Recap / The Walking Dead S 04 E 14 The Grove
Season 4, episode 14
Carol's efforts to help Lizzie and Mika grow stronger go horrifyingly wrong.
The episode begins with a panning shot through a kitchen - as a pot of water boils on a stove and light music plays in the background, Lizzie runs around outside, staying just out of reach of a walker trying to pursue her.
Some time prior, Carol, Tyreese and the children have made camp for the night, and Lizzie tells Carol about how she saved Tyreese at the prison. In turn, Carol tells her about Sophia, and that she misses her every day. Lizzie asks if Carol would miss her, but Carol replies that won't happen, and tells her to get some sleep. Soon after, she watches Tyreese as he mumbles in his sleep due to a nightmare.
The next morning, Carol uses some tree sap to seal up one of Tyreese's wounds and they discuss how long it will take to get to Terminus. She brings up Lizzie, and mentions how she doesn't think the walkers are a threat, and indicates that Mika is even worse because she "doesn't have a mean bone in her body".
The group continues down the tracks. Carol mentions that they should stop and look for water, taking Mika with her and leaving Tyreese and Lizzie to watch Judith. As they rest, Lizzie tries to play a game of I Spy with Tyreese, but they are interrupted by the sight of a walker shambling down the tracks. Tyreese hands her Judith while he walks down the tracks. The walker stumbles and falls on the tracks, but when he moves to put it down, Lizzie tells him to stop. She says he doesn't always have to kill the walkers.
In the nearby forest, Carol is telling Mika that she'll have to toughen up. Mika says she can run if she has to, but Carol says that won't be enough. Mika concludes that she is not like her sister, and that she can't kill people, further mentioning that she couldn't kill the Governor's attackers at the prison because she was paralyzed with fear. Soon after, the group discovers a house in a large grove.
Tyreese and Carol go inside and clear the house, while the sisters argue over whether the walkers are people or not. Suddenly, a walker hears them and stumbles out over the front railing, causing Mika to jump back in terror. Lizzie refuses to move, however, prompting Mika to take out her gun and shoot the walker several times as the adults run out. Lizzie begins crying over the dispatched walker.
Later, the group finally has a chance to truly relax. The next morning, however, Carol is boiling a pot of water when she looks outside and sees Lizzie playing with the walker. As it tries to grab her, Carol runs outside and tells her to get back. Despite Lizzie's pleas, Carol kills the walker and rails at her for not realizing the danger she was in. Lizzie protests that it was a friend while Tyreese looks on in concern from inside the house.
Carol and Mika go on another trip to scout the perimeter, and she tries to teach the girl how to fire a rifle at a deer. Mika still can't bring herself to pull the trigger, though, despite Carol saying she's stronger than her sister. Some time later, Tyreese and Carol are collecting water when he suggests that they can stay and live at the house for a long time.
Back at the house, Mika sees Lizzie wander off and follows her. At the train tracks, Lizzie takes a rat out of a shoebox and gives it to the crippled walker, smiling as it chews on it. Mika comes up and is shocked that her sister is now giving them names. Lizzie then suggests letting the walker bite her so she can turn into one and stretches her hand out towards it, but she is interrupted when charred and burned walkers come out of the forest, and Mika grabs Lizzie's hand and they run off.
The adults hear their cries and come running as Mika gets caught in a fence. Tyreese rescues her, and together with Lizzie reluctantly raising her gun and firing, they clear out the rest of the attackers.
That night over dinner, Lizzie tells Carol that she understands what she has to do. The next day, Carol expresses to Tyreese that she agrees with the girls that they could stay and make a living without going to Terminus. He then says he's not ready to be around other people yet, referencing Karen's death. Carol can only listen and stay quiet while he explains that the whole world is haunted now, and that there's no getting out until they die. Carol counters by saying that the dead are part of who they are now, and he gives her a hug.
When they walk back, they are confronted by a horrifying sight - Lizzie is standing with her hands bloodied and a knife in her hand, while Mika lies dead behind her and Judith crawls around on her blanket. Carol and Tyreese stare in shock while Lizzie cheerfully explains that her sister will come back soon. Carol tries to take the knife, but Lizzie pulls a gun on her and tells her to wait, saying she can prove that the walkers aren't as bad as she thinks. Carol agrees that they can wait, and takes the gun from Lizzie, who explains that she was going to do the same thing with Judith. Carol tells her that she'll tie Mika's body up, and for Tyreese to take the other two inside the house for lunch, then breaks down after they leave.
Inside the house, Carol and Tyreese discuss what to do. Tyreese tells her that he found Lizzie's shoebox full of mice, and realizes that she was the one feeding the walkers back at the prison. He expresses doubt that she would have killed Karen and David, but asks what they should do. They come to the conclusion that she can't be around other people, indicating that it's in her nature. Carol realizes what has to be done.
She takes Lizzie outside and tells her they can pick flowers for Mika. Lizzie asks if she's mad at her, and says that she's sorry for what she did. Carol tells her she loves her, and that everything will work out the way it's supposed to. Carol tells her to look at the flowers as she pulls out her gun. Tyreese looks on from inside as she shoots and kills Lizzie. Carol walks back, clearly distraught over what she's done, and sees the deer that Mika failed to kill.
Carol and Tyreese sit around the dinner table that night, and she confesses that she was the one who killed Karen and David. She tells him to do what he has to do, and passes him the revolver, but he can't bring himself to kill her. He says that he forgives her, but that he will never forget what happened. He realizes that they can't stay at the house.
As the pair set off again with Judith, Carol's voice is heard lecturing the kids at the prison about how people change when they become walkers...
- Absentee Actor: Much like the last several episodes, the majority of the characters are absent, save for Carol, Tyreese, Judith, Lizzie and Mika.
- Adult Fear: Carol gets this towards Mika, as she considers the latter to be an innocent soul who would be caught even if she tried to run. Her fears later prove founded when Lizzie kills Mika offscreen.
- Arc Symbol: Flowers frequently pops up.
- Arc Words: "Just look at the flowers..."
- Bad Dreams: Tyreese gets this at the start of the episode.
- Book Ends: Carol's voiceover at the end of the episode is of her lesson from the fourth-season premiere, and closes out a season-long plotline.
- Call Back/Continuity Nod:
- Carol brings up Sophia when discussing how Mika is a good child.
- Lizzie still thinks that walkers are people, just like Hershel's family before the barn shootout.
- The column of smoke that the group sees (and later, the charred and burned walkers) is likely the shack that Daryl and Beth burned down.
- Just before she kills Lizzie, she tells the latter to "look at the flowers", similar to what she said when putting down her father.
- The subject of who killed Karen and David is finally resolved, as Carol tells him what she did. In turn, Tyreese comes to the conclussion that Lizzie was the one who fed the rats to the walkers, ultimately causing a swarm to bring down one of the prison fences.
- At the end of the episode, as Carol and Tyreese continue heading towards Terminus, a voiceover is heard of one of Carol's lessons to the kids during their class at the prison.
- Character Development: Carol comes to terms with doing what had to be done with Lizzie (after what happened with Sophia), while Tyreese makes peace with the fact that Carol killed Karen and realizes that the dead are a part of who they are.
- Creepy Child: Taken up a notch compared to previous episodes, as Lizzie says that she is contemplating letting a walker bite her so she can be just like them, and soon after, killing her own sister and planning to do the same to Judith and watch them become walkers as well.
- A Death in the Limelight: For Lizzie (whose sanity goes off the deep end, and is put down by Carol as a result) and Mika (who is said to be just like Sophia before she's murdered by her own sister).
- Gender Flip: Lizzie and Mika's counterparts in this very arc are brothers, Ben and Billy. In Lizzie's case, she's a Decomposite Character since Ben did appeared as an In-Name-Only character during Season 3 and dies too soon.
- Hope Spot: After they discover the house, Tyreese expresses hope that the group can live there instead of moving onto Terminus. The peace doesn't last. In addition, the moment the four shoot down the herd of walkers brings hope that Lizzie might become closer to understanding the true nature of walkers. She didn't.
- Infant Immortality: Played straight and averted. While Judith survives unharmed, Mika is killed by her sister and Lizzie is shot by Carol.
- Ironic Echo: "She can't be around other people."
- Killed Off for Real: Lizzie and Mika.
- Kill the Cutie: Both Lizzie and Mika are killed off (the latter by her sister's hand, the former by Carol).
- Meaningful Echo: After Carol tells Tyreese that the dead are part of who they are now, he brings it up again after she confesses to killing Karen and David.
- Mercy Kill: Carol kills Lizzie after realizing that the latter can't be around people due to her violent tendencies.
- Moral Event Horizon: In-universe, after Lizzie kills her sister (and planned on doing the same to Judith before they showed up), Tyreese and Carol realize that she can't be around people at all, and decide to put her down for her own good.
- Mythology Gag:
- In the comic, Tyreese and Carol are a couple and mentioned starting a family one day. Here, they're certainly not (and can't be) a couple, but they become parental figures to kids, Lizzie, Mika and Judith.
- At the end of the episode, the party is reduced to Carol, Tyreese and Judith. All three should be dead at this point in the story.
- Not Afraid to Die: Discussed, and eventually subverted... maybe. While Lizzie shows no fear or hesitation around the walkers (even letting one "play" tag with her), she breaks down when Carol is going to kill her, apologizing over and over for what she's done while crying. It is not made clear whether she realized she was about to die or was crying for disappointing Carol — not by killing Mika, but by pointing her gun at Carol.
- Carol after admitting to Tyreese that she killed Karen and David and telling him to do as he wishes, knowing that Tyreese could very well kill her right there.
- Pink Means Feminine: The girls sans Carol are wearing pink clothes.
- The Place: The events of the episode takes place in it.
- Rule of Symbolism: The smoke in the distance becomes white just before Carol shoots Lizzie as she looks away. After Lizzie is killed, Carol sees the same deer that Mika failed to kill.
- Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Tyreese does this whenever he talks about Karen and David to Carol.
- Sanity Slippage: Lizzie clearly starts losing it, going so far as to let a walker "play tag" with her and naming the walkers, to the group's concern.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Carol's attempts to teach Mika to defend herself against humans becomes irrelevant after Lizzie kills the latter (offscreen) when the adults go out on a trip to get water.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Discussed by everyone. Lizzie is cold and treats the walkers as people, while Mika can't bring herself to kill humans and is seen as being innocent like Sophia.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: During The Teaser, the Ink Blots' sentimental 1940 hit "Maybe" is heard as the view from the kitchen window shows Lizzie "playing" with a walker.
- Also a possible Shout-Out to Fallout, as the same tune is heard during the intro for the first game.
- Stepford Smiler: Lizzie goes over the deep end, acting incredibly cheerful while a walker tries to grab her and after she kills her sister.
- Talking in Your Sleep: Tyreese, as he's having a dream while the group are resting.
- Team Killer: Lizzie kills her sister (and was planning to do the same to Judith) because she wanted them to come back as walkers.
- Wham Episode: Both Lizzie and Mika die, and the season-long plot of the "rat feeder" is finally resolved.
- Wham Shot: Carol and Tyreese seeing Lizzie has killed her sister and Carol later telling her to look at the flowers.
- Zombie Advocate: Lizzie continues to insist that the walkers are friends, to the point that she begins naming them. This is enough to sufficiently freak out everyone, and eventually results in her cheerfully killing her own sister and telling the adults it's okay because the latter will reanimate anyway.