|Season 4, Episode 14|
|Air Date|| March 16, 2014|
AMC (United States)
March 17, 2014
Fox (United Kingdom)
|Written By||Scott Gimple|
|Directed By||Michael Satrazemis|
|U.S. Viewers||12.86 million|
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| Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes*|
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon*
Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee*
Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene*
Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes*
Danai Gurira as Michonne*
Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier
*does not appear in this episode
| Emily Kinney as Beth Greene*|
Chad Coleman as Tyreese
Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha*
Lawrence Gilliard Jr. as Bob Stookey*
Brighton Sharbino as Lizzie Samuels
Kyla Kenedy as Mika Samuels
*does not appear in this episode
Carol and Lizzie keep watch at night while Tyreese and Mika sleep on the railroad tracks. Lizzie asks Carol if she used to have kids. Carol says she had a daughter who "didn't have a mean bone in her body". "Is that why she isn't here now?" Lizzie asks. Carol nods.
The next morning, Tyreese estimates they're several days away from Terminus. As they follow the tracks, Carol tells Tyreese she's concerned about the girls' survival — believing Mika is too gentle and Lizzie confused about what walkers really are. Carol and Tyreese smell smoke and note there must be a fire nearby.
Carol and Mika go off in search of water while Tyreese rests his injured arm. A walker advances on Tyreese and Lizzie, but falls into a gap in the tracks, trapping itself. As Tyreese readies his hammer, Lizzie begs him to spare the walker's life. "Sometimes you have to kill them," she admits. "But sometimes you don't."
Meanwhile, Carol implores Mika to toughen up. Mika insists she can kill walkers but won't kill people because it's wrong. Carol says Mika will die if she doesn't change. They discover a house in the middle of a pecan grove. Carol suggests they stay put for a couple of days.
Carol and Tyreese case the house for walkers as the girls wait outside with Judith. Lizzie frets that the adults will find a walker inside and kill it. "They aren't people!" Mika chastises, to which Lizzie disagrees.
A walker attacks Lizzie and Mika, and Mika shoots it dead. Carol and Tyreese race out to check on the girls. As Lizzie cries in mourning for the dead walker, Mika soothes her by instructing her to look at some nearby flowers and count to three.
That night, the group sits around the living room fireplace. Tyreese takes in the peaceful scene and expresses contentment. Mika suggests they make the house their home.
Twice, a large column of smoke is seen arising in the not-too-far away distance.
The next day, Carol sees Lizzie playing with a walker in the yard, whom Lizzie names 'Griselda'. She runs outside and kills it with her knife. "She's my friend and you killed her!" Lizzie screams. Carol says the walker wanted to kill Lizzie, but Lizzie refuses to listen.
While hunting in the forest, Carol tells Mika that she's the smarter of the sisters when it comes to walkers. They spot a deer. Mika aims her M1 rifle but ultimately can't pull the trigger. Carol looks on, disappointed.
While collecting well water with Carol, Tyreese suggests that they live at the house instead of going to Terminus. "I trust you," he tells Carol, admitting he's not ready to be with other people yet.
Mika catches Lizzie feeding a mouse to the walker trapped on the railroad track, and admonishes her. "They just want me to change, to make me be like them," Lizzie insists. As she reaches for the walker's snapping mouth, more walkers emerge from the woods. Mika grabs Lizzie and they flee.
Tyreese and Carol hear the girls scream and find them being chased by a pack of walkers. All four form a line and shoot the walkers down.
That night, Carol asks Lizzie if she finally understands what the walkers are. "I know what I have to do now," Lizzie replies. "It's ugly and it's scary and it does change you," Carol says. "But that's how we get to be here."
The next day, Carol and Tyreese hunt together in the forest. Carol warms to Tyreese's idea of living permanently at the house. Tyreese then admits that he's haunted by nightmares of Karen and the person who killed her. Misinterpreting Carol's discomfort as empathy, Tyreese hugs her.
Carol and Tyreese arrive at the house to find Lizzie standing over Mika's dead body, a bloody knife in her hand. Judith lies on a blanket nearby, still alive. "Don't worry, she'll come back!" Lizzie says of her sister. "I didn't hurt her brain." Lizzie also states that she was about to do the same to Judith.
Carol and Tyreese move to disarm Lizzie, but she aims a .22 Walther P22 pistol at them, insisting they have to wait for Mika to wake up. Carol coaxes the gun from Lizzie and dissuades her from harming Judith. Tyreese brings Lizzie and Judith inside. Alone, Carol sobs and then takes out her knife to put Mika down.
That night, Tyreese says he learned that Lizzie had been feeding the prison walkers and wonders if Lizzie killed Karen and David. "It wasn't her." Carol says, debating Lizzie would let them turn.
Tyreese suggests he leave with Judith to protect her, but Carol sees only one option for Lizzie: "She can't be around other people," she says, meaning that Lizzie had to be executed.
Carol takes Lizzie for a walk as Tyreese watches from the window. "Please don't be mad at me. I didn't mean to point the gun at you, " Lizzie wails, sensing Carol's mood. Carol tells Lizzie to look at the flowers & she then takes out her .38 Colt Detective Special revolver. Carol pulls the hammer back on her revolver and after a moment, finally pulls the trigger. Afterwards, Carol and Tyreese dig graves for the girls in front of the house.
That night, Carol gives Tyreese her revolver and admits she killed Karen and David. "I had to stop the illness from breaking out," she explains, inviting him to do whatever he needs to do. Tyreese grips the table, trying to contain his rage. "I forgive you," he finally says. "But I'm never going to forget" he continues. "It's a part of you now. Me too."
The next day, Carol and Tyreese leave the grove with Judith and resume their path down the railroad tracks.
Upon airing, the episode was watched by 12.87 million American viewers, and received an 18-49 rating of 6.4. This marks a rise in total viewers and ratings from the previous episode, which received an 18-49 rating of 6.3 and 12.65 million viewers.
The episode received mostly positive reviews from critics, though some showed uncertainty in its ending. Lesley Goldberg of the Hollywood Reporter called the episode "one of its most gut-wrenching."
Matt Fowler of IGN gave the episode a 9.5 out of 10, saying "This week's Walking Dead took the post-prison group I least cared about and gave them the most surprisingly intense and emotional story of the bunch. Writer Scott Gimple and director Michael Satrazemis (the show's Director of Photography changing it up) brought us what the show does best - wrenching tales of loss both through the actions of others and that actions one commits themselves. And Gimple, being a huge fan of the Robert Kirkman comic series, lovingly lifted parts of this story from an arc in the books involving a couple of other characters, so those who've read up will have appreciated Lizzie's peculiar "tendencies.""
Allen St. John of Forbes gave the episode a positive review, calling it "a morality play. It comes down hard on one side of the nature versus nurture line." He then commented positively on the writing, saying While much of the credit for "The Grove" goes to showrunner Scott Gimple, who also wrote this episode (with a nod, perhaps, to John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men), there’s a lot of credit to go around in an episode as strong as this one. As Mika, Kyla Kennedy was not only sweet but steadfast, and Brighton Sharbino (who also played Marty Hart’s daughter in True Detective) played her confusion convincingly. Chad Coleman seemed like [he] had seen something he wishes he could un-see. As Carol, Melissa McBride drew on the deposits of strength and decency, that allowed her to do this without seeming like a monster. Indeed, when she pulled the trigger, her eyes brimming with tears, it reminded me of Jesse killing Gale in Breaking Bad. And first-time director Michael Satrazemis understood that less is more, and his cutaway to Carol’s gun, and Tyreese’s distant view, lent the scene the quiet dignity it deserved. Paul Vigna of the Wall Street Journal commented on the cynicism of the episode, saying Of all the sick, demented things that have happened in the zombie apocalypse on “The Walking Dead,” it’s hard to imagine any as shocking and sad as seeing insane little Lizzie standing over the sister she just stabbed to death, no concept of what she’d just done, fully expecting her to “come back.” Carol being forced to kill Lizzie was a close second. There’s really no two ways about it, this was one of the sickest episodes of “The Walking Dead” in its entire run. All the darkest crevices of the human psyche come out in tonight’s episode, “The Grove,” and while it’s one thing when you see a character like the Governor do shocking, demented things, it’s far more upsetting and uncomfortable to see a child, a little girl, doing them. But that’s where this show went tonight. It’s hard to imagine any other show on television would go that dark. You really have a build an audience up for it, because it’s not an easy thing to swallow at all." Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club gave the episode a C+, commenting negatively on the plot twists, saying "I laughed because it was just too much. The writers took a risk, and threw out another shock to catch us off guard: this time, it was a little girl so convinced that the zombies were her best friends that she murdered her sister. It should be horrifying, and if the episode worked for you, I’m sure it was. It didn’t work for me, though, and the sight of Lizzie standing over that corpse made for a clean break in my mind. The whole situation became too ludicrously morbid, too absurdly grim to take seriously."
- Last appearance of Lizzie Samuels.
- Last appearance of Mika Samuels.
- The title of this episode refers to the survivors stumbling upon a house in a grove, and the events that happen there.
- The song playing at the very beginning is "Maybe" by The Ink Spots.
- This episode confirms that Lizzie was feeding the walkers at the prison. Carol also reveals to Tyreese that she killed Karen and David and burnt their bodies.
- The murder of Mika by her sister is an almost identical occurrence as that of Ben and Billy from Issue 61 of the Comic Series, including Lizzie's line in reaction to the others' horror. Showrunner Scott Gimple confirms that the Lizzie/Mika death was an adaptation of the Ben/Billy/Carl incident in the Comic Series.
- Lizzie's willingness to let the railroad walker bite her so that she can reanimate is reminiscent of the death of Carol's comic counterpart in issues 41 and 42.
- On Talking Dead Melissa McBride explained that the puzzle on the table was a picture of Sophia in her rainbow t-shirt.
- This is one of six episodes where Rick Grimes does not appear in, the others being "Walk With Me", "Live Bait", "Inmates", "Still" and "Alone".
- After this episode aired, Brighton Sharbino (Lizzie) and Kyla Kenedy (Mika) wrote and recorded a song called "Begin Again," which is based on the events of the episode. The song is currently available for purchase on iTunes.
- Judith doesn't appear with Carol and Tyreese because she was put into the knapsack on Tyreese's back to shield her from the cold weather.
- The effects crew prepared an edible mouse prop for the train track walker to eat. It was gelatin stuffed with grape jelly.
- Scott Gimple believes the walkers' decaying vision attracts them to fire. Fire represents two of the only things walker can still see: light and movement.
- The scene with Carol killing Lizzie is reminiscent of George killing Lennie in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men.
|Episodes of The Walking Dead|
|Season 1||"Days Gone Bye" • "Guts" • "Tell It to the Frogs" • "Vatos" • "Wildfire" • "TS-19"|
|Season 2||"What Lies Ahead" • "Bloodletting" • "Save the Last One" • "Cherokee Rose" • "Chupacabra" • "Secrets" • "Pretty Much Dead Already" • "Nebraska" • "Triggerfinger" • "18 Miles Out" • "Judge, Jury, Executioner" • "Better Angels" • "Beside the Dying Fire"|
|Season 3||"Seed" • "Sick" • "Walk With Me" • "Killer Within" • "Say the Word" • "Hounded" • "When the Dead Come Knocking" • "Made to Suffer" • "The Suicide King" • "Home" • "I Ain't a Judas" • "Clear" • "Arrow on the Doorpost" • "Prey" • "This Sorrowful Life" • "Welcome to the Tombs"|
|Season 4||"30 Days Without An Accident" • "Infected" • "Isolation" • "Indifference" • "Internment" • "Live Bait" • "Dead Weight" • "Too Far Gone" • "After" • "Inmates" • "Claimed" • "Still" • "Alone" • "The Grove" • "Us" • "A"|
|Season 5||"No Sanctuary" • "Strangers" • "Four Walls and a Roof"|