The most recent episode of the Walking Dead played out a lot differently than most others. For one there was little to none of the group and instead the plot focuses exclusively on Maggie and Carol. It also lets us get to know some of the people under Negan and how maybe our group is turning out not so differently. Read on for more and be warned of spoilers.
The episode starts off with the action we left of at last week. A mysterious voice on the walkie-talkie claims to have Maggie and Carol hostage and wants to negotiate for their man Primo (the one who tried to get away on Daryl’s stolen bike). The Negan group had been out when the ambush had happened and so had been spared. Instead of running for the hills, they decide to take Maggie and Carol as prisoners. Carol shoots the man in the group, but it only wounds his arm.
The Negan group really isn’t interested it seems in trading and so the women are led to a safe spot. Or the Negan group thought it was, but it is full of walkers now. They all hole up in a room and tie up Maggie and Carol. Carol starts to freak out. I like most others assumed that this was a ruse on her part, but I really started to wonder when Carol started to cry.
Maggie and the others are able to get her to calm down and their leader, a redhead named Paula, blasts Carol for being so weak and wonders how she’s made it this far. We, the audience, know that Carol is very strong and all the things she had to do to survive, but that just brings up more questions of why Carol is acting this way. The more her fear seemingly went on, the less and less it felt like a ruse and more genuine.
The next fifteen minutes or so are the weakest of the episode as it’s just back and forth talk and finding out Maggie’s pregnant (which nothing of danger is even threatened to her). The guy makes so noise of repercussion against Carol for shooting him and eventually gets some kicks in, but he is otherwise not a threat.
I was really starting to wonder if this was some kind of filler episode when things finally became interesting again and fast. Carol and Maggie are separated as the group is hoping Maggie will talk about her own group. That doesn’t work, but we do get a tense meeting of the minds from her and her captor Chelle. The show makes sure to humanize her and show off her ‘Frankie’ tattoo that was the name of her father. We also find out Daryl probably blew up her boyfriend. Whoops.
We also cut back to Paula and Carol. The show humanizes Paula as well with her telling Carol about before. How she was a mother and wife. How she was a secretary and would waste her time on inspirational chain emails. Then the end of the world happened and to make sure she survived she murdered her boss. The more Paula talks the more her story starts to sound familiar. A normal, maybe weak woman who let herself be a victim of the world changed into a strong warrior and became an asset to the group she found. If you haven’t guessed yet, Paula is a parallel to Carol herself.
I was downright excited when I realized this was happening. I have for weeks and weeks now groaned and howled over how Carol never seems to think about her actions and how they affect everyone else. She became simply a warrior and there was no real warmth to her character anymore. And no I don’t think she was warm to Sam; Carol told him she would take him out into the woods, tie him up and let the monsters eat him. Now finally we were going to get some perspective on Carol and she too was going to see that perspective. I could kiss whoever wrote this episode.
Paula finally gets an answer on her walkie-talkie, not from our group of people, but her own. There are more and they are coming to help them out. This led to me questioning how many more are there? Is this just a small base of Negan’s that Rick and co. destroyed and the main one is somewhere else? The show sweeps this bit under the rug, but the implications are still there even if our characters haven’t realized or reacted to them yet.
Paula then sets into motion a plan to ambush Rick and his group telling them they were willing to trade. This is when finally the action sets into the episode. Carol is able to get loose and sneaks her way to Maggie. The both have been left unguarded which is either some TV magic or very poor guarding on the Negan groups part. The two then go about figuring out how to take this group down. There aren’t many, but they don’t have any weapons.
Maggie is the first to realize what to do when they see the man who had been wounded, and had steadily became worse has actually died and is turning. They set a trap then and when Molls, the other woman of the group comes in to check, the walker him is tied up loosely to the side and lunges and bites her arm. Maggie is then able to snatch her gun and with the most violence I had seen since the church massacre, beat Molls head in with the butt of it. Ew.
They then make their way out and are confronted with Chelle who tries to knife Maggie’s belly. Carol doesn’t take to this and blows Chelle’s brains out. Point blank. It too is hard to take even for everything we’ve seen so far on this show. Now all that’s left is Paula.
There is a nice scene between her and Carol where Carol admits that she was afraid of this, of having to kill Paula. Paula is hearing none of it and Carol is able to get the upper hand and send Paula straight at a walker that bites her face off.
You think that’s it, but then you hear on the radio the backup saying they’re almost there. Carol imitates Paula and tells them to go to the kill floor. I wasn’t sure what they were going to do, but it’s the worst yet. The small group goes in and we see Carol flick a lighter in there as they shut the heavy metal doors. The floor has been covered in gas and you hear the men screaming as Maggie and Carol cringe, but hold firm.
They start to leave then now that everyone is dead and run right into Rick and co who had finally found them. Maggie drops into Glenn’s arms and says she can’t do this anymore, finally showing some remorse for her earlier aggressive behavior. Carol tells Rick they’re all dead and when Primo says he’s Negan (as Paula had also said, and also mentioned that they are all Negan), Rick shoots him point blank in the head too. You can see this visibly affects Carol. She may not be able to do this anymore either.
I had a couple problems with the final scene. One why didn’t they switch radio frequencies and contact Rick? Two why didn’t Carol mention that they all say they’re Negan and about the other group coming in. I would think that would be important information to know.
Either way the Alexandrians have got themselves into it deep this time. Rick without any further planning than ‘we should get them first!’ has thrown his entire family and group at a monster they have no clue the size of now.
We have already seen the motorcycle group, the base camp, Paula’s group and she called in another scouting party. Do they not see they have only cut off one head of the hydra and that all the others will notice and strike?
Our group is in grave danger and its coming at the worst time with both Carol and Maggie being possibly out of commission. Or will Carol push herself past the point of breaking for the group? I hope not, but I’m now uneasy for her survival.
What did you think of this episode? Tell us in the comments below or come talk to us on twitter, @thenerdygirlexp or my personal one, @quietlikeastorm. Also make sure to subscribe and never miss another article of TWD or any of your other favorite shows, movies, books and more!
Finally here is a preview of the next episode that will premiere on AMC at 9:00PM/ET on March 20th.