'The Walking Dead' recap, 'The Grove'

Carol (Melissa McBride) did what had to be done
Carol (Melissa McBride) did what had to be done (Gene Page / AMC)

Well, that was unpleasant.

I think we've all become pretty desensitized to the constant slayings of both zombies and human characters on "The Walking Dead," but even seasoned veterans of gratuitous television violence likely were touched by Sunday night's episode, when two little girl characters were the fodder.


Shame on you if you're reading this without watching said episode, but just to summarize: Lizzie, who has become gradually more disturbed and perverse in her interactions with the zombies, finally goes off the deep end and kills her little sister, Mika, presumably in an effort to prove her point, to make us all "understand."

In the aftermath of that disturbing scene, Carol — who is no stranger to killing — takes Lizzie for a walk to a pleasant meadow of flowers and guns her down with a bullet to the back of the head.



The episode starts off with a very chilling scene. A kettle of water boils on a stove top, promising delicious hot tea, as we see Lizzie frolic and play through the window in slow motion, with a reanimated corpse in flowing garments pursuing her in a twisted game of tag.

I loved it.

As shocking as the deaths of Mika and Lizzie were in this episode, I don't think that their characters really had a long-term future in this series. Lizzie was eventually going to succumb to the temptation to become what she was so fascinated by, and Mika was too sweet and innocent to survive. But their deaths were much more poignant than those of some other minor characters we've eulogized.


The rules on killing in the world of "The Walking Dead" are much different from the rules on killing in our universe of commutes and Yoga and tax returns and Trader Joe's. But there are still rules.

The difference was made clear at the end of the episode, when Carol revealed to Tyreese that she had killed Karen, Tyreese's former soulmate. Tyreese could have killed Carol in that moment, and Carol was prepared to die, but Tyreese chose not to kill. He forgave.

As Lizzie ironically said, "sometimes we have to kill ... but sometimes we don't."


It would have been nice if they could have stayed at that pleasant little cottage. There was a pecan grove out front and they could have just sipped hot tea and eaten delicious, decadent pecans for the rest of time. Pecans are expensive. I tried to buy some to add to a salad recently, but when I saw the price on the bag my eyes turned into big dollar signs and my mouth went into the shape of an O, like "Oh my!" Butter Pecan ice cream is delicious, pecan sandies, I haven't even mentioned pecan pie. Pralines, roasted pecans, cranberry pecan chicken salad. The possibilities are endless, and delicious!


  • Carol's Colt Cobra .38 is the same type of weapon that Jack Ruby used to kill Lee Harvey Oswald. (AMC Story Sync)
  • The song at the beginning is "Maybe" by The Ink Spots. (Walking Dead Wikia)
  • The fratricide storyline of this episode is similar to the Ben and Billy storyline from the source material.
  • Melissa McBride (Carol) said on "Talking Dead" that the jigsaw puzzle she and Tyreese were putting together was a picture of Sophia wearing a rainbow t-shirt from Season 2.


  • Mika calmed Lizzie while Carol euthanized their father earlier this season by telling her to "look at the flowers." Both instances are a reference to John Steinbeck's "Of Mice And Men."
  • This is the third straight episode without Rick Grimes, his longest absence in the series. Producer Greg Nicotero said that was done intentionally, to underscore how fragmented the group is now.
  • Mika finds a dolly and names it Grundle Griswold or something silly.


Tyreese: "Sometimes I see her in a crowd in a city I've never been to and it's before everything happened, and some nights I see someone kill her, some stranger, and then I lose her all over again. That's the deal, right? The people who are living have it harder, right? … the whole world is haunted now and there's no getting out of that, not until we're dead."

Carol: "Maybe they're not haunting us, maybe they're reminding us."

Carol: "When she sees the walkers, she doesn't see what they are. She thinks they're just different."

Lizzie: "Sometimes we have to kill them, I know that. But sometimes we don't."

Mika: "I'm not like my sister, I'm not messed up. I know what they are, but I can't kill people … killing people is wrong … I don't even wish I could ... I don't want to hurt anyone, I don't want to be mean."

Lizzie: "They just want me to change, to make me be like them. Maybe I should change … I could make you all understand."

Carol: "What's the difference between beer Nuts and deer nuts? Beer nuts are around $1.79, deer nuts are just under a buck." What is this, Bill Bellamy's "Who's Got Jokes?"

Lizzie: "Don't worry, she'll come back. I didn't hurt her brain ... Judith can change too, I was just about..."

Carol: "Just look at the flowers, Lizzie, just look at the flowers."

Winner: Lizzie. Best joke: Carol


They were all pretty similar, but I liked the one where the burnt-to-a-crisp-like-an-overdone-Thanksgiving-turkey zombie fell over the barbed wire fence, then got his smoldering skull exploded by a bullet. I wanted to be the stuntman who got to stumble over the fence. They'd spend like 16 hours putting me in all that crazy make up, then I'd go out there and lumber around like a real creep before my big moment when I got to tumble over that fence. The crazy costume I was wearing would protect me from any real pain, and everyone would give me a nice warm round of applause at the end of the scene, after some Hollywood assistant extinguished me. Then I would take a long shower and treat myself to something nice from craft services. Maybe a chicken cheese steak sub.


Not just one, but all of the burned ones. They were like rotted body corpses. They were all charred up, like their gooses had been cooked. Some of them looked like Tar Man from "Return of the Living Dead." They looked like a burnt up piece of toast. They looked like in an old Looney Tunes cartoon, when someone got blown up by a bomb or had their shotgun backfire in their mug 'cause Bugs Bunny put a cork in the end of it or something.


Zombies: Nine, for 318 on the season. Most of them happened when all those charcoal barbecue men came stumbling out of the fire.

Humans: Two. :-( And they were both sweet angels. Mika was so cute, and Lizzie may have been a delusional, sociopathic killer, but she was still just a little girl.


What group were those guys who searched Rick's house from? Whose shoe did they find near the train tracks that made Beth cry? What book was Carl reading in the house? What book was Rick reading before those weirdos invaded the house? Who was on the other end of that radio transmission from earlier in the season? What is new with Morgan? Who kidnapped Beth? Whose grave did Daryl and Beth come across?

A look ahead to the next episode, "Us"

The survivors inch ever so slowly closer to Terminus.