SPOILERS for this week’s episode of The Walking Dead, obviously.
This week’s episode of The Walking Dead, “The Grove,” saw the deaths of two characters, Lizzie and Mika Samuels. But here’s the thing: Those characters weren’t in the comic book. However, that storyline was in Robert Kirkman’s source material, only it happened with a different set of characters. I didn’t realize this, of course, until Scott Gimple — the showrunner and the writer of this episode — talked about it with EW.
From Entertainment Weekly:
I had originally talked to [creator] Robert [Kirkman] about it because in the comic it’s more Carl’s story and I remember pitching it to him because I wanted to know what he thought. It was important to me. And what was funny is I started going, “I’m thinking about taking this thing away from Carl, this super-important part of the comic,” and initially he was like, “Oh, I don’t know.” And then I pitched him the story and he was like, “That’s awesome!” Which was exciting because I was really nervous, because you want to honor the source material and I wanted him to be excited about it and he was.
In other words, instead of Carol, this was originally Carl’s story. Instead of Lizzie and Mika, it involved twin boys, Ben and Billy, who were introduced to the comic book in the second issue, and were killed off in the 61st issue, so they were around a long time. Like Lizzie and Mika being adopted, so to speak, by Carol, Ben and Billy were adopted in the comic book by Andrea and Dale (who were an item in the comic book) after Ben and Billy’s parents were killed.
In the comic, it was Ben who killed not rats or a rabbit, but a barn cat (he was also cruel to other kids). Ben was f**ked in the head like Lizzie, and ultimately, killed his own brother Billy. He was caught in the act by Andrea. Like Lizzie, Ben delivered the line, “Don’t worry, he’s going to come back. I didn’t hurt his brains.”
Here’s where it differs slightly. After Ben killed Billy, the group got together to discuss whether to kill Ben, in a manner similar to the way that the group got together to discuss whether to kill Randall in season two. Dale — Ben’s adopted father — insisted that Ben not be killed, but the adults came to no immediate decision. Instead, Carl sneaked out, and on his own initiative, executed Ben.
It was a traumatic incident for Carl, who cried about it a lot afterwards, but when pressed to explain himself by Rick, Carl admitted that he killed Billy because it had to be done, just as Carol had killed Lizzie because it had to be done.
At least with the characters as configured in the television show, I actually prefer Gimple’s way, if only because it spares us from three episodes of Carl crying and carrying on. Plus, I think it’s far more powerful to have Lizzie’s surrogate mother have to pull the trigger than simply a friend. It might have been difficult for Carl to kill Ben, but not nearly as difficult as it was for Carol — who had already lost her own daughter, Sophia — to have to kill another daughter. Plus, it tied in perfectly with her confession to Tyreese about killing Karen.
Source: The Walking Dead Wiki