The Walking Dead, S6 Ep13 – The Same Boat

The body count continues to rise on The Walking Dead after another intense but also reflective episode. The focus was on Carol and Maggie this time around and while this episode moved the plot forward, it also gave more insight into these two amazing but underused characters. It was a good opportunity to see more of Maggie as well as to catch up with Carol’s evolving perspective on being a killer.

After they were captured by a group of Negan’s people at the end of the previous episode, Carol and Maggie were taken away as prisoners by Paula and her crew. The two ladies had to endure not only being captive but also listening to the infuriating talk of their captors, who were determined to belittle and underestimate them.

The Walking Dead, S6 Ep13 - The Same BoatThis, however, worked to Carol’s advantage since she has grown adept at subverting people’s expectations of her. Just like the “harmless homemaker” act she put on when she first arrived in Alexandria, Carol’s strategy this time was to play a panicked, hyperventilating, overly religious and frightened woman, which only made her captors believe her to be weak and pathetic. One even went so far as to ask her how she had survived this long.

As viewers of The Walking Dead, we know better about what Carol is capable of but the previous episode did show her beginning to have some qualms about the methods she had been using to stay alive. She had been tallying the number of people she had killed so far and even during this episode, she showed a reluctance to kill anyone if it wasn’t necessary. Somehow, Morgan’s philosophy must have been getting to her recently.

Not to say that these doubts made her any less capable. The intense fight at the end proved that despite her new found hesitation, Carol was still more than able to make the decision to kill when it was needed. The difference this time was that there was an element of mercy to her acts, with her even warning Paula to run before eventually killing the latter in a gruesome fashion.

The Walking Dead, S6 Ep13 - The Same BoatPaula was an interesting addition to the show despite having such a short role. She was fearless and capable and her backstory also mirrored that of Carol in many ways. She was someone who had experienced great loss and had made difficult decisions to survive. It was also refreshing to see several new female characters, all tough and capable, even if they were defeated in the end.

And Rick’s group still have not met Negan, though I suspect they soon will. I’m not sure if they are going to buy this whole “We are Negan” collective crap or if they are expecting to meet Negan the individual. While there are cultish elements about how the Saviors have behaved so far, they are all still answering to a particular individual bearing that ominous name. And he will be making his appearance soon.

The Walking Dead, S6 Ep13 - The Same BoatMaggie once again proved how capable she was of defending herself and how determined she was to survive. She also showed a more vicious side to her that we have not often seen. I suppose spending so much time as a member of Rick’s group, certain habits rub off on you.

She and Carol were a deadly tandem, working together effectively and efficiently to get rid of all their enemies even before Glenn and Daryl showed up to rescue them. Their methods were also particularly horrific, what with using a zombie as a trap and burning the reinforcements alive in the aptly named “kill floor.” These two were ruthless killers when they needed to be and should never be underestimated.

I worried about Carol all throughout this episode, wondering if this change of perspective would possibly lead to her downfall. Fortunately it did not, but she did not emerge from the experience unscathed (as she admitted to Daryl at the end.) The whole imagery of her gripping the rosary (which she also managed to use as a tool to free herself physically) is not very subtle but still effective. It will be fascinating to watch how much Carol grows as a character the more she deals with this crisis of conscience. More than just a show about the zombie apocalypse, The Walking Dead is really about its cast of complex characters and the various ways they choose to deal with the horrors around them.

Next week on The Walking Dead, we see Eugene and Abe get into a sticky situation while Daryl and Carol have a serious conversation: