The Walking Dead this season has been overall very good, perhaps the best season thus far. Of course, that is my opinion, which I know counts for quite a lot; but, hey, you are all entitled to your own opinions. If you want to have the right one, you’re in agreement with me. If not, well, I still love you all anyway. Last week gave us one of the best episodes of the season leaving us with a cliff hanger ending. Let’s jump right into “The Same Boat” and find out if it’s a happy or dragging Monday. Oh yeah, SPOILERS!!!!
We pick up where last week left off, with Rick negotiating with Paula (Alicia Witt), Michelle (Jeananne Goossen), Donnie (Rus Blackwell) and Molly (Jill Jane Clements) — some of the Saviors — for the release of Carol (Melissa McBride) and Maggie (Lauren Cohen) in return for one of their own named Primo. Donnie is not too happy with Carol for shooting him in the arm putting him in a tourniquet. Donnie is trying to get the girls to make the trade because apparently Primo has some medical skills and can help save his arm. Paula wants none of it and proceeds to play hardball with Rick, buying time as they move their captives to a “safe location”.
I will tell you this: what unfolds is not what I expected. I have been championing Carol as my new favorite character due to her rise to badassdom. This episode deals with psychological combat for the first two thirds of the episode before we get to the physicality. The psychological combat was on par with the physical. As Maggie and Carol are tied up and Paula drones on, Carol begins hyperventilating and crying. Naturally, I’m like, “Oh boy, Carol is playing them” and they are in for it. Carol has rosary beads and Paula questions the authenticity of her faith. Paula and Molly chastise Carol calling her a scared little bird. I’m just sitting back waiting for Carol’s surprise attack. Carol pleads with Paula and her gang not to do anything to Maggie and release her due to her being pregnant which seems to strike a chord with Michelle. Come on, Carol, pounce already!
Donnie is in a lot of pain and is angry and swats Paula to get at Carol and Maggie who proceed to head butt and leg sweep him to the floor but when he gets up he gets pistol whipped by Paula putting him to sleep. Michelle takes Maggie away for questioning as Paula and Molly stay with Carol and continue to chastise her. We find out here that Paula has a similar arc to Carol where she was a woman who was forced into a shell by circumstance. They leave Carol to set up the swap/combat with Rick. So, Carol, is this real emotion or are you still playing them — you’re playing them, right?
Meanwhile, Michelle is questioning Maggie as to where their base is and why they kill people. Maggie will not give up any information but we do find out that Michelle lost a baby which explains the look she got on her face when Carol mentioned Maggie’s pregnancy. Am I seeing Maggie turning to Carol and vice versa? Michelle splits to meet up with the rest of the gals leaving Maggie alone. Both in their separate chambers Carol gets herself free (now we’re going to see some action) and goes to find and free Maggie. They first go in and get Donnie’s weapons. What’s this, Donnie is turning to a zombie so they use him to gnaw on poor Molly. Maggie finishes her off by maniacally stabbing her in the head reddening the screen. There is something going on with Carol, she is not quite her badass self and even looks apprehensive. Paula returns to get Carol and instead finds the corpses of Donnie and Molly. Michelle catches up with Maggie and they proceed to get in a shoving match when Michelle pulls a knife and slashes at Maggie’s stomach. Now, I get to see my girl Carol who wordlessly points and shoots Michelle right in the cranium. I did not see any blood but her shirt was sliced.
The way out was thoughtfully blocked by impaled walkers where Paula meets up with them firing shots. Oops, the clip is empty. Here, we have a standoff where Maggie is telling Carol to kill her and Carol is apprehensive trying to reason with her. Here’s the issue, Carol sees herself in Paula; how she went from a battered broken woman to a badass and a stone cold, git ‘er done killer. Carol does not like what she has become, she sees Paula as herself in the mirror and feels she has lost her humanity and by getting Paula to come around she in turn can regain her own humanity. Nice thought but Paula uses this moment of weakness to lunge at Carol, during the fracas Carol impales Paula right next to a walker that proceed to eat her face as she screams in agony.
The Saviors call Paula’s radio which Carol takes and poses as her telling them to meet them on the aptly named “killing floor”. The saviors go rushing in to the room with its floor covered in gasoline, Carol throws in a lit cigarette and Maggie slams and locks the door. As the girls open up the door to leave, the gang has arrived and Maggie and Glenn embrace. Rick questions Primo about Negan, but Primo continues to give ambiguous answers. Rick is fed up and caps him.
You know how I know this episode of The Walking Dead is a winner? Because my wife stayed awake, watched and asked questions about it. It was definitely another in a line of great episodes of a stellar season. The Same Boat is directed Billy Gierhart by and written by Angela Kang who gave this episode a much needed woman’s touch; excellent job. I’m interested to say where Carol’s arc goes from here. We have 3 episodes left this season; Negan will not appear until the last episode which means we are in for one heck of a ride with an insane finale.
The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 13 “The Same Boat” (4.5 / 5) on the Thug Meter