In Consumed, this week’s episode of The Walking Dead Carol continues on her long road to redemption. A journey that she began when Rick booted her out of the the group when she admitted to killing Karen and David. Even though the woman had noble intentions, she was trying to keep the flu thing from sweeping through the prison going so far as to burn the bodies, her act of stepping up to the challenge initially earned her Rick’s banishment and later she had to live with her decision. No doubt the woman felt she acted correctly “in the moment” but she was bothered by the act as shown in Consumed with her flashbacks.
Carol has grown more in her personal journey in the show than perhaps any other character. She has learned to survive after the death of her daughter and although it is still early days yet, she is trying to move forward from the death of Mika and her decision to kill Lizzie. Certainly, the girl was mad as a hatter and her failure to understand that the walkers were dead endangered everyone. That moment in The Grove, “Look at the flowers Lizzie,” will haunt Carol forever, just as it will the viewers who cried harsh tears and grappled for tissues even after she and Tyrese buried the two dead children.
Of course One of the show’s flashbacks in Consumed included that memory of Carol and Tyrese putting Lizzie and Mika under the ground in The Walking Dead season four and the audience learned in Sunday’s episode that Carol’s long road to redemption will contain many such recollections. Another part of this remarkable woman came to light in the Consumed episode. Carol does not take life lightly, even her Rambo impression in the season five opener weighs heavily on her mind. One of her flashbacks included the memory of cleaning up after the bloodbath she started in No Sanctuary.
Sharp eyed viewers will have noticed that every memory shown in Sunday’s show all dealt with intense moments in Carol’s life. The small journey that she takes after Rick forces her out of the group is obviously hard and very stressful for the woman and as such it is included in the montage of memory scenes interspersed in the show. In The Walking Dead Carol continues to grow and change. In the scene where Noah stole the weapons Daryl and Carol brought with them to the Beth rescue, as he went to leave Carol pulls a pistol and Dixon knocks it down before she can squeeze off a shot.
Carol asks her friend if he thought she was going to kill the boy and Daryl responds that he is just a kid. Discussions after the show revealed that many fans thought that Carol was going to shoot Noah dead as he was walking away. After watching Carol’s rescue effort at Terminus and her cold blooded killing of the barbecue lady, Daryl and the fans were most likely correct in their belief that Noah was about to be executed. So in some ways Carol has not changed too much yet, she still puts the group members before anyone else.
However, in The Walking Dead: Consumed Carol is on a long road to redemption, one full of painful memories and lessons learned. While this character continues to grow and adapt in so many surprising ways, it is to be hoped, especially after seeing previews of next week’s show, that she evolves even more. Hats off to Melissa McBride who should pick up an Emmy or two for her work in this show. This actress has turned Carol Peletier into one of the most fascinating characters in the show and one that fans can really get behind. Long live Carol in The Walking Dead.
By Michael Smith