The Walking Dead - TV
The Walking Dead Recap: Season 4 Episode 14 "The Grove"

Dan O'Halloran | 18 Mar 2014 15:00
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Watching Tyreese bond with Carol, telling her of his disturbing dreams, proclaiming his trust and love for her, agreeing to settle down at the pecan ranch with her to raise the girls, it all added more and more unease for both the viewer and for Carol. At one point, in the woods, she almost confessed the truth to him. If she had, he would have probably killed her right then and there.

Towards the end of the episode when she finally told him the truth, he forgave her. But for a minute there I wasn't sure which way it was going to go. Was everyone at the pecan farm going to end up dead? Fortunately, not. And in the end, Tyreese and Carol realize that the dream of quiet domesticity isn't a possibility and they abandon the land to head again towards the Terminus with Baby Judith.

There were a lot of subtle things going on in this episode. Carol was dealing not only with her guilt over killing Tyreese's girlfriend, but also the guilt over the death of her own daughter earlier in the series. She so desperately wanted to do right by Mika and Lizzie as well as for Tyreese, but in the end she had to do what she always had to do: make the hard decisions though it hurt others around her. The actress, Melissa McBride, did an amazing job conveying the shame and the pain that Carol faced in this episode.

Tyreese was largely a bystander in this episode, but knowing that he was haunted by the death of Karen whose corpse was burned, it was likely a waking nightmare for him to see all the charred and burned zombies coming out of the foliage at them this episode.

Mika and her sister showed that neither of them were built to be survivors in this post-apocalyptic world. Mika refused to kill anything unless she absolutely had to and Lizzie wasn't wired to understand the dangers of the walkers. In the end, there was no place for either of them despite Carol and Tyreese's attempt to protect them and give them a "normal" life.

Finally, the show demonstrated the lesson it's been telling for awhile now: there is no comfortable, domestic life to slip back into. It didn't work for Rick and Carl after the marauders took over their house. It didn't work for Beth and Daryl after Beth got taken. And it certainly didn't work for this patchwork family that thought they could sidestep the ongoing horror from the outside world only to discover it came from within as well.

I've really been enjoying the new character dynamics that we've seen with the survivors forced to interact with different people. As they all converge towards the Terminus over the last two episodes of the season, I hope the writers keep in mind the fresh stories these new combinations have brought to the show. Too many fans had though the show should "Look at the flowers" and be put out of it's misery, but these last six episodes have shown that it still has a great deal of dramatic life left in it.

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