Last Sunday's March 16, 2014, episode of The Walking Dead Season Four episode 14 titled "The Grove" also proves you can shoot an episode that's not a season finale and still provide a whammy. Last Sunday's episode provided a double whammy. And both involved Carol, acted superbly by Melissa McBride.
After the episode aired, on the following AMC show Talking Dead hosted by Chris Hardwick one witnessed a solemn hush. There was no beginning audience clapping and cheering as is usual before the show's intro. Celebrity guests who are fans of The Walking Dead, Phil Brooks also known as CM Punk WWE wrestler, Yvette Nicole Brown, actress, singer, and comedian, along with Melissa McBride who acted in episode 14, all three were quietly sitting on the guest couch holding hands. This happened, while host Chris Hardwick began his intro before a commercial.
Two children died, both little girls who were sisters in last Sunday's episode. And the manner in which they died was the first whammy. Shortly following that, Carol, a character who so far has survived since Season One, made a confession to Tyreese. That was the second whammy. Yet to be honest I intuitively knew, and I'm sure at least half the viewing audience, that Carol would speak such to Tyreese before the end of the fourth season, now two episodes remaining.
Tyreese would have had to find out eventually about who killed his beloved Karen, which happened during the first half of Season Four. For during that first half, Rick first tells Maggie upon his arrival at the prison enclave after a supply run accompanied with Carol, whom he had banished. Then he tells Hershel, and at last Daryl. After Hershel was mercilessly killed by the Governor during his prison attack, that left the three survivors, Rick, Daryl, and Maggie who all knew. Although both Rick and Daryl were about to tell Tyreese, but were interrupted by the sudden onslaught of the prison attack. Now with all three survivors knowing the killer of Karen and currently separated from each other and from Tyreese, that opened up the orchestrated storyline of Tyreese and the two girls with baby Judith having that chance meeting with Carol.
Now about those two children who died, it is the zombie apocalypse after all. Children die in The Walking Dead. But thankfully the children don't die often, and equally thankfully they are not the drawn out graphically depicted gruesome deaths. With the adults that's another story.
The two little girls who were sisters that died in last Sunday's episode, Mika and Lizzie both with outstanding acting by Kyla Kenedy and Brighton Sharbino, that although tragic, was still carefully handled with tact. The episode was directed by Michael Satrazemis, and wonderfully written by Scott Gimple who also should be Emmy worthy for such a powerful episode.
With both Tyreese and Carol now faced with the glaring situation of what to do about the psychotic Lizzie after the older girl kills her little sister Mika, they decided upon a heartbreaking choice. And since Lizzie although disturbed had always looked up to Carol, it would be Carol who would act upon that choice. And Carol's heartbreaking act, was also handled tactfully.
The tagline for The Walking Dead is, "Fight the dead, fear the living." Although zombies are to be destroyed, that does not leave the living off the hook. The living are to be feared as well, which is the shows commentary on societal breakdown. The Governor, exceptionally acted by David Morrissey, was a definite danger among the other adult characters on the show. But the writers decided to up the ante a bit, and introduced us to Lizzie. Also that left Tyreese and Carol being concerned about the safety of Rick's baby daughter Judith.
Then next, we see Carol finally confessing before Tyreese. That it was she who had killed Karen who was afflicted with the deadly flu-like plague while all were at the prison enclave. Following that, she graciously leaves it up to Tyreese to do whatever he felt right, as she places a gun on the very table where they sat. But despite mounting anger yet controlled within, he decides to forgive Carol saying he will never forget, to end by saying, "It's a part of you now."
Since last Sunday's heartrending episode, fans are no doubt debating amongst themselves about the manner in which Carol dealt with Lizzie. And that's good. This is one of the show's strengths where key characters every so often face staggering moral dilemmas.
For also when viewing the following AMC show Talking Dead, an audience member was invited before the celebrity group of four, Chris Hardwick the host, Phil Brooks, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Melissa McBride who plays Carol, to ask a question. And the question the audience member, a gentleman, asks is the following, "If Tyreese can forgive Carol, why not Rick?" It's a fair question. To which if I may, perhaps can shed some light upon as to an answer.
Besides committing murder, it was not Carol's call to kill both Karen and David as both were afflicted with the deadly flu-like virus. She may have felt it was the only way in an effort to halt the plague, but she dealt rashly, and without first consulting the council. This Rick may have felt toward Carol. Both could have eventually been cured, as some were such as Glenn, by Hershel.
Following that as another reason, Rick may have felt the need to banish Carol to protect her from Tyreese. He alluded to such in the episode as both Rick and Carol were out on a supply run for the prison, as he told her that Tyreese had attacked him by perceiving Rick was stalling, saying he very nearly killed me. And not only that, Tyreese also attacked Daryl as Daryl was trying to console him. This was after the three men were stunned to see the dead charred bodies of both Karen and David. Then afterwards Tyreese was in the throes of heart-wrenching grief.
Because of that for Rick to simply say to Carol that she did wrong, and still allowed her to return with him back to the prison after the supply run, would have cheapened the magnitude of what Carol had done. Correspondingly, it would have also cheapened Tyreese's grievous loss and love for Karen. Nevertheless it pained Rick, being the leader, to do what he did which some fans who are understandably sympathetic to Carol may have forgotten. Furthermore, he not only provided Carol with a car, but with weaponry, ammo, and food provisions acquired during their supply run, showing that Rick is not heartless. Also the character Carol has grown from Season One, from being a person needing to be protected, to a person who can protect others as well.
Season Four episode 14 was brilliantly conceived, written, and acted, for the onus was on Tyreese to forgive Carol, not Rick. He alone had the obligated right for he was the grieved one. That made last Sunday's episode all the more powerful after the deaths of the two little girls, and Carol's confession. Carol needed to arrive at that place. And she was given mercy.
Now it seems the separated ones have a bit of Rick in them. That is their importance to stay together. Maggie is determined to find Glenn. Bob although growing fond of Sasha, could have acquiesced to her who wanted to stop all manner of Maggie's search. But all three are onward to Terminus as Maggie left hopeful signs for Glenn along the way. Tara is sticking with Glenn in his determination to find Maggie, this after the two meet the three new characters, Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita. Then later, Glenn also happens to see the way to Terminus. Then finally, Tyreese and Carol along with baby Judith are also onward to Terminus. For it is as I've said in my previous HuffPost blog February 27, 2014 titled, "The Walking Dead: An Emmy worthy Drama," that the theme is not about the gore or survival, but about cherishing humanity. We cherish that which is elemental if it is on the verge of being lost.
Last Sunday's episode was brilliant, and Actress Melissa McBride is Emmy worthy.