Arguably one of the biggest transformations throughout The Walking Dead series, you’re probably wondering where your cookie baking badass has gone. Though she is still baking cookies this is not the same Carol we have grown to love.


Looking back to when we were first introduced to Carol, she was presented as a nobody married to a wife beater who would never be expected to survive, let alone thrive in the zombie apocalypse. However, we have been proven wrong time and time again about Carol. She made it through her abusive relationship beginning to end. Survived the heart wrenching death of her daughter. (Honestly I’m not sure whether Carol or Darryl was more upset about Sophia) Shortly after this is when we see the change in Carol.


Moving forward in the series probably one of the first notable moments we see Carol as this ruthless survivor is at the prison. Sickness was over taking several members of the group, and for what she justified as the greater good she killed [and burned the bodies] of Karen and David. Shortly after this is when Rick kicks Carol out of the prison, which is major when taking into consideration Rick’s questionable morals, yet even he considered this to be going “too far.”


When the prison was lost, Carol was obviously not there since she had just been excommunicated, but it isn’t long after this we see another ruthless act of survival in the death of Lizzy. After Lizzy killed Mika, her own sister, we see Carol take Lizzy to “look at the flowers.” Though we can see sadness in Carol’s eyes, there is absolutely no hesitation when she kills Lizzy, again justifying this as “for the greater good.”


Upon arriving outside Terminus, they find that the rest of the group is being held hostage. Leaving Tyreese with Judith, we are led to one of Carol’s most awe worthy accomplishments. Willing to do anything she deems as an act of defense for her people, she single handedly created the diversion that not only resulted in the group’s freedom, but also the downfall of Terminus. Though some of Carol’s decisions are deemed questionable, she has really become one of our most loved survivors, some one we could only hope to be like in the fall of mankind.


So when did she start backpedaling from a symbol of strength and survival to that soft mother figure we had long forgotten? Though she remains ruthless within Alexandria, we see a “Suzy-Homemaker” persona emerge. She wants to appear trustworthy, while allowing the Alexandrians to remain naïve to the world outside of their walls, giving Rick and the rest of the group the upper hand. The only one to catch a glimpse of Carol’s unstable persona at this point is little Sam. We can see the beginning of Carol’s reluctance with the arrival of Morgan. Now, Morgan’s effects on Carol are not immediately seen, however, after being on the receiving end of the Wolves’ attack, we see a tension arise between them. At one point when Carol approaches Morgan and the Wolf he has held hostage she asks, “ tell me you’re sure?” almost looking for a reason not to kill.


We all know Morgan has a “code.” He doesn’t kill people anymore, and even tells Carol “We can be better than them, but not if we kill.” Deep down inside Carol wants to believe this, but she is not stupid. She knows that surviving this world almost requires the death of people outside the wall. Her trust of fellow survivors is long dead. While this may be true, it would appear that Morgan has successfully gotten in Carol’s head.


We see a lot of regret in Carol when she looks over her mysterious list, which we can infer is a tally of her non-walker kills. “K,D” for Karen and David, “L” for Lizzy, “Terminus/Courtyard 3?” when she freed her captive friends, “Candle Woman” makes her count of at least 4 at Terminus, and “W 7” for the 7 (which if you count is actually 8) wolves she killed at Alexandria. She also lists “R” at the top for Lizzy and Mika’s father, which is odd as she only stabbed him so he would not become a walker, but obviously “R” took an emotional toll on her as the first on her list. She later admits to a total of “18 or 20.”


Finally we are brought to the most recent episode in the series, where we follow the group on the offensive act of eradicating the Saviors. During this we are shown Carol’s most notable change. First when she has a clear head shot on the male Savior, and chose to shoot him in the arm resulting in the capture of herself, and Maggie. While Carol is generally not easily shaken, we see her go into a state of panic, even hyperventilating at one point. Sure this can be written off as a ruse, meant to deter the Saviors from taking deadly action against them, but was it really? Before they left for the Savior camp we see Carol leave a cookie on Sam’s grave, along with an additional exchange of words with Morgan. Are his ways having a real effect on her? We see her again lose her edge when she practically begs Paula, (a clear leader within the Saviors), to “just run” so she wouldn’t have to kill her. We then see no hesitation when she puts a bullet in the head of the additional Savior when she attacks Maggie. So why the almost refusal to kill Paula?


While it is reasonable that after all this time, living a ruthless lifestyle has taken its toll emotionally; this has reintroduced us to a side of Carol we have long thought to be lost. Maybe it’s fear of losing yet another established “home.” Maybe she saw herself in the Saviors. Maybe Morgan’s ways appeal to her innermost hopes for the future. We can hope that the bold Carol we have come to love is not yet lost, and that this will only be a momentary lapse of judgment, but the effects of this most recent “kill for hire” task may not be so easily undone. Previously Carol has only killed non-walkers in what she considers defense of herself and her people, and what they did to the Saviors was not defense. It’s clear to her now; they are not the good guys.

aug7-ew-cover-the-walking-dead_612x380 EvansEntertainmentTVCarol,Morgan,The Saviors,The Walking Dead,TWDArguably one of the biggest transformations throughout The Walking Dead series, you’re probably wondering where your cookie baking badass has gone. Though she is still baking cookies this is not the same Carol we have grown to love. Looking back to when we were first introduced to Carol, she was...