UPDATE: Here's a full play-by-play recap of Episode 14. Yikes.
Here’s the official synopsis for tonight's (Sunday, March 16) The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 14, "The Grove": "After establishing a new shelter, the group considers things returning to the way they used to be."
Here’s a second synopsis, from a fan’s cable directory: "The survivors begin to establish new lives for themselves in an ideal shelter that could provide them with everything they need in an apocalyptic world but the fate of humanity is questioned as the survivors assess their own futures."
Fate of humanity! Showrunner Scott Gimple himself wrote this episode, and we have a good (and yet very bad) feeling about it.
The AMC promo just focuses on one group, but it's a mini group we've been waiting to see since Episode 10: Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride), Tyreese (Chad Coleman), Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino), Mika (Kyla Kenedy) and baby Judith. We’re really curious how many people Lizzie has killed by now what they’ve been up to. Are they still on the way to Terminus?
The promo hints to dark times, with someone reaching for a gun, Carol sobbing, and Mika tripping over something, looking like she's about to be grabbed by a walker. We hear Tyreese say, "The whole world is haunted now. We are who we are. And we do what we do. And there's no getting out of that. Not until we're dead."
Do you think this is the episode where Carol comes clean about what happened to Karen and David? Is Tyreese more understanding than maybe she expected? Does something happen with Lizzie and/or Mika and baby Judith? Does Mika get bitten? Something ... worse? Does Lizzie do something and they have to discuss doing something about Lizzie?
In the first sneak peek, Lizzie is shown playing "I Spy" with Tyreese and baby Judith. Tyreese sees what looks like a walker (or person) ambling down train tracks, so he gives the baby to Lizzie and walks off to investigate. Never leave Lizzie with the baby! Where are Carol and Mika in this scene? Are they off doing whatever trips Mika, when it looks like she might be attacked?
We've been wondering if Lizzie might be the new TV version of Ben from the comic books; Ben has a twin brother Billy in the books, and Ben ends up killing Billy. Ben also showed some Lizzie-ish signs in advance, including torturing animals, which we were probably meant to infer from what happened at the prison and the rabbit in Episode 10.
But how does that relate to the synopsis, which actually sounds optimistic? The Talking Dead sneak peek does show a shelter, complete with food and old-timey music. We hear water about to boil over as the music plays, and we see — through the window — a child playing outside with a walker, apparently taunting it through a game of tag or something. Was that Lizzie or Mika? It was hard to tell. One of the two official AMC photos released before the ep shows Carol looking out a window, presumably from this home shelter. Is she seeing the child play with the walker, or just seeing kids at play? She may have hope for a happy future ... which never lasts on this show.
It looks like something bad may happen to one or more of the kids this week. What if Mika is killed when she's off with Carol, as hinted in the promo, and maybe Lizzie goes back to smothering Judith when she's with Tyreese, as hinted in the sneak peek. Maybe Carol and Tyreese have to discuss what to do about Lizzie. Or is that way too dark for this show?
Anyway, this episode looks good and it sounds like the one Lauren Cohan (Maggie Greene) was just teasing to to Entertainment Weekly. "We have another great episode with Chad, who plays Tyreese, and Carol and the kids and stuff," Lauren said. "One of my favorite of the season is coming up. I'm so in anticipation of that 'cause you have to wait to see these characters."
We know things are going to get bad in Episode 15, and not just because the ep’s director said so. The official synopsis for that one is “Survivors rely on brutality and faith.” It’s a short, not-so-sweet description that leads us to suspect the cannibal group The Hunters may be coming and/or possibly, with the faith aspect, a version of Father Gabriel Stokes from the comics. Yes? No? Maybe? The hour after that, Episode 16, is the season finale, with the synopsis “Many paths collide; Rick faces sheer brutality; the group struggles to survive.” We’re clinging to that “many paths collide” line with the hope that Team Prison finally reunites. The rest of the synopsis sounds … bad. Does Rick clash with the guys from the "Claimed" house, who are now with Daryl? One of those guys will recognize Rick and he'll recognize more than one. Eek.
What are your theories about Episode 14? What will make Carol cry so hard? Mika being bit? Lizzie doing something bad? Both? Other?
UPDATE: Spoil the Dead's source shared some spoiler highlights from Episode 14, including news on who dies: Mika (courtesy of Lizzie) and then Lizzie (courtesy of Carol). This sounds like an intense episode and certainly the one Andrew Lincoln must've been talking about when he mentioned the "most controversial" episode ever.
It sounds like Lizzie becomes unhinged, similar to Ben in the comics (as predicted). She plays with the walker, as shown in the sneak peek, since she still likes walkers and believes they are just like people. At one point, after Tyreese and Carol return from a walk, they see Lizzie standing with a bloody knife and her hands on Mika, who is dead on the ground behind her. Judith is still alive, but Lizzie tells Carol and Ty that she’s just turning Mika into a walker - and Judith is next. Ty and Carol try to get the knife from Lizzie, but she has a gun and she makes them wait for Mika to turn. That night, Ty and Carol talk about what they need to do. We learn that Lizzie was indeed the one feeding the walkers at the prison, since she thought of them as people. (Remember her buddy Nick?) Ty thinks Lizzie killed Karen, but Carol disagrees, saying if Lizzie had done it, she would've let Karen turn. Good point. She doesn't tell him she did it, though. Not yet.
However, that morning, Carol and Lizzie walk into the garden. Lizzie thinks Carol is upset with her for pulling the gun, but Carol says she isn't upset. Lizzie cries and Carol recalls those words Mika used earlier in the season, when their father was dying — look at the flowers. So she says that to Lizzie, and as Lizzie looks away, Carol shoots her. It’s like Of Mice and Men meets the Ben/Billy child killer storyline from the comics.
The sisters are buried outside. The episode ends with Carol telling Tyreese the truth, that she killed Karen and David. He reaches for the gun and Carol tells him to do what he has to do. Tyreese says he forgives her, but he won't forget.
The Walking Dead Season 4 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.