Ready to roll with some walkers and our wankers on The Walking Dead? All the spoilers ahead!
Last week, we left our gang successful in their mission to wipe out Negan’s bunker, but hamstrung in that Maggie and Carol had been taken hostage. I know I shouldn’t, but Imma blame that totally on Carol: she’s the warrior! She’s the one who insisted that Maggie be protected on the perimeter, sheez.
We’re at Maggie and Carol outside the fence, the alarm is going off and Carol spots a man with a gun walking up behind Maggie. She shoots as Maggie draws her weapon, hitting the dude in the arm. Carol wants to go but Maggie wants to finish him off, freezing by a woman’s voice saying “Stop! Or she’s dead” and how exactly did she get the drop on you, Carol?
Carol plays (?) scared while two more women walk up and play tough. This is when they radio Rick, which we saw last week. The redhead is who calls, and she calls the guy who got shot “babe”, so I gather they’re a couple. He’s the only man there, aside from Primo, who is in Rick’s custody.
Rick and Paula (Alicia Witt) banter back and forth about their respective hostages, Paula gets shite from ShotGuy for not shooting Carol while she’s on the radio so they could “hear her die.” 10 bucks says these guys will later call themselves the Good Guys with nary a whiff of irony. Don’t take that bet
Paula is mulling over Rick’s offer of a trade then walk-away, her team member who looks like Ronda Rousey calls Rick a “smug prick” and I don’t think Rick’s exactly Miss Cheerleader 1987, but he’s not smug. They all fall back to previous positions, covering Maggie and Carol’s heads first. That gives me hope!
Paula is on the radio again, alerting the rest of the Saviors to their predicament and advising of their location. I am really unnerved by how well-prepared they are. And how many got missed by Rick’s sweep.
They’re in a metal building filled with walkers, Paula makes a big point of stabbing one through the nose directly inches in front of Maggie’s face.
Uh huh. Flexing. We all know the strong ones don’t need to flex, right Daryl? Maggie and Carol are thoroughly duct taped (good for everything BUT ducts!) while Paula starts monologuing. So.much.monologuing in this episode and I’m super sure it’s all very meaningful and as a heads up? I’m not transcribing it all. It gets repetitive. I do like this part, when Paula has to run out to help her team and says to our women “I want to kill you both right now. It’s taking all I have not to, so go ahead, I dare you, try something. Just see what happens.” I dig that because I’m pretty sure I’ve had that exact same talk with my kiddos, without the death threats.
Maggie works on breaking her bindings while Carol tries to stuff her rosary in her pocket and starts to hyperventilate around her gag. All right? Carol is playing possum again?
Paula and her team return and we learn some fun-sounding new names for zombies (never zombies): growlers and cold-bloods. Now, I’ve heard the word growler before, but it did NOT reference walkers, so Imma try not to start every time I hear it. We also get names! Ronda is ‘Chelle, and ShotGuy is Donnie. I always wonder about grown men who use diminutives of their names, but hey, ‘Chelle is equally ridic. Mollie is the grandma with the accent taking out walkers left, right and centre.
Donnie needs Primo! Now! Or he’s gonna lose that arm. It keeps bleeding, even under tourniquet and we all know what that means. Walker-food. Paula knows how dangerous Rick and gang are, though, she’s not rushing anything.
Maggie manages to get Paula’s attention to get Carol’s gag taken out; Mollie says Carol’s a “nervous little bird, arencha? You need to take some yoga breaths to calm yourself down” but I think ‘Chelle has a better sense of what’s going on, asking how she got this far? Mollie pulls out Carol’s rosary and hands it to her, saying “you’re one of THOSE” and now we get it, totes playing possum because she had that rosary in her hands previously.
Philosophical Question #1: Paula wants to know if Carol is actually afraid to die? Blah blah blah ticket punch blah
Donnie can tell Maggie is pregnant already? She’s only about two months and I’m pretty sure she’s not showing, sooo…huh. This leads to
Philosophical Question #2: Paula wants to know why Maggie would do something so stupid at a time like this but Maggie wonders if there has ever been a good time to get knocked up? Paula gets to say all kinds of fun and ironic things about children being the future and bite-sized snacks for the dead and blah blah blah
There are going to be a lot of inevitable comparisons between Negan’s group and Rick’s group so I’m going to explain the differences thusly: our group never monologues about or to the people they kill; they don’t explain themselves, they don’t showboat or pick at or make fun of the people they kill; they take care of a threat and that’s it.
Mollie lights up a smoke while wheezing asthmatically, Carol asks her to put it out: for the baby and we all laugh. I mean. There might be a couple of bigger problems afoot. ‘Chelle tells her put it out, though, and Molls gives us the line of the night “y’all are worse than a bunch of evangelical second graders.”
We stare at Carol a lot this episode.
Donnie's arm is getting worse; Paula tells him to hold on because the backup crew will be there in 30 minutes or less. Maggie tells him he doesn't have 30 minutes, the nerves are dying and it' bout to be over for him. He's mad, Carol shot him but Paula won't even let him shoot her back. Pfft. No fairsies!
He uses whatever is left of his strength to slap Paula hard across the face while Carol watches and we wonder if her history of domestic violence with her former spouse is playing through her mind. Maggie helps Paula (whut?) tripping him, he retaliates by calling her a "dumb, uppity bitch" and she head-butts him into Carol, who tries to pull him down and gets a couple of kicks to the kidneys in return.
Two things: one, I was ridiculously glad that it was Carol who got kicked in the back and not Maggie and two: this was very much set as a men vs. women thing; even one-armed and delirious he had to beat himself some women, and they banded together to stop him, even though they were on opposite sides.
'Chelle takes Maggie out to "interrogate" her; I'm worried. Finesse doesn't seem to be 'Chelle's strong suit. She's asking where Maggie came from, with her nice clothes and time to make babies, Maggie throws up and 'Chelle isn't phased for a second "don't draw this out, bitch." Save yourself and that bebeh.
Mollie is patching Paula up, who says that Donnie didn't mean it, he's in pain and "guys can't handle pain." Carol tries to interject about her good old days with Ed, and we get
Paula Monologue #1: Paula and Carol are not alike; Carol is weak and Paula is strong.
'Chelle is missing the tip of her finger, she stole gas to try to find her boyfriend's body and got caught; that was the punishment. I wonder now if that was one of the guys Daryl blew up on the side of road earlier in the season, I mean, she said he was a dick. Her dad's name is tattooed on her wrist, though, Frankie, and that's what she was gonna name the baby she lost. Ohhh. That's why she made Mollie put out the smoke. They're back to the standoff again, neither Maggie or 'Chelle are planning to die today but my money, as always, is on Maggie.
A very static-y call comes in from Rick earlier than expected; Paula flexes and they banter and it's all very annoying. Which leads to Carol giving their reason for the attack; the motorcycle group on the road. Carol starts to probe gently about Negan, to be answered by Mollie "sweetie. We are all Negan" and what does that mean??
Little Bird asks Mollie for a cigarette and I hope Carol is just luring her close enough to get the rosary around her neck to choke her and no. Just smoking. But hey! now we get
Paula Monologue #2: she's strong but she used to a secretary (I bet she was one of the types that flexed muscle in the stationery cupboard) and blah blah blah coffee blah strength blah through adversity blah and if anyone doesn't know the joy of a good cup of coffee? They're making it wrong. Oh and then there was some more monologuing about class structure and killing people.
She doesn't stop talking until Carol tells her she will die. If she doesn't work out this deal. If eyeballs could be saucers, they'd be Paula's eyes just then.
Rick radios again, Paula send him to a spot a couple of miles away, but she's onto him. She doesn't hear much static so she thinks they must be here.
Carol cries. I mean.
Paula hears from the rest of her gang, they're leaving right away, leaving Carol and Maggie. She doesn't trust Rick; she's not stupid, just chatty.
Carol gets out immediately and goes to free Maggie. Carol just want to go, but Maggie knows they're supposed to kill EVERYONE from Negan's gang, so WTF Carol?
They find a very dead Donnie on the Kill Floor, already turning. They take the time to remove the rope from his arm, though, and tie him to the wall so he can get a piece of Mollie when she rolls in. Holy shite, Maggie clubs Mollie to death with the pistol and it's BRUTAL.
Paula comes in to find everyone gone are dead and maybe she's a little stupid, because she's still mad instead of scared. She looks like a mom who just found out her kids snuck out AGAIN and she is not HAVING it. She should run. Instead, we get
Paula Monologue #3.1: about everything she's lost, and done and it gets very shooty, but Carol can't kill her.
In the meantime, Maggie almost gets her belly slashed by 'Chelle when Carol FINALLY finds her ladyballs and shoots her.
Paula Monologue 3.2: what were you so afraid of Little Bird?
Moar fighting and FINALLY, Paula shuts up when speared by a large spike and her face is eaten. Wow. I haven't been that bored yet irritated with a character in a LONG time. The rest of the gang radios in, Carol imitates Paula's voice and directs them to the Kill Floor, where they've spilled gasoline everywhere...and Carol sets them on fire.
For the love of
Worse than that, for me, was the revelation that Carol intentionally missed Donnie outside, she's absolutely lost her nerve and caused all of this to happen.
Maggie kills all the walkers on their way out to meet our gang, she tells Glenn she can't do this any more and I think that's a good call.
Rick is questioning Primo about where he got the bike; was Negan in the shop or here? He says HE'S Negan, that's his move, but Rick shoots him just like that while Carol watches in horror.
So. Who is ACTUALLY Negan? I read casting news months ago about a Negan, and he wasn't a composite. I'm guessing we're quite a ways from finding out the shape of Negan's deal, but I think we only have one or two episodes left this season? 3 more? We all need to make our peace with losing whoever they are really attached to, and I'll see you next week, monologuers! Woot!