**WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!**
This season, more than any other since the first few episodes, have drawn heavily from the comic. This has been great for a fan like me because the stories being pulled from the book are from my favorite era of the comics, the group on the road again after the prison’s demise. This trend continued in last Sunday’s episode “The Grove”.
Carol, Tyreese, Lizzie, Judith and Mika are on the road to Terminus when they happen upon a place to stay that the small group deem habitable after a while. Mika and Lizzie deal with the harsh realities of this new world they live in and find different ways to cope with it. Mika more or less accepts it while Lizzie has a hard time making the connection between what the walkers were and now are. This reminded me a lot of a naive Herschel when we first met him.
Meanwhile Carol is racked with the guilt of killing Karen after having to listen to Tyreese wax poetic about her. This was a strange episode for Tyreese in that in a few scenes he came off as softer than a basket full of new born babies; softer than a sky full of rainbows; softer than Pau Gasol’s defense. Look, I’m not expecting a thug or anything, but damn son, you are way too into a girl you were only with for a few episodes. Anyway, Carol finally comes clean to Tyreese and of course, he forgives her. I can’t blame him for that as his odds of survival greatly decrease without Carol so good move on his part. Though I’m sure that was the furthest thing from his mind.
Lizzie finally goes off the deep end eventually, and in a move to prove that the walkers are human still, kills a poor defenseless Mika. I can relate to Lizzie here as I once found myself convinced that the oddest revelations held true and made myself look like a crazy person trying to prove it. But it was only once…after dropping more LSD than any one person should in one sitting. After this all of Lizzie’s crazy behaviors start to come to light, such as feeding the walkers at the prison. It shows how far back the writers went just to set up this one moment so kudos to them for that. What a payoff. But God, I wish they hadn’t spent the whole episode endearing me to that sweet child with the wonderful smile only to take her away in the most heinous fashion.
Carol does what’s best for the whole world after this and puts a bullet in the brain of what would be a future psychopath serial killer for sure. This scene was pretty powerful, but it lost something for me being that in the comics it’s Carl who does this dirty deed in what becomes yet another in a series of incidents I call “the metamorphosis of Carl”. Taking that away also lessens the impact of Lizzie’s death as it’s not as poignant. Still, the whole episode was played out pretty well.
My only gripes about it, aside from Tyreese being softer then a Drake album, was the way Carol kept insisting that the girls become hardened killers at the flick of a switch. What took Carl a long time to work towards Carol wanted to see happen with the girls overnight. She plied a lot of pressure onto them and in the end it was for not. My other gripe is that it’s taking way too long for our group to come back together. The show has a way of taking comic arcs that lasted a few issues and stretching them out for a half season. I really don’t want this whole second half of the season to be the splintered group’s search for Terminus. And what’s up with Rick and Carl? I know the Internet is always abuzz with Daryl, Daryl, Daryl, but I’m a Rick and Carl guy. They are my favorite characters. I would appreciate an update please.
Overall, this was a good episode that shows things are a lot worse than just a zombie apocalypse. Life must go on and sometimes some people, or kids, have no way of reconciling that in their heads. Though I would love to see all our friends reconnect we have been getting some great character work along the way.
4 out of 5 nerds