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'The Walking Dead': The Grove (4x14)

Dani Langlie
March 20th, 2014 1:41pm EDT

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Holy... Shhhhh.... iiii.... Oh my God. I'm trying to remember if I've ever been more shocked and horrified by anything this show has ever done, and I'm having trouble. I mean, I was pretty surprised when Sophia walked out of the barn, when Hershel died, when Andrea died... but this one is just... worse.

We check in with Carol, Tyreese, baby Judith, Lizzie, and Mika. They are continuing along the railroad tracks, heading towards Terminus. Carol expresses worry that Mika is too soft to survive in this new world, and Lizzie is confused about the Walkers. She thinks they're just different, and doesn't want to kill them.

The group find a pecan grove, and decide to stay there for a while. Carol sees Lizzie playing with a Walker, and of course she intervenes, killing the Walker. Lizzie is enraged, insisting that Carol has killed her friend. Later, Mika finds Lizzie playing with a Walker that's caught in the railroad tracks. When a group of Walkers come out of the trees, the two girls run back to the grove. The two of them, along with Tyreese and Carol, are forced to shoot several of the Walkers. Lizzie tells Carol that she understands now what she has to do.

The next day, Carol and Tyreese go on a hunt and discuss Karen and David. When they get back to the house, they find that Lizzie has killed Mika, insisting that she will return and that they will finally understand that the Walkers are okay. She says she was about to kill Judith, too. When Carol and Tyreese come forward, Lizzie points a gun at them. Carol manages to talk Lizzie down, and Tyreese gets Judith back to the house.

Tyreese and Carol talk about the situation back at the house. Tyreese says that Lizzie admits that she was the one feeding the rats to the Walkers back at the prison. The two of them realize that they can never leave Lizzie alone with anyone, because she's not safe.

Carol takes Lizzie outside. Lizzie is upset, thinking that Carol is mad at her. Carol tells Lizzie to just look at the flowers, and she shoots Lizzie, killing her. Carol tells Tyreese that she was the one who killed Karen and David. Tyreese forgives her. The two of them take Judith and continue on their way to Terminus.

Ooookay. Yeah. It was all very shocking. If I had to talk about problems in the episode, it would mostly be that the buildup in previous episodes wasn't that great. I didn't really get, until this episode, that Lizzie had some sort of mental disorder. Maybe if we had seen a freak-out, earlier at the prison, like the one we saw in this episode when Carol killed Lizzie's "friend." Honestly, though, this is more a personal preference than a legitimate complaint. I always knew there was a little bit of something off about Lizzie, and maybe that was all I was supposed to know.

And in all honesty, this episode kicked ass. The pacing was astounding. I know that sounds like an odd thing to praise, but it's true. In particular, the lead up to the moment in which we saw that Mika was dead... it just hits you out of nowhere. There was just the perfect level of trepidation leading up to it all, but it was still a horrible shock when you saw Mika lying there, and you saw the blood on Lizzie's hand... ugh, I'm getting chills just thinking about it.

Also, I liked the way that Carol was the one to kill Lizzie. Very Of Mice and Men. And the fact that Tyreese forgives Carol for killing Karen and David. I figured this would happen, but it was still very well executed by the actors.

In special effects news, the crispy Walkers were a nice change from the norm. Very creepy.

And I could go on. But I think you get the gist... this was an amazing episode, and had a few very, very intense moments in it that I will never forget as long as I watch this show.

9/10

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