After failed negotiations, Carol and Maggie get to take a field trip with Paula and her crew. Rick and the group must find a way to follow the girls without being detected themselves. Will Rick manage to get the girls back in one piece or will this be when the group starts paying the ultimate price for attacking Negan’s Saviors? Spoilers ahead, you have been warned.
Last week’s episode ended with Carol and Maggie being held hostage by a group who managed to avoid being part of Rick’s massacre. This week’s episode picks up with Rick negotiating the release of the girls in exchange for Primo, one of Negan’s crew. Paula, who leads the group, tells Rick that she will have to think on the deal because it doesn’t seem very fair for a two for one exchange. While fans know that she has sealed the fate of her group, she seems to thing she has the upper hand. The group covers Maggie and Carol’s faces and hikes them out of the woods surrounding what remains of the stronghold.
Once in the car and duct taped, the girls can hear Paula making contact with another group of Negan’s crew. Paula informs them, in what sounds like military code, of her current location and ultimate destination. She directs them to switch frequencies once they reach the new destination.
Once at the safe house, which turns out to be an old slaughterhouse, the girls are shown to the ominously named ‘kill floor.’ Paula and her cigarette smoking ‘dead girl walking’ Molls, duct tape Carol and Maggie around the ankles warning them about her current state of mind, begging them to give her a reason to end the whole situation. After pulling out a dead walker, another of the group ‘Chelle, locks the ladies in the kill room to clear the surrounding hallways of walkers. Carol managed to snag a set of rosary beads from the walker as it went by, placing them in the pocket of her pants, letting fans know the game is on.
Fans get another look at Carol’s abilities to assess a situation and determine what type of personality will assist her in the situation. She settled on the scared, battered wife who was afraid of death, specifically dying herself. This gets her a bit of sympathy from Molls, but seems to make Paula despise her more. Carol tells Paula to do whatever she wants to Carol, but not to hurt Maggie or the baby. This may seem like a risky move, but it seems to soften ‘Chelle, the scary bad-ass interrogator, when dealing with Maggie.
Donnie, the dude that Carol shot at the end of last week’s episode, is fed up with Carol being perfect whole and allowed to stay that way. He decided to take her health into his own hands. Paula intervenes and gets a backhand for her efforts. Maggie gets involved and manages to get Donnie on the floor. Unfortunately, he ends up getting back on his feet to get a few more kicks in on Carol before Paula knocks him out with the butt of her pistol.
Paula decided to separate the girls and have ‘Chelle interrogate Maggie in a separate room. ‘Chelle is supposed to get information about where Maggie and Carol stay. She is also looking for information on her boyfriend, which seems to have met his end by being blown to pieces. Maggie refuses to give up any information, but manages to get a bit of information from ‘Chelle. She learns that Chelle was pregnant at one point and lost the child.
While Maggie is being questioned, Carol is playing up her scared weakling part. She hears Paula communicate with Rick about a possible trade. Paula is still refusing to trade with Rick. Carol explains to her that she must make the trade for her own safety and that of her crew. Paula still seems to think that Carol is only saying these things to save herself and Maggie. Paula decides to make the trade, directing Rick and the rest of the group to a field about two miles away. She notices that during the communication, there is no static on the walkie-talkie. She lets Molls know the group is close and they need to make preparations for when the remaining group of Negan’s men arrive to pick them up.
Carol decides to make her move at this point, using the rosary to cut through the duct tape. She locates Maggie, who is also working her way out of her duct tape bonds. Carol is ready to bail, but Maggie says everyone has to die. She refuses to leave until they have killed the kidnappers and the second crew who is on the way. There are a few traps set up by Paula’s group to slow down Rick’s group. There is a fight scene between Carol and Paula as well as Maggie and ‘Chelle. Once the Paula’s group is taken care of, Maggie sets a trap for the second group of Saviors. The episode ends with Rick and Glen opening the doors to a bloody Maggie and Carol. Daryl notices the Carol’s mindset seems off and Glen checks on Maggie, both physically and mentally.
The biggest question on everyone’s minds has to be, “What is going on with Carol?” The Carol persona fans are used to would never hesitate to end the kidnappers because of the threat they pose to Alexandria. But the Carol persona that appeared tonight seemed to reconsider every kill she had ever made. Is Carol’s mental state in jeopardy? Is Carol headed down the same path traveled by Morgan in season three? Will Carol get to the point of never taking a life, either walker or human? What does that mean for the group? Carol has always been a character that you could depend on to make the hard decisions, do what needed done and move forward from it. If she is no longer that person, will the group suffer? Will it make them vulnerable to groups like the Saviors?
This episode took fans down a path not typically traveled. Besides being heavy with female bad-assness, fans got a look at the path the crew could be heading down. Paula’s group is willing to do what it takes to survive, including enslaving other groups to provide the essentials for their survival. They also believe Negan and his group are the GOOD guys. Sound familiar?
Maggie stepped up to take on a warrior role tonight. It begs the question, why? Is she fighting for her unborn child or is she fighting to prove her importance to the group. Does she fear not being useful to the group now that she is carrying the baby? She witnessed Laurie’s pregnancy and delivery so she has to have some concerns about not only carrying a baby but surviving the child’s birth. Could it be pregnancy hormones sending her into mama bear mode, making her protect her child at all cost? The fear for her child was definitely evident when ‘Chelle cut her abdomen during their fight.
What exactly is it about Negan that demands such loyalty from his Saviors? What would possess not one but two different members to say “We are all Negan”? Is the group dealing with a many headed hydra, cut one off and another replaces it? What is it about this mystery man that makes people willing to kill, pillage and die for him? Could it be that this is the path Rick is traveling down and eventually the person he will become?
There are fans now questioning if Negan is real or if this is some fictional monster made up to scare those who the Saviors terrorize. Anyone who is keeping up with the news on the show will know that Negan is already cast, but it is sure that fans are getting impatient for a glimpse of him, any glimpse at this point. Last week there was a scene with Glen looking over a bulletin board of people with smashed in heads? It begs the question of whether Glen was seeing his future and if that would be our first glimpse of both Negan and Lucille. With three episodes left fans are sure to be in for a few surprises.
“The Same Boat” overall grade – A-
‘The Walking Dead’ airs every Sunday at 9 PM EST on AMC
Check out a preview of next week’s episode “Twice as Far”