Well, that’s another fine old mess we’re in. At least that should be the motto of The Walking Dead, which kicks off where last week left off, following the ‘progress’ (for lack of a better word) of Maggie and Carol after they are taken hostage.
Even though it feels like they’ve escaped from tougher scrapes than this before, you get the feeling from the off that at least one of them is about to make their maker. Maybe it’s because there are only a few episodes left. Maybe it’s because we still haven’t seen Negan yet.
Maybe it’s because their captors seem just that bit more competent than any we’ve seen before. Either way, there’s tension throughout, and unlike at other points in the show’s chronology, it seems totally real rather than manufactured, and no amount of Carol’s attempts at convincing everyone that she’s got religion can change that.
She may not be convincing to us, but she definitely is to her captors – to their cost, as is inevitable. And when the time finally comes to flip the tables, she does so with aplomb, and even by her standards it’s brutal. We don’t know who is the more unfortunate: the woman she leaves impaled to get feasted on face-first by a walker, or the two guys she burns alive. Again you start to question who the good guys really are.
Perhaps this is prodded along by the fact that their situation is, at least in part, their fault. “You’re not the good guys,” Maggie is told by one of her captors, and it’s hard to really argue. After all, they are the one who attacked the Saviours and killed a lot of their people. Concepts of good and bad seem kind of irrelevant in this world, and nowhere is this more evident than during this interrogation scene.
It’s almost a pity that we know Jeffrey Dean Morgan is going to show up as Negan at some point, because otherwise there’s a moment in this episode that would have made for a nice twist. Either that or it’s a top-A piece of misdirection.
For not the first time, this feels like a turning point for some of its characters, although considering their sudden influx of screen time, we have to admit that we’re worried for Maggie and Carol. As it is, they’re safe for another week.
So all in all, it’s another episode in which everything turns out fine. Surely they’re luck can’t hold out for much longer though…