The writers are damned brilliant. The episode was packed with drama. Tonight’s show opens with a slow motion scene of what life must have been like at the beginning of the apocalypse. A tea kettle is on in the kitchen, music playing, and an uninfected human is running for dear life, outside. (More on that later)
We are back to Lizzie, Mika, Carol, Judith, and Tyrese: Evening falls and Carol tries to get Lizzie to go to sleep with the others. Lizzie tells her how she had to kill to save Tyrese at the prison. Carol thinks she has to console Lizzie. I don’t think so. As they talk about Sophia, Lizzie asks Carol if Sophia being so nice is the reason she’s dead. Carol tells her it is. Harsh!
The next morning we hear Carol tell Tyrese about Lizzie’s confusion regarding humans and walkers – Lizzie seems to think that walkers are just a different kind of human. Carol realizes that Mika is not confused like her sister. She’s more like Sophia and doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. Damn! Foreshadowing? You also know something is coming when Lizzie stops Tyrese from killing a fallen walker on the train tracks behind them.
While out searching for water, Carol gives Mika the “toughen up” speech – that running away, like Sophia did, is not enough. This episode is full of surprises, since we also hear Mika speak her truth. She’s not messed up like her sister and doesn’t enjoy killing. Mika is sorry for the people who killed their friends at the prison; something drove them to kill, too, just as someone killed Karen and David (ruh roh). Mika turns after they find a homestead surrounded by a pecan grove and smiles as she tells Carol that it’s just as her mother said “Everything works out the way it’s supposed to”. Double Damn! That’s the point at which I knew I had to brace myself.
Carol and Tyrese search the home while Lizzie laments that they’ll kill “one of them” if they find them inside. Mika, appointed by Carol to protect Lizzie and Judith, yells at her reminding her that “they aren’t people, they’re just dead”. On cue a walker comes out and is shot by Mika, who then helps Lizzie recover from the shock by telling her to look at the flowers and count. The day settles and the newly constituted family spends the night in their temporary home. Tyrese is overcome by the good luck. Mika wants to stay. The night closes with Carol and Lizzie cracking walnuts, Judith asleep in a crib, Tyrese reading in a big comfy chair, and Mika sits on the floor, smiling.
BAM! The writers are hitting us with both barrels, the show’s opening scene is repeated and is this time placed in context. The uninfected human is Lizzie – “playing” with her new friend. Carol, who was putting the kettle on, catches sight of the nightmare and runs out to save Lizzie. As Carol puts down the walker with her hunting knife, Lizzie screams that she (the walker) only wanted to play. She wanted Lizzie to be her friend and that Carol killed her. She repeats the phrase, “You Killed HER!”, adding, “What if I killed you?” Tyrese looks on.
Tyrese later suggests that maybe they should stay – besides, he trusts Carol. While Carol and Tryese are pumping water from a well, Lizzie sneaks off to feed the walker on the tracks a mouse. Mika follows her and reminds her that they were only pretending things weren’t so bad by feeding the walkers mice at the prison – Lizzie reminds Mika that she was never pretending. She tells Mika that if she joined them, became a walker, she could make everyone understand. There is a thick stack of smoke they’ve been seeing through the trees all episode and it begins to make sense. Lizzie’s tirade is interrupted by a small herd of burned walkers who begin to approach them. Lizzie wakes up from her stupor and joins Mika as they run toward Tyrese and Carol. I really expected Lizzie to try to help them. It’s shocking that she ran.
NO! Mika falls and is caught up in the barbed wire fence as the walkers approach. Carol shoots and kills a walker who grabs Mika. Lizzie joins Tyrese, Carol, and Mika in defending the farm. The look on Carol’s face is one of relief. It appears to be evidence that Lizzie is done with her walker fascination. Night two is similar to the first – the fire is going, Carol and Lizzie are at the table, Tyrese in the “daddy chair” with Mika on the floor playing. They’ve baked a pie, had dinner, and are living a real life. Tyrese decides the next morning that he’s not ready to be around people, yet. He and Carol agree to stay for a while longer. Tyrese tells Carol about his dreams about Karen. The delirium he seemed to be expressing as a result of his wound at the beginning of the show is explained. He has nightmares where he sees her being murdered, “by a stranger”.
I cringe, thinking Carol is going to confess. Tyrese is not ready, and neither am I. I’ve fallen for this little family. They are giving me hope that the group will survive this awful time. She doesn’t – the writers are just playing with us now. As the two carry on, joking and laughing, they see a bloodied Lizzie and run to her. The blood is Mika’s. Damn the foreshadowing, Lizzie has killed Mika and wants everyone to wait for her to come back to life to show them that she’s ok. Carol has to distract Lizzie so she won’t see her put Mika down. Last week I cried for joy. This week I just want to bawl for Mika. This is so wrong.
Carol and Tyrese realize that Lizzie can’t be around others, most especially Judith – they know she was the person feeding the walkers in the prison. They are resigned to the fact that Lizzie can’t continue on. Carol leads her away from the house into the field as Tyrese watches on. Lizzie thinks Carol is mad at her and begins crying. Carol tells her she loves her and that she should just look at the flowers. Head bent, Lizzie continues crying until Carol pulls the trigger. (The Walking Dead meets The Sopranos). The girls are buried together. Night falls. Tyrese looks dejected. His girls are gone as well as his dreams of a normal life. Then there is the guilt. As if it’s not enough, Carol hands him a gun and confesses to killing Karen. The show is breaking my heart 5 minutes at a time. It’s clear he’s considering taking the gun and killing her. He asks if Karen was scared. Carole tells him it was quick. Tyrese grabbing the gun seems to be the end for Carol, but he tells her he forgives her.
Having to kill Lizzie helps him to realize the hell Carol must be experiencing – taking one life to save others. He forgives her and tells her that they have to move to Terminus. The house is empty. The yard is empty. Tyrese and Carol are empty. They take Judith and move on. I need them to reach Terminus. I need this to end for them, for a new beginning to take shape.