What a bleak, horrific hour of television.
The girl who played Mika did a tremendous job, probably the best of a child actor on this show so far. First we had Dale as the moral compass of the show, and then we had Hershel. Since Hershel died in the mid-season finale, there hasn't been any one person who filled that role. In this episode, Mika was that voice in the wilderness. Even at such a young age, she had internalized the moral basis that drives civilization. She was surrounded by a world that challenged that moral basic constantly, and yet she wouldn't yield to it. If she had to, she would run. But if she couldn't run she would die. Because dying for her was preferable to becoming what you needed to become to survive. When she said she felt sorry for whoever killed Karen and David, not knowing she was talking to their killer, it just about broke my heart. She didn't know it Carol, but she had nothing but empathy for her anyway.
And then there was Lizzie, who probably would have ended up a murderer anyhow given her innate tendencies, but who was warped by this world into a specific kind of monster. Killing her sister was a horrific act, but her complete lack of understanding of what she had done made it infinitely more horrific. That she had the shallow emotional understanding of all sociopaths did make it any easier for Carol to do what needed to be done.
And then the scene at the table where Carol had finally had enough of being practical and coldblooded and doing what needed to be done. She tells Tyrese the truth and lets him react however he needs to. She didn't want to die, but she was prepared to. Mika had taught a lesson to her: that surviving isn't enough. Survival alone is meaningless. And then Tyrese, having just been confronted with the necessity of an unspeakable act, and seeing Carol take that burden off his shoulders, finds it in his heart to forgive her. He tells her he forgives but will never forget, and knows just looking at her that she'll never forget either. She has to carry that with her, and he understands what that means, and it's enough for him to finally let it go. A just brilliant scene between two phenomenal actors in Melissa McBride and Chad L. Coleman.
And there they sit, and without the children the silence is too much for them. This idyllic home has become haunted too. The silence is filled with the voices of the dead, and the only way to drown out the voices of the dead is to fill the silence with more people. And so we head into the second to last episode with all of our intact groups headed toward Terminus, while Beth has been kidnapped and Daryl has been drafted into a group of terrible people.