TV Review: THE WALKING DEAD Season 4, Episode 14 'The Grove'

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Wow. Last week I said that we were due a death in The Walking Dead. Let’s just say, we got more than we bargained for with this week’s episode.

The focus of this week’s episode centres on Tyreese (Chad Coleman), Carol (Melissa McBride), Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino), Mika (Kyla Kennedy) and baby Judith, who stumble across a homely place to shack up for a little while. Earlier in the show’s run, we’ve seen the seeds be planted for Lizzie being not quite right. Here we find out just how unhinged this poor little girl really is.

It was alluded to that Lizzie was the culprit who was feeding mice to walkers back at the prison, which is something that now gets confirmed, and earlier in this season we saw glimpses at how she is different in her outlook towards the reanimated corpses of the once-living. The Grove looks to elaborate on Lizzie's darkest issues as we see how she views the walkers as friends, as people, albeit a different sort of people, but people nonetheless. When a walker is killed by Carol early in the episode, Lizzie has a fit that befits that of a toddler who’s well and truly had their candy stolen. Shortly after this, we find her back to her walker-feeding old tricks again, finding a fallen walker and offering him some high quality mouse for munching on. Bon apetite!

Whereas Lizzie is clearly deranged and struggling to differentiate between the living and walkers, the younger Mika has a more sensible head on her shoulders. Whilst Mika refuses to kill living people, she understands that killing walkers is a must. As Carol points out, Mika isn’t as strong as her sibling but she’s more intelligent, realising that needs must in the current predicament that they find themselves in. And then there’s Judith. As ever, Judith is just Judith. It’s hard for an infant to be any more in a show such as this, with her mainly being used to serve plot points.

With Carol and Tyreese playing mum and dad to the young girls, the duo do their best to keep the children on the right track and, more importantly, keep them alive in a world riddled with so much danger. After The Grove gives plenty of great interaction by all of the aforementioned characters, it proves to be a very interesting episode that looks at something genuinely unique in the show’s run so far – what if somebody was a little unhinged before the world went to shit?

The Grove is one of the most darkest of dark episodes of The Walking Dead to date and it will bring a tear to the eye of anybody that has any drop of emotional investment in the show. What unravels during the second half of the episode is as equally shocking as it is heartbreaking. In a show that sometimes has felt a little “been there, done that” through this current season, The Grove delivers a fantastic episode; one of the show’s all-time best. This is how to make characters interesting. forget the walker threat, it’s with the show’s ever-expanding roster of characters that The Walking Dead has been made infinitely more interesting once the initial coolness of the walker-filled world had worn off after the first few episodes.

The Grove is how The Walking Dead should be done. Emotion, action, suspense, horror and harsh, cold, severe repercussions. All we can say is just look at the flowers.

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0 #3 Andrew Pollard 2014-03-19 11:52
I'd have to agree. I'd have to rank this right up there in terms of the greatest episodes of the show. Simply stunning and heartbreaking. It's one of those episodes, like Game of Thrones' Red Wedding, that leaves you genuinely shocked for days.

And Paula, thanks for words. Glad you enjoyed the review. Even though the episode's aired, I always think it's best to steer clear of too many spoilers.
0 #2 Paula Ray 2014-03-19 06:16
This episode tore my heart into shreds. I loved it! After it was over, my husband and I sat in the living room, silent, completely stunned. The actors did a great job, especially the children. Wow!

Excellent review! You speak to the horror and take note of the great storytelling without giving away spoilers. Well done.
-1 #1 patrick foster 2014-03-18 23:53
It was perhaps the greatest ever episode of the walking dead,a tour deforce by all concerned,words failed me at the end and nothing ever makes me do that.

TV at its best.

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