The Walking Dead, S6 Ep12 – Not Tomorrow Yet

In a particularly intense episode of The Walking Dead, Rick and company storm the compound of the Saviors in a bloody, preemptive attack and several characters, notably Carol, reflect on the people they have become in the wake of the end of the world. This episode was half quiet planning and reflection and half suspenseful and chilling mass murder. But that’s the way The Walking Dead rolls.

The Walking Dead, S6 Ep12 - Not Tomorrow YetWe spent a lot of time with Carol here, which was a welcome surprise considering how little we’ve seen of her in previous episodes. The first few scenes played to upbeat music as the resourceful homemaker/badass warrior foraged for acorns and baked a creative batch of cookies which she shared with the rest of the community.

The Walking Dead, S6 Ep12 - Not Tomorrow YetCarol has always been an integral part of the group and the show, and she is also one of the characters who has grown the most over the seasons. In this episode, she seemed to ponder on the things she has had to do to stay alive and to keep the group alive. Tobin (with whom she randomly hooks up) accurately describes her as a “mother” who will do terrifying things to protect her family. In this vein, when she joined the group on their excursion to what was supposedly Negan’s lair, she scolded Maggie for coming on the mission.

While we understand Maggie’s determination and sense of responsibility, it really was unwise for her to join such a dangerous outing, especially since she is seriously considering raising her child in a new world. She has also proven to be a tough survivor who isn’t afraid of making painful choices and performing dubious acts, but she might have to adjust her mindset a bit for the future. And her presence turned out to be detrimental to the group in the end, when she and Carol are captured by Negan’s people.

The Walking Dead, S6 Ep12 - Not Tomorrow YetRick presents the new arrangement with the Hilltop community with the rest of Alexandria, emphasizing the need for a preemptive strike on Negan’s group in order for them to keep trading with the Hilltop. It was strange and unsettling to watch Rick propose mass murder while gathering everyone in the church. And no one even objected to his proposal other than Morgan. No surprise there. But where Morgan’s reluctance to kill backfired on him with the incident with the Wolf earlier in the season, this does not necessarily mean that he is wrong about it.

And considering the new, darker territory Rick and his group entered in this episode, Morgan’s perspective really might be worth considering. Because there was little to separate Rick from the villains of the show here when he essentially murdered a bunch of strangers in cold blood, using the whole “us vs. them” mentality that I thought he had shed when the season started and he was talking about hope and a new world.

Rick may have been nonchalant about knifing defenseless people in their sleep (no matter how horrible they are) but Glenn and Heath showed some serious misgivings about this plan. As many walkers as he has killed over the seasons, Glenn had yet to kill a live human being and watching him struggle about doing so at least showed he still had some tether to his humanity, even if in the end he still did as Rick planned, going so far as to kill for Heath as well.

The Walking Dead, S6 Ep12 - Not Tomorrow YetThe attack on the Saviors’ compound was tense and gruesome, not only because of the blood and violence but because of the viciousness with which the protagonists acted. The blatant disregard for human life, even if these lives were those of equally murderous and terrible people, was something to seriously take into account.

Even in a world gone mad, certain things don’t lose their value, and human life must count among these. Surviving in The Walking Dead has always come at a great cost, and even when Rick and his group emerge victorious after their attack on the compound, they are immediately faced with another difficulty – Maggie and Carol’s capture by other members of Negan’s crew. While we feel for them at this moment, given all the hardships they have already had to endure, in some way they also had this coming after all the murder they committed in the name of survival.

Next week on The Walking Dead, what new horrors await our characters beyond the cliffhanger?