The Walking Dead star Melissa McBride, who plays Carol Peletier, was as surprised as anyone by the turn of events in last night’s episode.
SPOILERS AHEAD. DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE, “INDIFFERENCE.”
With food running low at the prison, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Carol go out to look for more. Carol explains why she killed Karen and David, saying she was “trying to save lives.” Rick doesn’t react at first, but it was just the calm before the storm.
In a parallel to the season two episode “Better Angels,” in which Shane (Jon Bernthal) lures Rick out into the woods under false pretenses, the supply run is an excuse for Rick’s real intentions — to kick Carol out of the group. He can’t trust her, plain and simple. She’s been making decisions on her own, not just in killing Karen and David, but in teaching the kids how to kill walkers behind everyone’s backs, and in telling Sam and Ana they could help her and Rick clear the rest of the neighborhood, something that Rick clearly didn’t approve of.
Rick tells her she’ll find a new group and Carol, oddly enough, doesn’t really fight his decision. She gives Rick the watch that Ed gave her — the last reminder of her old life — and he promises the group will look after Lizzie and Mika. Carol sets out with just a car and a few supplies as Rick watches her drive away.
Melissa McBride told The Hollywood Reporter she was shocked by Rick’s decision.
“I didn’t see that coming! I was pretty floored and I love it. I liked where it went. I looked at it from the story and thought, ‘God, how ironic,’” she said.
“This choice that Rick has made, there’s so much going on and so many parallels,” McBride added. “There are so many ways to turn what’s going on here to find these parallels between Rick and Carol, between what she’s done and what everyone has done in some way. I can’t help but really like the way that this went down.”
McBride said she wasn’t worried that she was being written out of the show, and that she could come back later in the season. She also said she didn’t think Carol deserved to be banished, but that it was a chance she took when she confessed to killing Karen and David.
“Obviously when she took the risk, Carol knew there would be consequences if she had to confess or if anyone found out. She was prepared to tell Rick, that he would find out,” McBride said.
“She even suggested in the council meeting that Rick do a timeline to see who was where and when as the slayings happened,” she continued. “That’s very interesting to note. Did she want to get caught? When she says to Rick that she did it, she stands there for a second and waits and he doesn’t say anything, so she presses on with her task.”
Melissa McBride also noted that no one knows what Carol is capable of now.
“I don’t know what else she’s capable of, had it been someone else besides Karen. What if it had been one of our original Atlanta people? What would she have done then,” McBride asked.
“She’s going about this with a very single mind and not talking to other council people, and that’s frightening,” she added. “That threatens his position of leadership, even though he had taken a backseat to it and didn’t come to the council meetings — which she and the group really wanted him to attend since his voice is important. She’s wanting to be caught and wanting Rick to do something.”
Should Carol have been kicked out of the group? Or should Rick have brought her back to the prison to let the council decide?