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The Carol Scene That Went Too Far On The Walking Dead

Played by actor Melissa McBride, the character of Carol Peletier on the AMC survivalist horror series "The Walking Dead" has a significantly different arc from her comics counterpart. The Carol of the graphic novels is a relatively minor character in the grand scheme of things who is mostly depicted as meek, neurotic, and eventually self-destructive as the ravages of life during the apocalypse become too much for her. She dies fairly early on in the series, leaving her daughter Sophia behind.

On the show, Carol has a similar background to her comics counterpart, but her timeline and role in the series have changed significantly. Carol's abusive husband Ed (Adam Minarovich) and daughter Sophia (Madison Lintz) are both killed off relatively quickly. But in the wake of their deaths, Carol becomes one of the series' central characters thanks to her previously untapped inner strength. Her determination and resourcefulness slowly trigger a transformation that sees her become one of the toughest warriors among the human survivors, even when her pragmatic decisions aren't always agreed upon by the community.

Like the other "Walking Dead" characters, Carol has had to be ruthless to survive day after day, and has also been through more than her fair share of violent and traumatic incidents. However, even for someone as tough as Carol, there is one particular choice she made that is hard to reconcile.

Carol kills two people in their sleep and tells no one

In the Season 4 episodes "Infected" and "Isolation," our group of survivors are dealing with the threat of an unknown disease that is sweeping through the home they'd made for themselves at the West Georgia Correctional Facility. Carol, of course, is determined to stop this infection by any means necessary. Ultimately, that includes murdering two people who she believes to be infected, newcomer David (Brandon Carroll) and Karen (Melissa Ponzio), Tyreese's (Chad Coleman) girlfriend. Carol murders both of them in their sleep and then burns the bodies without telling anyone.

It's easy to see from the plot description why u/DaJesuZ on the r/thewalkingdead subreddit was appalled by the character's behavior. In their thread titled "I can't stand Carol," u/DaJesuZ had many things to say about the character. Of her decision at the prison, they wrote, "She intended to let Tyrese never find out about what happened to his partner. That was cold ..." Carol indeed stays silent, even when she watches Tyreese attacking Rick (Andrew Lincoln) because of his grief over Karen's death. Carol never confesses to anyone until she is pressured to do so by Rick. As u/DaJesuZ writes, "It was only when confronted with the possibility that her life was going to end shortly that she let Tyrese [sic] know the truth." That genuinely feels cowardly for such a supposedly courageous survivor. 

Carol should have consulted the group

Many characters on "The Walking Dead" have to make harsh decisions in an unforgiving landscape, but Carol's choice to kill Karen and David was rash and created more tension in the group. She never talks to the other survivors about her plan and then seems surprised when there are consequences for her actions. Her reasoning that both of the infected were showing symptoms and could ruin the prison makes sense, yet why didn't Carol ever consider consulting the others? Surely, killing two people without telling anyone is worse than collectively discussing how to contain an infection. Even for a character known for acting alone, her actions here don't make much sense.

What makes this situation even worse is that the infections don't stop with Karen and David's deaths. Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino) also gets sick, as does Tyreese's sister, Sarah (Sonequa Martin-Green). By then, Carol appears to have butchered two people for nothing. Furthermore, she made herself seem untrustworthy and potentially dangerous to her fellow survivors. 

While Carol does accept her banishment and is later forgiven by Tyreese, the murder of Karen and David is still an awful and pointless crime that took Carol's character too far.