The Walking Dead: The Grove (4×14)
Synopsis: Tyreese and Carol continue to shepherd the girls to Terminus, while Carol tries to “toughen up” Mika to the harsh realities of the new world.
The opening scene’s a bit strange… there’s a boiling kettle and a child outside laughing and playing with what appears to be a walker… maybe? And then the opening credits roll.
Carol is up keeping watch over a sleeping Mika, Tyreese, and Judith. Lizzie is up with her, trying to help, and is hopeful about there being more kids in Terminus. She shares with Carol how she saved Tyreese back at the prison and asks if Carol ever had kids. Carol opens up about Sophia, who she freely admits was too sweet for this new world. Lizzie asks if that’s why she isn’t here now and then asks if Carol would miss her. She tells Lizzie that she won’t have to, obviously seeing a survivor in Lizzie, and sends her to bed after a hug. Meanwhile, Tyreese is having some kind of night-terror and muttering no over and over.
In the morning, Lizzie finds some tree sap that Carol puts over some of Tyreese’s injuries to help the healing process and explains to him that Lizzie’s tough. She doesn’t understand the walkers, seeing them as “different,” but Carol says Mika is worse than that – she doesn’t have a mean bone in her body, just like Sophia. On their trek to Terminus, Mika makes an allusion to Lizzie’s dead rabbits (earning her a look from Lizzie), but the adults just ignore the comment in the group.
When they stop, Tyreese and Lizzie stay with Judith while Carol and Mika go to get water. Tyreese notices a walker on the tracks coming towards them, but before he’s able to kill it, it falls down, immobilized. Lizzie stops him from killing it by telling him that sometimes we have to kill them, but sometimes we don’t. In the woods, Carol is trying to toughen up Mika and failing miserably. She repeatedly tells Carol that she can’t kill people, not even people trying to kill her. Mika just feels sorry for them because they probably weren’t like that before. The two of them come upon a fortified camp and Mika informs her that her mom used to say everything works out the way it’s supposed to.
There are pecans near the house, they plan to hunt a deer for meat, beyond the big black smokestack far away, it is a near paradise of a find for them. While Tyreese and Carol go to clear the house, Lizzie and Mika wait outside. They argue about whether it’s okay to kill the walkers before one comes off of the porch near them and Mika is forced to “toughen up” and kill it to save Lizzie and Judith. Lizzie gets irrationally upset about the shooting and Mika has to calm her down by looking at the flowers and counting to three.
Later in the night, Lizzie is explaining to Carol that sometimes she doesn’t understand, but she’s trying to. Mika finds a doll, naming it Griselda Gunderson, and plays with it while she and Tyreese discuss being in a house. In the morning, Carol notices Lizzie playing outside with a walker – it’s the opening scene – that she’s named Griselda. Without missing a beat, Carol rushes out of the house and kills it. Lizzie promptly freaks out, screaming about how Carol killed her friend and asking what if she killed Carol?
After this meltdown, Carol is out with Mika, who informs Carol that the smoke is still burning whatever caught on fire because it’s still dark. She mentions that she misses science class and is clearly smarter than her deranged sister. When Carol goes back to Tyreese, he tells her that maybe they don’t have to go to Terminus, leaving the girls enough time to get into trouble. Unsupervised, Mika follows Lizzie away from the house and back to the walker that Tyreese didn’t kill. Why the hell didn’t he kill it?!
Mika tries to explain to Lizzie that they shouldn’t be pretending walkers aren’t bad. Lizzie tells her that she can hear them and wants to make everyone understand, as she feeds a mouse to the walker. Suddenly, a bunch of fire-burned walkers come out of the woods and they go running. All four of them work together to kill the small group of walkers and Carol seems to enjoy that both the girls are doing what they’re supposed to be doing – killing walkers. Later, Lizzie admits that she knows what she has to do now, telling Mika that sometimes you have to be mean, but only sometimes. The foreshadowing in this episode is stifling.
It’s morning again and Carol is coming around to the idea of the five of them staying in the house. Tyreese admits to Carol that he’s just not ready to be around other people yet, telling Carol about his dreams of Karen. He laments that the whole world is haunted now and there’s no way to avoid it until we die. Carol struggles with this confession, finally settling on telling him that they’re not haunting us, they’re helping remind us of what we have to do. They hug and Carol is still carrying the burden of killing Karen and David, but I thought she was really going to spill the beans here.
Tyreese and Carol get back to the house… to see Lizzie bloody and holding a knife, Mika lying on the ground behind her. She tells them not to worry, she’ll come back because she didn’t hurt Mika’s brain. It’s her way of showing them and when Carol tries to advance, Lizzie points her gun at her, telling them to wait and they’ll finally understand. She briefly alludes to turning Judith as well, but Carol tells her that Judith can’t even walk yet, which convinces Lizzie to wait. They talk Lizzie into going back and having lunch with Tyreese, while Carol stays behind and “ties Mika up with her shoelaces.”
At the house, Tyreese and Carol discuss what to do about Lizzie now. He informs her that she has a shoebox full of mice in her room, that she was the one feeding the walkers at the prison, and was behind the mutilated rabbit he found in the tombs. Carol suggests she leave with Lizzie, Tyreese suggests he leave with Judith, but neither option is ideal. Carol finally realizes that this is just how Lizzie is, she can’t be around other people – and with that revelation, they both seem to know what has to happen.
Lizzie and Carol are outside when Lizzie begins to get upset, thinking that Carol is mad at her because she pointed a gun at her. She stands away from Carol, her back turned, and cries, while Carol tries to tell her to just look at the flowers. I can’t believe The Walking Dead went this direction, but good for them. Carol actually takes out her gun and we hear the gunshot and the body drop. Tyreese is looking on from inside the house.
They dig two new graves to bury the girls. Later that night, they’re sitting at a table with a puzzle between them and Carol finally confesses to killing Karen and David, to keep everyone else in the prison safe, and to keep the illness from spreading. Fun fact from Talking Dead, the puzzle was a picture of Sophia in her rainbow shirt. Tyreese, after making sure that it was a quick death and Karen wasn’t scared, forgives her – lifting a weight from Carol’s shoulders. He then says they can continue on to Terminus.