Melissa McBride’s 4 Best Scenes As Carol on The Walking Dead Season 4
Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) was only in six of the 16 episodes of The Walking DeadSeason 4, but she did some of the best work of the season. If Melissa isn’t nominated for an Emmy after “The Grove,” we riot! No one made more of the material this season than Melissa. What a marvel she is. Here are four of her best scenes from Season 4.
1. Carol Reveals Her Truth, Episode 3
You have to watch Carol throughout Episode 3, from her reaction to Tyreese (Chad Coleman) fighting Daryl Dixon(Norman Reedus) and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) to her frustration/guilt/anger after Tyreese asks her to keep an eye on Sasha. If you started that episode thinking Carol was the one who murdered Karen and David, well, you win the set of steak knives. We were shocked, but Melissa dropped subtle, believable hints with Carol's reactions — the horror at the fighting (she caused it), the guilt when talking to Tyreese (that he would trust her) the anger when she knocked over the water (nothing she did even helped stop the illness) — and when Rick finally confronted her about it, she'd worked through all stages of grief and arrived at acceptance. Did you kill Karen and David? Yes. A simple "Yes." No histrionics, no explanation. That one powerful word was allowed to stand on its own, as an example of Carol 2.0's stark pragmatism.
2. Carol Vs. Rick, Episode 4
That final scene of "Indifference" was so strong, in part because it was so unexpected from Rick and Carol. When Carol was finally found in the prison in Season 3, and learned that Lori had died, her emotional reaction was so honest and beautiful, it made us cry. That's the Carol we knew and loved. Carol 2.0 is a fellow alpha, and Rick — whatever he may have said about a democracy — always needs to make the final call. We were shocked that Carol was so cold about killing Karen and David, but when Rick banished her — wow. In that scene in the ‘burbs, by the cars, Carol defended her actions to Rick, saying she stepped up, she had to do something. Rick said she didn't have to, but he added that she's not that woman who was scared to be alone anymore. It was a great scene for Andy as Rick, but Melissa as Carol just broke our hearts. She wasn’t cold or shut off, she was someone who did what she thought was best. Whether she could survive alone or not, she didn't want to. Her devastation was so powerful, and we ended up back on Team Carol, even while agreeing with Rick that she didn’t have to kill Karen and David. She made a bad choice, but she wasn’t too far gone.
It's amazing that Carol didn’t just collapse from guilt listening to Tyreese talk about Karen in "The Grove." He trusted Carol, he shared his secrets. The camera stayed on Carol's face while Tyreese talked, and Melissa showed all of her anguish. It's a master class in acting just to see her tell Carol's whole story in silence. There's a moment where she quietly says Tyreese's name and almost confesses her story. She ultimately saved the confession for later, just telling Ty of the dead, "Maybe they’re not haunting us. Maybe they’re just teaching us, helping remind us so that we can live with what we have to do." Everything she says is so loaded with meaning. No one else could pull it off like Melissa. She sells it so perfectly.
4. Carol Tells Lizzie to Look at the Flowers, Episode 14
This scene is already an instant classic — The Walking Dead meets Of Mice and Men. Brighton Sharbino knocked it out of the park as Lizzie all season, but as Carol was about to pull the trigger to end Lizzie’s "messed up" life, our tears were for Carol. Melissa had us more choked up for the shooter than the little girl, just based on her performance — all the emotion we could see in that final moment, and the painful aftermath. Just look at the flowers, Lizzie.
What were your favorite Carol moments from Season 4? We can’t wait to see what’s next for her Season 5. Maybe she’ll even get to call Daryl “Pookie” again…
The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres in October 2014 on AMC.