I just want to start off by saying that this was one hell of an episode! It was none stop excitement from start to finish. This week, the group brings the fight to the Saviours’, wiping out a whole outpost of the sadistic psychopaths. Things seem to be going well, that is right until the last moment when they’re caught with their pants down listening to an ominous voice coming through a dropped walkie-talkie claiming to have hold of ‘a Carol and an a Maggie’. It seems that Rick & co have royally kicked the hornet’s nest now and things are about to get interesting!
Aside from all of the action, which is pretty much self-explanatory as to why it worked to make an exciting episode, we do also get some pretty good thematic issues being worked through in ‘Not Tomorrow Yet’. The most prevalent one of these is with some of our main characters having concerns about killing other humans. This has always been one of the key moral concerns of The Walking Dead since series one, but as the group begins to adopt a ‘best defence is a good offence’ strategy with the Saviours, you can totally understand why it is being brought up again six series into the show. I was actually surprised to find that Glenn hadn’t ever killed another human, but it does kind of make sense when you think about his general outlook on life. He’s not exactly pacifist like Morgan, but he is arguably one of the characters who has held onto his humanity the most consistently. Although you could tell how difficult it was for him to actually kill someone this week, let’s hope that he doesn’t become too great of husk in the following episodes. That would just be frustrating. Besides, after seeing the photographs of brutally mutilated corpses on the Saviours’ wall and finding out that they’re also holding Maggie prisoner, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Glenn go all Rambo on these psychopaths!
The other character who is troubled by the amount of people that they’ve killed is Carol. The way that episode opened with her delivering cookies to everyone she liked (none for you Morgan!) took a turn toward the sombre when she left one by the grave of Sam Anderson. Carol, as the chief mother-figure of the group, has been the closest to all of the children who have died throughout the course of the show, all of them except Sam that is. You can understand her reluctance to let him get close to her, despite his many efforts, but what becomes clear in ‘Not Tomorrow Yet’ is that she now feels guilty for pushing him away and fuelling his fear of the walkers. She’s caught between a rock and a hard place: get close to the children and watch them die in this cruel world, or push them away and leave them feeling frightened and alone. Although there are more names in her book that make up her grand total of 18 kills, it would seem that Sam’s death is what has prompted her to question her moral standings.
I imagine that this theme is going to come even further into focus in next week’s episode now that Maggie and Carol are in a life-threatening situation. We’ve had small glimpses of what the Saviours’ are capable of, but no really tangible moments on screen. Could this mean that something terrible is about to happen to Maggie and Carol? Will a greater exposure to what these people are capable of give our shaken heroes their resolve back? Or could it push them the other direction and make them want be nothing like them? All we can do is wait and see!