*Comic book spoilers ahead*
We recently started speculating about this big “controversial” episode Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) said was coming in the second half of The Walking Dead Season 4.
We threw out some ideas from the comics — including The Hunters — and some from the TV show — like Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) maybe still covering for Lizzie Samuels (Brighton Sharbino), if the “messed up” kid did kill Karen and David.
Maybe we were thinking too literally with the comic book stuff, though. A fan named Dustin Dunbar shared an interesting theory in the comments, combining elements of both media.
"My prediction (based on the graphic novels and the show): it will be revealed that Lizzie killed Karen and David. The group will have to decide how to deal with her, death or exile. It will be controversial because she is a child. While everyone sleeps, Carl will sneak in and kill her and no one will ever know until Carl reveals it to Rick. He made the tough call that no one else could make. BOOM! Now let's wait until February."
It’s a decent theory! Showrunner Scott Gimple said this season would be a “remix” of the comics, so maybe they’ll take the storylines of characters who aren’t around on TV and give them to people (like Lizzie) who were never in the comics.
In the comics, Allen and Donna have twin sons, Billy and Ben, that Dale and Andrea adopt as their own. (Yes, poor Dale and Andrea are alive at this point in the books.) After the final prison battle, the group heads out on the road to Washington, D.C. Ben starts showing signs of being mentally unhinged (“messed up”?). He tortured and killed a cat and eventually killed his brother. The group debates what to do with him but they aren’t sure. So, in the night, Carl sneaks over to where Ben is locked up and kills him. But Carl does feel guilty about it and confesses to Rick.
Maybe Lizzie is the new Ben? This is probably not a new theory to a lot of comic book fans, but you never know how much of that story The Powers That Be might want to use. Besides, there is no Carol/Karen/David storyline in the comics.
Some fans have been insisting that Carol was indeed just covering for her new Sophia. Someone left rats at the fence, and Tyreese (Chad Coleman) found a dead rabbit in a cell. What if all roads do lead back to Lizzie, who was last seen saving Tyreese with a frighteningly accurate shot right to Alisha’s forehead. Even Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) was a little shaken when he shot that kid in Season 3, but Lizzie is a stone-cold mofo.
It’s possible she’s just evolving in this world, like Carl was, but what if she really is unhinged and someone has to “do something” about it later in the season? That could certainly qualify as controversial. Maybe it’s Carl who does something or maybe another character takes up that role. Or maybe this never happens at all.
It’s interesting, though, and it does seem like all those Lizzie is messed up seeds could be serving a larger story, not just about Carol getting tougher but how easy it is for people to lose it in this world. Rick had a trip to crazy town. Morgan may still be there. Shane visited. The Governor took up residence. Carl sometimes still scares us. Why not Lizzie?
What do you think of the theory? Do you think the former Team Prison group — or maybe just a mini group out on the road — will have to decide how to solve a problem like Lizzie? Maybe it’s something Carol and Tyreese decide together?
UPDATE: Yep, it looks like a version of the Ben/Billy storyline is going to play out on Episode 14, "The Grove."
The Walking Dead Season 4 returns on Sunday, February 9 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.