This week’s episode of “The Walking Dead” nearly broke the Internet in half with two shocking deaths, and a confession that finally put a secret from the beginning of the season out on the table. Front and center in “The Grove” was actor Chad Coleman (Tyreese), who took time to talk to MTV News over e-mail about all the emotional fall-out.
Oh, and spoilers from here on out.
The plot twist that has particularly tore the fanbase in twain is the dual killing of kids Mika and Lizzie. For those who missed the episode, the unhinged Lizzie had decided the best way of proving her theory that zombies were nice was to stab her sister to death, and wait for the body to rise from the grave.
Though Coleman noted that Tyreese’s reaction to seeing Mika’s gutted body was, “system overload, he couldn’t process it,” by the time he and Carol (Melissa McBride) decide that Lizzie can’t live, his character had a more level-headed approach to the unthinkable act.
“Lizzie was the biggest threat to everyone’s existence,” Coleman said. “She was willing to kill another human being based on twisted logic that allowed her to not see the zombies for what they truly are. Of course they made the right decision.”
The other big revelation of the episode was Carol finally revealing to Tyreese that she killed his girlfriend, Karen. Even if it was for ostensibly good reasons — she was trying to prevent an infection from spreading from the already sick woman — Tyreese had threatened to murder whoever did the deed.
But when the time came, Tyreese didn’t take Carol down. So why didn’t we have a third death in the episode?
“He forgave her because he understood her,” Coleman said. “Her humanity is why she was willing to make the hard choices. He needs her to move forward with [her and] Judith. She’s really a tremendous human being.”
Not only that, but Coleman doesn’t see this changing how Tyreese relates to Carol going forward.
“She came clean,” Coleman continued. “It’s a harsh world and she helped Tyreese really face that. She is not without heart and compassion. I feel we bonded even more.”
That doesn’t mean Tyreese was entirely unaffected by the three near-simultaneous bombshells dropped during “The Grove.” The optimistic character will be a very different man as we move into the season’s final two episodes.
“He now realizes there is no escape from this brutal world,” Coleman said, “and that you can’t walk through it with an unmoving morality. Some imaginary line that you won’t cross. To survive, you will do whatever is necessary. And it doesn’t make you a monster.”
But the worst part of the episode wasn’t the death of Mika, Carol’s execution of Lizzie, or Tyreese finding out Carol’s secret. No, it was having to shell all those pecans. When asked if he got sick of the nuts during filming “The Grove,” Coleman laughed, and gave a hearty, “Hell yeah!”
“The Walking Dead” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.