Season 4, Episode 14 “The Grove”
TIMOTHY: Ah, Dustin?
DUSTIN: What? AMZ, Curtis and I were having a VERY SERIOUS discussion about Regina’s boobs in her Evil Queen outfit.
TIMOTHY: I know.
DUSTIN: And how they need to make Robin Hood shut up and let Regina and Emma finally be together.
Yessss, I know.
And how weird it is that people can be turned into Flying Monkeys.
Yes, I know, I am sitting right here.
So what do you want?
I… I want to talk about The Walking Dead?
Awww… do we have to?
We kinda do, yeah.
Oh!! The “Someone on a stakeout is bored on the stakeout” cliché! I love that cliché! Especially when Emma and Regina are in it together. KISS ALREADY!!
Do you have any predictions for us?
Things won’t be great for Carol.
Things won’t be great for Puppy.
Things won’t be great for Tyreese.
Things won’t be great for ANYONE.
Except Sophia II. Sophia II will be having a great time.
Okay. Whatever you want.
I want a moral at the end of this episode.
Damn, I was hoping you would forget that again.
The lady hath spoken. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am Timothy Harvey, joined as ever, for better or worse, by Dustin Adair in our never-ending quest to unravel the mysteries of AMC’s The Walking Dead…
And the mysteries of Hook’s eye shadow!
Shut it. Ahem. We are also joined by Miss Anne-Marie and Mr. Smith, who shall be live-tweeting the episode. As you may have noticed, we are a motley bunch, uncouth and prone to inappropriate behavior…
Why are you all looking at me?
I have no idea what you’re talking about, but as always, you have been warned and SPOILERS follow. You may proceed sir.
So, we’re at this little farm house in the middle of nowhere. We’re in the kitchen. Out the window, a little girl is playing tag… with a Walker. This HAS to be Sophia II.
That kid ain’t right.
And Dustin wins the Obvious Statement Award. Congratulations, sir.
I’d like to thank the Academy… You know something? The Walking Dead hates little girls. Haaaates them!
It does seem to have something against them.
Back in the past, Carol, Tyreese, Puppy, Sophia II and Lil Ass Kicker are asleep on the rail road tracks. Well, Carol is keeping watch and Sophia II is ‘helping’.
Sophia II says she kept Tyreese safe by killing a couple of people. Carol says she had to do it to save Tyreese, so it’s basically okay. That kid is creepy as hell.
They talk about Sophia the First, and how she was pretty much useless. Even Carol says Sophia the First was useless. Sophia II asks if Carol would miss her if she died. And Carol says she won’t have to.
It’s off to bed for the little psycho.
It’s not like we can’t see where this is going, right? We’ve known for a long time now that Lizzie is more or less insane and that someone is going to die because of her (I’m looking at you Mika), but I don’t think we’ve really talked about how badly that’s going to hurt Carol. It’s going to hurt her a LOT and that… that worries me.
Down on the train tracks, Tyreese is having a nightmare. He wakes up and looks at Carol; oh you two. Don’t start making bedroom eyes now, there are children afoot.
The next day, Sophia II and Carol find sap to put on a cut on Tyreese’s arm. Stop being a liability, Tyreese.
It’s weird. We have Chad Coleman playing a guy named Tyreese, who really isn’t anything like the Tyreese in the comic at all, is he? Why did they name this character Tyreese if they weren’t going to let him play Tyreese?
On the road the next morning, Carol and Tyreese talk about how far from Terminus they are. And how creepy Sophia II is around walkers, because that kid is serioulsy creepy. Oh, and how Puppy is basically useless. So… there’s that.
After a little more walking, one of the girls asks Carol to tell them what happened at the end of Tom Sawyer, since she had been reading it to them before she was exiled. Between them, the girls decide that Puppy is Tom Sawyer and Sophia II is Huck Finn. It’s creepy. This is a creepy episode, you guys.
Yeah… thinking this is the episode where it all blows up. There’s a tension building here.
Everything about this extension of Team Zombie is creepy.
It really is.
Carol and Puppy head off to look for water as Tyreese and Sophia II play I Spy.
Tyreese spies a walker and leave Lil Ass Kicker with Sophia II to go kill it. I never want that little girl to hold that baby, but she holds it ALL THE DAMN TIME!!
You know I love Carol, we all love Carol, but what the hell are she and Tyreese thinking every time they give the baby to the little girl they know is seriously messed up, in a really warped way?
As Tyreese approaches, the walker falls in some sort of hole, Tyreese is about to bash its brain in with his trusty hammer, but Sophia II comes and stops him from killing the damn thing. She says sometime they have to kill them, and sometimes they don’t. This is one of the ‘don’t kill them’ times… I guess.
OK, any doubt remaining is gone. She’s being kinda reasonable and sorta logical and that, ladies and gentlemen, is a very bad thing.
Meanwhile, Carol and Puppy have a heart to heart about how Puppy needs to learn how to be a stronger member of group. Puppy says she’s strong enough, thank you very much. She can kill a walker, but she can’t kill people, because killing people is wrong, no matter what. Her mother taught her that… before she was eaten by monsters, I guess.
Innocence and kindness are not the best survival tactics in the zombie infested world, but Mika isn’t wrong here exactly. It’s almost the old Rick/Shane argument again, isn’t it?
Just about the time Carol is reprimanding Puppy for being naïve, they enter a clearing where there is a totally cute little house.
Tyreese and Carol leave the girls in the front yard and go into the house to check for walkers.
Sophia II is holding Lil Ass Kicker AGAIN!! I just can’t. Suddenly, a walker comes out of the back room and stumbles over the porch railing and into the front yard. The girls back away screaming, Puppy pulls her gun and shoots that thing in the head just as Carol and Tyreese come out of the house.
Then Sophia II is all freaked out because of the dead walkers. So Puppy and Sophia II do a calming excercise that they have obviously done before. Looking at flowers and counting from one to three over and over… as Puppy has been saying for a long time, Sophia II is cray, and has been for a while.
But this is the first time I think we’ve seen this particular aspect of it, and whoakay. Perhaps Mika should have mentioned the whole “calming flowers” thing before now, because that would have been some useful information for the grownups who keep handing the helpless infant to the Psycho Child to know, don’t you think?
So then they all have a The Waltons moment in the living room. Puppy finds a doll, Carol and Sophia II shell walnuts, Lil Ass Kicker sleeps soundly, and Tyreese enjoys a night terror in a BarcaLounger.
It’s a lovely little moment and it’s the last one, isn’t it?
Then it’s the beginning of the episode again, Carol is in the kitchen just in time to see Sophia II playing with a @#$%ing WALKER KID in the front yard.
Carol runs out to save the little idiot from herself. And Sophia II freaks the @#$% out. Carol looks at her with sad eyes while she does.
Oh, and Tyreese sees it all from the kitchen.
So later… Puppy and Carol are out hunting together. Puppy has a rifle. Puppy proves that she is smart and says that the fire is still burning. She says a bunch of Sciencey Stuff about fire and smoke.
Carol has kind of realization that Puppy might be the better protégé than Sophia II… but then they come across a deer, but Puppy can’t shoot it because she’s too soft-hearted with living things.
So both of these girls are messed up.
I don’t know. They’re children, and well, yes, Lizzie is obviously insane, but Mika is actually something like a normal little girl, even with what’s been going on in this messed up world. Carl is our only other little kid, or at least he was a little kid when this started, and we’ve talked about how messed up he has been because of the violence he’s seen and committed… are we really saying it’s a bad thing that Mika, a little girl, doesn’t want to be a killer? And that it’s OK that Carol wants her to be one? I think we’re looking at Carol losing her way too, something else we’ve seen before.
Carol and Tyreese talk about how they don’t really need to go to Terminus now that they have found the house. He talks all about how he knows and trusts Carol and she is all sad eyes and secrets.
Aaaand in the middle of all of this Tyreese is coming apart too. This is all going to end so very badly.
Meanwhile, Sophia ll goes out into the woods and feeds that walker that is stuck in the train tracks. Puppy follows her. Oh, this a bad thing. This is a bad thing!! I’m losing it!! Then out of the woods come all sorts of burned walkers. The girls run.
So? Burnt by the still? Daryl and Beth that close? Would fit with the whole almost crossed-paths theme.
They get back to the house and Carol and Tyreese help them as they shoot all the burned walkers.
And even Lizzie is shooting the walkers…
So now Sophia II is even more crazy pants. She ‘knows what she has to do now’. This is going to end so badly.
Yep. That’s not a really bad thing for the Psycho Child to say, not at all.
Puppy says she doesn’t want to be mean and hurt people.
You shouldn’t have to, Mika. I’m really sorry for what’s about to happen to you.
Tyreese has another @#$%ing nightmare.
And now it’s time for the all-important pecan scene! Carol and the girls shell and roast pecans together while Tyreese terror naps!!
Oh hey, we did get another nice, sweet, happy-family scene! That’s actually worse. Thanks.
The next day, Carol and Tyreese go for the walk and talk about how they can make the place more livable.
Aaaaand, again, leave the tiny defenseless baby with the two children that they both think are messed up. ((facepalm))
Tyreese doesn’t want to go to Terminus yet because he’s afraid of being around people right now. All his dreams are about Karen. Come one, Tyreese, stop it. Carol is all sad eyes, but her back is to him and so only we get to see her amazing eye acting.
Seriously, Tyreese stop being a liability.
So then Carol tries to spin how crazy Tyreese has become. I love how they are talking about the same thing, but not at all.
They hug. It’s… weird. I don’t know what I feel.
I think even if we don’t get the resolution to the kids tonight, Carol is going to confess. Either way, there’s going to be blood.
The adults head back to the house. Telling stupid jokes to each other. It’s cute. Things are about to get @#$%ed up.
Like immediately. Oh Mika…
Sophia II has murdered the hell out of Puppy.
And of course she thinks it’s a great thing. Lil Ass Kicker is lying on a blanket by the dead body. Carol tries to approach, but Sophia II pulls her gun and points it in Carol’s face. She wants to wait for Puppy to reanimate.
@Creepy_Curtis Carol’s plan: Step 1 – Blame Carl. Step 2 – I don’t know. Step 3 – Profit.
Slowly Carol convinces Sophia II to:
Give her the gun.
Allow her to take Lil Ass Kicker away from the soon-to-turn body of Puppy.
Go into the house with Tyrese.
Whose face is priceless, by the way.
This is… OK, first, before this kid leaves the show, have her give Carl some lessons. Because she monologues a lot better. And I’m extremely creeped out by her “It’s OK, I didn’t damage her brain”, as if that the most important thing about what she did, but worse? Her saying it’s OK for Judith to turn, too.
But it’s Carol… Carol’s the one to watch here.
Carol holds it together just long enough for Tyreese to get the crazy little jerk out of sight.
The sane people are in the kitchen.
Tyreese is talking about how he basically sequestered the little nut bag. He found her little shoe box of mice. He lays out how someone had been feeding the walkers at the prison, and how he found the tacked up rabbits and whatever back at the prison. He muses that he thought perhaps Sophia II killed Karen and that guy no one ever knew or cared about, but Carol says she was too weak to do that.
Carol is all “I have a migraine THIS big”.
So… is the mouse collection something she’s had this whole time? Or has she been out catching them on the commercial breaks? I don’t think I actually care, so much as I’m trying to distract myself from where this conversation is going.
Everyone is so screwed.
Carol suggests that she take Sophia II and leave, because that kid needs to be literally around no one.
That’s not what she really means.
The decision is made that Sophia II can’t be around other people.
That’s what she really means.
Carol and Sophia II head off into a field. Tyreese watching from the house.
Carol tells her they are going to pick flowers to give Puppy when she reanimates. Sophia II realizes something is wrong. She thinks Carol is mad at her because she pointed her gun at Carol; the little crazy cries. And Carol says she loves her. And then pulls a Lenny from Of Mice and Men on her.
We only see Carol’s face when she pulls the trigger. That’s exactly what we should be seeing.
Carol, I love you, come here and let me give you a hug.
There is deer. And we’re sad to see it.
Carol digs two graves by herself.
Tyreese brings Sophia II’s body out in a blanket. Way to not help the tiny woman in the throes of grief dig the graves of her adopted daughters, Tyreese.
Somehow I suspect that Carol wouldn’t let him help.
That night, in the house, they eat nuts. Carol slides the gun over to Tyreese and tells him she killed Karen and that guy we never knew or cared about. She tells him why and explains her situation and tells him to do what he has to do. The gun is on the table.
He asks if Karen knew what was happening. He asks if it was quick. He grips the gun.
She tells him to do what he has to do. And he lets the gun go. And FORGIVES THE @#$% OUT OF HER. He says he can’t forget, but it happened and she feels it, and it’s a part of the two of them now. It’s part of their bond.
They cry. I cry. Lil Ass Kicker doesn’t cry, because she’s awesome.
And I wonder what the audience would have done if he’d shot her. They could have gone that way, and as much as I would have hated it, it would have worked. In some way, it’s like Carol is asking him to kill her, especially after having her second attempt as motherhood turn to ashes, and having her new-world lessons take her down a path that didn’t do anyone any good.
They decide to head on to Terminus.
My whole body is just… wow.
When they get back to the railroad tracks, they don’t kill the walker stuck in the tracks, they just turn and walk away.
And so ends the TV series version of the tale of Ben and Billy from the comic. For you kids at home who haven’t read the series, Ben and Billy were survivors from Atlanta, and both of them were really damaged and disconnected from reality by their experiences. After their parents are killed, Dale and Andrea adopt them, and try and give them some stability, but Ben murders Billy, convinced everything will be OK, since Billy will come back. Ben actually appears in the show too, sort of, but older and without his brother, and ends up dying in Merle’s ill-fated final attack on the Governor. I know that’s who he’s supposed to be, because I looked it up online, but honestly? It didn’t register, not in the way it did to Dustin and me when first got the real hints of Lizzie’s madness and Mika’s innocence.
Yeah, these two… From the deal at the fence with Carl, to the whole walker feeding thing, hey, you called it on it being Sophia II back in the second episode, didn’t you?
Ahhhh, yeah, actually. I don’t think we knew, or at least I didn’t, that we’d be going down the Ben/Billy path yet, but she was so weird at the fence, that she seemed like the likely suspect, and then by the end of the second episode, yeah. We both did.
Maybe you should do the predictions.
What? And deny our audience the amazing powers of Dusto the Magnificent? Perish the thought.
My hates. All of my hates. But all of my tears for Carol.
Makes me wonder. Part of her has to think she’s responsible for all of this, trying to shape the girls into what she thought they needed to be, calling Lizzie weak and trying to turn Mika into a killer. Sure, she’s reacting to the what the world has made her become, but all of the talk about how Sophia was too nice and gentle… it’s like she was so focused on making the girls into what she thought they needed to be to survive, that she never noticed the signs of what Lizzie had become. Or that Mika simply wasn’t someone who was willing to be turned into something she was not.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Carol really is the best developed character with the best arc in this whole crazy, awful, erratic and awesome show. And there wasn’t a lot of you wanting to do physical harm to the writers this week.
You mean aside from the whole “leave the baby with the crazy child” thing? I know, weird. Seriously though, this episode was so good in its character moments, its Carol moments, and as much as I know you don’t like Tyreese and I think they just should have named the character something else, Tyreese’s moments were really good too. And the edit this week just built and built the tension. Best episode since the show came back from break in my opinion.
It is. But oh, my Carol… you’re going to carry this with you for a long, long time.
So. Your predictions.
I would just like to point out that Curtis said that tonight Carl becomes a man in some sort of horrible sexual way.
Hey, I was joking. Carl wasn’t even in the previews for this episode.
And you’re stalling.
Fine. You are all horrible.
You love us and you know it. Number 1! Wait. Actually, 1 through 3 are all the same, just with different people and, to be fair, you were 100% right. Things were very bad for Carol, Mika, and Tyreese. Especially Mika, what with the whole being murdered by her sister thing. And, aside from her freakouts over the zombie-killing ways of everyone around her, it could be argued that Lizzie was having a great time. Well, up until the point when Carol shot her. After that, not so much.
Are you saying I got all of my predictions right? Is that what you’re saying?
That is, in fact, what I’m saying. Congratulations sir.
I… I don’t know what to say. Yes I do. SUCCESS!!! DUSTO! THE MAGNIFICENT!
POWERS! I HAVE THEM!
Uh huh. OK. Calm down.
I am having a moment here. It is a good moment.
Yeah yeah. OK.
DUSTO! SEER OF THE FUTURE!
Right then. Thanks folks, we’ll see you…
Wait, wait, wait. And the lesson from this week’s episode is?
Can’t you tell, O Great Seer?
This week’s lesson? That’s easy. Children shouldn’t play with dead things.
I… I can’t argue with that. We’ll see you next week everyone.