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"The Grove" is the fourteenth episode of the fourth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the forty-ninth episode of the series overall. It premiered on March 16, 2014. It was written by Scott Gimple and directed by Michael Satrazemis.
After finding an idyllic place to establish a new shelter, the group starts to question whether it is possible to go back to the way things were.
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 should be killed for her own safety.
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 and takes out her .38 Colt Detective Special revolver. Carol pulls the hammer back on her revolver and after a moment, 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.
- Last appearance of Lizzie Samuels. (Alive)
- Last appearance of Mika Samuels. (Alive)
- The title of the episode, "The Grove", 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.
- Coincidentally, this song is also featured in the Fallout video game series, which also takes place in a post-apocalyptic world.
- 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 has parallels to Lennie's death in Of Mice and Men. Both Lizzie and Lennie have difficulty understanding their actions and the world around them, Lizzie because of her psychosis and Lennie due to his learning difficulty. Lizzie believing that walkers want to be friends with her is similar to Lennie's habit of collecting dead animals as pets. Lizzie gets very upset when the walkers are killed, in the same way Lennie gets upset when he has a mouse taken from him. Lizzie kills her sister, as Lennie kills Curley's wife. Both are shot in the back of the head to spare them further anguish in a world they do not understand. Both are distracted by their killers by being told to focus into the distance.
- On Talking Dead, Melissa McBride explained that the puzzle on the table was a picture of Sophia in her rainbow t-shirt.
- This episode marks Rick's longest absence, it is the third consecutive episode where he does not appear in. Gregory Nicotero explained Rick's absence was done to emphasize how split up the group was.
- 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.
- The smoke that Carol and Tyreese smelt/saw, was the fire that Daryl and Beth started in the episode "Still".
- 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 group finding a grove for shelter is adapted from Issue 60.
- Mika finding Lizzie feeding a mouse to a walker is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 60, where Billy finds Ben disemboweling a cat instead.
- Tyreese hoping to stay is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 60, where Dale hopes to stay instead.
- Lizzie murdering Mika and claiming that she didn't hurt the brain so she could turn is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 61, where Ben murders Billy instead.
- Carol reacting in shock to Mika's murder is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 61, where Andrea reacts in shock to Billy's murder instead.
- Carol executing Lizzie is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 61, where Carl executes Ben instead.
- When Carol and Tyreese talk about Lizzie, Carol winds the bandage four times around Tyreese's arm, there's no bandage left. In the next shot it's wound three times and she repeats the fourth winding.
- After the group lines up and shoots the burnt walkers, Carol and Lizzie hug. In the shot where they go in for the hug, Lizzies gun is in her left hand. When they close up on the hug, it's in her right, and then in her left again when they zoom out.
- After Carol and Tyreese fill up the entire bucket with water, Carol picks it up with one hand effortlessly, indicating that the bucket might have been empty.
- When Carol and Tyreese leave the house, they do not have Judith with them.