Zombies and psychopaths

lizzieIf you’re a Walking Dead fan, like me, you’d have watched this week’s latest episode (season four), The Grove, and it may have left you wide eyes and open mouthed with the decisions and actions made by characters Carol and Tyreese.

I’m not usually one to write about a television show, but this particular episode dealt with something deeper than just fictional characters and their day-to-day activities.

To recap quickly, the episode focuses on show favourite Carol, roadblock Tyreese and children Lizzie, Mika and baby Judith; they find a hidden country cottage to shelter and rest in while on their way to Terminus. Season four has left many an audience member contemplating Lizzie’s mental ability and in The Grove, her psychotic potential was proven true when she killed her little sister Mika and later pleaded with Carol and Tyreese to wait until the dead girl awoke to show she was still the same person; that the walkers were still people with feelings and they were no different to those who were alive.

A heartbreaking decision was made between Carol and Tyreese to kill Lizzie, and Carol was the one to pull the trigger.

Many online articles discuss the characters and why they do what they do, what certain relationships mean and how humanity copes with the aftermath of an apocalypse, but The Grove is an episode that deals with a real life mental disorder – I’m unqualified to diagnose what that might be, but my guess is a dissociative disorder. From the beginning, Lizzie appeared different and acted compassionately towards the walkers, always starting an argument when the people around her wouldn’t agree with her views.

One of the most disturbing actions by Lizzie was in a previous episode – to keep baby Judith quiet so walkers wouldn’t attack, Lizzie muffled her and appeared to get some satisfaction out of it. Viewers held their own breaths, waiting to make sure the baby wasn’t dead.

Whether or not Lizzie had this mental instability prior to the end of the world, we’ll never know, but her plight outlines that children can be severely impacted by loss regardless if they understand what is happening or not; in fact, it’s probably worse when they don’t understand because they can make up a world they want to live in. In Lizzie’s case she wanted to believe that the world was normal and she could live a life similar to what she had before.

Lizzie’s mental problem is absolutely up for debate in what is being hailed as the best episode of the series and it was sad to see that what I had hoped to be a unique, dysfunctional family finding peace in a pecan grove covered cottage turned out to be a nightmare hosted by a mini-sized psycho.

It was interesting that the show’s writers chose to give Lizzie such a complex personality and have her murdered in cold blood; in one way though, I’m glad it was done by the one person who is always picking up everyone else’s dirty laundry. On the other hand, killing a child is just unforgivable (killing anyone is unforgivable but let’s just go along with me here) and it makes me question if it was the right decision to make – that the only way to deal with a mental disorder is to kill it.

Is it perhaps an ‘ode’ by writers reminiscent of today’s society? That still, in this day and age, we toss aside the solutions and any help to those suffering a mental disorder because we just don’t want to deal with the problem? Do we, as righteous and capable-thinking human beings, feel like killing off anyone that is unstable because we’re too scared of what we might face? Dealing with the dead is easier than dealing with someone who is mad, unhinged, mental, ‘schizo’ even – is that true?

We would rather deal with zombies than someone like Lizzie?


  1. That episode was so nerving, i was on edge – I thought there must have been something up with that girl. I was completely shell shocked whenever I seen that she killed her sister and had planned to kill Baby Judith. I can’t believe there are only 2 episodes left EEEEE I’m so jittery I hope Glenn and Maggy reunite! Also – Beth I’m so curious as to what has happened to her! Check out my blog please 🙂

  2. Not agreeing or disagreeing with Carol’s decision on the show, but I’m curious, what do you think the solution is in dealing with Lizzie after she kills her sister and is ready to kill the baby?

  3. Zombies. I wouldn’t like to deal with a mentally ill psychopath girl.. Super creepy and scary, I really thought they would still have her tag along just be super careful about it. 😦

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