This is a spoiler-tastic review of this week’s episode of The Walking Dead so, if you don’t want it ruined, please navigate away now.
First, I have to say that this was one of my favorite episodes of The Walking Dead in a long time. There was just so much good about it. In fact, it has restored my faith in the possibility that things are, finally, getting back on track.
Okay, so let’s just admit that we all missed Carol, shall we? Sure, things started out pretty dismal in the woods but it was cool to see the whole “we’ve got Carol and Maggie” moment from their perspective after how things left off last episode. Can I also say that it was crazy to see Alicia Witt being all badass and stuff. My whole family watches Last Holiday every Christmas so it was a treat to see her all grown up and duking it out in a zombie apocalypse.
This week’s title, “The Same Boat,” likely refers to many different things. Carol and Maggie are facing similar fates as they deal with their captives. That’s the most superficial meaning. On a deeper level, Rick’s group and Negan’s people are also in the same boat. Everyone’s just trying to survive in this crazy situation and the members of each faction are just doing what their leader says they should do. It’s deep when you think about it.
I was really wondering how this was all going to play out and I will admit to letting an evil giggle escape when Carol chose to make herself seem weak in order to put Paula, Molly and Chelle off-balance. She pleaded for the life of Maggie’s baby and clung to her rosary beads like the abused wife that she once was. The three women working for Negan mocked her and, ultimately, they paid the price.
Everything about this episode suggested that maybe Carol was going to die. It was all about her journey and, with pregnant Maggie at risk, it would have been all too plausible for Carol to sacrifice herself to save the younger woman.
Instead, she played it cool as she put each of their captives in a vulnerable state and it was enthralling. We learned more about Negan’s crew, the way they are punished if they disobey (Chelle lost a finger for trying to find her boyfriend!) and how ruthless they can be.
In the end, though, it was Carol and Maggie who were ruthless in how they killed the woman and then lured the backup group into a room, sealed the door and set them on fire. I really didn’t see that one coming.
One interesting dynamic, though, was the fact that Carol tried to give Paula a chance to run. She seemed to be remorseful of all of the killing she’s had to do and she seemed reluctant to keep doing what she’s been doing to stay alive. I don’t know if that’s because of Morgan’s influence or if it’s because she’s getting tired of being tough all the time. Either way, it’s intriguing and it makes me wonder what the future holds for the character.
Overall, though, this was really one of the best episodes in a long time. Would you agree?