The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 4: “Indifference,” shocked fans the world over when Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) made the choice to banish longtime companion Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) from the prison after the revelation that she killed Karen and David before the ongoing flu could turn them into walkers.
In an emotionally charged scene, Rick admitted that he no longer trusted Carol, nor did he feel that her actions would go over well with the people at the prison — notably Tyreese (Chad Coleman), who was dating Karen at the time. But that’s not to say that Carol wasn’t without logic regarding the situation.
With a deadly zombie-inducing flu spreading around their current sanctuary, Carol made the decision to be proactive about the epidemic and stop the spread of infection as well as end Karen and David’s “suffering.” As she stated, someone needed to “step up,” and Carol’s initiative could have possibly saved more people from a massacre similar to the one that zombified Patrick caused at the end of the Season 4 premiere.
Rick, on the other hand, felt that Carol made a choice that was not hers to make. As he stated, Karen and David may not have turned into walkers, and having to explain that Carol took the lives of these two people would ultimately put her life (threatened by an angry Tyreese) and her trust (among the other survivors — especially of those that are sick) into question.
Carol’s decision may not have been right, but there is much debate that other characters have had far worse transgressions on the show, and haven’t seen this harsh a punishment (e.g. Rick killing Shane, Carl killing the unarmed teenager). The decision to exile Carol may ease the tension with a grieving Tyreese, but it’s obvious that her absence is definitely going to cause tons of mixed feelings — both at the prison and in The Walking Dead fandom.
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