Following last week’s explosive shoot out, yesterday’s episode of The Walking Dead shows us what’s going on with Maggie and Carol, who’ve been captured by The Saviors.
Is it good?
The episode opens by flashing back to Carol and Maggie arguing outside Negan’s camp. When a Savior sneaks up behind them, Maggie shoots him in the arm. Unfortunately, the rest of his crew closes in and surrounds them.
Later, we see the final moments of last week’s episode play out from the opposite end of the walkie. It seems that Paula, the leader of this pocket of surviving Saviors, is a hell of a lot like Rick…which means she isn’t going to be easy to negotiate with. She also doesn’t want to hear any whining from her gunshot wounded boyfriend, who desperately wants them to make the trade so that Primo, the Savior Rick has, can patch him up.
I think it’s save to say that when your life hinges upon a dude named Primo operating on your bullet wound, its time to give some meaningful thought about your life choices.
Paula and her crew take Maggie and Carol to a safe house that is actually a slaughterhouse (because of course it is). While Molly drags a walker they cleared out of the room, a rosary drops out of its pocket. Carol picks it up, puts it in her pocket, and begins pretending to hyperventilate.
We can all see where this is going, right?
When they ask Carol why she’s so nervous, she tells them not to hurt Maggie because she’s pregnant…which doesn’t seem like a very smart move. I mean, sure, one of the bad guys got that sympathetic look on her face, but the others sure didn’t care. It basically made Maggie more of a target than anything else. Not cool, Carol.
Later, Paula’s boyfriend (who is still in some serious pain) gets mad and tries to shoot our beloved hostages. When Paula stops him, he hits her. She hits him back harder.
Carol tries to use this moment to (pretend) they have a connection, but Paula’s not having any of it. She then sends Maggie off to be questioned by the Sympathetic Savior—who turns out to be the worst interrogator of all time. We end up learning more about her than she does about Maggie.
Meanwhile, Carol and Paula continue to verbally spar. It’s pretty awesome stuff, especially since we know Carol’s faking this whole weak and afraid thing… or is she? She’s been questioning her humanity lately. When she tells Paula that she hopes its not her that kills her, I kind of believed it.
The best line of all goes to Molly, though, who informs Carol (and the audience) that “we are all Negan.” (They aren’t, but you get what she means).
Losing My Religion
We all saw the next part coming. Carol waits for them to leave, goes into Sarah Conner mode, and escapes, then she frees Maggie. What I did not see coming was Carol wanting to leave without killing their captors. Maggie, on the other hand, was ready to finish this thing.
And finish it she did, bashing her interrogators head in while Carol looked on in horror. The badass duo manages to kill the other captors via various methods of zombie traps, close quarters combat, a couple lucky breaks, and guns. Carol looks absolutely miserable the entire time.
When Rick & Co. finally show up, Daryl hugs Carol and asks if she’s okay (AWWWW). Her croaked, negative response carries a great deal more weight than a simple assessment of the last few hours.
Oh, and Primo gets shot after saying he’s Negan. What an idiot.
Yeah, yeah, I know—it’s supposed to be a cult type thing. Dude still could have (and should have) played that differently. Fortunately, the scene is salvaged by showing Carol’s stunned reaction to Rick killing him. Remember a couple seasons ago when Rick exiled Carol for killing people to keep the rest of the group safe? I know it wasn’t the same situation (the people Carol killed weren’t evil), but it does make for an interesting parallel.
Is it Good?
As great as the acting was in this (Melissa McBride/Carol vs. Alicia Witt/Paula was incredible to watch), we all knew where it was going. Even with Carol’s crisis of conscious, the audience has seen her put on a similar act plenty of times before. This one felt a little too drawn out just to fill a bottle episode.
That being said, however, it still made for a tension-filled hour of television. I also like that the show’s writers are being careful not to box Carol into being an emotionless killer. It’s good to be reminded of the kind person that she once was (and still is…kind of). I hope we get the same type of deal with Morgan having to fight against his personal oath about taking another human’s life.
Speaking of that, the show almost did too good of a job making The Saviors seem ruthless. Do we really think they wouldn’t be willing to kill or at least harm another hostage…especially after Paula pretty much gave up on her boyfriend?
On a different note, I think The Saviors are aptly named, but not because of anything we’ve seen in the narrative. Remember how bad this season was right before the break? Well, thanks to this new and highly dangerous/interesting group, its making quite the comeback.