The Walking Thread

[Content Note: Descriptions of violence. Spoilers are lurching around undeadly herein.]

image of Carol and Tyreese walking through a field carrying buckets of water and looking pretty demoralized

Y'all, I hope you are sitting down for this incredibly shocking news, but SOMETHING HAPPENED THIS EPISODE. I will give you a moment to quickly make your way to the nearest fainting couch.

Granted, everything that happened was terrible, but it was definitely terrible in a different way than watching Grimes slowly sweat through his clothes for three hours is terrible, so that's something!

Continuing with the theme of spending dedicated episodes with splintered survivor groups of the Grimes Gang Diaspora, we're catching up with Carol, Tyreese, Lizzy, Mika, and Baby Zombie Whistle Grimes this week, and all of us are definitely wondering what will happen when Carol tells him she killed Karen and Rick from Accounting, because there's no way she's NOT gonna tell him, since this show is still being written by dipshits who imagine they're writing a totally trenchant masterpiece on human behavior, despite seemingly having never observed any.

Team Carol-Tyreese walks along the railroad tracks (more railroad tracks!) (so many railroad tracks!) (Atlas Shrugged: The Shruggening on Blu-Ray really missed a great advertising opportunity this season) and Miss Watson Carol has a neat conversation with Huck Lizzie and Tom Mika about the Mark Twain books they used to read, while Jim Tyreese walks along silently behind them. The only line he's given in this scene is: "I forgot you used to read to them," as if we were all sitting at home wondering how these girls COULD POSSIBLY KNOW about Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, or perhaps to convey to the less literary among us that books exist.

They all find a magical cabin in a meadow, where a bunch of animated birds help them make dresses for the big ball. Ha ha just kidding. There's a zombie in the cabin, and Mika has to kill it, and Lizzie gets upset, because, as we all suspected, she was the ones feeding rats to the zombies at Grimes Jail, out of some mistaken belief that the zombies only want to play with humans and not murder the fuck out of them. Whooooops!

The major theme of this episode is how you gotta be tough and kill zombies to save your ass. Mika is tough, but not tough enough, says Carol. Lizzie is anti-tough, and wants to literally scamper with zombies in the meadow. There is a lot of awkward, poorly written, stiltedly delivered dialogue on this theme, and set pieces involving a deer that Mika doesn't want to kill (even though she realizes she has to kill zombies) and a mouse that Lizzie feeds to zombie trapped on the railroad tracks, literally marking the place where Team Carol-Tyreese diverged from their path to Terminus. SYMBOLISM!

It's clear that Lizzie's got broken clockwork toys playing minor key carnival music in her brainpan, but everyone decides they're gonna stay at the cabin and live happily ever after. Terrific.

The next day (or possibly a month later), Carol and Tyreese go to collect some water from the well, and, upon their return, discover a blood-covered Lizzie holding a knife, having just killed her little sister Mika. "Don't worry, she'll come back!" Lizzie assures them. "I didn't hurt her brain." OH GOOD! THAT'S OKAY THEN!

Lizzie explains she had to kill Mika to show Carol and Tyreese that the walkers are nice, or something. This, despite having just survived being chased by charred zombies and barely managing to escape. It's obvious that reality is not penetrating Lizzie's melon, which makes her a danger to other humans. So Tyreese takes Baby Zombie Whistle Grimes into the house while Carol tells Lizzie to look at the flowers and then shoots her in the head.

Of Mice and BRAAAAAAAIIIIIIIINS!!! has always been my favorite Steinbeck novel.

That night, Carol and Tyreese sit at a table not doing a jigsaw puzzle together, and they are so sad. Carol pushes a revolver across the table toward Tyreese and tells him that she killed Karen and Rick from Accounting, and he should do whatever he needs to do. He grips the gun, then lets it go, then tells her he forgives her, even though he'll never forget.

The next morning, they leave the cabin with baby in tow, and make for Terminus.

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