Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Carol Sits in a Cell in The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 3: “Isolation”

Last week in The Walking Dead Season 4 premiere, we were first shocked by Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) quickly seguing from storytime to secret knife lessons to the kids. We were maybe even more surprised when young Patrick confessed to being ill and Carol basically told him to suck it up. It took her four seasons to be tough, but couldn’t she go a little easier on the kids?

Carol got even tougher in Episode 2, “Infected.” Patrick created walkers in D block and one of the people bitten was the father of young Lizzie and Mika. Lizzie is the older sister but apparently she’s still afraid to use knives and face walkers and death. This seems perfectly normal for a kid, but both Carol and Mika act like she’s being ridiculous.

At one point, Carol tells Lizzie it’s time someone told her the truth. “Honey, you’re weak. You lost your nerve. You have to trust your gut and you have to trust your gut every time. That’s life and death.” Carol, she’s a little girl. Her dad just died! Is that really a fair thing to say? “If you want to live, you have to become strong.” The sister, Mika, says Lizzie isn’t weak, she’s just messed up.

Why doesn’t anyone think Lizzie is acting appropriately, considering her dad just died in a shocking way in a place they expected to be safe? Yes, Carol went through this with Sophia and she doesn’t want the kids to end up in the same position, and she doesn’t want to make the same mistakes herself. But is she overcompensating?

Carol also had a conversation with Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), basically asking him not to tell anyone about the secret knife classes. The parents of the kids don’t even know. That’s pretty rogue. Carl eventually told Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) about it and Rick was fine with it, but is Carol getting a little reckless? It’s not really her call to make decisions for other people’s kids. Remember the debate in Season 2 about Carl handling a gun? Now Carol is making that decision for others, just with knives.

We can see where Carol is coming from, but her approach seems a little extreme. What do you think?

As a side note, do you think Lizzie may have been feeding rats to the walkers, since “Nick” was her friend? That could legitimately be considered “messed up.”

The Walking Dead Season 4 airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.