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.
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.