Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Tyreese, Carol, and the Girls See the Sign on The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 10: “Inmates”

The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 14: “The Grove” was easily one of the most shocking hours of the AMC hit ever, as we said goodbye to two characters in very brutal ways. If you’ve somehow managed to avoid any chatter about “The Grove” thus far then we recommend you click away. Otherwise, keep reading.

The episode followed Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride), Tyreese (Chad Coleman), Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino), Mika Samuels (Kyla Kenedy), and Judith. The first half really set the scene for what was to come, namely Lizzie’s twisted relationship with and understanding of walkers, which culminated in her killing Mika so she could have another turned friend to play with. Both Carol and Tyreese knew Lizzie was a danger to herself and others, and Carol ultimately shot her during a walk outside, rationalizing that she was no longer fit to be around people.

Melissa chatted with The Hollywood Reporter about whether or not Carol will be able to come back from murdering Lizzie. “It was something that had to be done in that world and under those circumstances; Lizzie in that world seemed inevitable. It would be impossible for Tyreese and Carol to move forward with Judith, who doesn't have any experience of the world before the apocalypse. It was so devastating for Carol to have to do that.”

Still, in it’s own way, Carol eliminating Lizzie and being forgiven by Tyreese signifies a clean slate for this now trio. “Moving forward, Tyreese forgave Carol after she confessed to killing Karen and she put her fate in his hands and gave him the choice of, ‘Do you think that I'm worthy of living?’ He forgave her and he understood. That brings the whole humanity back. Moving forward, it's a new beginning,” Melissa explained.

Throughout the entire episode, Carol drew parallels between Sophia and Mika, both of whom didn’t have a bad bone in their body. When asked if Mika (and even Lizzie’s) death will reopen old wounds for Carol, Melissa said, “In a very big way, especially with that line from their mother, it almost helps Carol to close that old wound in a way. ‘Everything works out the way it's supposed to’ in the context of all that went down and thinking it was inevitable that these children would lose their lives because they couldn't do what it took to defend themselves. Mika said she couldn't and would never kill another person and she couldn't defend herself from her sister, either. It just seemed it was something that would be inevitable.”

Carol had taken Lizzie and Mika under her wing, and even though she wouldn’t allow them to call her mom, for all intents and purposes she was their mother. Both of their deaths, like Sophia’s, were understandably very hard on her and one can only wonder how their brutal but arguably inevitable ends will affect Carol going forward, especially in terms of how she meets and relates to new people.

THR posed this question to Melissa and she acknowledged that the future will “interesting” for Carol, but she isn’t about to let what happened with Lizzie and Mika stop her from protecting other children. “I'm really interested to see how her mindset is moving forward after this. You have Judith and it's like trying to figure out again how do we adapt to this world. You have children now who are coming up who aren't aware of the world before the apocalypse. They'll experience these horrible things and how does that redefine trauma when it's something that's commonplace?,” she asks. “For all I know, Lizzie could have been traumatized by her mother's death. Maybe that was the last thing her mother said to her what is this thing about bringing the walkers back? This already hard-wired nature [that Lizzie had] to destroy animals and that sort of thing that post-apocalyptic world would nurture that child in the worst way specifically a child like her. Then you have children who are born into the apocalypse. It's going to be interesting. The children are the hope of the future and to protect them is so important to Carol.”

Can you see Carol protecting other kids in the future, or will she step back after getting burned three times? Were Lizzie and Mika’s deaths really inevitable, as Melissa thinks? Tell us all of your thoughts and theories below!

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

Source: The Hollywood Reporter