On this week’s episode of The Walking Dead, we learned that Carol is an even better actress than we thought, you should never challenge a lady of Alexandria and you don’t mess with the baby. Let’s take a closer look at “The Same Boat,” shall we?
This week’s episode opens with the parallel story of Maggie and Carol and how they were captured in last week’s show. As the two women argue, they are ambushed by a group of Saviors. They do manage to shoot one before they’re captured. They watch as the events at the end of last week’s episode play out, and we get to see it from their perspective. The group realizes that they are outnumbered by Rick and the gang, so decide to talk possible deal instead. Rick offers to trade the guy on the motorcycle for Carol and Maggie, and although there’s dissention among the ranks of the Saviors, Paula, their leader (?) decides to think it over.
They blindfold Maggie and Carol with their coats, and force them into a vehicle. There is some cryptic walkie talkie code and then they’re at their destination, which appears to be an underground bunker of some sort. There, they are gagged and tied up with duct tape, after being threatened with a walker. In a show of dominance, Paula kills the walker and then lets the ladies know that it’s taking everything she has not to kill the two of them, before locking them in. While Maggie tries valiantly to cut through her bonds, Carol has a panic attack. Or does she? We all know that Carol’s a magnificent actress and when the Saviors ask her why she’s so afraid to die, she tells them she doesn’t care what happens to her, as long as Maggie and the baby are safe. This leads to a discussion about the rights and wrongs of bringing a child into this world.
The guy they shot is basically dying, and Maggie says so, telling them that if he doesn’t get medical attention, he will die. Turns out the guy that Rick and company have is their ‘doctor’ and the guy freaks out when Paula refuses to talk trade with Rick. He hits Paula and then goes after Maggie, before Carol intervenes. He then beats Carol, before Paula knocks him out. The Saviors decide to interrogate them separately and take Maggie away. The interrogator tells Maggie in no uncertain terms that Maggie is not a good guy in this scenario and she should just tell her where Maggie and Carol call home. They also talk about the Saviors missing finger, which it turns out was he punishment for stealing. (She stole some gas to go out and look for someone’s body. Seems he was one of the guys that Daryl blew up in the road a while back. Whoops!). She then reveals that she was also pregnant at one time, but lost the baby.
Carol tries to thank Paula for saving her and goes to tell her about Ed beating her, but Paula will have none of it. She calls Carol pathetic and mocks her for her faith. (Carol has a rosary with her that she’s managed to convince the Saviors means a lot to her). Rick then sends a message, asking if they’ve come to a decision yet. Paula tells him that she hasn’t but when he suggest it’s not in her best interest, she says she’s willing to take a chance. Carol then puts on the waterworks and tells Paula that it doesn’t have to be this way. She tells them that her groups was only defending themselves. By this point, she has Paula completely convinced that she’s weak, so Paula goes to great lengths to convince her that she’s nothing like Carol, that she’s strong and does what she needs to do. When Carol tells her that she’s going to die, Paula scoffs and asks if Carol will be the one to do it. Carol says that no, she will not. Anyone else thinking Carol might have a personality disorder? Has this world, and her actions and place in it, finally fractured her mind? If not, then she’s an even better actress than we’ve given her credit for.
Paula gets a hold of Rick and tells him that they are willing to make the trade. She then gives him directions to the drop site. Paula considers it too easy however, and uses the lack of static on the communications as a sign that Rick and company are probably close. She then contacts the other Saviors and they prepare to head out. The Carol we know and love makes an appearance and she manages to get out of her bindings. She escapes and finds Maggie. When Carol suggests that they make a run for it, Maggie convinces her that they have to kill them because keeping any of them alive is dangerous. They head back to the injured guy, but he’s already dead. They set a trap and get him to bite one of the other Saviors when she comes looking. Maggie then bludgeons her to death before stealing her gun, while Carol, who is still acting weird, looks on. When Paula returns and sees what happened, she heads out on the warpath. Yeah, she’s no longer playing and I think it might be shoot first, ask questions later if she manages to catch up to our girls.
As the episode comes to a close, Maggie and Carol try to escape, but come up against a room full of walkers. Paula catches up with them and, like I predicted, shoots first. Carol pulls a gun on her, but refuses to pull the trigger, and instead tells Paula to run. It’s only once a walker gets loose and goes to grab her that the gun goes off. In the fray, the last member of the Saviors shows up and attacks Maggie. When she cuts Maggie in the stomach, Carol goes all commando and shoots her in the head without thinking. When Paula mocks her, they battle it out and Paula gets impaled and then eaten by a walker. Carol then tells Rick and the group to meet them, before waiting for the other Saviors to show up. The two of them then set the place on fire, killing the rest, before meeting up with the group. When Rick questions the hostage they have, he tells them that he’s Negan and Rick shoots him in the head.
Yowza! That was an interesting and fascinating episode, with some dark character development. Carol is having a really rough time with everything these days. It seems that, unfortunately, Morgan may be rubbing off on her. While it’s true that Carol has been in survivor mode for so long, it’s difficult to see her breaking down and questioning herself and her choices. And can we just talk about how amazing Melissa McBride is for a moment? Her work on the show is always amazing, but this episode was particularly spectacular. She wove such a fine line, that it was difficult to see what was an act for Carol and what wasn’t. Although, that being said, I’m not sure that I like this direction that they’re taking Carol in. I get that the zombie apocalypse is going to take its toll on even the strongest of people, but I much prefer the strong and capable Carol, to this one who hesitates in what she needs to do. That the surest way to get yourself killed in this world. And it would be a terrible tragedy if Carol got eaten.
Overall, this was a really great episode that delved deep into the psyche of the people who have managed to survive this far into the apocalypse. It was also great to see a very female centric episode that showcased strong and capable women, on both sides of the conflict. While we’re all aware that the guy at the end was not actually Negan, it’s interesting that the Saviors have alluded to Negan being more of an idea than an actual person. I don’t know much about the character, or his group, because I haven’t read the comic books, it seems that they are very, very cult like. Not that that’s really all that surprising, but it never bodes well. I have no doubt we won’t actually see Jeffrey Dean Morgan until the season finale, but it definitely gives us something to look forward to.
The Walking Dead airs every Sunday night on AMC.
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