Rambling TV: The Walking Dead actually made it about a woman for once.

I've been kind of down on writing about The Walking Dead lately. I felt like since I had nothing nice to say, I shouldn't say anything at all. I couldn't bring myself to recap Still, because nothing happened. It was literally just Daryl and Beth playing a drinking game for 45 minutes. I didn't recap Alone because it was yet again more Daryl and Beth doing stupid shit. (And Beth getting kidnapped because of course we need some damsel in distress story) Although we at least got to see Maggie, Sasha, and Bob. They didn't really accomplish anything, but since we haven't seen them in awhile, I'm just happy for something different. Then this week, we were treated to the episode I was impatiently awaiting; The Grove.

I think everyone knows by now that I read a lot of spoilers for The Walking Dead. It's the only show I do that with, so I've known for a long time that episode 4.14 was "Carol's big ep." In this episode we see

1) Carol trying to teach Mika to be strong, because she's reminding her way too much of Sophia and she does not want to make that mistake twice.

2) Carol having Lizzie freak out on her for killing a walker she was "playing" with, and trying to get that crazy little kid to understand.

3) Lizzie killing Mika, nonchalantly telling Carol and Tyreese that Judith was next. She wanted to prove a point. She pointed her gun at Carol, who had to talk her way out of the situation.

4) Tyreese and Carol make a joint decision that Lizzie cannot be around other people.

5) Lizzie thinks Carol is upset about getting a gun in her face, not for the fact that she just killed her own little sister. Carol tells her to "look at the flowers" and promptly shoots her in the head, breaking down.

6) Carol confesses to Tyreese that she killed Karen and David, that it was quick and painless. (and as Melissa McBride mentioned on Talking Dead, it was a mercy killing, as Karen and David were obviously in a really bad state judging by all the blood) Tyreese FORGAVE her.

7) There are multiple "white people are fucking crazy" gifs on Tumblr with Tyreese's facial expressions.

I've said it before, The Walking Dead loves their "man pain." (or as it's lovingly called, "Mangst") This is a show where we are constantly given perspective on the issues that men are dealing with, and the women are mostly kept to the side. For example, Rick gets on the "crazy train" after Lori dies and sees her ghost for several episodes. Carol watches Sophia come out of the barn, and gets one scene of follow up. The majority of season 4B has been about Daryl's somewhat regression into the person he was. Beth is merely in his story as a plot device. This isn't about us getting to know Beth better. She's been around for 3 seasons and hasn't done anything. This is about her being an accessory to Daryl's man pain. Now that she's a damsel in distress, we can watch him probably swoop in and save her.

This brings me to Carol. When Carol was revealed to be the killer early on, I hated it. It made no sense, but what I hated even more was the PR spin that the writers/showrunner put on it afterwards. Scott Gimple said he wanted the audience to be split 50/50 on Carol and Rick, then he went on to only defend Rick's point of view, as did many other writers. Chris Hardwick came out in full support of Carol on Talking Dead, as did his hosts, Chris Jericho and Gillian Jacobs, then the next week he changed his tune completely. It felt like a producer told him too. I honestly do not think they expected anyone to be on Carol's side. I think they expected that the fans would turn on this woman, much like the majority of people did against Andrea last season. That didn't happen, Carol's fans were loud and quick to point out all the parallels between Rick and Carol. Rick and Carol both murdered "for the better of their own group" yet Carol gets crucified, and Rick gets to deal with his man pain of leaving her out on her own. I'm not going to get into the "Rick vs Carol" discussion again, because I'm absolutely sick of it.

Is The Grove the start TWD actually putting more trust in their females? It became more obvious to me that the reason Carol was given this story was because Melissa McBride is the only actress that could've pulled it off on the show. For once, a woman took center stage, and a man (Tyreese) was her plot device. For once there were scenes of women talking (Carol and the girls) that didn't involve men in the scene, or for the conversation to be about men. (Seriously, there was that scene of the women doing laundry in the quarry in season 1, a few Beth/Maggie scenes and one Beth/Michonne scene.) Otherwise the women are never together on this show without a man. I hope so. If Carol gets to truly "come back" this season. Then I think the show will have succeeded at something. "Coming back from what we've done" has been the theme, and if Carol gets to do that, then it's a step in the right direction. If she dies a redemptive death like Andrea did, then we're only going backwards.

I'm hoping the next time we see Carol (which I don't think will be this next episode) she will be handing Judith to Rick, and will be accepted back into the group. She's obviously sorry for what she did, which has been clear since episode 4.3 and she will have to live with it. That's the worst punishment one could be given. If Tyreese can forgive, everyone else should to. Selfishly, I want this reunion to end in a hug between Carol and Rick, because they were my two favorite characters and this season has really made me hate on Rick more than I'd like to. I think Rick needs to apologize to HER as well. I want their strong friendship to be back. 

 I also hope in the future we get more scenes of the females together. Carol and Michonne could make a badass team. They've never even spoken to each other on the show. I'm sick of the women taking such a back seat. 


  1. I haven't made it past 1st season but reading this at least TWD fanbase seems to have legitimately valid issues with the show - it sucks when the female characters are treated that way.

    I hate the way GoT treated Cat in 2nd and 3rd season - she already has so many moronic haters and then they only gave Fairley so few scenes. And TWD seems to have strong female characters being silenced like that all the time, judging by what you wrote here. That's just unfair to characters, actors and the fans.

    1. It is. GoT treats their females wonderfully compared to this. Even if Cat got less scenes (which was annoying) she was still a fully fleshed out character which is more than the TWD women get. I never thought TWD was a good show to begin with, I just thought it was entertaining, by my expectations for TV are so high now due to great shows like Breaking Bad, GoT and True Detective that I just expect better.

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    1. Oh God, I loved Rick and Michonne together for awhile, then she bonded with Carl, and suddenly it got weird. Like, does Carl want his BFF boning his father? Personally, I want Rick and Carol to be together. Like Rick and Andrea are in the comics.

  3. interesting point about the man's point of view. and yes, we have yet another case where the complex woman is looked down on and not the man. i'm a much bigger fan than you are for this whole season, which i love, but i like you was glad to see the return of Carol. I can't agree about Daryl and Beth's episode because I think it explored both their characters very well. I don't think it's as important for me to see all the women characters together talking to each other, but i do like that they had that great episode between Carl and Michonne. We learned a lot about Michonne this season and especially that episode.

    1. I think it's important, because I'm starting to wonder if the women are even aware the others exist? I don't think Carol has spoken directly to Michonne or Maggie at all. I like that we're learning more about Michonne. That's another good example, last season she was very one note.

  4. For one, I'm glad I don't read the spoilers because this episode was totally "Holy Shit!!" to me.

    We probably won't get to see Carol & Tyreese in the next episode and that kinda bums me out. I know I'm in the minority, but I actually feel Rick right now is one of the least interesting characters on the show...

    1. I do not like season 4 Rick at all. So I'm with you there!


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