I’ve accepted the fact that The Walking Dead Season 4 is pushing a plot driven story to the side and attempting to provide character-focused installments instead.
And while it’s good the series is trying to build up its large cast, it can still feel hit and miss.
Certainly, The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 14 was a divisive hour (and one that seemed to drag on), but it was the final moments that people will be talking about.
If you weren’t aware - and don’t worry, the episode made sure you did know - Lizzie was off her rocker. She was a crazy kid playing tag with walkers, screaming about her “friends” and, in general, just being uncomfortably weird.
Feeding the walkers was only the beginning because everything took a sharp left turn after Lizzie killed her sister, Mika.
Surprising? Not really, but there was still something unsettling about the shot with her blood-soaked hands while carrying the knife.
But what could be considered the most controversial moment took place after in a scene that felt very reminiscent of “Of Mice and Men.”
Carol, the fixer that she’s become, made the decision that Lizzie needed to go. And there was something captivating in watching Carol have to actually pull that trigger, telling Lizzie to look at the flowers, tearful at the choice she felt was necessary.
I have to give kudos to the series not backing out on this one, and also for having Carol do the deed. Melissa McBride has done a fantastic job with what’s she’s been given; she definitely put her all into that scene, into Carol.
It was a moment that makes you wonder what the other survivors might have done. But it was also a moment I think would have been more haunting if the episode ended right there.
Instead, Carol felt the need to confess to Tyreese about Karen, and sure, the impact of the moment for her made sense. Sliding over that gun, she was ready to accept the consequences.
But after killing Lizzie, I couldn’t see the series also offing Carol in the same hour. It would also be an unfortunate way to bring her back and then get rid of her.
And as much as Tyreese says he forgives her, I still have a hard time believing that. It just seemed too easy a tie up for that prison storyline with a nice clean bow.
It was great to see the actors pull out a powerful performance by the end, even if some of the dialogue felt a bit awkward - but I wanted to be engaged the entire time, not just the last few minutes.
That was the big problem of the episode for me in that as much as the last 15 minutes of the episode were gut wrenching and shockin, the first 45 minutes felt boring. I really wasn’t captivated by Carol trying to convince Lizzie and Mika how to be, act, etc., and was fully aware of the blatant foreshadowing within the dialogue.
I understood the final impact that last decision would have on Carol and Tyreese moving forward, but the lead-up seemed to take forever, with a focus on child characters I've never really been invested in.
And as much as everyone will remember Carol killing Lizzie (it was indeed a huge moment), I can't see the show bringing it up again. Still, there is something to be said for ending on a strong note for the hour.
I'm looking forward to getting back with the other characters, and even reuniting the survivors again. And I really am ready for Terminus and what the future holds after this long trip down the train tracks finally comes to an end.
Should Carol have killed Lizzie?
Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.