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

Because leaving an unhinged, unpredictable girl to her own devices is always a good idea, Lizzie runs off with something in her hands. (My first thought was that she had stolen Judith!) Luckily, Mika spots her and follows her back to the tracks. She witnesses her sister feeding the trapped Walker a mouse. Finally, definitive proof that Lizzie is the Walker Feeder — confirming the suspicions of many commenters. (I kept holding out for the Walker Feeder to have been Carl or some mysterious, unknown saboteur.) Mika scolds her big sister, telling her, "When we were giving them names, we were just pretending things weren’t bad. Things are bad." Lizzie’s having none of it. See, she’s the one who "knows" the truth about the Walkers: "I know. I can hear them." Lizzie isn't just unstable — she's on Patchface-level crazy.  (Don’t even get me started on theories about Patchface and those Other zombies.)

Caught up in her delusions, Lizzie says that they — meaning the Walkers — want her to change, to be like them. She reaches towards the Walker’s mouth to be bitten. “Maybe I should change,” she murmurs. Replayed at the end of this episode, Carol urged Mika to change and not be afraid in "Indifference." I don’t think this is what she had in mind.

Suddenly, a host of burned Walkers march towards the sisters. They run back to the grove’s fence. Mika’s tights get caught in the barbed wire, and a Walker grabs her leg. Lizzie pulls Mika towards her and out of the Walkers' clutches. Tyreese, Carol, Mika, and even Lizzie defend themselves from the Walkers, shooting each one down.

That night, Carol and Lizzie talk Walker-shop as they crack pecans. Carol asks, "You understand what they are now?" Her face stolid and serious, Lizzie replies, "I know, I know what I have to do now. I know." Carol assumes that means yes, she does understand what the Walkers are now. Assumptions, as Carol learns the hard way, can be dangerous.

The next day, Tyreese and Carol go deer hunting — leaving Lizzie, Mika, and Judith on their own (again). For most of the episode, Tyreese has been on the back burner, relegated to carrying Judith and having nightmares. A lot of the episode centers on Carol’s maternal relationship with Lizzie and Mika as well as the Samuels’ own sisterhood. The portion that does significantly involve Tyreese is framed from Carol’s perspective — her anxiety (and therefore the audience’s anxiety) on Tyreese learning the truth about Karen and David’s deaths. Tyreese confesses that he dreams about Karen; his nightmares involve her death at the hands of “some stranger.” No mention of his sister Sasha, though. Maybe Sasha and Tyreese similarly don't want to talk about losing their sibling.

Carol’s anxiety is projected onto Tyreese’s every move and expression. We see in his eyes a secret loathing; he’s waiting for the right moment to carry out his vengeance. His hand grips his gun conspicuously, ready for the right moment to aim at Carol. But it’s just not there. It’s all in Carol’s mind and our perception. There's a moment where she seems as if she's going to confess, but she doesn't. The tension of the scene is palpable. Yet, it is only the audience and Carol who feel it. For Tyreese, it's a moment of comfort — he shares his torments and takes comfort with someone he thinks he can confide in and trust. While I don't think Carol feels guilty for killing Karen and David, I do think she regrets the impact and pain it has caused Tyreese. That part of the secret seems to weigh on her the most.

NEXT: Of Mice and Mentally Unstable Girls

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