WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Although each episode of The Walking Dead makes me even more of a fan of the show than I already was (seems impossible but turns out it’s not), it just reminds me that we’re close to the end of the season. Despite the sad Rick-less times ahead for me, I’ve come to savour each newly released episode while I can.
Not only was ‘The Same Boat’ female-dominated, which is very rare in many shows let alone an apocalyptic one like The Walking Dead, it was also brilliantly acted and emotionally charged. I was delighted that the kidnapping wasn’t stretched over several episodes, which would have happened in season 2. Overall, the pacing was excellent.
Although we haven’t seen very much action from Maggie in a while, she came into her own in this episode. It’s easy to assume that Carol was the reason they got out of the compound alive, but Maggie must have tapped into some pregnant mama bear hormones near the end of the episode because she straight up mauled those Saviours.
At this stage of the show, Carol is an expert at deceiving others and she is, in all sense of the word, a survivor. But she’s also a monster. She wants to live and she wants to protect her family but Morgan and the incident with the wolf has gotten to her and she’s started to realise that killing doesn’t always have to be the only option.
Actress Melissa McBride did a phenomenal job of portraying Carol as a meek little housewife who’s been abused and even tricked the audience into thinking it was her usual act. Near the end of the episode, however, it became very clear that shaken, upset Carol wasn’t just acting; cracks are genuinely forming in her formerly impenetrable armour. Seeing so much of herself in the red headed Saviour really shook her up and she doesn’t want to go beyond the point of no return; she doesn’t want to ruthlessly kill without thinking.
Carol realised everyone in the Saviour’s compound was going to die, whether it was her, whether it was the Saviours, it didn’t matter because she was overwhelmed with the knowledge that none of it was necessary. They could all just let it go, they could run away and everyone could live but that wasn’t what was going to happen and she knew she’d have to kill, that she’d have to live with the horrors and trauma of it. Saying “I told you to run away” at the end was particularly telling.
As for the others, they may as well have been off getting coffee because Maggie and Carol certainly didn’t need their help. Rick had about three minutes of screen time in ‘The Same Boat’ and he still couldn’t quite make it through without shooting somebody in the head. At least he said he was sorry!
A nice moment near the end, however, was when Daryl and Carol embraced after she admitted that she wasn’t okay. It was also a testament to Carol’s intelligence that she left tracks for Daryl, which was a subtle nod to Carol’s fast-thinking and survival-centric nature. If you’re struggling to remember when she did this, it was when the coats were over their heads and you could see Carol’s feet messing up leaves and dirt.
One of the most important and confusing reveals for the group was when a Saviour said that they were “all Negan”. This is sure to be a major issue when it comes to identifying the real Negan in future episodes and it’ll be very interesting to see if there are more false flags and doppelgangers.
I would’ve really liked to see more of the female characters introduced here as the red-headed woman, Paula, was particularly good on-screen with some really interesting interactions with Carol. In fact they could’ve developed that relationship so much more, perhaps with she and Carol becoming mortal enemies. Coulda, woulda, shoulda.
Overall, it was a really great episode and offered more character development for both Maggie and Carol, which is always great to see as Maggie in particular often takes a back seat in the group lately. Although her kills seemed unnecessarily brutal in the episode, I’m excited to see her character grow.
What did you think of the episode? Let me know in the comments!