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'The Walking Dead' - 'The Grove': Sit Around, Dream Away The Place I'm From, Used To Feel So Much, Now I Just Feel Numb

By TK | TV Reviews | March 17, 2014 | Comments ()


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Note: This review will contain a spoiler for the comic book version of The Walking Dead. Just skip the first paragraph if you want to avoid it.

This is not an episode that one enjoys, but rather one that you endure. It was — quite unexpectedly — one of the most heartbreaking and disturbing episodes to date, and the fact that we were so unprepared for it made it all the worse. Because here’s the thing: in the comic book, Judith died when the governor stormed the prison. It was brutal and shocking and I thought it would be the hardest thing we’d ever see when it comes to The Walking Dead. When the television show’s writers decided to spare her life, I thought that they were pulling their punches, softening the story for TV audiences.

I was wrong. The horrible truth is that they were saving her life so that they could show us a path that was much, much worse. Much like each of the preceding episodes, this was one about contrasts, about darkness and light, hope and despair. And this time, it was heavy on the despair end of the spectrum.

Of all the smaller groups that we’ve been watching, this one has been the most unsteady, the most disconcerting. There’s Lizzie, who seems like an evolving psychopath. Her disregard for human life, her fascination with the walkers, coupled with an eagerness to please makes for a combination that’s downright unsettling. Yet despite all of her strange quirks, Carol doesn’t is still ultimately blind to the damage she’s doing in her quest for a surrogate daughter. Of course, the other side of the coin is the sweet, innocent Mika, the yin to Lizzie’s yang in every way. She knows what the walkers are, and is willing to do what needs to be done, but when it comes to the living, she lacks the fortitude to make the hard choices. And throughout it all, I kept saying to myself that these are children, and they shouldn’t have to make those choices. That Carol is too hard, too cold, too unyielding in her efforts to teach them to be survivors.

But now? Now, I’m not so sure. In a world full of zombies and dangerous humans, having two girls who empathize with each is troublesome. When Carol kills Lizzie’s “friend,” it led to one of the most disturbing and tragic scenes, and my respect for actress Brighton Sharbino skyrocketed. Throughout this episode, she shone, demonstrating a depth that had largely been absent prior to this. But here she was, damaged and crazy and sweet and eager and just so, so wrong in every way. And even when she finally shows her willingness to shoot, she still doesn’t feel right, and her declaration that she knows what she has to do was more chilling than reassuring.

Yet despite all of this, there’s hope to be found. Mika wants to show Carol — and everyone, really — that there’s cause to believe, that life is worth living and cherishing. Tyreese can’t help but be tempted by this makeshift family unit, wanting to stay at the house instead of heading to Terminus. Even Carol, despite being wracked with guilt about Karen, and torn by anxiety about the girls, even she feels like maybe there’s hope to be found in that grove, that life can be rediscovered in that house. And when Tyreese says that “the people who are living are haunted by the dead,” Carol feels it more than anyone, and prays that maybe by bringing them together, by staying and growing and living, she can put that demon to rest.

And then everything comes apart, and we finally see the truth about Lizzie. It’s so much worse than we’d imagined — in a million years, I never would have seen it coming. It’s not that they can’t trust Lizzie. It’s that there is madness bubbling behind those blue eyes, and finally it breaks free, takes over, and she does the unthinkable, something that stunned me perhaps more than anything in this show’s bloody, terrifying history. There hasn’t been anything quite like that horrific scene, Lizzie with hands stained red, Mika with face dead and white, Carol and Tyreese devastated by finding the depths of human darkness in the face of a child. Afterwards, everything is brought to light — now we know who was responsible for feeding the walkers, for dissecting the rabbit. Carol’s guilt sinks to new depths, and there’s only one thing to be done. Lizzie may be sorry for pointing the gun at Carol, but not for killing her sister, and that’s when we know that she can’t come back. So Carol is forced to do something so awful, so heartbreaking that it defies all human instinct. The mother of a dead child must kill another child, the one she thought could fill the hole in her heart.

Carol’s Of Mice And Men moment was one that will always be remembered, and reminded us why Melissa McBride has become so invaluable a performer on this show. It’s no surprise that, in a desperate attempt to numb the pain, she finally admits the truth to Tyreese, hoping that he’ll end her misery and assuage her guilt. With a gun on the table, she finally admits to her sins, practically begging for absolution in the form of a bullet. Yet Tyreese might be the most human of them all, and his forgiveness is unthinkable, yet also perfectly understandable after all they’ve seen and done.

I’ve been saying that these little vignettes, these episodes focusing on smaller groups have been some of the show’s strongest, and it is no more apparent than in “The Grove.” It was the strongest of them all so far, partially because there wasn’t a silly, logic-defying sequence needed to get them where they needed to be. This was a vicious gutpunch of an episode, built up beautifully, giving a sense of hope and change that felt like the beginning of something new and wonderful. But at the end, two children are dead, and souls are laid bare, and everything is worse than ever before. It was a powerful, strangely satisfying episode that ended miserably and brilliantly. Finally, in the end they know they must move on, because all that remains in that house is are reminders of their own tragedies and mistakes.



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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • BeardoGomez

    This stunk, like all episodes of this stinky show stink.

  • Boothy K

    I'm curious about what this says about how people with obvious mental illness should be handled in the zombie apocalypse. I haven't heard or read anything that addresses people who after a year and a half don't have access to anti - psychotic medication, or anti - depressants, etc. I think it would be an interesting debate, just for shits and giggles....Cuz people be crazy.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    This episode reinforced my desire to write a children's book titled "P is for Psycho"

  • elsie_the_first

    I want that house! Also, I kept thinking that Carol would let Mika turn and then feed Lizzie to her.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Not to detract from the seriousness of the episode - but they are TERRIBLE hunters.

    "Oh shoot, the deer moved twenty feet that way. No dinner for us I guess, let's go back."

  • Skyler Durden

    They let the deer get away because Mika didn't want to kill it and Carol, picking her battles, decided not to press the issue. They weren't starving.

    And besides, there were peaches!

  • Sean

    And that the deer let them get that close in the first place.

  • Maydays

    It was definitely the darkest episode, and well-acted but I don't understand why it was necessary. With the opening scene it became clear that it would be Lizzie-centric and Lizzie was a fringe character. Why did we need to have further development just to kill her off? I was already clear on how far Carol would go. It seemed like a huge gut-punchy plot device just to get to a place where Tyrese could forgive Carol (which was, of course, an amazing scene). WITH ONLY THREE EPISODES LEFT! My biggest heart-leaps were for scenes showing Daryl's fire. I'm really wanting to get back to how all our main characters are faring.

  • Jenn TheYellowDart

    I actually don't think it was character development for Lizzie; I think it was more for Mika-as-replacement-Sophia *as well as* filling in all those once and for all answers to who had dissected the rat and was feeding the walkers at the wall.
    I'd read so many theories about the "dissected" rat - including a theory that Bob - a medic - had been at ground zero of infection and was somehow immune which is why he's always the last man standing out of all the groups he's been with and that he was frantically trying to find a cure, hence scientific lab-rat experiments. So at least Lizzie's story wrapped up those loose ends.

  • I felt that Lizzie's developing psychosis was disjointed. Leading up to this episode, it was alluding that she was developing into a cold-hearted killer (staring intently while smothering Judith, picking incessant fights with Mika, etc.). This episode had her more Charles Manson than Ted Bundy, if you get my drift. I liked her when she was snapping under pressure, not when she had reached psychopathic nirvana with "Walkers are just different, maaaaan."

    All in all, great episode and I didn't hate myself after watching it. It also continues to cement my love for Carol, probably the one character in the show who's had the most development -- and I'm so grateful that she's such a violent deviation from her goddamn insipid comic counterpart. (I can't see the love triangle from the comics happening now, though.)

  • TimeTravelMan

    tell me about the rabbits George

  • Marc Greene

    For me, walkers are now boring on this show. I'm surprised that the group sees them as that much of a threat even after living in this zombie world for two years. The premiere of season 3 had me psyched that they had worked out how to manage walker extermination, yet every time we see the characters interacting with a walker, they are on the verge of poopin' themselves. Literally, a child can kill walkers at this point. Tyreese fought dozens with a claw hammer and made it out unharmed. A plague-recovering Glenn fought like 15 with his Star Power armor on and didn't even get scratched or significantly winded.

    On the other hand, the real threat in this new world is people. Anyone who has survived so long in this world should be quite dangerous. The most tension I've felt in this half season so far was Rick trapped in the house with the marauders. Walkers are at least predictable; you never know what you might get with a post-apocalyptic survivor. Some of the stuff I have heard about later threats from the comics sounded interesting to me which has kept me interested in the show, but this half season has been a real drag to watch everyone take 3 to 4 episodes each to all end up on the same train tracks. Talk about railroading a plot...

    I miss Lizzie already. Carol broke her promise to show her the rabbits.

  • Joanna Chojnacka

    Totally this - except for the part where you dis this season. It's the best they've had in a while.

  • Marc Greene

    I guess my point of "the drag" is the plot points of the last 6 episodes could be boiled down to bullet points:

    -Rick, Michonne, and Carl run into bad guys
    -Daryl falls in with said bad guys and Beth is abducted
    -Glenn and whats-her-name end up with new "good guys"-maybe?
    -Carol mercy kills a psycho girl and confesses to Tyreese

    Everything else, which seems to occupy 70% of the run time, (i.e. Maggie, Sasha, and Bob, Beth and Daryl's moonshine trip, etc) can be summed up as "people mill around, a little character development happens, people make predictable (and easily avoidable) Walker-based mistakes and then they find the train tracks"

    All of this trying to find each other and meandering around until they fortuitously find a common marker could have EASILY been avoided if they established a rendezvous point or two in case of emergency at the Prison, EXACTLY like they did with the Farm when they said to fall back to the Highway breakdown lane.

    I mean isn't like hostile forces had breached their borders before requiring rapid fleeing or anything...just those first two times (the Farm Herd attack and the first Governor Attack). It seems like they collectively decided to panic and assume that anyone they aren't actively looking at is dead. Rick, Carl, and Michonne assuming Judith is dead is completely understandable with them having seen the bloody carseat, but Darryl fairly quickly assuming that Rick, Tyreese, Maggie, Glenn or Michonne are dead (or any variation of that core combo assuming the same) after like 2 to 5 days is somewhat goofy considering that these are people he has seen with his own eyes escape WAY more calamitous circumstances in the last two years. I mean he has seen Michonne, Rick, Glenn, and Maggie in action tons of times and once saw Tyreese escape HUNDREDS (see the picture) of Walkers with no more than a claw hammer like a week ago. Remember, no more than a week or so has passed since the Governor's attack, maybe less time.

  • Joanna Chojnacka

    The things you describe are some major plot points, while the 70% you dislike is EXACTLY where all the character development happens. I can't believe that you thought the moonshine trip was pointless - huuuge character development there for Daryl, especially considering how the last ep with him ended. It's his journey through hope and despair, trust and closed-off safety, softening and familiar hardness. You're crazy, dude.

    On the other hand, yeah, why the hell was there no established rendezvous point?? Ze fuck?

  • Marc Greene

    I guess my dismissive attitude of the Daryl moonshine revelation is that it didn't really reveal much about him to the audience that we didn't already know. We've known about his softer side since Season 2 as well as his defensive nature when other characters happen to see it. I think of anything it was a more important episode for Beth as she had been pretty much relegated to window dressing and babysitting for a bunch of episodes, but had at least some opportunity to shine (or moonshine if you will). Too bad she'll likely get eaten/abused/dismembered/assaulted by whoever was driving that car.

  • punkinelf

    Agree about Daryl. Before, they were turning him into a nice pet. Now he gets his mean/crazy back.

    Agree also they had no emergency plans. I think the characters are just waffling. No definite sense of their character. I'm said Michonne was tamed by former psycho kid. Rick is so not needed anymore

  • Marc Greene

    ANY of the primary group assuming that Daryl or Michonne might be dead is stupid: INSERT GIF OF MICHONNE DECAPITATING A DOZEN WALKERS HERE and DARYL KILLING TANK AND/OR DOZENS OF WALKERS WITH A CROSSBOW AND KNIFE

  • Marc Greene

    I do have to agree at least the first half of the season presented an interesting threat with the Illness, but the Aftermath of the Governor's attack, which itself felt somewhat robbed of its gravitas by being basically a correction of the what should have happened the first time around, plopped out into the character development and plot points of the "Great Meander" into the back 8 episodes.

    Where I normally find myself pausing to recap what all has taken place with my wife in a show with at least as many characters and plot lines like Game of Thrones, The Wire, or Boardwalk Empire and answering her question "Wait, what just happened?", I find with Walking Dead lately I'm more frequently answering the question, "Has anything happened yet?". Part of what made last night's episode shocking was that interesting stuff happened! By comparison, what happened in the Sasha, Bob, Maggie plotline last week? They walked. Maggie still wants to find Glenn, Bob still says they should stay together and Sasha still says let's give up trying to find possible survivors of the Prison because we have been walking around ("in circles") and haven't seen anyone, so they obviously must be dead o.O. In the end, they end up walking (this time along the Plot Tracks) except now Sasha agrees they should stay together because Bob kissed her. Also, we found out that Bob was just kind of found along a road by Daryl and Glenn because his groups keep dying, a plot development at least as anticlimatic as finding out Daryl did "nothing except hang out with Merle" the episode before (met with a resounding "No Shit" around my viewing group).

    That rant being said, I'm hopeful that all Plot Tracks leading to Terminus can result in some new conflict with Daryl's band of marauders and/or Beth's kidnappers or other baddies yet to be seen. I'm hopeful that new alliances and strengths will be added (i.e. Abraham) and characters will be built up and torn down again and again. Do any of the characters other than Carol and Tyreese have dark revelations still in their back pocket at some future reunion point?

  • rio

    I don't think Lizzie was a psychopath, her brain just processed the zombie apocalypse as a different version of humanity, which makes everything all the more heartbreaking. She wasn't a monster, or evil, or even crazy, but in a world were most people see walkers for the rotten corps they are, and they just want to survive, she was dangerous.
    Still, I don't know how I feel about killing her, though abandoning her would have been really less cruel?
    Jeez, they fucking killed two kids in the same fucking episode, and HOW! There is dark, there is apocalypse dark and then there is this.

  • Joanna Chojnacka

    Abandoning her wouldn't have worked - she would have followed them, they would be leaving her to die slowly and painfully, or another group of people would have found her and she might have killed again.

  • punkinelf

    Abandoning would have been cruel. Testing out her theory of zombies on herself would be tragic. Smother her in her sleep. More humane ways. It proves how Carol's brain is wired. Remember, her abusive husband was killed FOR HER, her zombie daughter shows her to be a brave little soldier, and no way can you excuse her killing two defense dying people who were locked in a cell.

  • rio

    yeah, I know, you're right, I just can't wrap my head around the idea that shooting her in the head was the only option, thought it kinda was. But could they have shot her while she was sleeping damn it? I don't think she knew what it was about to go down, at least not fully, but holy fuck.

  • Joanna Chojnacka

    Yup! The entire scene I knew that that's what I was supposed to be expecting, but I just kept thinking, "no way no way no way no way something else is going to happen"

    I don't think she saw it coming at all! It was totally her 'feeling crazy, look at flowers' thing that she'd done lots of times already.

  • I pretty much despised everything about the episode until the moment Carol took action. There was no other way to go, and frankly, Carol is the only one who could have done it. It's hard enough being an adult in this world, so I can't imagine the toll it would take on kids. I'm kind of hoping that since it's all Judith will ever know, she'll grow up the most badass girl we've ever seen.

  • troublesometots

    Judith totally stresses me out because I love babies and even putting them fictionally in peril is palpably upsetting. That being said she's effectively silent luggage. They need to find shelter asap because mobile verbally toddlers are going to draw zombies pronto. Seriously I'm going to have to stop watching this show B.C. of the kids in peril issue...

  • glittergirl1970

    kids in peril doesn't affect me as much as dogs in peril. it's me. i don't think dogs are more important then kids. I just don't have kids, I have dogs. if it was dogs in peril, i could not watch!!!

  • John G.

    Oh, there's no way. She didn't survive this long to not be reunited with Rick and Carl. She has to live at least that long. I can already hear the overbearing score when it happens.

  • kirbyjay

    I always wonder why there are no child zombies ( other than Sophia) and why they all look alike. All of the women have shoulder length hair, most in dresses and are somewhat slender, all of the men are very average too.

  • BigSpain

    I keep looking for like, ex NBA player zombies or something like that. Just for fun.

  • Laura

    They should throw some of that in the show - I bet there are tons of people that would love to be a zombie for a day on that show!

  • kirbyjay

    I would love a Donald Trump zombie. You could spot the comb-over a mile away. I would take extra pleasure in lopping his head off and leaving him to stare at a negative letter to the editor of New York magazine for all eternity and no hands to write back.

  • Jenn TheYellowDart

    There've been a few child zombies (girl with teddy bear at gas station that Rick comes across; Sophia...)
    But I think they avoid showing them so as to make people stabbing/shooting zombies in the head less traumatic. The show works when the audience disassociates from the zombies, not if/when we re-humanize them.

  • kirbyjay

    Yeah, that makes sense.

  • Joanna Chojnacka

    I'm guessing that, yeah, producers don't want the outrage that regular child zombie-killing would cause.
    I agree that they don't want to humanize them, even as much as giving them distinctive looks, and the inherent attention and quasi-personality that comes with standing out from the crowd.
    Also, I think they tend to re-use extras a lot.

  • kirbyjay

    I know I keep seeing the same zombies....

  • grr arrgh

    Was I the only one bothered by the fact that Carol and Tyreese buried Lizzie next to Mika? I know they were sisters but I wouldn't want to be buried next to my murderer, regardless of their relation to me.

  • kirbyjay

    She wasn't a murderer, just mentally unbalanced.
    The thing that bothers me with the whole Carol killed Karen and David and Tyrese must never know thing is that a few of the others at the prison had already died and zombified and it wasn't until Hershel got the meds to cure Glen that any of them survived. They were going to die, it wasn't like Carol murdered them in cold blood.

  • KZoeT

    Lizzy intentionally killed her sister. That's pretty much the textbook definition of a murderer.

    That she was mentally unbalanced, as grr arrgh mentioned, doesn't excuse or absolve her of the murder.

  • punkinelf

    I think Mika would have wanted Lizzie with her. She is all forgiveness and understanding

  • kirbyjay

    She was not of sound mind and the very definition of insane, therefore it was not premeditated murder and yes it does excuse and absolve her of murder. In the same vein as "not guilty by reason of insanity" she should not be allowed to be among people because she is a danger to herself and others. Carol and Tyrese made the right call seeing as there was no mental hospital in the vicinity. (sarcasm)
    You guys should really bone up on mental illness, sounds like you don't understand it. I bet you think anxiety and panic attacks are just "a little stressed and having a bad day"

  • DominaNefret

    Thank you.

  • grr arrgh

    She killed someone. She's a murderer, regardless of her mental state. I'm not being dismissive of mental illness. If this show weren't set during the zombie apocalypse, I'd say put her in a mental hospital so she can get the help she obviously needs. This wasn't an option. They could've just told her to leave but I think Carol chose the quick death rather than her starving or being turned into a walker. I don't think Carol could bear to see another child die the way hers did.

  • leuce7

    Late to the game, but if you're talking about the legal definition of murder, no, she's not a murderer precisely because she's insane. In non-zombie apocalypse world, she'd be locked up forever, but in a mental institute until she's fit/safe to be in society.

    Basically, if she, because of her mental illness, doesn't

    1. know what she's doing is wrong (check);
    2. doesn't understand the nature or quality of her actions (check);
    3. the crime was a product of her mental state (check); 4. lacked substantial capacity to understand the criminality or her conduct or conform her conduct to law (check);
    5. she was suffering from a mental illness at the time of the crime (check).

    then she can't be found guilty of murder. So by legal definition, she is not a murderer.

    Now, if legal definition doesn't matter to you (and I'm assuming that it doesn't since you said "regardless of her mental state"), then any killing is murder, and anyone who kills is a murderer, including people who kill in self-defense. Legally, there is no murder. Mental state does matter, and to disregard it does make you sound callous or dismissive, even if you're not trying to be.

    Now, if you said I wouldn't want to be buried next to my killer, then I, for one, wouldn't have a problem with it. "Murder" by definition includes a judgment. "Killer" by definition is just a fact. So, you're coming across as judging someone with a mental impairment (she's completely lost touch with reality and is insane) harshly, and that's why it comes across as dismissive.

    I'm not trying to be pedantic, I'm just wanted to highlight the nuances that make people offended.

    I don't think I'd want to be buried next to my killer, either, though. But I'm the first to admit when I'm being resentful, and that's what that would be.

  • DominaNefret

    You absolutely are being dismissive of mental illness.
    If you weren't, you wouldn't have made the comment about being bothered about them burying Lizzie next to Mika.

  • DominaNefret

    I am also going to say that, as someone who lost my brother when he was 23, extremely tragically, that you are being dismissive of family.
    Trust me on this one, family, people who loved both of them, wouldn't give a flying fuck if one of them killed the other in this way. They'd mourn both of them, and bury them side-by-side.

  • God Of Bal-Sagoth

    A fair point, but you know, there was a way to make this point without sounding like a condescending jerk. This was not that way.

  • kirbyjay

    Maybe I felt like being a condescending jerk. I get really sick of people that dismiss mental illness as "it's all in your head".
    And you're kind of a condescending jerk for calling me one.

  • God Of Bal-Sagoth

    Sure, that's perfectly understandable. But perhaps it's also worth understanding that the discussion is about someone who killed her sister, and thus is likely going to elicit some fairly emotional responses. I don't think that anyone is being dismissive of mental illness, and I don't know where you got that from. Folks seem to be willing to acknowledge that, but that doesn't change the fact that what happened is pretty horrific, and that it's perfectly acceptable for them to react as such.

    You want to sound off on people dismissing mental illness, be my guest. But don't take your frustrations out on those who didn't really give any offense, and certainly who didn't mean to offend.

  • grr arrgh

    I understand she was mentally ill/unbalanced, but that only explains why she murdered Mika, it does not excuse it.

    I see why Carol would hide that she had killed them. She's afraid the others would find her untrustworthy afterwards.

  • There was a concept in Max Brooks' "World War Z" book: the quisling. These were people who had been so mentally-unhinged by the rise of the zombies that they had turned into believing they were zombies. They acted like they did. They attacked like they did. But the zombies could tell and they would feed on them -- and the quislings would never fight back.

    That's what I thought of when I saw Lizzie tonight: a quisling. Someone who couldn't process this information anymore. So her little mind shattered and she came to believe that they were normal. Which combined with her willingness to deal violence to protect them would lead to tragedy.

    One question I will ask though is: WHY THE HELL DID THE GROWNUPS LEAVE THE LITTLE CRAZY GIRL WHO THINKS WALKERS ARE HER SPECIAL FRIENDS ALONE WITH HER TINY SISTER AND A TINY BABY?! Talk about Dumb Idea Taco Supreme.

    And did Lizzie know what Carol was about to do? She was crying as she was told to look at the flowers and I'm thinking "No one is that dumb, right?"

  • punkinelf

    Because it was in the script. Carol killed (& set on fire) two sick people and everyone was so sure it was Lizzie. The two grownups HAD to go for a walk so that Lizzie could killed Mika and that cold blooded woman could gun her down. No wonder Tyrese said it was all good, He has to be alive to protect Judith from one gun.

    After Rick had homogenized Daryl into a mamby pamby, (At least Beth could have given him his balls back,) Michonne tamed by no longer psycho Carl (a boy will be rehabilitated), Sasha bought off with a kiss, Carol becomes the leader.

    I hope she kills wimp rick (Hey! Rhyming slang!) next. I've been sick of him 4 evah!

  • kirbyjay

    They probably thought she finally "got it" after she shot a few of the burning walkers, though I don't think I would ever leave kids alone in a zombie world no matter how badass they are.

  • MissElvira

    I caught Carol giving Lizzie a significant look while they were shooting. I don't think Lizzie was really trying. I think she was trying to waste their bullets.

  • grr arrgh

    I don't think she knew. If she did, she at least hoped Carol wouldn't kill her.

  • Sean

    That was certainly the feel-good hour of TV for the year. It was also the best episode of the season, by far.

  • John W

    *****SPOILERS*****

    Did Lizzie know she was about to get the Adriana treatment?

  • I took it as she knew what was about to happen. No one's told to look at the flowers (as opposed to saying pick them or something) and good things happen, you know?

  • TK

    The "look at the flowers" thing has been a theme for Lizzie for a long time - it's what Mika always used to say to her whenever she would freak out about something, even back when they were at the prison. It wasn't a new thing.

  • Laura

    Made me wonder if Lizzie had some psycho tendencies even before the apocalypse.

  • Joanna Chojnacka

    Yeah, her reactions seemed like something that had already been established in her - like maybe that was how she reacted to her parents stunned, disbelieving faces when she would do something disturbing before the zombies (like, say, leaving an animal strung up and dissected like she did at the prison).
    S'cuse my psychoanalyzing, but I'm guessing that maybe distressed apologizing and crying is what (in the back of her mind, I don't think she was actively manipulating, seems not in control enough for that) she found worked with her parents to turn them from horror and revulsion at her to feeling the need to comfort her.
    Too bad for Lizzie this time it's not the family pet, but her sister, and it's not her soft-hearted parents, but an already hard and emotionally-ravaged Carol.

    [fuck. That last line was too callous.But I have to look at her objectively as a character in a text to be studied cause.....fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!]

  • rio

    Melissa McBride said on Talking Dead that she didn't know, she only thought Carol was mad at her for pointing the gun, not because she killed her sister.

  • DarthCorleone

    I interpreted what she said differently, as I thought Melissa McBride was saying definitively that she did not think Lizzie knew.

  • rio

    Yeah, that's what I meant, I clearly phrase it wrong.

  • lmtj

    I was just thinking that! She put her eyes on the flowers to calm down. Mika acted like this wasn't the first time she needed to find calm. In such a psychotic state, was she truly realizing what was about to happen or was she preparing herself for what she thought she wanted, which was to become a walker? The walker voices were already saying it.

  • Sean

    Clearly she did.

  • Kristen Mc

    Wish I could say this one shocked me. My husband called it two weeks ago. Pretty similar to a scene in the comic. Still, very hard to watch it play out.

  • Finance_Nerd

    "This was a vicious gutpunch of an episode"... this pretty much sums it up for me. Beautifully acted, but that second half was so tough to watch. My stomach is still knotted up. Gonna be tough to go to bed w/this stuck in my mind.

  • troublesometots

    Processing feels. Not sure how I feel about this one yet except it strayed into territory too dark for me. There is a line between chilling and bleak and they crossed it. That being said maybe episodes like this and red wedding/got keep the chills coming because it establishes none are safe.

  • lmtj

    That opening scene said it all about what this episode would be like. With Lizzie laughing as the zombie chased her like it was a game, you knew something bad was going to go down. I figured Mika would die. I figured it would be because of her sister. But to see the gruesomeness of the scene was downright chilling.

  • Jenn TheYellowDart

    This episode...I don't even know where to begin.
    Melissa McBride, though. She is literally the best thing on this show. I'm totally throwing down the gauntlet on that.

  • meadowdancer

    What you said. I cried. Seriously. That was a horrible thing to have to do and she kicks more butt than Rick any day of the week in my mind.

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  • grr arrgh

    I totally agree. Want to join my "End the Ricktatorship" club? I genuinely wouldn't mind if they killed Rick and Carol became the new leader/main-ish character.

  • Miles Curtis

    I think you're a bit late to the party - The Ricktatorship ended in the penultimate episode of last season when he said 'I won't be your Governor' and then was replaced by the council...

  • Jenn TheYellowDart

    I second your motion. Rick is a terrible leader with ZERO forward thought. I've been shrieking about him since he was all like "I have to go back to get Merle." right after reuniting with his family. Because his moral compass is wildly off base.

  • Miles Curtis

    Actually he went back for the walkie to contact Morgan, the guns, and Merle in that order. Citing Merle was just a way of trying to calm Daryl down

  • Jenn TheYellowDart

    I see your point - but the fact remains that he himself did not have to go! Anyone could have made that run; all he had to say was: Oh hey, in that bag of guns, make sure the walkie is there, too.

  • grr arrgh

    Exactly! He pisses me off because he often refuses to do what needs to be done, unlike Carol. He banished Carol for killing people who were going to turn into walkers anyway. Plus he got mad at her for teaching the kids survival skills. Last time I looked, EVERYONE in the zombie apocalypse should know how to use a weapon. I know they're children and they should get a childhood, but they can still act like kids while knowing how to use a weapon and defend themselves. It's like a more extreme Stranger Danger.

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