Until this week's The Walking Dead, we only had one big hope for Baby Judith's survival: Talking Dead's in memoriam reel came and went for Episode 8, and Judith wasn't in it. Our burning-est question at the time was less that Judith is alive, but who was the last to have her! As of Season 4, Episode 10, "Inmates," we have an answer to both: She's still alive, and Tyreese (Chad Coleman), Lizzie Samuels (Brighton Sharbino), and Mika Samuels (Kyla Kenedy) scooped her up before fleeing the Prison. Since Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) joined the group, she has a whole little unlikely, makeshift family to watch out for her.
Of course, Judith's being alive is no thanks to Lizzie's smother-happy silencing hand — everyone's favorite pint-sized zombie slayer got a little intense when trying to quiet a crying Judith — but we made it through the episode without the baby's fate hanging in the balance. Now, if only word could travel to Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln)...
It feels evil to put a baby on death watch, but so be it. This is The Walking Dead Season 4 and even though we’re not quite as used to tragedy as stone-faced Carl and Beth, we’re just hoping for the best/preparing for the worst.
We’ve been warned (as always) about more deaths coming in Season 4, including some “terrible” event that shakes up the group, with a “painful” mid-season finale (Episode 8) scene for Rick. That could mean anything, but we can’t help but worry for baby Judith, especially with this sickness spreading through the prison. Babies are especially vulnerable to illness, and everyone is vulnerable in the zombie apocalypse. And whatever happened to the zombie baby they said we’d see a hint of in the premiere? Did you see it? Is that still to come?
The Governor's new group staged an attack on the prison in the December 1 mid-season finale, and last we saw baby Judith Grimes, Mika Samuels and another Prison child were carrying her out to the bus in her car seat. The next time we saw the car seat, it was covered in blood, and Judith was nowhere to be found. Judging from Rick Grimes and Carl Grimes's anguish, it would seem that they're convinced she's dead, but we're not so sure.
We thought that Lilly might've been the one to kill Judith, since during the Woodbury vs. prison attack, Lilly Caul killed Lori Grimes and Judith before killing The Governor (after realizing she killed a baby). She didn't have the relationship that TV Gov. has with this Lilly, but it's interesting, especially since she did, in fact, end up firing the finishing shot in The Governor's skull.
Spoilers ahead from the comic books!
In the original source material, both Lori and her baby died — although during another attack from The Governor’s group, not during labor. But the TV version of the show has been very different. Last season’s showrunner, Glen Mazzara, said he wasn’t sure AMC’s crowd would be up for something as “bleak” and depressing as killing baby Judith, especially on top of so many other losses. Still, a lot of people have been asking about it.
“Every single one of my writers has asked us to kill off that baby,” Glen told the L.A. Times last year “I’m dragging my feet. [...] That baby is a victory for this group. Rick set up the mission, saying, We’re going to take this prison so that Lori has a place to give birth. And Daryl when he steps up as the leader in Rick’s absence, says, We’re going to keep this baby alive, we’re not losing any more [people]. One of the things that I’ve been very mindful of is that our group has to have victories. If they are just staying beaten up every week and there’s absolutely no win, it’s going to feel very, very bleak for the audience. That baby’s survival right now is a necessary win because otherwise it is too bleak and that’s not something I’m interested in doing. I don’t think people will tune in. They’ll tune in for an exciting horror show, but they’re not going to tune in for a very, very bleak thing that you can’t imagine these people are able to survive. I just don’t believe that the show can get that bleak.”
But that was then. This is now. We have no idea where new showrunner Scott Gimple stands on the matter, but he was Glen’s #2 and also one of the writers of Season 3. For all we know, he was all for Judith’s demise. Or maybe he 100 percent agrees that killing Judith is a step too far. At this point, he probably won’t weigh in on the matter since it might be considered too spoilery.
Where do you stand on the Judith issue — or any baby? It’s not like Judith is off limits but all other babies are fair game!
The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET.