WARNING: Do not (I reiterate, DO NOT) read on if you have yet to watch last Sunday's episode of The Walking Dead, titled "The Grove." Spoilers abound from here, so you have officially been forewarned. If you have seen the episode already, then I hope you enjoy the rest of the article!
Let's get some quick facts out of the way first - both Lizzie and Mika are now dead. Judith is alive, despite some viewers not noticing her during the very last scene of "The Grove," in which she, Carol and Tyreese leave the house to head to Terminus. We found out from Tyreese that it was indeed Lizzie who had been feeding the walkers near the prison, and that she had been basically torturing rats; Tyreese stated to Carol that Lizzie told him she did because it was "fun." And, Carol finally confessed to Tyreese that she had killed both Karen (his ex-girlfriend) and David. This ended the rumors that had been swirling online accusing Lizzie of having committed the killings. Nevertheless, Tyreese found the willpower to forgive Carol, in which she replied with a "thank you." One important thing to note from her confession is that she never said she was sorry for having to kill Karen and David. This further accentuates the fact that she honestly believed it was in the group's best interest to get rid of them both when she did, in order to prevent the deadly virus from claiming more lives.
Before I go any further, let me just say that this show continues to be among the bravest ones currently running. The content displayed during "The Grove" will have many people talking about it for a long time, just like Robert Kirkman predicted. The episode may have been the most controversial one so far, or at least the most controversial one this season. Personally, I really liked the episode, but at times, it was tough to watch. But anyway, let's get back to what I wanted to talk about - Carol. After watching "The Grove," do you all believe that she did the right thing? Do you think she might have gone too far with her decisions? Heck, do you believe the show, in general, went too far?
First of all, I have a confession of my own - I never wanted to believe for a second that Lizzie was as deranged as many 'TWD' viewers believed. Despite all the backlash against her, I tried to stay on her side. Why in the world did I do that? Because, to me, she was just a little girl who did not see the zombie apocalypse for what it really was. Lizzie obviously thought that walkers were really sick people who needed help. Her younger sister, Mika, ironically enough, had a better understanding of the undead. However, Lizzie always refused to come to terms with what a walker really was. At the beginning of this season, while everyone was still living happily at the prison, she was seen naming several walkers. During "The Grove," she was seen playing tag with one, and she was infuriated when Carol killed it. It seemed to me that all Lizzie needed was a strong-minded mentor beside her at all times. And I always believed that mentor would be Carol. She was not only very strong-minded, but she knew how to deal with kids in that kind of brutal and sadistic world. Remember that she was teaching the kids at the prison how to properly wield knives and defend themselves in case of an attack. So, with Carol by her side, I believed that Lizzie could perhaps change her mindset about the apocalypse and come to terms with what it really was, and how she needed to go about surviving that world. If she would not do this, then I believed that her time on the show would be short.
On the other hand, it seemed like Lizzie was mentally getting worse and worse each time we saw her. Remember the episode in which Carol first ran into Tyreese and the two girls after the prison? There was a scene in that episode in which Lizzie was apparently trying to smother baby Judith with her hand, in a deadly and unnecessary attempt to quiet the baby down so as not to attract any walkers roaming nearby. This was where my belief in Lizzie started decreasing, but I still slightly kept on hoping she would change. Again, Carol being with her was a big reason for my continuing to hope for Lizzie. But early on during "The Grove," I had a slight inclination to believe that if Lizzie did not change in that episode, then she would most probably die in it. And if she was killed off, then Mika's chances of staying alive would also diminish.
However, it became abundantly clear last Sunday that Lizzie was never going to change her mindset, and that Carol would not be able to help her. Lizzie just kept on dangerously playing around with walkers; she even fed a rat to one that got stuck on the railroad tracks. But what really worried me was when Lizzie made it her own personal goal to prove to Mika, Carol and Tyreese that people reanimate alive rather than dead. And her goal came to a tragic and deadly end when she stabbed and killed her own sister, again attempting to prove that Mika would re-emerge alive. Although many viewers had predicted this, it completely shocked me; I literally had my hand over my mouth in a "I can't believe what I just saw"-kind of way. Carol, at this point, was clearly fed up with Lizzie, and this was a side of her that Tyreese never saw coming. Carol admitted to Tyreese moments after the murder that she had sensed ominous signs coming from Lizzie's thoughts and actions, and she regretted not dealing with her in a more constructive and methodical manner. The two briefly explored two separate options - leave the house (and possibly Lizzie), or try to help her further. Knowing full well now that Lizzie cannot be trusted around Judith (whom she was apparently going to stab after doing the same thing to Mika), or other people for that matter, Carol made a tough decision. She led Lizzie outside the house, and while having Lizzie gaze upon the flowers, Carol shot Lizzie in the back of the head. I think my heart might have sunken deep after watching that because I could not speak for a while. I was dismayed and saddened in a way no other 'TWD' episode has made me feel. Like I stated above, I really liked the episode, and I even watched a replay of it. But that particular scene stayed in my brain for a while. So the question now becomes (which is the same one I posed earlier): was Carol right in what she did?
To conclude, some viewers may feel like Lizzie deserved it for killing her own sister, Mika. Some may feel like there was no way of helping Lizzie, and that killing her may have been the only way for Carol to save her from herself. There was no way for Carol or Tyreese to have known with any certainty whether Lizzie was truly beyond help or not. But much like the deadly virus that plagued the prison, Lizzie's actions were not only going to get her into trouble, but also those around her. She just seemed so intent on continuing to believe her own false assumptions. On the other hand, a few viewers may believe that killing a kid like that is wrong, even in a zombie apocalypse. Lizzie and Mika's late father made Carol promise that she would take care of them. So, maybe Carol had a duty to continue aiding Lizzie, no matter what the odds were. One last thing to remember is that Carol always stressed to Lizzie the importance of being tough and strong-minded, so she may have inadvertently swayed Lizzie to do all that she did. And in spite of the fact that the makers of this show are not afraid of killing off any of the characters in any way, could they have gone too far this time? All are good talking points to discuss further. But one thing is for sure, this episode will be among the most talked about ones ever. It may also be the very best one we have seen; definitely one of the most emotional episodes to date.
So that's it for me, which means it is time for you all to opine! Would do you all make of Carol's decision? Is it right or wrong? Did Lizzie deserve it? Is Carol a cold-blooded killer, or is she just trying to do whatever it takes to survive? Write away in the comments section below