one feeding mice to the walkers at the prison. She illustrated that she could never wrap her mind around the idea that people, once they’re turned into walkers, are no longer alive.
In an effort to illustrate her point to Carol (Melissa McBride) and Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman), Lizzie shockingly kills her younger sister, Mika (Kyla Kenedy), as Judith narrowly escaped the same fate after Carol and Tyreese returned before she could do it. The shocking reveal came after Lizzie, who, with her sister, said that they couldn’t and wouldn’t ever kill anyone — human, walker or animal. Worse: Lizzie truly believes that Mika will reanimate as a walker with her sister’s being still in tact.
Realizing that Lizzie can’t survive on her own and is a massive threat to Judith and the living, Carol and Tyreese make an incredibly difficult decision: Lizzie has to die. Carol takes Lizzie for a walk and, after Lizzie apologizes — not for killing her sister, but instead for holding them at gunpoint — Carol shoots her in the back of the head.
The decision came after Carol and Tyreese realize that they don’t have an alternative, as Lizzie is a threat to herself and to others, with Carol blaming herself for failing to recognize the girl’s inability to separate life and death in the new world. Carol noted as much when she said that neither Lizzie, Mika or her late daughter, Sophia, had a mean bone in their bodies.
After the execution, Carol — who with Tyreese decided to make the cabin, complete with running water and a gas stove, their new home — confesses that she, not Lizzie, was the one who killed Tyreese’s girlfriend, Karen. She pushes her gun toward him and gives Tyreese the opportunity to decide her fate. While Tyreese has been haunted by Karen in his dreams, he instead realizes what Carol has done in order to keep everyone safe in the new world and forgives her.
Carol reveals that Karen didn’t know what was happening, that she wasn’t scared and it was quick. He lets go of the gun and says, “I forgive you. I’m never going to forget. It happened, you did it. You feel it. I know you do. It’s a part of you now. Me, too.”
With total honesty restored between Carol and Tyreese, they pack up Judith and hit the road for Terminus.
The heartbreaking episode delivered yet another blow to Carol, who after losing her daughter, Sophia, was later banished from the group after Rick learned that she was the one who killed Karen and David. Carol’s actions further cemented just how tough the character, who once was battered by her husband, has become.
It also provides another example of the threats that exist in this postapocalyptic world and how those who fail to adapt are unlikely to survive.
What did you think of Carol and Tyreese’s decision to execute Lizzie? Do you think they had a choice? How do you think this will change Carol? Vote in our poll below, and hit the comments with your thoughts. Check back later tonight for our interview with McBride.