The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 14 “The Grove” Review

Stream The Walking Dead Season 4x14

Carol, Tyreese, and the girls discover an idyllic grove but not all of them make it out alive.

Continue reading for a spoiler filled recap and reaction to The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 14 entitled “The Grove”.

The Grove

It seemed unlikely that not one of the main or supporting characters have died in the second half of Season 4 until this episode. Beyond the shock value when a regular character bites the dust, there is often an added significance to death in the post-apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead. For example, had Judith, who represents hope for the future, got snuffed out by Lizzie in “Inmates”, it would have an underlying implication about the world these survivors inhabit.

Violently killing children is a taboo for many television shows, much more having a child kill another child. It’s an innate reaction to want to protect children from harm, even in a fictional setting. As harsh as it may sound, Lizzie and Mika represents opposites ends of the spectrum, both of which were not fit to survive in the Walking Dead world. Lizzie’s mental instability made her unsafe to coexist with others while Mika could not adapt to hurt other living things.


We Have Peaches 

With the two girls, Carol has her second chance to raise them with the skills to survive in a way that she didn’t with Sophia. Her dilemma is to teach one girl to kill humans and the other to kill walkers. Children are highly adaptable and more resilient than we might give them credit for but in the end Carol’s nurturing could not over come their nature. Carol didn’t see Lizzie for who she really was and it cost both girls their lives. The opening scene with the kettle whistling is like a warning sign that Carol missed.

If there’s an over sight in “The Grove” it’s not addressing the events of how Carol rescued the girls in “Inmates”. Did Carol see Lizzie smothering the baby? It’s hard to imagine she didn’t since she was there to save them at the very last second though we never saw it happen. If she did see Lizzie suffocating Judith, why would she leave the girl alone with the baby in “The Grove”?

The dark, subdued tone of the episode punctuated with a couple of hard hitting deaths happening out of the camera’s eye, added to the emotional weight of Carol’s decision to put down Lizzie. The way Carol recited Mika’s words at the end honored the sweet little girl, making it all the more touching and disturbing.


Everything Works Out The Way It’s Supposed To

The house in the grove is a sanctuary for Tyreese because there are no outsiders. Little does he know, their greatest danger comes from the least suspecting members within their group. And the person who he trusts, is unknowingly the same person who destroyed his faith in others when his girlfriend was murdered.

Like the way Carol was the judge, jury and executioner for Lizzie, she wanted to be held accountable for her actions for killing Karen and David. Carol coming clean was building up through out the episode and I’m glad she was the one who told Tyreese, not Rick. Even though Tyreese has trouble putting faith in others, ultimately he has to find it within himself to forgive Carol and to keep his humanity. Looking through the window, he’s seen for himself that sometimes one does have to kill another person and he recognizes it’s a burden Carol will have to carry with her.

After watching this episode, my first reaction is to curl up in a warm bed for a good night’s rest. “The Grove” is a bleak, heavy episode which ups the ante for this half of the season. Melissa McBride’s strong performance showcases she’s a very capable lead actress when called upon. I was pretty sure Carol would survive but I did have some second thoughts whether Tyreese would just blow her brains at the kitchen table, adding to the episode’s body count. But for the sake of both these characters, I’m glad that didn’t happen.

Did Carol make the right decision to kill Lizzie? Are you ready for the story lines to converge?

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Posted on March 17, 2014, in Television, The Walking Dead and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 48 Comments.

  1. Loved this episode. I like the dark ones. Lizzie had probably been off her meds for some time. I thought the zombie apocalypse broke her but she was already broken. I think she identified with the walkers because they were just mindless eating machines and she understood them as such. While human beings, on the other hand, are unpredictable, expect stuff from you and judge you. The younger sister, sweet and innocent,the older a fighter, they were like extreme versions of Maggie and Beth. Sorry to see them go.

    At the end, you’re right, it was up in the air whether Tyrese would kill her because it had been so dark up to that point. I even thought he might murder-suicide except that would leave Judith (the saviour of mankind) by herself.

    I’m guessing the burning in the distance was Daryl and Beth’s handiwork. Giving us a way of figuring out the timeline in this one at least. I loved the burned up walkers coming out of the woods. That was bad-ass (because fire doesn’t stop them). I would have loved to see them actually on fire. Flaming walkers would be the shit.

    The second half of this season is way way way way way way way better than the first half.

    But one thing has annoyed me though. Nobody leaves a place intact. They find these safe havens then destroy them. There are people trying to survive out there other than our heroes, but they have no qualms with burning a place down or, in this one, leaving the gate open so that walkers can wander in. When you’re in the wilderness and in need of emergency shelter and you find a shack or emergency station, you know what you don’t do? You don’t burn it down when you leave and you don’t leave it open so some wild animal can make it a home. There are other people in the world. (even if it is just a few)

    I rewatched last weeks episode before this weeks and saw so many things I missed. I failed to realize that the song at the end when the trio reunites is the same song that Beth was playing on the piano. I missed the foreshadowing where Beth is learning the crossbow and about to kill a lone walker in a clearing and steps on an animal trap. How did I miss that? (I’m a huge fan of foreshadowing) And I forgot about the radio broadcast they hear at the veterinary school from Terminus. Bob mentions it to the girls. All train lines and storylines converge at the end. Even the name Terminus suggests not just the train terminal but ending and death. Good stuff.

    • A very dark episode indeed. Even though Carol confessed to Rick a while back, I’m glad that this episode definitively put to rest the theories that Lizzie killed Karen & David and that Carol covered for her. Lizzie would have let Karen and David turn into zombies and wouldn’t have the strength to drag their bodies. And it’s confirmed Lizzie fed the walkers by the prison fence. I can’t wrap my head around why Lizzie would consider walkers her friends, feed them and give them names. But then again she’s was nuts before the zombies and there’s no coming back from that. I like your theory on her, for some reason she could relate to the walkers but couldn’t comprehend what they really are.

      That would be super dark if a murder suicide happened leaving Judith alone. I couldn’t place where the smoke was coming from, I thought it might be from the Terminus but I think you’re right it was from the moonshine house the Beth & Daryl burnt down. The burnt up walkers are freaky looking, flaming walkers would be even cooler!

      I think it’s not a coincidence that most of the story lines have the survivors finding a safe home or sanctuary but it doesn’t turn out well for them. I also thought the same thing too about leaving the gate open. There are other people that could use those homes or they can come back there if the Terminus doesn’t work out. I don’t mind burning the moonshine hut though since it served a purpose for Beth and Daryl.

      I’m not sure but I think that song was also played in a previous episode. Ohh that’s a great connection about Beth stepping into the trap, it does foreshadow what happens to her. I liked how Terminus has been in their long term story plans and they dropped clues early on. Yeah, Terminus is the end of the line in many ways. I get the feeling their joyful reunion will be short lived … not everyone is going to make it out alive. 2 more episodes to go!

  2. I wonder how much of the ‘Mice and Men’ mirrors was intentional.

    I’m starting to think the producers are painting themselves into a corner. It would have been a powerful statement to have Tyrese kill Carol at the end, but I’m guessing they have reached the point where they don’t want to kill off core cast members. Makes good business sense, but weakens the story line.

    • That’s a great point about the mirroring of Mice and Men. It was out of love that Carol put down Lizzie, rather than retribution.

      After developing Carol this season, the writers weren’t ready to let her go yet. I think Tyreese would have killed Carol if he didn’t see and understand why she put down Lizzie.

      Thanks so much for commenting, always great to see new faces on the blog.

  3. Well, I don’t condemn killing but Lizzie is one disturb girl. Carol needs to kill her and also, Carol deserves to be killed by Tyrese at the end. But that didn’t happen, so I am hoping it will eventually happen in the next episodes. The Grove is definitely an episode to remember 😀

  4. Well, I don’t APPROVE killing but Lizzie is one disturb girl. Carol needs to kill her and also, Carol deserves to be killed by Tyrese at the end. But that didn’t happen, so I am hoping it will eventually happen in the next episodes. The Grove is definitely an episode to remember 😀

    • What Carol did to those sick people was immoral but I’ve grown to like her character so I’m glad she’s sticking around for another episode. But I’m not sure she’ll make it to the next season, so maybe your hopes will come true :). I totally agree, The Grove is the most memorable episode of this half of the season.

  5. I watched this one ! And yes, Lizzie deserved to die, She was as much a menace to survivors as the walkers.

    • Lizzie is such a menace, going back to earlier in the season the prison fence went down because of her. Here, she’s likely to stab people in their sleep. Yeah, her time was up. 🙂

  6. I thought they played the dynamic between Tyrese and Carol very well. Like you said, Carol’s actions caused Tyrese to trust no one. Yet he’s opening up to and trusting her of all people! They both “grew up” a lot this episode. For a split second I thought the episode might end with Tyrese picking up the gun, standing up and firing a shot… black screen. Would’ve made a bleak episode even more so.

    Killing Lizzie… man oh man… I’m very torn on if that was the right decision. I was SHOCKED when she killed Mika. Earlier when she tells Carol “I know what I have to do now” I thought she was talking about offering herself to a walker in order to become one. (By the way, why wouldn’t Carol ask her what exactly that is that she has to do now???) Definitely didn’t guess she’d kill her sister. That’s maybe the most shocked I’ve been with this show. I know it’s not safe for her to be around people, but I still can’t help but think there was more to be done to help her. Take her weapons, keep her away from Judith, make her face her sister changed. I felt like she was coming around after she shot those burnt walkers. Just messed up all around.

    • Since the moment Carol confessed she killed Tyreese’s girlfriend way back in the beginning of the season, I’ve been looking forward to him finding out the truth. When they got paired up in “Inmates” I had a gut feeling things would work out between them but little did I know the girls would die. It was definitely a possibility Tyreese’s rage would get the better of him, the way he was gripping that table I thought he might flip it over. Man, that would be a whole new level of bleakness if Tyreese pulled that trigger and the audience is left starting at a black screen.

      The way it was framed made it even more shocking. We never got to see Mika’s face, it was just her body lying there with Lizzie standing over her with a bloody knife. It wasn’t sensationalized which made it more shocking. I think Carol assumed after Lizzie shot those burnt walkers everything would be fine with Lizzie. Yeah, she should have confirmed what Lizzie meant by “I know what to do now”. The way Lizzie said it, I had a hunch it wasn’t as it seemed but I couldn’t have guessed what happened next.

      I’ve also been trying to figure out if there was a better way to handle Lizzie. If she was older, they could have abandoned her but in any case it would have been a death sentence although Rick banished Carol and she managed to survive on her own for a bit. Lizzie is a danger to whomever she meets so it’s probably for the best she died, she probably would have gotten herself killed any ways playing with walkers.

  7. It’s a testament to the writers and actors to get all the viewers ‘on-board’ with the notion of killing Lizzie. If she was in a normal world, it seems she would have been a serial killer. If they didn’t stop Lizzie, she would have killed Judith for sure and eventually all of them in their sleep. Having Tyrese see this whole thing play out, and the necessity of it, was the only thing that saved Carol from his rage about Karen and David. It was an amazingly tragic episode.

    • Great point, shooting a child in the head could have caused an uproar, but they way it was dealt with was justifiable. I mean Lizzie killed her sister and about to do away with Judith. It’s good writing how they interwove what happened with the girls and as a result of Tyreese witnessing and agreeing to it, able to forgive Carol in the end. So tragic, so dark.

  8. This was a great episode. Carol did the right thing in killing Lizzie. You made a great point that both Lizzie and Mika weren’t going to be able to survive because of their weaknesses. I didn’t expect both to be gone but glad they did. I think it was well executed by the show. I think they should have at least a couple of the groups find each other by the last episode. I would have to wait for next season. Great Review!

    • This episode has a lot of fans buzzing. I didn’t expect both of them to be gone either. I feel more for Mika, she was a sweet, innocent girl, both pretty good actresses for their age. I’m also expecting a reunion in the season finale for many of the groups, but I’m not sure if Beth is going make it though. Thanks so much, great discussing the show with you!

  9. Quite easily the best episode of the season. Fantastic write up.

  10. Bleak is a good description, problem is I was either bored or horrified. Not a fun hour 😀

  11. Pretty messed-up episode, but not only did it deserve to be, but it needed to be. That’s the way I like my Walking Dead episodes, and haven’t gotten that feeling in quite some time. Glad to see it back. Good review.

    • Messed-up is the perfect way to describe this episode. I appreciate the show tackling this story without over sensationalizing it. It’s unsettling and shocking, yet we can understand why Carol did what she did. Thanks Dan!

  12. I think killing Lizzie was the weak way out. Carol didn’t understand her, so she killed her, in the same way she didn’t understand the infection so she killed Karen and David. This episode proves that Rick was right to keep her out of the group. I understand that she killed Lizzie to keep Judith safe, but I cannot condone it.

    Terrific episode and great write-up.

    • Carol didn’t realize the scope of Lizzie’s instability. I read a review that pointed out how much Carol blames herself, I think that’s quite true which may be why she hands over the gun to Tyreese and lets him decide what to do with her. It’s good to hear a counterpoint to what Carol did, it shouldn’t be an easy decision to kill a child as crazy and dangerous as she may be. Thanks buddy!

  13. This was actually a great episode. Very dark and made me uncomfortable at times, but what a great hour of TV it made for. Having just finished the episode, I am still trying to sort out my feelings. My favorite episode of the season probably. Wish more were like this. Great review here as always!

    • I was also uncomfortable at times, more so with poor little Mika. It’s pretty great seeing all of these story threads come together and pay off in a big, shocking way this episode. This is a pivotal episode, one that will be referenced by fans for some time to come and stays with us long after watching it. Let’s hope the final 2 won’t be a let down. Thanks man!

  14. Great write-up and a fantastic episode. Dude, if only all of them were like this eh? I know Carol is getting the most of the credit for her acting ability, but Tyrese is quite awesome as well. Too lazy to look up their real names at the moment! Perfect acting from the adults made this an emotional roller-coaster that will be difficult to forget anytime soon!

    • Thanks man! It’ll be crazy if the writers can top this in the season finale … I’m not ruling out that possibility! Yeah, Tyreese deserves his credit too; I think this was the first time I’ve seen him without his hat. The strong acting helped make this episode what it was. Ohh, I’m so looking forward to see what the writers come up with next!

  15. This was such a great episode. I enjoyed it much better than the last few and we are slowly getting to know each and every character better which will be more emotional for us all if and when they don’t survive.

    The girls dying was quite sad, but I actually felt that they both held this storyline back a bit and the writers redeemed themselves by offing them both and having Carol come clean all at the same time.

    Nice write-up!

    • One of the better parts about this season is getting to know some of the less developed characters. It’s going to be that much harder to see them go.

      I get the feeling that the girls were introduced at the beginning of the season with this ending in mind. I heard this arc is borrowed from the comics, albeit with different characters. The show have a habit of offing problematic characters like Andrea and Lori, maybe earlier than expected.

      Thanks Rob!

  16. After that bland Daryl-Beth episode, these last two weeks have been nothing short of brilliant. Last week they made me care for a character that up until then I was wishing they would kill off (Bob) and this week we got an emotional rollercoaster ranging from hope to despair to downright shock to even more despair. The answers to the leftover questions from the prison arc, the jaw dropping and sick revelation of Lizzie killing her sister, and the absolutely fantastic acting by Melissa equated to one hell of an episode.

    • The last two episodes have shifted into a higher gear of intensity. In terms of shock and despair this episode pretty much is hard to beat, perhaps even more surprising than Carl shooting his mom in the head. I wasn’t really feeling Bob either until recently, when they make a supporting character one of the leads for an episode it gives them an opportunity to show their potential. Melissa is terrific in this episode, I wonder if they have more planned for her character or if her arc has come to a conclusion.

  17. Lil' Ass Kicker

    Love where Carol character is going. Fantastic actress. Nice episode but not as good as the Governor arc episodes. The Terminus might be the next big thing, such a pity Lizzy got to be killed. The kid was damn good at bringing drama and jaw dropping moments. At this point I’m only following Rick, Carole and Tyreese.

    Tyreese, Carl and Bob are too weak. Maggie, Glenn and Michonne are going nowhere and may have been already killed I guess.

    Since Merle, Herschel and Governor are down the road, I think there’s a lack of strong characters on screen. I wish Morgan was back in the picture at this point or any familiar but far forgotten face.

    In the end, the place is clear for a new strong character like Abraham or for some “Terminus safe-zone” leader. Answers to come. 🙂

    Nice article as always Sidekick !

    • Lil' Ass Kicker

      Oops ! I meant Daryle instead of Tyreese in the first block. 🙂

    • I also really like what the writers have done with Carol and this episode showed what the actress is capable of. Her range of emotions felt truly genuine. If the Governor was still alive, Lizzy would be the perfect crazy daughter for him, I could only imagine what story lines those two would get into. As much as I like Carol, I’m not sure what else the writers have planned for her. Is she going to make amends with Rick or how long until she gets booted out of the group again?

      If I had to pick a couple of expendable characters, it would be Beth and Sasha. But their recent episodes makes me like them more so it would be harder to see them go.

      Even though Merle is a hard to like character, he had some great, funny dialogue and no one has filled his shoes yet. I think Abraham can be a good addition, I hope to see more of him (I started reading the part in the comics where he’s introduced).

      Let’s hope reaching the Terminus ends on a strong, climatic note or perhaps it’ll start a new story arc for next season?

      Thanks Lil’ Ass Kicker! 🙂

  18. Sorry to say but I was so bored with this episode. Yes Carol was awesome but thought the writers could have combined this and last weeks episode to move things a bit faster. It was no mystery that Lizzie had issues but didn’t need to see an entire episode about it. I was shocked she killed Mika but got over it fast. I don’t think Lizzie deserved to die, rather she HAD to die. The girl had some mental issues that could not be addressed or helped in the zombie apocalypse. Time was needed and that is one thing that isn’t available.

    Two episodes left and I’m hoping the next two are are more enjoyable.

    • There are certainly mundane aspects to the episode, like that scene where they are sitting around, cracking open pecans – yeah that was boring. I didn’t mind the slow pace as much, but I can understand how the contrast between the quieter moments with the shocking ones didn’t work for others. Because of Lizzie’s mental issues that she was born with, she’d only get other people killed and a matter of time before she got herself killed, yeah her time was up. This wasn’t an “enjoyable” episode for me in terms of thrilling entertainment but in other ways I thought it came together really well. Hope the next two work better for you!

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