Lilly is now the reluctant leader of the people who survived the Governor. Lilly feels the weight of responsibility heavily and is quick to act in dangerous situations. Unfortunately, even having survived The Governor, Lilly and many of the people of Woodbury have forgotten the one lesson he had to teach them - zombies may be scary and lethal in large numbers but the real predator is still humans.
Lilly is the first female leader of a group that we have been introduced to in the book series. Somehow she doesn't seem to have the same strength as Rick or even Phillip. Even Rick's most stupid decision and plans always seem to work out somehow and that is most certainly not the case for Lilly. With Woodbury absolutely decimated and struggling to keep going with its small population thanks to Phillip, the small town is desperate to take in stragglers and build a safe place to survive the walkers. Lilly doesn't even bother to ask the three questions that in the television series Rick asks each new person who wants to join his group. Nope, Lilly welcomes everyone with open arms even though she knows absolutely nothing about them. After surviving Phillip I have to wonder why Lilly isn't more cautious and a hell of a lot more jaded.
Meredith, Cal and their children are the first people to show up in Woodbury hiding a secret. It seems that Meredith has a mental illness and because of this, the Dupree family have already been rejected from several groups. It seems that Meredith has repeatedly been deemed a danger because her actions are unpredictable and far from sane.
She shoots him a hard look. "C'mon, Cal ... you know very well what happens if they find out about my ... my condition. Remember the KOA camp?"
"Those people were paranoid and ignorant" He walks over to her, kneels by her chair, puts a tender hand on her knee. "God brought us here, Mer."
"Seriously. Listen. This place is a gift. God has brought us here and he wants us to stay. Maybe that older man - Bob, I think his name is - maybe he's got medication you can use. This is not the Middle Ages."
Meredith looks at him. "Yes, it is, Cal ... it is the Middle Ages."
"They drilled holes in the heads of the mentally ill back then - it's worse than that now."
"These people aren't gonna persecute you. They're just like us, they're just as scared. All they want is to protect what they got, make a safe place to live"
Meredith shivers. "Exactly, Cal ... and that's why they're gonna do exactly what I would do if I was them and I learned somebody in their midst was a mental defect." (pg 22)
Cal does ask for the group to keep a look out for medication on their searches for supplies but Lilly never gets into great detail about what the drugs are for or what happens when Meredith doesn't have them. Cal warns Lilly that "it's an invisible illness. Most of the time. But these days, it's very dangers - a very dangerous liability." Lilly doesn't ask exactly what danger Meredith poses even after learning that the Duprees have been kicked out of two different settlements. Cal tells Lilly that Meredith has bipolar disorder and clinical depress and has tried to take her life a couple of times since the turn. To me, that sounds like an opening to ask some questions but Lilly simply moves on.
After Meredith sacrifices herself to save Woodbury from an epic horde, it's not long before Cal and Lilly are sleeping together. Why does Lilly even need a love interest in this story? And what the hell kind of person is Cal? His wife's body isn't even cold before he has moved onto Lilly. If that were not enough, still knowing virtually nothing about him, Lilly invites Cal to sit on the ruling council for Woodbury. The insta trust routine is something that we haven't seen any male leader do to date.
The insta trust is bad enough once but then Lilly does it again with Reverend Jeremiah and his group of sycophants. Bob, the man that Lilly trusts the most is absolutely adamant that something is wrong with Jeremiah and states repeatedly that the man cannot be trusted. Does Lilly listen to Bob or even entertain the idea that maybe she should be more cautious? Why, of course not. Lilly assumes that Bob's reticence is about his distrust of religious people. It's not long before Jeremiah joins Cal on the ruling counsel and an even shorter step from there before Lilly promotes him to co-leader. Yes, you read that right. She doesn't promote Bob who has been by her side advising her from the beginning but Jeremiah, a man she hardly knows because he is quick to pitch in around Woodbury and she is tired of being the leader.