Season 4 Episode 14 "The Grove"
Warning: Spoilers Ahead
I had hoped to get this up before episode 15 aired, but, unfortunately, real life got in the way. I hate when that happens. Ah, well. Onward and forward...
This episode was outstanding and so very heartrending. For me, it truly exemplified why I both love and fear this show. No one, and I mean no one, is safe here.
In contrast to Episode 13, this episode opens with a flashfoward--an eerie snapshot of things to come. It actually took me a second to realize what was happening. At first glance it appears as though there are two children playing a game of tag on a warm summer afternoon. Upon closer inspection, however, and as the music shifts, you realize this is no idyllic summer setting. Things aren't what they seem--a lesson both Carol and Tyreese would learn.
Only the Good Die Young
It really felt as though this episode and episode 13 "Alone" were connected. Not only because we learn that these events are happening simultaneosly as the events of episode 13, as evidenced by the fact that the fire set by Daryl and Beth makes an
appearance several times throughout this episode, but because it seems to become somewhat symbolic of the theme that good people don't make it out alive.
As Carol, Tyreese, Baby Judith, Mika, and Lizzie slowly make their way to Terminus, Tyreese and Carol discuss the strengths and weaknesses of Lizzie and Mika's characters. Tyreese is impressed with Lizzie's strength, making a comment as to Lizzie being "tough". Carol agrees, but feels Lizzie is only tough when it comes to people. When it comes to Walkers, Lizzie seems confused. To Lizzie, the Walkers aren't monsters, they're just "different". This worries Carol, but not as much as Mika worries her since Mika "doesn't have a mean bone in her body". Much like her daughter Sophia...
I tend to forget the grief that Carol must feel after losing her daughter. This episode explained so much of her behavior in previous episodes. I have kind of a love hate relationship with Carol so I really liked the insight I got into her character here. It was interesting to see the world from her perspective.
Carol tries to talk some "toughness" into Mika. She tells her being sweet is going to get her killed so Mika has to change her nice ways. Killing is a necessity now--even if it means killing bad people. Mika disagrees, and unknowingly places a mirror in front of Carol when she says "[k]illing people is wrong". After all, someone killed Karen and David, and they were nice. As far as Mika is concerned, even bad people deserve mercy because "they probably weren't like that before."
Carol insists, even taking Mika deer hunting in order to teach her why being able to kill is important. But Mika can't bring herself to do it.
House of Cards
The group discover a quaint little house nestled in a grove and settle in for some much needed domestic bliss. Mika finds a cute rag doll she names Grizelda Gunderson. If I didn't know it before, I should have known right there the kid was doomed.
Tyreese can't believe their good fortune. Mika wants to live there, and later, after some consideration, both Carol and Tyreese agree. They can always find Terminus later. Plus, Tyreese is still having a tough time getting over Karen's death. He knows the girls and Carol. Trusts them. And he's just not ready to deal with other people. Carol, moved by his grief, feelings of guilt in his misplaced trust in her, and perhaps by her conversations with Mika, almost confesses that she was the one who killed Karen...but stops herself at the last moment. Instead, she opts for telling him that perhaps they are not haunted by the dead so much as the dead are their guides and reminders of the things they have to do in order to survive.
But Tyrese is not the only one haunted by the dead. Lizzie is haunted by them as well. She can "hear" the Walkers. They want to change her and "make her be like them." And she's going to make them all understand--Tyreese, Carol, and Mika--that the Walkers are just misunderstood. So Lizzie does the unthinkable.
She kills Mika so Mika can come back to life and prove what Lizzie has been trying to explain all along. And she's about to do the same with Baby Judith when Tyreese and Carol stumble upon the scene. Carol convinces Lizzie to leave Mika with her. She promises not to hurt Mika--Carol's just going to tie Mika up so she can't hurt anyone. Lizzie concedes, and Carol stays behind in order to put poor little Mika down when she turns.
Carol and Tyrese then face a tough decision. Both realize that Lizzie is a danger. She's suffering from a mental illness that neither one is capable or able to handle. So Carol does the only thing she can to protect Lizzie from herself and others.
While Tyreese watches from inside the house, and in a moment so heartrending that it brought me to tears, Carol kills Lizzie. My only consolation is that Carol made sure Lizzie had her back turned and was distracted so that she wouldn't know what was happening. But oh man. Poor Mika for her innocence, poor Lizzie for her illness, and poor Carol who once again had to face horrible loss, but this time by her own hand. Just horrifying.
And Then There Were Two
After the horrible events of the day, and after burying both Mika and Lizzie, Tyreese and Carol decide its best to leave the grove and head for Terminus. Neither one wants to remain there after all that has transpired. And in what was hands down for me the best scene of the episode, Carol finally confesses her sins to Tyreese. She killed Karen, and she gives Tyreese permission to "do what he has to do." But what can he do, really? He was complicit in Lizzie's murder for very much the same reasons that Carol killed Karen--to protect others. How can he condemn Carol for her actions now? And he doesn't. He forgives her. He understands why she did it and knows that "she feels it" because he "feels it, too."
So with no more secrets between them, Carol and Tyreese now head for Terminus.
R.I.P. Mika and Lizzie.
Up Next: Episode 15 "Us"
Screencap Source: http://screencapped.net/tv/thewalkingdead/index.php?cat=127