Last week ended with Beth being kidnapped and Daryl falling in with a very unsavory group of fellows… but we’re putting that on hold this episode to finally catch up with Tyreese, Carol, and the girls. Unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of trouble ahead, and it all begins with an intriguing and eerie opening.
A kitchen. Tea kettle boiling, haunting record playing. Out the window we see a girl running circles around a walker and then… credits! Really short, really creepy tease of an opening. After the credits we go to Carol and Lizzie, keeping watch over a sleeping Tyreese and Mika. Lizzie says that she can keep watch and take care of Judith. Lizzie dispassionately recounts what happened at the Prison, about her and Mika having to kill to protect Tyreese. Lizzie asks Carol about her daughter. “Do you miss her?” “Every day.” “Would you miss me?” “I’m not going to have to miss you. You’re dead on your feet, go get some sleep.” Dead on her feet?! Ominous turn of phrase in the zombie apocalypse. Lizzie hugs Carol and goes to lie down next to Tyreese, who’s having a nightmare.
The next day, Lizzie helps Carol collect some sap to treat Tyreese’s arm. Carol and Tyreese discuss how Lizzie doesn’t understand the walkers and what they are. Mika, however, has the opposite problem. She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body.
They hit the road again and head for Terminus. They discuss Tom Sawyer and Tyreese says that he forgot how Carol used to read to the kids. Carol’s like “I used to do wha–oh yeah. Yes, I read to the kids. I definitely read to the kids.” They pass by some walkers down the embankment from the tracks and Lizzie starts smiling and waving at them. Carol admonishes her. Before long they start to smell smoke.
Carol and Mika go off to look for water, leaving Judith with Tyreese and Lizzie. A walker shambles down the tracks toward them. Tyreese pulls his hammer but before he can do anything the walker falls into a hole and gets stuck there. Lizzie stops Tyreese from killing it, telling him that sometimes they don’t have to kill them.
Meanwhile Carol and Mika are walking, and Carol is trying to toughen up Mika. When Mika says she can run, Carol says that what Sophia tried, and we all know how that turned out. Mika says she isn’t messed up like her sister and then goes on to staunchly refuse to killing humans, even bad ones. Carol says she’ll have to change, everyone does. Just then they chance upon a house surrounded by a decent barbwire fence. Tyreese and Carol notice smoke from the fire they smelled. Tyreese says it might be from lighting or a camp fire. Or a redneck burning down a moonshine shack. They reckon it’s still a ways off.
Tyreese and Carol go to clear the house while Lizzie and Mika stay out front with Judith. Lizzie’s talking again about how walkers are just people when one bursts out of the house and falls off the porch toward them. Lizzie lies there helpless with Judith while Mika shoots at the walker. Lizzie’s crying, but not because she was almost zombie food, but because Mika shot him. Mika wants to bury the walker, since it was his house. Carol says if she wants to bury him she can do it herself.
Carol watches Mika struggle to bury the walker while Tyreese takes stock. They have baby food, canned goods, a crib, even gas for the stove. Carol goes outside for water and ends up helping Mika, just like Mika knew. She sure is plucky.
That night they all crowd around the fire in the living room. Impossibly peaceful for the first time in ages. Mika says that they should live there. Tyreese throws Carol a surprised look but she just smiles.
The next morning Carol puts on the tea and we revisit the scene from the intro. She sees Lizzie “playing” with the walker outside and runs out. She tackles the walker (who Lizzie named Griselda) and kills her. Lizzie starts screaming at Carol. “She was playing with me, she wanted a friend! I was going to lead her away! What if I killed you?! You don’t understand, you don’t understand, she didn’t want to hurt anybody! She was my friend and you killed her! YOU KILLED HER! YOU KILLER HER! SHE WAS MY FRIEND AND YOU KILLED HER!” Oh boy. Tyreese hears the kettle screeching and watches Lizzie’s breakdown from the kitchen window. Carol just has a look on her face like “this is going to be a problem.”
Later that day, Mika and Carol go for a walk. They see the smoke and little Mika drops some knowledge that black smoke means the fire is still burning. They see a deer. Carol wants Mika to shoot it. She takes aim but can’t pull the trigger. The deer gets away. “I can’t. We have peaches,” she offers with a shrug.
When Tyreese and Carol go for water later, Tyreese says they could stay. He doesn’t trust strangers anymore and offers the Prison as a lesson. He says he trusts Carol and the girls and they could stay there and live.
Back at the house Mika goes looking for Lizzie and sees her walk into the woods with a box. When she follows she finds Lizzie feeding a mouse to the walker. Mika tries to reason with Lizzie. Lizzie says that they just want her to change. To be like them. Super creepy. As Lizzie starts to offer her hand to the walker, more of them burst out of the woods, charred and smoking. The girls run. Mika gets stuck on the fence, and as Lizzie helps free her, Tyreese and Carol open fire on the walkers. Even Mika joins in. The four of them kill the walkers. Carol tells Lizzie, “You did it!”
That night Lizzie is remorseful but says she knows what she has to do now. Mika says she doesn’t want to hurt anyone, she doesn’t want to be mean. Lizzie tells her that sometimes you have to be mean. Tyreese has another nightmare on the chair.
The next day Carol also entertains the idea of staying. Tyreese says it doesn’t mean they can’t go some day, he’s just not ready to be around other people yet. He reveals that he dreams about Karen every night. He reveals that in his worst dreams, he sees a stranger kill her and he loses her all over again. The whole world is haunted now, he says. Carol is tearful, she says maybe the dead aren’t haunting them, just teaching them to live with what they have to do. Tyreese tells her not to be ashamed of what she’s done and hugs her.
As they walk back, they see Lizzie standing there. Judith on the ground. Lizzie’s hands bloody, holding a knife. They start to run. Mika is lying on the ground behind her. Lizzie smiles, “Don’t worry! She’ll come back! I didn’t hurt her brain!” Tyreese and Carol are shocked. Carol makes a move for Lizzie’s knife. Lizzie pulls her gun on Carol. “I need to show you! You’ll see! We have to wait!”
Carol asks for the gun and promises that they’ll wait. Lizzie hands it over and Carol tells her to go inside with Judith and Tyreese. Lizzie says that Judith can change too, she was just about to—Carol says Judith is too little and she’ll tie up Mika while they go inside.
When they’re gone, Carol’s cool breaks.
Back inside Tyreese and Carol sit down and try to talk it out. Tyreese learned from Lizzie that it was her who was feeding the walkers at the Prison fences and it was her that dissected and displayed the rabbit back in the tombs. He thinks maybe it was Lizzie that killed Karen and David. Carol says that Lizzie would have let them turn, it wasn’t her. Carol offers to leave with Lizzie, citing that they obviously can’t keep Judith safe with Lizzie around. Unfortunately, it seems pretty clear to Carol that Lizzie’s behavior is just part of who she is, and as is such, she can’t be around other people.
Carol and Lizzie go for a walk. When Lizzie picks up on Carol’s distress, she gets genuinely upset. “Are you mad at me? I’m sorry I pulled my gun on you!” Carol tells her that she loves her and everything works out the way its supposed to, echoing the lesson Mika tried to teach her. She tells Lizzie to look at the flowers. She pulls her gun and kills Lizzie.
Carol is, understandably, a mess as she walks back to the house. She digs a grave as Tyreese carries Lizzie’s body over. It’s just the three of them now.
As they sit quietly at the table that night, Carol slides her gun over to Tyreese and finally admits that she killed Karen and David. She says she had to stop the virus, she had to stop people from dying. It wasn’t Lizzie, it wasn’t a stranger. She tells Tyreese to do what he has to do. Tyreese grabs the corners of the table. “Did she know what was happening? Was she scared?” Carol shakes her head. “It was quick?” “Yes.” Tyreese squeezes the gun. Again Carol tells him to do what he has to do. He lets go of the gun. “I forgive you. I’m never gonna forget. It happened. You did it. You feel it, I know you do. It’s a part of you now. Me too… but… I forgive you.”
Emotionally exhausted and more haunted than ever, Tyreese says they can’t stay at the house. Too much has happened. Come the morning, they leave the house and the graves behind and head toward Terminus.
Holy F, what a heavy episode. Comics fans probably saw this coming, as it bears a lot of resemblance to the Ben and Billy storyline in the comics, but what about those of you who watch week to week only?
Did you expect Lizzie could go that far?
How do you think this is going to affect Carol in the long term–can she just keep hardening or is it eventually going to break her down?
And what about Tyreese?
We want your BEST comment, not your most upvoted comment. Lizzy and I will pick the comment that we think contributes the most to the discussion (by being funny, insightful, awesome, etc) and that person will get a TWD shirt and TWD PVC fig!
Oh, and be sure to check out our Post-Mortem with Robert Kirkman!