Carol Does the Unthinkable on 'The Walking Dead'

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Carol (Melissa Suzanne McBride) - The Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 14 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMCGene Page/AMC

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“The Walking Dead” has never been shy about taking jaw-dropping turns, and on Sunday, the drama did just that -- twice. (Spoiler alert! If you haven’t watched the episode yet, come back later.)

Carol (Melissa McBride) is faced with another difficult but necessary task.Gene Page/AMC

This time, it wasn’t just an extra gory zombie death or 10, but the gut-wrenching killings of two young girls, Lizzie and Mika, who had been adopted by Carol after their dad died. The trouble started with the apparently twisted Lizzie, who was babysitting her little sister and Rick’s baby girl, Judith, while Carol and Tyreese were out.

The two adults came home to a horrible scene: sweet Mika dead at her sister’s hands. As Lizzie explained it, the little girl wasn’t actually gone: Mika will “come back,” Lizzie said, because she “didn’t hurt her brain.” Apparently, the girl didn’t understand the deadly nature of walkers, and saw humanity behind their dead eyes. (That would explain her feeding and playing tag with them.)

As if that weren’t bad enough, Lizzie had planned on killing Judith as well before the adults came home. And that’s when Carol knew she had to do the unthinkable again: end the life of a living person -- a child -- for the greater good.

The execution sent fans of the show reeling. Yes, there have been many deaths on the drama, but the execution of a child? That was a tough one to take.

Even star Melissa McBride, the actress behind tough-as-nails Carol, said she was shocked by it when she first realized what the survivor had to do.

“Overwhelmed and devastated,” she told The Hollywood Reporter about her immediate reaction. “I sat there reading the script with my mouth open.”

“I don’t think there was really any other option,” she added. “As much as it broke Carol’s heart to have to do this and to realize this had to be done, when they were walking toward the flowers in that scene and Lizzie says, 'You're mad at me and I'm sorry.' You'd think she'd be sorry for stabbing her sister to death but instead she's sorry for pointing gun at her and she just doesn't get it.”

The incident also led Carol to confess to Tyreese that she was the one who had killed his sick girlfriend back at the prison. But having seen the necessity of ending the threat that was Lizzie, Tyreese forgave Carol.

And as stunning and heartbreaking as the episode was, McBride told THR that there was one positive thing that came out of it.

“He forgave (Carol) and he understood,” the actress said. “That brings the whole humanity back. Moving forward, it’s a new beginning.”

"The Walking Dead" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.

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