Confession: I never liked Carol. I didn't know why this whimpering, weak-willed woman was part of the group, not contributing much except for losing her daughter. The never-ending Sophia arc made me lose patience with her — and everyone — even more. I even stopped watching the series until I could binge-watch the second season on Netflix. It was not until this episode that I finally appreciated how vibrant a character she has become. From an emotionally stunted, abused housewife and mother to a fearless, post-apocalyptic anti-heroine, she has gone through a dynamic shift. Her transformation is no Walter White/Heisenberg shift, but it taps into the same vein of a true self-identity emerging free from the shackles of pre-prescribed notions of who we are supposed to be.
That being said, I'm ambivalent towards Rick banishing Carol from the group. (Or am I indifferent? Heh.) For the sake of good television, I want Carol to stick around and deal with the reactions of the rest of the group. For the sake of what is right and wrong if this was a real situation, Rick may have made the right call. For me, it boils down to this — it is not up to Carol to determine who lives and dies. It is not up to anyone. She made the wrong call for the right reasons. However, what character hasn't done that, including and especially Rick? I generally agree that Carol should face some sort of retribution for killing Karen and David, but I'm not sure it is up to Rick to cast her out. He may be the protagonist and hero of the series, but that doesn't make him the Arbiter of Zombiepocalyptic Justice.
I don't think Carol has lost her humanity, but I do think she has hardened her heart too much, making her all the more compelling to watch. A very possible reason why I happen to like this Carol so much is because she is an actual, three-dimensional character as opposed to "that lady with short hair that helps out with the kids and stuff in the group." Regardless, it doesn't matter because she's gone! For now...
Walker of the week: The "deadie" in the PJs was whimsical, but the old gas station Walker was a sad, helpless sight akin to last episode's tragic Tree Walker.
Questions to consider:
Was Rick right to cast out Carol?
How will the community react to Carol's departure, especially Daryl?
When will we see Carol again?
Will the Meds Crew get back in time to save the characters we care about? *cough*GLENN*cough*
There's a voice on the radio, a mega herd miles outside of the prison, and someone feeding zombies outside the prison. When will these looming issues affect the group?
I'm going to keep asking this until I don't have to anymore: When will the Governor return? (Carol wouldn't join him, would she?!)