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The Walking Dead: A Not-Entirely-Serious Recap Of "The Grove"

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The Walking Dead

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Previously on The Walking Dead: Lizzie thinks that Walkers are "different" rather than dead; Tyreese discovers the burnt corpses of Karen and David; Carol confesses to Rick that she killed them, so Rick banishes her from the prison; Tyreese discovers a rabbit nailed to a board and cut open; he, Lizzie, Mika, and Judith escape the prison together; Lizzie almost kills Judith; Carol joins them, and they find a sign directing them to a sanctuary called Terminus.

Now!

Inside of a house, a copper kettle sits on a gas stove. A record player croons old-fashioned music. The camera pans outside, and we see a girl who looks very much like Lizzie in the yard. Considering that this girl happens to be joyously playing tag with a Walker, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that this is indeed Lizzie. The copper kettle begins to whistle.

Credits. Fun fact: Melissa McBride is the only actor from the main credits to appear in this episode.

Night. Tyreese and Mika sleep on the ground as Carol cuddles Judith and tells Lizzie to join them. "If there's trouble, I can take Judith. I can help," says Lizzie. Sure, if baby-smothering is what Carol needs help with. She asks if Carol thinks that there will be kids at Terminus. "If their parents kept them safe, like Tyreese kept all of you safe," answers Carol. "I saved Tyreese. There were people shooting at him. I shot them. First a man, then a woman," Lizzie says flatly, then adds, "I didn't mean to shoot her in the head." Red flag #1. Carol counters that Lizzie had had no choice. She tells Lizzie that she once had a daughter who "didn't have a mean bone in her body" and who Carol misses "every day." She's certainly hidden it well. "Would you miss me?" asks Lizzie. Carol reassures her that she'll never have to worry about that. At least, not for another 38 minutes or so.

Day. Lizzie finds a tree that is apparently filled with antibacterial sap, which Carol applies to the gaping wound in Tyreese's arm. He must have lot of faith in her herb lore. Tyreese mentions that Lizzie is tough, but Carol tells him that Lizzie doesn't understand that Walkers are dead. "[Mika]'s worse," sighs Carol. "She doesn't have a mean bone in her body." Well, that has a familiar ring to it.

Carol, Tyreese, Lizzie, and Mika trudge along the train tracks, with Judith strapped onto Carol's back. Carol recaps the end of Tom Sawyer for the girls, and Mika volunteers that Lizzie is just like Huck Finn. "You're not even grossed out by dead rabbits!" she says brightly. Red flag #2, folks. Lizzie glares at Mika, but neither of the adults notice.

Carol and Tyreese smell smoke. "Must be a big [fire]. It isn't anywhere around here," observes Carol. "Hmm," says Tyreese, "smells like moonshine and catharsis." They stop, and Carol and Mika head off into the forest to search for water. Lizzie and Tyreese stay on the tracks.

"I spy...trees and weeds," says Lizzie. Tyreese chuckles and cuddles Judith. Before he can take his turn, however, he spies a Walker approaching down the line. He turfs Judith onto Lizzie (to the screams of "Nooooo!" issuing from the homes of viewers everywhere) and withdraws his hammer from his handy hammer holster. The Walker falls through a rotten board and strands itself. Tyreese rears back to smack it in the head, but Lizzie pops up and stops him. "Sometimes we have to kill them," she says, "but sometimes we don't."

Carol and Mika wander through the woods. Mika says that Lizzie would have been able to carry more water, but Carol wanted to take the opportunity to talk to Mika alone. "You have to toughen up," says Carol. Mika disagrees: "I don't have to be tough. I can run." Carol stops and seizes Mika by the arm. "No! My daughter ran, and it wasn't enough. That's why I taught the kids at the prison to do more than that," Carol says harshly, a strange gleam in her eyes. "Holy projection issues, Batman!" Mika thinks to herself, but she tells Carol that she is not like Lizzie and can kill Walkers. "But I can't kill people," she continues firmly. "Killing people is wrong. Somebody killed Karen and David...they were nice--" Carol hardens at the reference to Karen and David, then argues that people might try to kill Mika. "I don't even wish I could," says the little girl. "I feel sorry for them...because they probably weren't like that before." Aw, go Mika. I hope that she doesn't get viciously murdered by the end of the episode. Carol berates Mika some more, but she stops when they chance upon what appears to be an enchanted grove filled with pecans, complete with a charming house and a functional well. "My mom used to say [that] everything works out the way it's supposed to," says Mika, grinning adorably.

Carol and Mika lead the others to the grove. "Maybe we could catch our breath here for a while," says Carol, dismantling a section of a barbed wire fence to grant them passage through. Lizzie notices a great plume of black smoke rising up in the distance, and Mika wonders what could have started the fire. "Maybe lightning, maybe a campfire," Tyreese hypothesizes. "It looks like the kind that forges unlikely friendships," notes Carol.

Yard. Lizzie and Mika sit on a bench, with Judith once more in Lizzie's arms. The adults cautiously knock on the door to draw out any Walkers. To their surprise, Daryl and Beth answer the door. "Welcome to our home!" says Beth brightly. "Yeah, we burned our last one down and needed a place to sleep off our hangovers," adds Daryl, "and this one was crazy close. Wanna meet our one-eyed dog?" Just kidding. But how funny would it have been for Tyreese and Carol to stumble on Daryl and Beth playing house? Oh, the comically awkward conversations that would ensue!

Anyway, back in the actual episode, Carol comments that if there are any Walkers within, they aren't making much noise. Carol tells the girls to wait outside and not come in, no matter what they might hear. "Mika, take out your gun," Carol orders. Mika gingerly does so. "Stand strong, little lady," says Tyreese. He's so cute with the girls. I'm glad that none of them have been gutted or shot in the head or anything. The adults go inside.

Mika notices that Lizzie looks upset. "They're gonna find one in there, and they're gonna kill--" says Lizzie, distressed. "Stop it! They aren't people!" Mika interrupts. "But you're wrong, all of you," says Lizzie. Red flag #3. Mika starts to yell, and suddenly, a Walker appears behind them and lunges at Lizzie, who falls to the ground holding Judith. "Here, take this one!" shouts Lizzie, and she drops the drops the baby and runs. Not really. That would be super dark. Lizzie clutches Judith and tries to back away. Mika raises her gun and takes two shots before finally getting it in the head. Lizzie screams as the Walker drops, and the adults come running. Tyreese grabs his BFF Judith and takes her inside, but Lizzie stares at the dead Walker and begins to cry. Carol asks her what's wrong. "I don't want to say," says Lizzie. She sits down, shuddering. Mika approaches her sister. "I'm sorry that I yelled at you," says Mika kindly. "Just look at the flowers, like you're supposed to." Lizzie does, and Mika counts aloud with her until she calms down. It's all totally normal.

Night. Carol cracks pecans with Lizzie at a table in the living room. "Sometimes I don't understand," says Lizzie earnestly, "but I'm trying to." The little ray of sunshine that is Mika bounces into the room, carrying a rag doll. "I'm gonna name her Griselda Gunderson!" she enthuses. Tyreese enters and says that they're pretty well set up, then sits down in an easy chair and looks remarkably content. "We should live here," says Mika. Sounds like a good plan. Who names a sanctuary base "Terminus," anyway?

Morning. Carol fills a copper kettle with water and puts it on the stove. Uh-oh. This seems familiar. She glances out the window and sees the girl who is Lizzie laughing and playing tag with a Walker. Panicking, Carol leaves the stove on--very dangerous, Carol!--and races outside.

"Get away from it!" she screams, drawing her knife. Lizzie stands protectively in front of the snarling Walker, whom she has named "Griselda." Well, they can't have two Griseldas. That would just be impractical. Carol shoves Lizzie to the ground and tackles Griselda 2.0, jamming her knife into its skull. "She was playing with me. She wanted to run!" protests Lizzie, almost hysterical. "She wanted to kill you! You could have died!" Carol unhelpfully bellows. "It's the same thing!" Lizzie shrieks, angry tears streaming down her faace. "You killed her! You killed her! It's the same thing! What if I killed you?! What if I killed you?!" There's about 37 red flags right there. Carol, scared now, tries to calm Lizzie, but Lizzie is beyond reason. "You don't understand, you don't understand," she stammers. "You didn't have to. You didn't have to. She didn't want to hurt anybody. She didn't want to hurt anybody! She was my friend and you killed her!" Tyreese enters the kitchen to take the whistling kettle off of the stove and looks outside as Lizzie continues to break down.

Later, Carol takes Mika hunting. Mika--toting the rifle--notices the smoke still rising in the distance. Carol opines that the fire might have gone out. "Nope. The smoke's black. If it was white, the fire wouldn't be burning anymore," says Mika, citing science class. "Wow, somebody must have had a lot of demons to shed," says Carol, gazing at the smoke. Then, because hunting is apparently super easy in non-Daryl episodes, they see the only deer in Georgia that likes to eavesdrop on conversations about fourth grade science. Mika tries to give Carol the gun, but Carol tells Mika to do it. "Just like I showed you at the prison," says Carol. Oh, whatever. Mika can't bear to take the shot, and Carol exudes disappointment as the deer walks away.

Carol and Tyreese gather water from the well together and don't bother supervising Lizzie after her emotional breakdown. Tyreese suggests that they do as Mika had said and just stay in the grove rather than heading to Terminus. "I know Lizzie and Mika. I know Judith. I know you," says Tyreese, trying to smile. Carol looks a smidge guilty.

Mika walks out of the house in search of Lizzie, who she sees leaving the property with a box in her hands. Mika chases after her, leaving Judith to develop some serious abandonment issues. She finds Lizzie on the train tracks, happily feeding a live mouse to the trapped Walker. "When we were giving them names [back at the prison], we were just pretending things weren't bad...We can't pretend anymore," says Mika sternly. "I'm not pretending. I can hear them. They just want me to be like them," says Lizzie. She reaches her hand out toward the Walkers mouth. "I can make you all understand."

Suddenly--just in time--a band of charred Walkers bursts out of the forest. Mika grabs Lizzie, and they run back toward the grove with Walkers hot on their heels. Mika's ankle gets caught as she tries to wriggle through a gap in the barbed wire fence. She screams for Carol and Lizzie, and Lizzie immediately turns back to help her sister. It's a very close call, but Lizzie pulls her away and Carol makes a headshot before Mika is bitten. Phew.

Burnt Walkers continue to emerge from the forest. Carol, Tyreese, and Mika draw their weapons and begin to mow the zombies down. After a moment, Lizzie joins in, and Carol takes note.

Night. Carol watches Lizzie, sympathy etched all over her face. Sure, now. "I had to help stop them," Lizzie monotones. "Do you understand what they are now?" asks Carol softly. "I know what I have to do now," answers Lizzie. Well, that was ominously vague.

Tyreese reclines in his easy chair and mutters in his sleep.

Kitchen. Carol and the sisters roast pecans and bond.

Day. Carol and Tyreese stroll around the grove, leaving the girls alone again. No worries, it definitely won't backfire on them. Carol has warmed up to the idea of remaining indefinitely. "If you don't want to go to Terminus, we could stay," says Carol, smiling. "Good," responds Tyreese, smiling back. Uh-oh. Is this a new 'ship that I'm sensing?

Maybe not. Tyreese elaborates that he isn't ready to be around new people so soon after losing Karn. He dreams about her every night, he says. Carol, not facing him, begins to tear up and look mighty guilty. "Some nights, bad ones, I see someone kill her. Some stranger. Then I lose her all over again." Carol ages about four years. "But that's the deal, right? People who are living are haunted by the dead," Tyreese finishes, his voice thick. She forces herself to look at him. "Tyreese?" she quavers, on the verge of confessing...but Carol changes tack. "Maybe they're not haunting us. Maybe they're just teaching us, so that we can live with what we have to do." She's crying now, and Tyreese pulls her into a big hug. "Don't you ever be ashamed of who you are, Carol," he says. Aw, Karen was a lucky lady.

They head back toward the house. Carol tells a hunting joke from her married days, and Tyreese obliges with a laugh. They're smiling, and all seems well...until they spot Lizzie standing in the yard. Her hands are red to the wrists. Judith plays innocently on the ground. Mika is nowhere to be seen.

Uh-oh.

They race forward and are aghast at what they see: Lizzie is standing over Mika's lifeless body, clutching a bloodied knife--the knife that Carol had given her at the prison--in her hand. "Don't worry," says Lizzie, almost chipper. "She'll come back. I didn't hurt her brain." Carol reaches forward to take the knife, but Lizzie drops it and draws her gun on Carol. "No!..I need to show you. You'll see, you'll finally get it. We have to wait." Carol, trying very hard to remain composed, promises that they can wait. Lizzie relinquishes the gun. "You and Tyreese should take Judith inside," Carol suggests shakily. "But Judith can change, too. I was just about--" Lizzie begins, but Carol cuts her off. "She can't even walk yet." Lizzie agrees and goes into the house with Tyreese, who keps a very firm hold on the baby. Once alone, Carol breaks down over Mika's body...and draws her knife.

Later. Carol sits at the table and listens as Tyreese tells her that he cleared Lizzie's room of any knives or weapons before shutting her in. "She has a shoebox full of mice," he says. Good for Lizzie. Mice are hard to catch. Tyreese wonders if Lizzie could have been the one to kill Karen and David. "She would have let them turn," says Carol. "It wasn't her."

It now falls to them to decide what to do with Lizzie. Blaming herself, Carol proposes that she take Lizzie and leave to protect Judith. Both adults seem to recognize, however, that splitting up would likely mean death for all of them. "She can't be around other people," realizes Carol, and neither of them wants to be the one to say what it is that they have to do.

Carol walks Lizzie out into the yard. "We should pick some wildflowers for Mika," Carol suggests, "to give her when she comes back." Lizzie thinks that Mika would love that, but she picks up on Carol's mood. "Are you mad at me?" she asks, looking frightened. "I'm sorry I pointed my gun at you. I just needed you to wait."

Well, that settles that.

Lizzie starts to cry. "I'm sorry," she says again. "You're mad at me." It's so heartbreaking. She walks away from Carol and stands over a patch of flowers. "I love you," says Carol, her voice breaking. Lizzie just stares at the flowers, sobbing and apologizing over and over for pointing her gun at Carol. "Please don't be mad at me," she begs. "Just look at the flowers, Lizzie," Carol tells her. Lizzie does. She looks down at the flowers, and she does not see Carol draw a gun. She does not see Carol point it at her head. She does not see that Carol is crying, too. "Just look at the flowers," says Carol...and she fires.

Tyreese watches from a window.

Together, they dig graves and bury the little girls.

Night. Carol and Tyreese sit at the table. Broken by the deaths of the sisters and her failure to protect them, Carol slides her gun across the table and tells Tyreese that she killed Karen and David. "You do what you have to do," she says, weeping and looking as though she hopes that he'll pull the trigger. Devastated and furious, Tyreese clutches the gun for a long moment...then lets it go. "I forgive you," he says, almost whispering. "Never gonna forget. It happened. You did it. You feel it. It's a part of you now. Me too. But I forgive you." Carol thanks him.

Morning. Carol and Tyreese pack up their few belongings and set out for the train tracks once more, leaving two fresh--and very small--graves behind them. Judith is strapped to Tyreese's back.

Next: Daryl's fallen in with a bad crowd; Glenn, Tara, and Abraham follow the tracks; Rick...is also there.

Episode Tally

Zombies Killed: 8

Humans Killed: 2

Character MVP: Tyreese

Character LVP: Judith

Chekhov's Grenade: the prison rats (payoff), the dead rabbit (payoff), Carol's knife (payoff), Daryl's and Beth's fire (payoff)

Zombie Kill Of The Week: Mika saves Lizzie and Judith

"Stay In The House, Carl!" Moments: 3

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