It’s a plot line that’s been teased for more than half a year on “The Walking Dead,” and on the March 16 airing episode “The Grove” Tyreese (Chad Coleman) finally finds out just what Carol (Melissa McBride) did to his girlfriend. Which is to say, took her diseased body out into a yard and burned it to a crisp.
Or did she? There are a lot of questions about the episode, and whether Carol is guilty at all. The popular theory is that psycho kid Lizzie may have done the deed, and Carol took the fall for her. Regardless, it all comes out on “The Grove,” and to find out more we talked over e-mail with Coleman himself.
“Before this week’s episode, Tyreese has no idea that Carol killed Karen,” Coleman said. “He trusts her totally.”
And he needs to, as post-prison life the whole group has been scattered to the four corners of Georgia. Tyreese ended up taking care of the kids, something we saw as being just a little overwhelming for the hammer-wielding tough guy.
“[It’s] a little bizarre because I began to miss everybody I wasn’t working with,” Coleman noted on the fractured nature of this half-season, “but it heightened the sense of isolation, which helped build the character.”
And Coleman also added that being with the kids brings out a different side of the character, something that this whole mix-em-up with the group seems perfectly designed to do.
“He’s protective, he values the fact that these kids represent the future,” Coleman said. “It also brings out his vulnerability because of the weight of the responsibility. He’s a compassionate man and grows very fond of the girls.”
One of the more interesting aspects of the fracture is that events can be happening elsewhere in Georgia that won’t affect the characters until they’re well down the road, a few episodes hence. In the last episode, “Alone,” Bob Stookey declared his feelings for Tyreese’s sister Sasha. Though it’s unclear whether any of them will survive long enough to react to the romantic twist, Coleman did have some ideas how the event might play out.
“He is protective of his sister no matter how strong willed she is,” Coleman said. “If we both survive, I think her being alive would be of greater importance than a budding relationship with Bob. But I got my hammer if he steps out of line!”
But back to the episode at hand, we’ve heard that the fall-out from Carol’s revelation will be “excruciating.” And it seems like it wasn’t any easier on set.
“Working with Melissa McBride is a gift and the girls are also so good,” Coleman said on shooting the episode. “It was intense, and our director Mike Satrazemis was so in-tune with us by electing to shoot in sequence and not skip around. Melissa and I talked a lot and when we got to those tough scenes, we were ready to just let go. Excruciating is a good way to describe it.”
Looks like we’re in for a doozy on Sunday, but on a lighter note we followed up on our interview with the musically inclined Emily Kinney to ask the similarly musical theater trained Coleman if there’s ever a chance of an all-singing, all-dancing episode of “The Walking Dead.”
“I’ve got the pipes but I don’t know if the world is ready for that!” Coleman joked.
“The Walking Dead” airs Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. Expect there not to be a lot of singing.