We know that living in a post-apocalyptic world can’t be easy. Like or not, it messes with your head, and it’s up to you to live your life the way you see fit, even if that means making very difficult decisions. But sometimes, as was the case with Lizzie Samuels (Brighton Sharbino) this world has pushed you too far and there’s just no coming back from it.
“In The Walking Dead we always like to explore the idea of how this world affects people. The storyline with Lizzie is a really good example of just how far this world can take you and what a dark path it can put you on,” comic book creator and The Walking Dead executive producer Robert Kirkman explains in the AMC behind the scenes video above.
As viewers, we’d been following Lizzie’s strange obsession with walkers all season and matters got much worse in Season 4, Episode 14: “The Grove.” Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) met up with Tyreese (Chad Coleman), Lizzie, Mika Samuels (Kyla Kenedy) and baby Judith after the prison battle, and in Episode 14 she knew the Samuels sisters were in trouble, with Mika refusing to kill anything alive and Lizzie refusing to kill anything dead. “Right off the bat to her it’s an impossible situation, but she’s determined to figure it out.” showrunner Scott Gimple says of Carol.
“Carol really wants to believe Lizzie isn’t perhaps as sick as she seems to be,.” executive producer Gale Anne Hurd notes, and even though Lizzie later shot walkers at the fence when she had to, it’s still obvious that her behavior isn’t normal and may even stem from a mental illness that existed prior to the apocalypse. As executive producer Dave Alpert explains, “Whatever borderline personality Lizzie had that would have been diagnosable in a normal society is just sort of exacerbated by the fact that we’re in the apocalypse.”
And, as we know, despite all of Carol’s best efforts she is unable to save Lizzie or Mika. “When Carol sees that Lizzie has killed Mika, that’s the breaking point. She’s out of her mind, this little girl. It was there before this apocalypse ever happened and as tough as it is, she’s not going to survive in this world,” Melissa explains.
Still, the decision to kill Lizzie was by all means a tough call to make, and the cast, crew, and Powers That Be were very aware of that. “It’s our job to help the audience understand that there is no other way. I think we need that understanding for what else is about to come,” Chad says.
Do you agree that Lizzie was ill before the apocalypse, or was she pushed to the brink because all the horror she faced at such a young age? Share your thoughts and theories below!
The Walking Dead Season 4 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.