The Walking Dead: Looking back at The Grove

Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino), Carol (Melissa Suzanne McBride) and Walker - The Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 14 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino), Carol (Melissa Suzanne McBride) and Walker - The Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 14 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

On March 16, 2014, AMC aired The Walking Dead episode “The Grove” This was the 14 episode of season 4 written by Scott Gimple and directed by Michael Satrazemis. Looking back over the eleven seasons of the series, this episode is still one of the most talked-about in Walking Dead history and served as a reminder of how harsh life in an apocalypse can be. And any fan of the series knows what you mean if you say, “Look at the flowers.”

Chad Coleman and Brighton Sharbino – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Chad Coleman and Brighton Sharbino – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

This episode featured five characters, Carol (Melissa McBride), Tyreese (Chad Coleman), Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino), Mika (Kyla Kennedy), and baby Judith (Eleora & Elisea DiFranco). This is after the prison’s fall when Carol reunites with the Tyreese, who saved all three girls. At the beginning of the episode, Tyreese doesn’t know that Carol was banished from the prison for killing Karen (Melissa Ponzio) and David (Brandon Carroll).

This episode chronicles another chapter in Carol’s long line of tragedies that help her become a true survivor. She will lose her second and third children in this episode, but fans know she will endure more heartache later on.

The Walking Dead season 4

Kyla Kenedy and Brighton Sharbino Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Kyla Kenedy and Brighton Sharbino Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

The episode opens with Carol and Lizzie talking about Sophia. Lizzie asked if Carol ever had any children, and she told her Sophia didn’t have a mean bone in her body. This prompts Lizzie to respond with, “Is that why she isn’t here now?”

At this point, we are starting to see just how far gone Lizzie’s mind really is. She believes that walkers are still human, just different. She begs Tyreese not to kill a walker on the railroad as its leg is broken, and it can’t move. She tells him, “sometimes you have to kill them, but sometimes you don’t.”

When they find the house in the pecan grove, they are all excited to have a place to stay. When Tyreese and Carol head inside to clear the home of walkers, Lizzie gets upset, knowing they will kill any walkers they encounter. Mika tells her that they aren’t people, but Lizzie disagrees. When a walker comes out of the house, there is a tense moment when Mika shoots it, and Lizzie begins to hyperventilate. Mika tells her to “look at the flowers like you are supposed to.” Obviously, this is a coping mechanism they have used before.

Melissa McBride Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Melissa McBride Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

They gather pecans and share an intimate moment shelling them by the fireside in the evening.

The following day Carol is horrified when she sees a walker chasing Lizzie outside. She runs to help, but Lizzie freaks out, saying they were only playing and that the walker was her friend. She is in hysterics after Carol kills it.

Tyreese suggests they stay at the house instead of heading to Terminus right away. Carol agrees this might be good for all of them. They head to the house to see Lizzie, knife in one hand, blood dripping from the other, as a prone Mika lies behind her. She looks at them with pride in her eyes, telling them that she didn’t hurt her brain, so she’ll come back. Carol and Tyreese are horrified and notice that Judith is on a blanket near Lizzie, set to be her next victim.

As if the scene above wasn’t shocking enough, what happens next will live in infamy in the fandom. Carol takes Lizzie out to “look at the flowers” as she raises her pistol to shoot her. Carol and Tyreese previously discussed that Lizzie couldn’t be trusted around other people, especially little Judith.

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“The Grove” concludes with Carol confessing to Tyreese that she was the one who killed Karen and David. He holds his rage at bay and tells Carol that he forgives her, but he will never forget.

The next day they leave the grove and head down the tracks to Terminus.

Some interesting trivia from this episode:  An interesting parallel in this episode is that the smoke they see is from the fire set by Beth and Daryl at the cabin in episode 412, “Still.” Melissa McBride shared on Talking Dead that the puzzle on the table was a picture of Sophia with her rainbow shirt. This episode marked the most extended absence of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln); this was done to show just how split up the group is at this point. The mouse Lizzie fed to the railroad walker was gelatin and filled with grape jelly.

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