Last night’s “The Grove” was not a pleasant episode. But, I suppose there would be something fundamentally wrong with me if I declared any episode of The Walking Dead to be a pleasant episode. After all, the show is a parade of miserable hopelessness punctuated by the occasional high point.
It’s the high points that get me in trouble, really. They come right as I’m ready to toss the whole thing aside. They come right when I’m ready to be done forever.
What are the high points? Oh, you know…When the show focuses on something OTHER than the abject horror of the survivors’ situations; when I momentarily forget that anyone can turn into a rampaging death machine at any instance. And perhaps that’s the point of the whole show: to visualize the terrible truth of humanity at its most base, to realize that there will always be circumstances under which anyone of us can become a monster. Maybe whatever those circumstances are can be construed as beyond our control, just as the show’s characters can’t control what they become in death. But, the stark horribleness remains: the monster has always been there.
Highlights from “The Grove”:
– During a pit stop on their way to Terminus, Carol and softie Mika take a walk in the woods, so Carol can lecture the girl on being tough. It doesn’t take, and Mika declares she wants to be nice, that everything will work out, blah, blah, blah. The pair come upon a house, and Mika interprets it as vindication for her way of thinking. Meanwhile, Tyreese and Crazy Lizzie (Borden…get it? You will.) are waiting for Carol and Mika by the train tracks when they see a walker coming towards them. The walker falls and somehow snaps its legs/arms in some combination that prevents it from moving. As Tyreese is about to kill it, Crazy Lizzie stops him, saying there are times when you don’t have to kill walkers. For some reason, Tyreese listens and leaves the walker alone. Stupid.
– The four decide to stay at the house for a while, and Mika has to shoot a walker that pops out and tries to get Crazy Lizzie and Judith. Carol sees this as progress. Huzzah! Later, though, Mika is unable to shoot a deer, and Carol is discouraged. Sad panda.
– Carol, who is making tea or something else that requires a kettle of boiling water, sees Crazy Lizzie playing tag outside with a walker. Carol, a sensible lady, dashes out and stabs the walker, causing Crazy Lizzie to lose her mind and begin screaming at Carol. See, Crazy Lizzie thinks that walkers are just people…just different. Crazy.
– Crazy Lizzie is feeding walkers again. Ugh. Remember, she did the same thing at the prison. Ugh. Mika follows her and catches her in the act with the walker on the train tracks. The sisters fight, and Crazy Lizzie stands firm in her belief that walkers are still people. The fighting attracts the attention of a passel of singed walkers that straggle out of the woods and chase the girls. (They’re blackened because –I’m assuming– they’ve come from the fire that Daryl and Beth set. Interestingly enough, Carol, Tyreese, and the girls have seen the smoke, and it’s not that far away.) The sisters run back to the house screaming, and Carol and Tyreese come to the rescue. In the end, all four end up shooting the walkers down. Carol sees Crazy Lizzie’s participation in the shooting as progress, and later that night, she tries to encourage the girl. Crazy Lizzie calmly states that she now knows what she has to do. Let me just say that at this point, I told my husband it was going to be something bad. Carol assumed Crazy Lizzie meant she knew walkers were bad and had to be shot, but sadly, that wasn’t the case.
– The next day, Carol and Tyreese are out hunting and talking. Tyreese confides that he has been dreaming about Karen, and Carol looks conflicted. (I kept telling Carol to keep her mouth shut, but I knew it was coming. That’s just how television works.) Remarkably, Carol doesn’t tell Tyreese that she’s the one who killed Karen and the other guy know one cared about, and they make their way back to the house. When they get back, they find Crazy Lizzie (Borden…get it, now? Ugh.) with a knife and bloody hands. She’s killed Mika in an attempt to prove that walkers are the same as people and pulls a gun on Carol when the older woman moves closer. Lizzie demands that they let Mika turn, and Carol agrees so she can get the gun away from Crazy Lizzie. During the exchange, Crazy Lizzie reveals she was about to kill Judith, too. Tyreese picks up Judith and leads Crazy Lizzie away, while Carol does what needs to be done off screen.
– Crazy Lizzie is confined to her room while Carol and Tyreese discuss what to do. They finally come to the conclusion that the girl can’t be around other people. Carol suggests that she go off with her, but Tyreese talks her out of it, and they silently agree on what must be done. So, Carol takes her out and shoots her. Carol shoots Lizzie.
Stop. Wait. Did you guys get that? We’re watching a show where they just executed a crazy little girl. We’re watching a show where said crazy little girl murdered another little girl.
They had no choice, you tell me! And I agree; they had no choice. But, the fact remains that this SHOW IS FOR ENTERTAINMENT. YOU JUST WATCHED TWO LITTLE GIRLS DIE FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT. I did it, too, though.
I am sad.
– That night, Carol tells Tyreese that she killed Karen and the other guy (David?) at the prison. She explains a bit, then tells him to do whatever he needs to, all but giving him permission to kill her. Instead, he does the unthinkable (at least in this show), he forgives her! They decide they cannot stay at the house, and the next morning, they get back on the tracks and continue to head for Terminus.
Then, the episode ended.
I think I’ll watch the rest of the season, but after that, I think I’m done. I just can’t stand it, any more. I’m not trying to be dramatic, but I have to consider WHY I’m watching this show! What redeemable qualities are there? There’s no hope. It’s a constant struggle for survival against impossible odds.
There’s enough of that in real life.
[[Featured image courtesy of AMC.]]