Usually, I’m not a fan of these episodes of The Walking Dead that revolve around one or two lesser characters from the main cast. I didn’t like “Consumed” last season, and I absolutely hated “Here’s Not Here“. Those episodes felt boring and unnecessary. However, tonight’s episode, “The Same Boat”, was fantastic. (spoilers ahead!)
Picking up from last week’s episode’s conclusion, we see that Carol and Maggie have been taken hostage by several of Negan’s cohorts. The two women are locked in a small building while their captors figure out a way to negotiate with Rick’s group, who have taken one of their fellow Saviors captive. At first, I assumed this episode was going to feature multiple perspectives, switching from Carol and Maggie to Rick’s remaining group. Instead, we’re solely treated to what’s going on with the women and their captors, and that’s perfectly okay with me.
The three women who have taken Carol and Maggie hostage are rude, abrasive, and threatening, yet they’re still willing to compromise with Rick in order to get their own companion back. I think this offers a small glimpse into what we can expect with Negan once he finally comes into the picture. By now, everyone knows that he’s ruthless and brutal, but he’s also sensible and willing to hear you out. These women share that same type of personality, though, this ends up contributing to their eventual downfall.
Carol puts on her acting hat and pulls the “helpless woman in distress” this episode. While she’s tied up, she begins hyperventilating and reaching for her rosary. The Saviors automatically assume she’s a weak-minded woman who only survived this far into the zombie apocalypse out of sheer luck. Thus, they begin to underestimate her and treat her as another helpless victim. That’s one of the reasons I love Carol so much. She can manipulate people so easily because she gives off that sweet innocent old lady vibe. Then she surprises everyone by going full bad-ass.
The only problem I had with Carol this episode was that she showed some hesitation when eliminating her captors. The Saviors threaten Maggie (and her unborn child) multiple times. I thought that would make Carol just not give a damn. When she finally escapes her bindings (thanks to a sharpened rosary), she hesitates several times before killing her enemies. It felt strange and un-character-like. I think the reason for it was because Carol possibly started to sympathize with her captors after they revealed their more humane sides.
Don’t worry – Carol redeems herself as a full bad-ass toward the climax of the episode. She and Maggie quickly dispatch of their captors, but more Saviors are on their way to the building to provide backup. Carol tricks the men into walking into a sealed room where she uses a puddle of gasoline and a well-placed cigarette to burn them alive. That’s the Carol I love to see.
Carol and Maggie are reunited with Rick and the rest of the group, and the Savior who they’ve been holding hostage is executed. But before he’s killed, he states that he’s actually Negan. Obviously, he wasn’t Negan, but it’s interesting to note how the women who held Carol and Maggie captive declared that they were “all” Negan. It’s creepy how this unseen villain has developed such a strong cult of personality among his followers. The question is, does Rick know that Negan is still out there, or does he truly believe that they just killed off the notorious villain? If it’s the latter, then they’re in for an unwelcome surprise in a few weeks…
I can see why a lot of people wouldn’t have enjoyed tonight’s episode, but I personally thought it was great. At least it was better than some of those other episodes based on one or two characters. The season is soon coming to a close, and all these excellent episodes are only making me more excited for the finale!
Final Grade: A –
+ Loved Carol’s method of execution with the cigarette and the gas.
+ Great one-shot antagonists for the episode; each woman had decent development in the short span of time they were given.
+ I always enjoy seeing Carol pull the “fake maiden in distress” routine.
– Carol is definitely a bad-ass, but it was weird seeing her hesitate.
– Of course there were a few slow moments.
– There are two more episodes between now and the finale. What’s going to happen during those episodes? It’s been stated that Negan won’t show up until the last episode, so I’m curious about how the show will stretch the current storyline without feeling drawn-out.
Did you enjoy tonight’s episode of The Walking Dead as much as I did? Are you getting amped up for Negan’s arrival? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!