Scott Gimple had said that RICK will be catching up to CAROL’s mindset this season.
There was heavy implication that Carol was simply a few steps ahead in her survivor evolution than Rick and thereby more suited at the time to not just make the tough choices for the group but to also stand by her decisions and the consequences resulting from them.
She “killed” Karen and David to try and prevent the disease from taking more lives and subsequently (wrongfully) accepted the banishment as her “punishment”.
When Lizzie killed Mika, she did what she had to do to protect Judith, fully knowing that the guilt associated with her decision will most likely haunt her for the rest of her life.
Carol’s “crimes” were always motivated by the desire to save lives and keeping her loved ones safe…she did what she felt she had to do and made the calls that even the alpha males of the group couldn’t phantom, let alone accomplish.
In the Season 4 premiere Carol’s new persona was revealed through the infamous “knife lessons” during story time, as she took it upon herself to teach the children of the prison how to kill and protect themselves even if it meant going behind their parents backs.
Carl who was at the time doing his best to follow his fathers lead stumbled upon the weapons class and while his reaction was mixed, he ultimately decided to tell Rick about the class even though Carol expressed concern that he might put a stop to the lessons she felt were imperative for survival.
During his conversation with Rick we see that Carl was open to Carols logic after all.
Fast forward to Season 5, Episode 7 “Crossed” and we see that the younger Grimes has embraced Carol’s philosophy of teaching those weaker than himself in the art of defending and protecting oneself against the dead and the undead.
Father Gabriel is not the ideal student of course but his skill and gumption is comparable to the kids in story time AND Carl has after all learned from the best - Rick, Daryl and Carol Peletier, herself.
This little scene pays homage to Carol’s evolution being ahead of the others.
At the beginning of Season 4 she had already realized and accepted the fact that tough choices need to be made to live and that nurturing and protecting those you love looks very different in the apocalypse.
Carol raised Sophia by putting herself in front of the bad world Ed was in charge of but in this new one where violence and death were a normal part of every day, children needed to know how to fight and protect themselves in order to have the best chances of making it through.
Sophia died because she didn’t have the skills necessary to survive and Carol wasn’t about to stand by and watch it happen again and again to the others without at least trying to equip them to at least have a chance of fighting it out.
Mothering a child before might have consisted of sending them to another room to prevent them from hearing or seeing the abuse BUT in this new reality giving them a knife and teaching them how to stop someone from hurting them or biting them was parenting done right.
Carol saw the sense in that before anyone else even became comfortable with the idea let alone the practice. She also understood that the others might need more time to see things the same way and while asking Carl to keep it from his father sounded “wrong” and something she never would have considered before, Carol knew that there was a chance the other parents hadn’t reached her “nurturing” conclusions and therefore didn’t want to jeopardize the children’s chances to learn how to “live” the way Sophia didn’t.
We haven’t seen Carl and Carol interact yet this season but I’d like to think that he is thinking about her as he is trying to teach Father Gabriel his own version of covert story time…
Both Carol and Lori are mighty proud of who Carl is turning out to be!
Carol Peletier has touched and taught every single member of the Grimes family a thing or two about what it takes to survive…
Let’s Keep the Positivity Going