Just about every single character on AMC’s The Walking Dead has undergone a major metamorphosis since his or her first appearance on the show. No character represents that idea better than Melissa McBride’s Carol Peletier. An abused wife turned badass survivor, Carol began showing signs of moral fatigue last night while in the Saviors’ captivity. Although much of the religious conviction she displayed during the episode turned out to be a ruse, McBride has admitted that some of it comes from a genuine place. Here's what actress Melissa McBride had to say about the recent developments to Carol Peletier’s character:
I think those were tears of regret because that's when she lost her faith. So there may be something to this. There's so much beautiful symbolism with that rosary showing up when it did and how it did — that she could use it to help her escape in more ways than one, perhaps. But is there a part of her that is repenting? Was that a Hail Mary? Now is it the hour of her death? It asks more questions than it answers in that way. But there is more story to be told.
Obviously on a literal level Carol managed to use the rosary to physically escape the bindings that the Saviors had put her in. However, Melissa McBride seems to have hinted to THRthat a deeper form of symbolism may in fact be at play here. We as an audience don’t know how much of that act the character really believed, but according to the actress: the next stage of the character’s development will delve into that. This could lead to her confiding more in Seth Gilliam’s Father Gabriel, or even showing remorse for the group’s increasingly vicious acts.
It also raises genuine questions about the safety of Carol as a character. Melissa McBride alluded to the hour of the character's death, and that has us somewhat worried about what could happen to Carol in the future. We’ve seen this happen before; any time a character on The Walking Dead has some sort of righteous or moral breakthrough, we can reasonably assume that their ticket will soon be punched.
Melissa McBride also went into detail about how much of the emotions exhibited by Carol in the episode could actually stem back to the death of Sophia in Season 2:
It does raise a lot of questions because the line between what is the real Carol is and what is the ruse? There was a line there when Paula says, "Do you really believe in that crap?" And Carol looks up to her, with tears in her eyes, and says, ‘My faith got me through the death of my daughter [Sophia].
Carol has not shown much in the way of religious conviction, but we know the death of Sophia turned her cold. She has carried so much with her over the course of the series; from the death of her daughter, to the murder of Lizzie; now, it seems that we’re starting to get an even better look at the cracks in this seemingly imperturbable woman.
Needless to say, we cannot wait to see where the insanely popular zombie series takes Carol next. Be sure to check out The Walking Dead every Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on AMC.