22 October 2016

Talking Out The Dead: "The Same Boat"

Talking Out The Dead: "The Same Boat"

Kelen Conley: We’re gonna get into some things with this one. While the main story here is the time Carol and Maggie spent captive with the Saviors, it’s also a story of 6 people in a slaughterhouse, separated only by the paths they’ve taken since the apocalypse began. The character I want to focus on is my beloved Carol Peletier, so I’ll respond to your thoughts and give my other stray observations next.

We always talk about how ruthless Carol has become since the group made it to the prison. The frail, battered wife we knew throughout Season 1 and 2 never came out of those tombs after T-Dog sacrificed himself so that she could hide until the prison was clear again. In that moment, she had begged T-Dog to come with her. She would rather they go down together than to be alone but T-Dog refused. She ran away and found a safe place until Daryl was able to find her. She laid low while Rick and the Governor waged war on each other. And when the survivors of the first Woodbury attack moved in, that’s when she took a more proactive role.

After seeing what happened to her poor Sophia, she took it upon herself to start training the Woodbury children (as well as Carl) with weapons. She became Lizzie and Mika’s primary caretaker when Ryan died but couldn’t see the forest for the trees when it came to Lizzie’s obsession with walkers. Instead, she took Karen and David’s lives in a failed attempt to stop the virus outbreak, and Rick exiled her as a result of it.

Mind you, all these things happened to Carol pretty quickly. There was never a true time for her to catch her breath. She was on the road a few weeks before she returned to the prison, which had been decimated from the Governor’s second attack. She eventually came upon Tyreese and the girls, where they soon entered that abandoned house with five people and left with only three, due to Carol not taking Lizzie’s illness seriously enough. They arrived at Terminus right before Glenn, Rick, and Daryl met their end and she single handedly saved the friends that she had been separated from.

The group spent weeks on the road, fighting daily for their lives as they had no place to go, until they encountered Aaron, who led them to Alexandria. And suddenly, Carol had a house and new kids to look after. Or in her eyes, new children to fail. The Wolves and Morgan afforded her a further distraction but after the Wolf saved Denise and Sam was torn apart by walkers (partially out of fear Carol had instilled in him as she tried to stay unattached), suddenly there was nothing but time. And for the first time in months, years even, Carol Peletier was the same meek, abused wife she was when we first met her, completely unsure if all her actions truly did nothing except make her a monster that was as bad as the walkers that roam the earth. At times.

We see a little of the different iterations of Carol in this episode, including the first time that I can remember her being religious, as she picked up the rosary beads and prayed following her panic attack. The panic attack was completely out of character for the Carol we’ve known recently, as she’s normally calm, cool, and malicious when she or anyone else she trusts is in danger. This Carol seemed as scared as she did following the walker attack on camp when Rick, Daryl, and Glenn were coming back from their search for Merle in Atlanta. Even Maggie didn’t know what to make of it. The Saviors didn’t seem to be buying it though..

At one point, when Carol is alone with Paula and Molly, Carol slips into a more vulnerable role, as she tries to appeal to their humanity about being with Negan and the Saviors. While Paula calls her efforts pathetic, she does manage to get a cigarette off of Molly. The longer she talks to Paula, the more it feels like she’s looking into a mirror, as this cold, heartless redhead could be her if she continues to rack up her body count.

Carol becomes her more recent, resourceful self, quietly escaping when she’s left alone and freeing Maggie. The twist comes when she’s suddenly willing to leave their remaining captors alive, something she wouldn’t have done prior to the Wolves attack and Morgan. It’s Maggie who is bloodthirsty, as she refuses to leave without making sure their captives can’t come after them. Maggie bludgeons Molly to death after she is bitten by a reanimated Donnie but it’s Carol who takes care of remaining business.

After confessing that she’s killed 20 people, Carol goes back into ruthless mode as she kills Chelle, Paula, and the five Saviors who were coming to assist. But no sooner does Rick put a bullet into “Negan’s” head (THERE’S NO WAY HE’S NEGAN. How is Rick that dense?), she looks different from any other way we’ve seen her. The slaughterhouse left Carol broken and being broken on TWD normally means you eventually end up dead.

I think we might be seeing the last of Carol. I have said this a time or two before but Carol is running from the person she’s become, knowing that there’s no turning back at this point. Between everything she’s lost from “Days Gone Bye” until now, her breakdown was inevitable I guess. It’s just terrible timing for the strongest person in Alexandria to doubt her entire identity, right as the town drew first blood against the Saviors (well, second blood if you count Daryl killing a bunch of them on the road with the RPG). One part of me hopes I’m wrong and that Carol will be able to cope with what she has done and what she’ll have to do in the future. But if she can’t… maybe Carol dying wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

Thomas Crawford: Your first part could honestly be a stand alone post, no kidding.

Almost every word about Carol I have to agree with. She has transformed into one of the strongest characters in TWD. In many ways, she is even more interesting than Rick, who is the star.

I do have to disagree with you last point though. I believe it was Abraham that said the world needs Rick Grimes. I think the story needs Carol as well.

She has been through hell since the start of the show. As you listed, she has gone through terrible loss, been kicked out by Rick, welcomed back, and had to do terrible things to survive.

I like how you point out she is looking at a possible mirror when talking with Paula. It is true, she is seeing a possible future where she is a heartless monster. The point is that she feels like that now. I think the writers can do wonders with this though. A monster doesn't worry about becoming a monster, or reflect, or feel guilty. That is glaring because that is all Carol has been doing lately.

This is why I don't think Carol's story should end. She has to realize that because she has this guilt about what she has had to do, she is not a monster. There is still too much in her journey to end it now. It is true that the creators might not agree with me on this. However I think Carol's story needs to continue on so she can still develop further as a character.

On to the actual episode. Who needs a man in TWD?

I really liked this episode. Not only did it continue Carol's story, it really showcased how badass Maggie has become. We know through past episodes how much of a prime time player she can be. Yet a lot of times we forget because she sinks into the background through so many episodes. It was good to see her come to the forefront.

Carol managed to get them free, yet it was Maggie's decision to stay and finish off their captors. I think it was Carol that had the plan with the gasoline, yet Maggie was all on board. While it was a bit gruesome, them taking down Paula, Michelle, and Molly showed how well Maggie and Carol work together, and how badass of a team they are.

I really liked how Carol played the weak and helpless character. It may be true that a lot of that wasn't just playing. It could have been her channeling her past life. Though I do think she had a small hope that the women would let Maggie go because she was pregnant. We knew it wasn't going to work, however I think part of Carol had hopes.

Am I the only one a little disappointed that Paula didn't make it out alive?

Hear me out. The show has brought some great villains. However they all have been men. Part of me was hoping that Paula would survive and come back in later episodes. Think about the possibilities.

She already has given the backstory of how she became so cold and violent. She'd have had a history with the group, Carol and Maggie in particular. She is also pretty damn charismatic and fun to watch. I would have loved for her to escape, and come back later for some type of revenge.

I think the writers missed a good opportunity with this character. We know now that Negan is the big bad that is coming. We know that Rick didn't kill him at the end. What if Paula had survived? What if Negan shows up, and there is Paula. She could be there when the two groups really meet head to head, standing tall next to Negan.

I am talking about wishful thinking and missed opportunities though. I just think that a villain that comes along with Paula's qualities shouldn't be wasted in just one episode.

You mentioned Carol looking in the mirror, perhaps that was what Paula was doing when she stared at Carol. Again, I think the ball was dropped when it comes to storytelling and planning for the continuation of the show in this case.

I'm going to toss it over to you. What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree about Paula? Do you really, deep down, think that Carol's death would be okay at this point? Think about that one for a second.

KC: I think you remember how excited I was when I realized who the actress was that played Paula. While Alicia Witt isn’t a household name, I’ve had a bit of a crush on her and the things I’ve seen her in for some time, so the fact I got to see her play a four dimensional character like Paula makes me so happy, even in this moment I write these words.

You gave me some juicy stuff to respond to and I’m going to begin with your idea of Alicia not dying. That would’ve been the smart money, to have a strong, scary, loose end out in the world like that. Let’s face it, if she had escaped, do you really think Negan would have taken it easy on her for failing to secure Carol and Maggie? She would’ve been better to strike out on her own, lick her wounds, and then come back even stronger than before. Or, as you suggested, she could totally go back to Negan and the Saviors, take her punishment, and if she was allowed to live, possibly move up the ranks of the Saviors.

It goes back to that old conundrum we often have when it come to our love of WWE: we often think that we could make better decisions and make a better product when it comes to what hits our television screens. It’s no different here. On one hand, the easy choice would be for Alicia to die. Just get her out the way to clear the decks for Negan. But God, I just love the idea of this little redheaded firecracker sticking around (and on a more random note, I immediately got ideas in my head of the Saviors splitting in two a la the nWo Wolfpac and the nWo Black and White, with Negan heading up one and Alicia leading the other. Or X-Men Gold and Blue teams. Anyway…).

It’s a real testament to what they were able to do in this episode. They established two strong female characters (did you get a Roseanne vibe from Molly too? Maybe that was just me…) with backstories, they made us empathize with Michelle’s struggles despites Maggie’s failure at appealing to her during their interrogation, and pretty much made us guys look like shit. I’m serious; between Donnie, Rick killing a Savior who claimed to be Negan (and probably could have given valuable intel), and Paula’s tales of her horrible boss, this episode didn’t do our gender any favors.

Who needs a man in TWD world indeed!

On to Maggie, after her poor decision to accompany the squad during the attack on the Savior compound, she redeemed herself rather quickly as she slipped into that leadership role once more like an old comfy robe. Not once did I see her rattled (and if she can survive the Governor’s pseudo sexual assault, she can survive anything) and not once did she give the appearance that she wasn’t going to find a way out of this. I don’t think Mags gets enough credit. Way back in Season 2, one of the things that made her stand out from the rest of the Greene clan was her confidence and the way she carried herself. Those things got lost as the cast grew and the action strayed away from her unless they were focusing on her great love with Glenn (let me take a minute here. I get it. Glenn and Maggie found love in a hopeless place. I get it. They are the Jim and Pam of The Walking Dead. But could we get a huge pause button on beating us over the heads with it?! It’s similar to what I said about Tara in the last episode, we don’t need reminded Tara is a lesbian and we don’t need to be reminded of how in love and how important Maggie and Glenn are to the show. I’m a wee bit sick of it. Just saying). It was extremely nice, just as it was with “Knots Untie”, to see her getting to shine and not just getting stuck in a sewer with sewer walkers with Aaron as she admits she’s pregnant.

Making sure the Saviors didn’t leave alive made absolute sense though. You can’t leave any credible threat alive. For example, they left the Governor alive. They didn’t want to but eventually they didn’t think it was worth it to keep looking for him. So while everyone was battling/recovering from the prison virus, Gov/Philip/Brian decided it was time to form a new army to attack. I rewatched “Arrow On The Doorpost” recently and couldn’t stop thinking about how easy it would’ve been for someone to kill the Governor. While I never thought Rick had a legit shot at it, Merle was right to think that it was the time to take him out. If Merle leaves that prison, the Governor dies and the rest of his henchman would as well. But that doesn’t make for good television, to kill off your first big threat of the series. It did make sense here, as we’ve established that the Saviors are the clear and imminent danger, regardless of how bad Carol doesn’t want to kill anyone else. Thanks to Maggie, eight Saviors can’t come back after them. Although it still means that any remaining Saviors will still want revenge.

Let me clarify a few things before I’m done. I love Carol. Melissa McBride truly deserves an Emmy for her work on this show. I’ve always loved strong female characters and the birth of my daughter enhanced that a thousandfold two years ago. I will be seriously distraught (like the day Prince died distraught) when the day comes that they kill off Carol. I was merely suggesting that in order for Carol to find the peace she’s seeking, death would be the easiest way.

No matter where she goes in TWD world now, her past will always catch up with her. She might be the (not) proud owner of 27 bodies now but I guarantee it that she’ll run across someone who heard about the silver haired lady who killed someone close to them. If you think it’s a small world nowadays, imagine how quickly things get around on the show. Carol wants to separate from the monster, or the Paula she’s become, and she’s slowly realizing that she cannot. While she would never do it, I wouldn’t put it past her thinking of ending her own life, just to escape the daily demons she has. But even then, I couldn’t see Carol doing this.

If she was to embrace the monster she’s had to become, it would easily make her one of the strongest characters on the show. Rick and Daryl already respect her enough to not make moves without keeping her involved in the decision, but a move to a higher place in the hierarchy would only empower Carol to a level we hadn’t seen before. If you think Rick has made some curious decisions, I only imagine Carol bathing in her enemies blood after she disposes of them. This is why they’ve chosen to make Carol less than what she was before, as she had become far more dangerous than Rick had ever dreamed. And if Carol isn’t remorseful, she’s going to kill anything that doesn’t mean anything to her.

And then she would be Paula. Being Paula is something she does not want to be but maybe she’s already too far gone to change her ways now. But as a final thought, if I had a choice, I’d want them both alive. Instead, I’ll just enjoy my silver haired vixen for as long as she remains on the show… which I do hope will be for a few seasons longer.

the-walking-dead-episode-613-carol-mcbride-935

Kelen Conley: We’re gonna get into some things with this one. While the main story here is the time Carol and Maggie spent captive with the Saviors, it’s also a story of 6 people in a slaughterhouse, separated only by the paths they’ve taken since the apocalypse began. The character I want to focus on is my beloved Carol Peletier, so I’ll respond to your thoughts and give my other stray observations next.

We always talk about how ruthless Carol has become since the group made it to the prison. The frail, battered wife we knew throughout Season 1 and 2 never came out of those tombs after T-Dog sacrificed himself so that she could hide until the prison was clear again. In that moment, she had begged T-Dog to come with her. She would rather they go down together than to be alone but T-Dog refused. She ran away and found a safe place until Daryl was able to find her. She laid low while Rick and the Governor waged war on each other. And when the survivors of the first Woodbury attack moved in, that’s when she took a more proactive role.

After seeing what happened to her poor Sophia, she took it upon herself to start training the Woodbury children (as well as Carl) with weapons. She became Lizzie and Mika’s primary caretaker when Ryan died but couldn’t see the forest for the trees when it came to Lizzie’s obsession with walkers. Instead, she took Karen and David’s lives in a failed attempt to stop the virus outbreak, and Rick exiled her as a result of it.

Mind you, all these things happened to Carol pretty quickly. There was never a true time for her to catch her breath. She was on the road a few weeks before she returned to the prison, which had been decimated from the Governor’s second attack. She eventually came upon Tyreese and the girls, where they soon entered that abandoned house with five people and left with only three, due to Carol not taking Lizzie’s illness seriously enough. They arrived at Terminus right before Glenn, Rick, and Daryl met their end and she single handedly saved the friends that she had been separated from.

The group spent weeks on the road, fighting daily for their lives as they had no place to go, until they encountered Aaron, who led them to Alexandria. And suddenly, Carol had a house and new kids to look after. Or in her eyes, new children to fail. The Wolves and Morgan afforded her a further distraction but after the Wolf saved Denise and Sam was torn apart by walkers (partially out of fear Carol had instilled in him as she tried to stay unattached), suddenly there was nothing but time. And for the first time in months, years even, Carol Peletier was the same meek, abused wife she was when we first met her, completely unsure if all her actions truly did nothing except make her a monster that was as bad as the walkers that roam the earth. At times.

We see a little of the different iterations of Carol in this episode, including the first time that I can remember her being religious, as she picked up the rosary beads and prayed following her panic attack. The panic attack was completely out of character for the Carol we’ve known recently, as she’s normally calm, cool, and malicious when she or anyone else she trusts is in danger. This Carol seemed as scared as she did following the walker attack on camp when Rick, Daryl, and Glenn were coming back from their search for Merle in Atlanta. Even Maggie didn’t know what to make of it. The Saviors didn’t seem to be buying it though..

At one point, when Carol is alone with Paula and Molly, Carol slips into a more vulnerable role, as she tries to appeal to their humanity about being with Negan and the Saviors. While Paula calls her efforts pathetic, she does manage to get a cigarette off of Molly. The longer she talks to Paula, the more it feels like she’s looking into a mirror, as this cold, heartless redhead could be her if she continues to rack up her body count.

Carol becomes her more recent, resourceful self, quietly escaping when she’s left alone and freeing Maggie. The twist comes when she’s suddenly willing to leave their remaining captors alive, something she wouldn’t have done prior to the Wolves attack and Morgan. It’s Maggie who is bloodthirsty, as she refuses to leave without making sure their captives can’t come after them. Maggie bludgeons Molly to death after she is bitten by a reanimated Donnie but it’s Carol who takes care of remaining business.

After confessing that she’s killed 20 people, Carol goes back into ruthless mode as she kills Chelle, Paula, and the five Saviors who were coming to assist. But no sooner does Rick put a bullet into “Negan’s” head (THERE’S NO WAY HE’S NEGAN. How is Rick that dense?), she looks different from any other way we’ve seen her. The slaughterhouse left Carol broken and being broken on TWD normally means you eventually end up dead.

I think we might be seeing the last of Carol. I have said this a time or two before but Carol is running from the person she’s become, knowing that there’s no turning back at this point. Between everything she’s lost from “Days Gone Bye” until now, her breakdown was inevitable I guess. It’s just terrible timing for the strongest person in Alexandria to doubt her entire identity, right as the town drew first blood against the Saviors (well, second blood if you count Daryl killing a bunch of them on the road with the RPG). One part of me hopes I’m wrong and that Carol will be able to cope with what she has done and what she’ll have to do in the future. But if she can’t… maybe Carol dying wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

Thomas Crawford: Your first part could honestly be a stand alone post, no kidding.

Almost every word about Carol I have to agree with. She has transformed into one of the strongest characters in TWD. In many ways, she is even more interesting than Rick, who is the star.

I do have to disagree with you last point though. I believe it was Abraham that said the world needs Rick Grimes. I think the story needs Carol as well.

She has been through hell since the start of the show. As you listed, she has gone through terrible loss, been kicked out by Rick, welcomed back, and had to do terrible things to survive.

I like how you point out she is looking at a possible mirror when talking with Paula. It is true, she is seeing a possible future where she is a heartless monster. The point is that she feels like that now. I think the writers can do wonders with this though. A monster doesn't worry about becoming a monster, or reflect, or feel guilty. That is glaring because that is all Carol has been doing lately.

This is why I don't think Carol's story should end. She has to realize that because she has this guilt about what she has had to do, she is not a monster. There is still too much in her journey to end it now. It is true that the creators might not agree with me on this. However I think Carol's story needs to continue on so she can still develop further as a character.

On to the actual episode. Who needs a man in TWD?

I really liked this episode. Not only did it continue Carol's story, it really showcased how badass Maggie has become. We know through past episodes how much of a prime time player she can be. Yet a lot of times we forget because she sinks into the background through so many episodes. It was good to see her come to the forefront.

Carol managed to get them free, yet it was Maggie's decision to stay and finish off their captors. I think it was Carol that had the plan with the gasoline, yet Maggie was all on board. While it was a bit gruesome, them taking down Paula, Michelle, and Molly showed how well Maggie and Carol work together, and how badass of a team they are.

I really liked how Carol played the weak and helpless character. It may be true that a lot of that wasn't just playing. It could have been her channeling her past life. Though I do think she had a small hope that the women would let Maggie go because she was pregnant. We knew it wasn't going to work, however I think part of Carol had hopes.

Am I the only one a little disappointed that Paula didn't make it out alive?

Hear me out. The show has brought some great villains. However they all have been men. Part of me was hoping that Paula would survive and come back in later episodes. Think about the possibilities.

She already has given the backstory of how she became so cold and violent. She'd have had a history with the group, Carol and Maggie in particular. She is also pretty damn charismatic and fun to watch. I would have loved for her to escape, and come back later for some type of revenge.

I think the writers missed a good opportunity with this character. We know now that Negan is the big bad that is coming. We know that Rick didn't kill him at the end. What if Paula had survived? What if Negan shows up, and there is Paula. She could be there when the two groups really meet head to head, standing tall next to Negan.

I am talking about wishful thinking and missed opportunities though. I just think that a villain that comes along with Paula's qualities shouldn't be wasted in just one episode.

You mentioned Carol looking in the mirror, perhaps that was what Paula was doing when she stared at Carol. Again, I think the ball was dropped when it comes to storytelling and planning for the continuation of the show in this case.

I'm going to toss it over to you. What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree about Paula? Do you really, deep down, think that Carol's death would be okay at this point? Think about that one for a second.

KC: I think you remember how excited I was when I realized who the actress was that played Paula. While Alicia Witt isn’t a household name, I’ve had a bit of a crush on her and the things I’ve seen her in for some time, so the fact I got to see her play a four dimensional character like Paula makes me so happy, even in this moment I write these words.

You gave me some juicy stuff to respond to and I’m going to begin with your idea of Alicia not dying. That would’ve been the smart money, to have a strong, scary, loose end out in the world like that. Let’s face it, if she had escaped, do you really think Negan would have taken it easy on her for failing to secure Carol and Maggie? She would’ve been better to strike out on her own, lick her wounds, and then come back even stronger than before. Or, as you suggested, she could totally go back to Negan and the Saviors, take her punishment, and if she was allowed to live, possibly move up the ranks of the Saviors.

It goes back to that old conundrum we often have when it come to our love of WWE: we often think that we could make better decisions and make a better product when it comes to what hits our television screens. It’s no different here. On one hand, the easy choice would be for Alicia to die. Just get her out the way to clear the decks for Negan. But God, I just love the idea of this little redheaded firecracker sticking around (and on a more random note, I immediately got ideas in my head of the Saviors splitting in two a la the nWo Wolfpac and the nWo Black and White, with Negan heading up one and Alicia leading the other. Or X-Men Gold and Blue teams. Anyway…).

It’s a real testament to what they were able to do in this episode. They established two strong female characters (did you get a Roseanne vibe from Molly too? Maybe that was just me…) with backstories, they made us empathize with Michelle’s struggles despites Maggie’s failure at appealing to her during their interrogation, and pretty much made us guys look like shit. I’m serious; between Donnie, Rick killing a Savior who claimed to be Negan (and probably could have given valuable intel), and Paula’s tales of her horrible boss, this episode didn’t do our gender any favors.

Who needs a man in TWD world indeed!

On to Maggie, after her poor decision to accompany the squad during the attack on the Savior compound, she redeemed herself rather quickly as she slipped into that leadership role once more like an old comfy robe. Not once did I see her rattled (and if she can survive the Governor’s pseudo sexual assault, she can survive anything) and not once did she give the appearance that she wasn’t going to find a way out of this. I don’t think Mags gets enough credit. Way back in Season 2, one of the things that made her stand out from the rest of the Greene clan was her confidence and the way she carried herself. Those things got lost as the cast grew and the action strayed away from her unless they were focusing on her great love with Glenn (let me take a minute here. I get it. Glenn and Maggie found love in a hopeless place. I get it. They are the Jim and Pam of The Walking Dead. But could we get a huge pause button on beating us over the heads with it?! It’s similar to what I said about Tara in the last episode, we don’t need reminded Tara is a lesbian and we don’t need to be reminded of how in love and how important Maggie and Glenn are to the show. I’m a wee bit sick of it. Just saying). It was extremely nice, just as it was with “Knots Untie”, to see her getting to shine and not just getting stuck in a sewer with sewer walkers with Aaron as she admits she’s pregnant.

Making sure the Saviors didn’t leave alive made absolute sense though. You can’t leave any credible threat alive. For example, they left the Governor alive. They didn’t want to but eventually they didn’t think it was worth it to keep looking for him. So while everyone was battling/recovering from the prison virus, Gov/Philip/Brian decided it was time to form a new army to attack. I rewatched “Arrow On The Doorpost” recently and couldn’t stop thinking about how easy it would’ve been for someone to kill the Governor. While I never thought Rick had a legit shot at it, Merle was right to think that it was the time to take him out. If Merle leaves that prison, the Governor dies and the rest of his henchman would as well. But that doesn’t make for good television, to kill off your first big threat of the series. It did make sense here, as we’ve established that the Saviors are the clear and imminent danger, regardless of how bad Carol doesn’t want to kill anyone else. Thanks to Maggie, eight Saviors can’t come back after them. Although it still means that any remaining Saviors will still want revenge.

Let me clarify a few things before I’m done. I love Carol. Melissa McBride truly deserves an Emmy for her work on this show. I’ve always loved strong female characters and the birth of my daughter enhanced that a thousandfold two years ago. I will be seriously distraught (like the day Prince died distraught) when the day comes that they kill off Carol. I was merely suggesting that in order for Carol to find the peace she’s seeking, death would be the easiest way.

No matter where she goes in TWD world now, her past will always catch up with her. She might be the (not) proud owner of 27 bodies now but I guarantee it that she’ll run across someone who heard about the silver haired lady who killed someone close to them. If you think it’s a small world nowadays, imagine how quickly things get around on the show. Carol wants to separate from the monster, or the Paula she’s become, and she’s slowly realizing that she cannot. While she would never do it, I wouldn’t put it past her thinking of ending her own life, just to escape the daily demons she has. But even then, I couldn’t see Carol doing this.

If she was to embrace the monster she’s had to become, it would easily make her one of the strongest characters on the show. Rick and Daryl already respect her enough to not make moves without keeping her involved in the decision, but a move to a higher place in the hierarchy would only empower Carol to a level we hadn’t seen before. If you think Rick has made some curious decisions, I only imagine Carol bathing in her enemies blood after she disposes of them. This is why they’ve chosen to make Carol less than what she was before, as she had become far more dangerous than Rick had ever dreamed. And if Carol isn’t remorseful, she’s going to kill anything that doesn’t mean anything to her.

And then she would be Paula. Being Paula is something she does not want to be but maybe she’s already too far gone to change her ways now. But as a final thought, if I had a choice, I’d want them both alive. Instead, I’ll just enjoy my silver haired vixen for as long as she remains on the show… which I do hope will be for a few seasons longer.

TC: I have to admit I am with you on this one. Whether Carol becomes a monster or regresses into someone who has issues pulling the trigger, I do love her character. I am hoping that it doesn't end anytime soon, but who knows what is going to happen.

I think it is also agreed that seeing Maggie take a more of a leadership role is definitely a good thing. I still don't know how far the show plans to take her, however, I think she has the guts and the will to do great things for Alexandria. I am biased, I totally love her character and I'm hoping for the best.

I have to admit this last part is not going to be long, because I only have one thing really left to discuss.

That is how the episode ended. The guy claimed to be Negan, said they should talk. Rick said sorry, and shot him in cold blood.

We know this wasn't Negan. Even in the episode the women wanted to trade Carol and Maggie for Primo, if I remember correctly. He was their medic or doctor. So this really wasn't a shock or anything.

I could mention how Carol's face looked as Rick did it. I think she is far from okay, just like she said. This is just another thing she is going to have to deal with in the upcoming episodes.

My big question is: What the hell is Rick doing?!

Okay, on one side, he doesn't know that the guy is lying. That is understandable. It is also true that their deal with Hilltop was to kill the Saviors and Negan. That being said, it could be argued that he was just doing what he and the group set out to do. However, there are a few things that are starting to make me worried.

How did he know it was Negan? I mean the guy said he was but why take his word on it? Also, wouldn't it have been easy to just transport the guy back to Hilltop and ask them? They already said Negan killed a guy with a bat in front of their community. I'm guessing that it would be easy to have someone identify him.

Second, why kill him even if he was Negan? Maggie and Carol were kidnapped. There were several others that were burned alive that had come to get the other women. Also, Daryl saw his motorcycle, but no Dwight, and no crossbow.

Do I have to lay it out? There are obviously more Saviors out there.

Even if they had captured Negan, wouldn't it have been a good idea to question him? Maybe find out how many there were in the group? Also perhaps it would have been a good idea to ask if there were any more stockpiles of weapons, supplies, or groups of people holed up that could be a threat.

I know, I know. I am saying this as a viewer and in hindsight. But really think about it, this wasn't just some cold move on Rick's part. We've seen him do things like this before.

This was just plain dumb. That worries me.

The fact is, Rick isn't dumb. No one in TWD that is still alive can be completely dumb. They would be dead. That leaves one other option. That is overconfidence. That worries me more than if Rick were just dumb.

See, dumb can be fixed. You can learn, be told new information, or observe things and figure it out. However, and this is true in the actual world, overconfidence can only be fixed in one way. That is by overlooking something, or overestimating your capabilities, and having a massive failure.

In the real word this is bad enough. A massive failure can be the loss of a job or opportunity. A massive failure in TWD usually means someone is going to die. I think it is safe to say that is the way things are headed.

After all this time, I think Rick has a major case of overconfidence. The question is, when will that massive failure rear its ugly head? We can all guess it is when Negan shows up. Who is going to pay the price?

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