Walking-Dead-The-GroveCrazy Lizzie killed Mika so Carol shot her in the head. There. No burying the lead, no pontificating about the small details that highlight the degradation of society, no sarcastic nicknames. The Walking Dead is now show where kids kill kids and get shot in head. Remember when Zombie Sophia shuffled out of the barn and Rick blew her zombie brains out and it was the most depressing thing ever. Yeah, that was sunshine and lollipops compared to this episode. It seems like that Herschel’s death sucked the tiniest last drop of hope out of the show, and have plunged into a black pit of despair and nihilism that even Morrisey would find unbearable.

Crazy Lizzie was crazy. It was her that fed rats to the Walkers at the fences of the prison. She was a kid plunged into this zombie infested world at such a young age that she barely remembers anything that came before it. Rick, Daryl, Beth, Sasha – they all remember a world where dead people stayed dead, but for Lizzie the difference between human and zombie grew smaller and smaller until it disappeared. And Carol trained her to be a merciless killing machine, so they whole thing isn’t her fault.

Yes this story does have it’s origins in the comic book, so blame Robert Kirkman if you want. In the book, instead of sisters Lizzie and Mika there were brothers Ben and Billy, the former killed that later, and explained that it was alright because he would just reanimate. After the group discovered Ben’s actions, they argued over what they should do, in the midst of which Carl snuck away and executed Ben, just as Carol did with Lizzie. The important difference between these scenarios is the power dynamics between Carl and Carol. In the book, Carl is nearly as damaged as Ben and Lizzie, so his choice to kill Ben is another example how constant brutality while destroy the minds of the young and helpless. Rick would never have allowed Ben to be killed, and Carl’s actions are a sign to the adults that just surviving isn’t a enough, they need to instill some level of hope, or there’s no point to their survival.

Carol, on the other hand, is an adult who is supposed to have some level of morality left over from before the zombie apocalypse. Yes, Carol didn’t have the best pre-zombie life, and she has grown from battered housewife to ruthless survivor, and now to child executioner, the biggest arc of any character on the show. And yes Lizzie did almost killed Judith and threatened to shoot Tyreese and Carol, but the idea that they had no other options seems almost preposterous. They still have robe in a post-zombie world don’t they. Just tie the kid up until they get to Terminus and take it from there. Other characters have done far worse things and been allowed to live, or at least have a shot at redemption before biting the dust (looking at you, Merle). At least Lizzie choice weren’t motivated by malice or ill-intent, her brain just broke a little bit. She’s a kid, kids are stupid and do stupid things. And apparently in The Walking Dead they get a bullet in the head.

Oh and Carol told Tyreese that she killed Karen back at the prison, perhaps in the hopes that Tyreese would attack her and end her anguish. Instead, he forgave Carol and seemed to feel that living with her actions was punishment enough.

Wow do I ever miss Herschel.