The Walking Dead recap: Look at the Flowers

Carol, Tyreese, and the girls find a safe haven, only to uncover a threat within their ranks
Ep. 14 | Aired Mar 16, 2014

WE ALL CHANGE Carol (Melissa McBride) does all she can to prepare Lizzie and Mika, her de facto adopted daughters, for the brutal realities of the Zombiepocalypse. The one threat she didn't anticipate results in both of their deaths. Having urged Lizzie to be tough and strong, she inadvertently triggered Lizzie's mental instability. Now with all her children gone, will she be able to care for baby Judith?

Gene Page/AMC

With Carol and Mika searching for water, Tyreese, Judith, and Lizzie are on guard. Tyreese hands Judith over to Lizzie (No!) as he checks on a Walker threat down the track. He pulls out his trusty hammer, but before he can swing, Lizzie stops him. The Walker has fallen and is now stuck on the tracks, so Lizzie pleads with him not to give it the true death. Clue 1,002 that there’s something wrong with Lizzie.

Meanwhile, Carol gives Mika a stern lesson in New Carol’s Rules for Surviving the Zombiepocalypse. Running away won’t cut it in case of an emergency — it didn’t work for Sophia. Mika insists she isn’t “messed up” like her sister — she can at least try to kill Walkers. Live people are the ones that are hard to kill. Carol is frustrated at her pre-apocalyptic morality. You mean a prepubescent child thinks “killing people is wrong?!” How dare she! Eventually, their lesson is interrupted as they happen upon a secluded homestead and grove. It's soon revealed to be a technically safe locale, although at first glance, it looks less like a refuge and more like Errol Childress’ hideaway. Fun fact: Brighton Sharbino who plays Lizzie also played the daughter of Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) Macie on True Detective.

As Tyreese and Carol scout the property for threats living or otherwise, Lizzie (holding Judith again!) and Mika keep watch. Lizzie is fixated on a baby’s grave, which is just what you want from someone holding a baby. Mika tries to convince Lizzie (again) that Walkers aren’t people. She calmly shakes her head and murmurs, “You’re wrong. All of you.” Unlike her sister, Mika makes developmental progress, shooting down a Walker that lunges towards them. Mika is stunned after the incident but recovers quickly. Lizzie has a panic attack. Her little sister calms her, reminding her to "look at the flowers like you’re supposed to." Counting the flowers in the grove’s garden soothes Lizzie — just as looking at flowers did when Carol "took care of" the girls' infected father after Walker Patrick's rampage in "Infected." Mika is young, yes, but how has she failed to explicitly mention her sister's history of mental illness? She's obviously aware of her unique coping mechanism, right? Was this approach used before the Zombiepocalypse or sometime after its onset? Wouldn't she have mentioned the times her sister went to the "special doctor that helped with her messed up brain" rather than just call her stupid?

The next morning, Carol prepares a copper kettle to boil water. (How do they have gas for the stove?) This quickly develops into the opening scene — it is Lizzie (of course) playing tag with the nice zombie lady. Carol runs out to the yard, knife at the ready. Lizzie pleads with her to keep her friend alive. When Carol ignores her and stabs the Walker in the head, Lizzie melts down. She screams a string of troubling proclamations such as "YOU KILLED HER!" "WHAT IF I KILLED YOU?!" "YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!" and "SHE WAS MY FRIEND!" (I happened to hone in on "WHAT IF I KILLED YOU?!" as particularly troubling but that’s just me.)

Apparently not too bothered by Lizzie’s outburst, Carol takes Mika on a hunting trip later that day. Mika notices that the nearby fire is still burning, as black smoke can still be seen rising in the air. In another life, Mika would have been a big GoldieBlox fan. Carol tries to instill a less harsh version of New Carol’s Rules for Surviving the Zombiepocalypse, now aware just how much Lizzie will have to rely on Mika rather than vice versa. Against all odds, Mika is still a sweet, innocent girl who can’t shoot a living thing, in this case, a deer. I understand Carol’s insistence on teaching Mika. Nevertheless, if I was Carol, I’m pretty sure I would take it upon myself to kill this first deer as it would be the only meat anyone has had in weeks.

NEXT: I know, I know, oh, oh, oh

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