At the beginning of The Walking Dead‘s divisive fourth season, Rick is out checking his hunting snares when he meets Clara. The woman is so skeletal that he initially thinks she’s a walker. She proves otherwise by talking, and requests that Rick help her bring back a nearby dying boar to feed herself and her husband Eddie. Rick gives her a sandwich instead, but agrees to go speak with her husband to see whether or not the couple will be allowed to join the group — after checking Clara for weapons, of course. He dismisses her small knife as not particularly threatening.
Clara tells Rick of Eddie as they trek through the woods to her camp, of how good he was to her, the sacrifices he made, and the things they had to do to survive. By this point, Rick is all too familiar with such things, so when Clara asks him whether he thinks redemption is possible, all he can say is “I hope so.” It’s just a nicer way of saying “I don’t know,” but the fact is, Rick really doesn’t know. Were someone to ask him his own three questions, the third would take a whole lot of explaining.
Regardless, Clara eventually leads Rick back to her small camp — little more than a tent and some scattered supplies. Things escalate quickly from there: Rick finds that Eddie is just a severed walker head, Clara tries to attack him with the knife, and he gets her at gunpoint. Rick was to be chop meat for Eddie, Clara admits, but she also admits she can’t stand doing this anymore, and… guts herself, insisting Rick leave her to turn so she can be with her husband. Her final act is to request that Rick ask her the three questions he would’ve asked her and Eddie both.
How many walkers has she killed? “Eddie killed them all, until…”
How many people has she killed? “Just me. Just me…”
Why? “You don’t get to come back from things.”