The Walking Dead delivered another brilliant episode this week, focusing more on our two captured heroes: Carol and Maggie. Although some people criticise these kind of episodes where the focus remains mostly on one or two characters, I see nothing wrong with it. That is especially the case when those two characters are two of the longest standing cast members. We’ve seen them develop as characters over the years and it is nice to see somebody else take centre stage other than Rick, Daryl or Glenn for a change.
The showrunners also did a great job at fleshing out the group of captors, even if they were going to kill each of them off by the end. They all felt like real survivors, whose morals and practices were clearly outlined by conversations and actions throughout the episode. Although we had a little bit of exposure to the Saviours through T.’s motorcycle gang a few weeks ago, they were swiftly blown to smithereens and therefore, this week’s episode was probably our first real experience as to what the Saviours are like as people. They have a strong bloodlust. They hang around in dark rooms. They have no qualms with kidnapping and extortion. Oh, and they also have lapses of kindness that prove that they are still in fact human (but those are only brief). Paula, the group’s leader and the voice on the walkie-talkie, was arguably the most developed of these characters and I must say that I was surprised that she was killed off so soon.
We also got to see Carol perform her ‘frail little lady’ routine to some strangers again this week, but this time it seems like there’s something a little more genuine going on. Sure she’s still an absolute badass and helped Maggie to take out their captors, but it looks like she has been spending a little too long around Morgan, since a little bit of his ‘all life is precious’ mentality seems to have rubbed off on her. When she was telling Paula to just run instead of outright killing her, Carol not only endangered herself but also the rest of her group. On a number of occasions throughout the course of the episode we hear Paula talk about how much she wants to kill Maggie and Carol / Rick and co, so why on earth would Carol take that kind of risk? Sure the Wolf changed his ways somewhat at the end, but letting Paula go would have been even more of a risky gamble. They may have been in the ‘same boat’ as one another, but they sure as hell weren’t on the ‘same side’. Carol is clearly not in a good place right now and sooner or later, this is going to come back to bite her (maybe even literally).
One particularly harrowing aspect of this week’s episode is the continual conversations about Maggie’s baby. Not only does she nearly get stabbed in the belly at one point, but the constant references to how much Maggie is putting her life at risk by getting pregnant could in fact be a worrying case of foreshadowing. As many of us know, Negan is going to have to prove a point by killing one of the Alexandrians ‘right off the bat’ and all of this talk about the unborn child being a symbol of their security and hopes for the future seems a little concerning to me. From a logistical point of view, we’ve already seen the baby storyline be performed with Judith and now she seems almost a burden for the showrunners to maintain continuity (somebody is always having to look after her), so why would they want to introduce another child into the mix? Honestly, I’m starting to get really worried for Maggie’s safety right now…