With only three episodes left, this week’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead had to set the foundation for what will happen in the season finale in two weeks. Episode 14 started eerily with some early 20th century music playing and the visual of an unidentifiable woman running in terror from a walker thus setting the mood for much worse things to happen.
Carol, everyone’s favorite girlfriend murderer, reminsinces on her deceased daughter Sophia while taking care of baby Judith as her group gets some rest. Carol is mentoring Lizzie, a young girl who still doesn’t understand how violent the zombies are and sympathizes with them. This can’t be a good fit for Lizzie as Carol is the same woman who murdered Tyreese’s would-be girlfriend Karen earlier this season. Tyreese goes to execute a walker who can’t move and Lizzie stops him, wanting to spare the zombie from a brutal death. Carol discusses with Micah how innocent she is and Micah swears she has the courage to kill a walker if she has to and that she isn’t “crazy” like her sister. But Micah swears she will never kill another person like the people who killed Karen and David, irritating Carol because she was the murderer in question.
Lizzie, Tyreese, Carol and Micah find an abandoned farm and Micah finally executes a walker which upsets her sister Lizzie. Lizzie just doesn’t understand why zombies are considered monsters by everyone else and breaks down after seeing her sister kill one. Later she’s caught playing with a walker and Carol rushes to stab it in the head, like anyone would do.
Lizzie breaks down yet again, yelling at Carol about how this particular zombie was her friend and how killing a zombie is the same as killing another person. Tyreese and Carol seem at a loss for how to reason with her and they consider settling down at this farm and not heading towards Terminus.
A fire looms over the farm in the distance, hinting that there is another camp nearby. Micah cleverly tells Carol that there must be people there because the smoke is still black and that a forest fire would lose that color eventually. Carol, seeing this display of intelligence tells her that while her sister Lizzie may be stronger than her, she is smarter.
Of course this leads to a scene where Lizzie actually offers herself to a zombie, saying that she wants to become one and show everyone that zombies aren’t all bad. Micah attempts to talk her out of it and then a large group of zombies swarms them, forcing them back to the farm where all four take part in shooting the horde. It appears that Lizzie has learned her lesson about zombies, admitting that she must learn to accept that killing them will keep them alive. Her sister chimes in, saying that she doesn’t want to hurt anybody alive to which Lizzie replies that “you have to be mean but only sometimes”.
Tyreese and Carol agree to settle down at the farm and not travel to Terminus, saying that they don’t want to be with other people yet. The writing takes a bit of a silly turn when Tyreese confeses to Carol that he can’t stop thinking of Karen, the girl he briefly flirted with earlier in the season. This section was far too on the nose and too heavy handed. Why doesn’t Tyreese have bad dreams about his lost sister rather than the girl he barely even went out on a date with.
Carol is shaken by this, knowing that she irreversibly damaged Tyreese’s life and doesn’t admit that she is the one who murdered Karen. She tells Tyreese to think of the times he sees visions of Karen not as hauntings, but as a lesson on how to stay alive.
Things get a sudden and dark turn when Carol and Tyreese find Lizzie hovering over Micah’s body. Lizzie stabbed Micah so that she can become a zombie and live forever. They’re obviously terrified that Lizzie would go this far with her crazy plan to become a zombie. Lizzie even says she was planning on killing baby Judith so that she could become a zombie too. Eventually Lizzie is convinced to stop and Carol is left to put Micah’s dead body out its misery by stabbing her in the head so that she doesn’t come back as a walker.
This is a very dark scene that won’t be easy for some viewers to digest. Credit must be given to “The Walking Dead’s” writers for putting such a dark scene involving children on TV. The character of Lizzie resembles all the horror stories told of psychopaths and murderers when they were children.
Carol takes Lizzie out for a walk the next day and puts her down like a rabid dog and Tyreese and her bury Lizzie and Micah. This has to be the only televised scene of a person executing a living child, if not it is on a short list for child murders on screen.
Overwhelmed by her guilty conscious, Carol confesses to Tyreese that she killed Karen and gives him the opportunity to shoot her if he wants to. Overcome with emotion, Tyreese tells her that he won’t ever forget that she killed Karen but he ultimately forgives her. At the episodes end Carol and Tyreese set out to find Terminus again, putting their differences aside for the moment.
This episode was slow again but had some intense, graphic scenes involving children. It got very dark, far more morbid than anything you’ll see in any other TV show. It did so with respect and class, if there can be any when killing child characters. There are only two episodes left and the season is heading towards a huge climatic end. The next two episodes will have a hard time topping this one though the child death angle was a huge surprise so anything is possible before the season ends.
“The Walking Dead” airs on Sundays at 8 p.m. on AMC.