Last week The Walking Dead ended on quite a cliffhanger. The Alexandrians’ victory party over the Saviors was rudely interrupted when they found out that a) they didn’t get ALL of the Saviors and b) those remaining Saviors had taken Maggie and Carol hostage. Big oops. Tonight we backtrack to when Maggie and Carol heard the alarm from the Savior compound. Maggie wants to run toward the noise (her friends need help!) but Carol won’t let her. Suddenly “kick ass Carol” thinks pregnant women are too frail to fight? I know she’s going through a whole mommy breakdown but still… Damn, I didn’t realize how serious Carol was. She has her gun pointed at Maggie. Not really. She’s pointing it at a Savior behind Maggie. He aims back at her so Carol shoots. Before she and Maggie can run, they’re surrounded by Saviors holding guns.
While one of them helps the guy Carol wounded, the leader zeros in on the Alexandrians through her binoculars. She makes contact with Rick over the walkie talkie by calling him a prick. Last week we saw this scene from the Alexandrians’ perspective. The Head Bitch In Charge demands to know Maggie and Carol’s names. Carol instantly hides inside her “weak woman” disguise so Maggie answers for both of them. Rick demands to speak to them. Carol sounds like a scared grandma. Maggie isn’t on the same page. She assures Rick, “We’re both ok. We’ll figure this out.” The HBIC isn’t impressed with Rick’s suggestion of a swap for Primo (the Savior on the motorcycle). The wounded guy is adamant they need Primo to patch him up but the HBIC isn’t budging. They flip Maggie and Carol’s coattails over their eyes and march them away. They can barely see where they’re walking but they hear plans being made to meet up with other Saviors. I think this group is a lot bigger than the Alexandrians realize. And they’re organized. They have codes and protocols. And safe houses.
The safe house they end up at looks like an old slaughterhouse. There are even signs to the kill floor (fitting). They seat Maggie and Carol across the room from each other, gag them and duct tape their arms and legs. The HBIC isn’t messing around. She tells them, “You’re wondering if there’s a way out of this. There isn’t. Not unless I say so.” Carol acts terrified. They’re left alone for a moment so the Saviors can clear out walkers. Maggie tries to break through her shackles. Carol pockets a rosary that fell off a walker. She also starts hyperventilating. It’s hard to tell if it’s real or fake. The Saviors return, ignoring Carol’s distress. Maggie finally gets the HBIC’s attention and their gags are removed. The Savior women are disgusted with Carol’s weakness. One of them tells her, “Honey, you’re gonna need to take some yoga breaths and calm down.” Carol pulls out “her” rosary and starts/pretends to pray. Now they really don’t take her seriously. Maggie can’t quite figure out what game Carol is playing. She’s not alone. I’m having a hard time telling how much is true and how much she is putting on. Maybe Carol doesn’t even know. The HBIC accuses Carol of being scared to die. Carol clutches her rosary and responds, “It doesn’t matter what happens to me. Just don’t hurt Maggie. Don’t hurt the baby.” Carol! I don’t know if knowing about the baby is going to hurt or help things with these tough ladies. They definitely all react. The HBIC calls her “some kind of stupid.” Maggie laughs at her. “When is it ever smart to get knocked up?” The HBIC calls it “making bite size snacks for the dead” and storms off.
The wounded man is in pain. The HBIC tells him that the scout crew is 30 minutes away. Maggie warns them that he can’t wait that long. “Your man, Primo, you think he can help you? It’s time to end this. Talk to Rick.” The HBIC responds by telling the injured man, “30 minutes.” He’s glaring at Carol. He staggers over to her, complaining. “She did this to me. She did it and she’s just sitting there, right as rain, fully intact.” If they’re not going to do the trade, he wants to kill both of them now. The HBIC won’t do it. She wants insurance in case things go south. So he suggests at least shooting Carol in the arm. When the HBIC (whose name is Paula) won’t go for it he smacks her across the face, hard. He starts towards Carol. Maggie kicks his legs and knocks him down. He pulls Maggie up by her hair so she head butts him. Kick ass Maggie is in effect! Carol grabs his legs to keep him away from Maggie. He swats Carol off and kicks her in the kidneys a few times. Until the HBIC/Paula cold-cocks him. Game over. As she rubs her cheek she tells Maggie, “You really are some kind of stupid.” She has one of the ladies take Maggie away for interrogation. As “yoga breath” tends to Paula (the HBIC), she excuses the punch because he’s in pain. “Guys can’t handle pain.” Carol starts to tell a story about her abusive husband but Paula cuts her off. “You want to think we’re just the same? You’re wrong. He’s just a warm body for my bed. That’s it. I could kill him in his sleep.” Carol starts working the rosary again. Paula laughs at her. Carol has her snowed.
Rick contacts Paula over walkie talkie. He wants to make the trade. Paula doesn’t think it’s worth it. Carol tells them they don’t have to fight. “Yoga breath” lady points out that Carol’s friends killed all of her friends. “We didn’t want to,” Carol explains. Paula asks why they did it. Carol tells her about the biker ambush. “Well now we know what happened to T Scrip,” yoga breath replies. “Those idiots. Probably put on a big show.” Paula seems to understand killing the bikers in self-defense but doesn’t see how that extends to the Savior compound. Carol stutters out something about Negan. This peeks Paula’s interest. “He sounded like a maniac,” Carol explains. “We’re scared. We had to stop him.” Yoga breath interrupts. “Sweetie, sweetie. We are all Negan.” Huh? Does she mean in an “I am Spartacus” kind of way? Carol is equally confused but they won’t explain any further. Paula launches into her backstory. She had been a secretary, getting her boss coffee. She wasn’t fulfilled so she read a lot of inspirational quotes. Her favorite was a story about a woman who boiled three pots of water. In one she put a carrot. In the other an egg. In the last she put some coffee beans. They all went through the same trial. The carrot started strong but ended up soft. The egg started fragile but ended up hard. But the coffee beans changed the water itself. You’re supposed to want to be the coffee beans. Paula doesn’t want to be coffee. Coffee reminds her of her former boss. When the army took over D.C. Paula was trapped at the office with him instead of getting to be with her husband and four daughters. “My boss was weak and stupid and he was going to die and he was going to take me down too. He was the first person I killed. So that I could live.” Paula informs “weak” Carol that she is nothing like her. She is herself, but better. I guess she’s the egg.
Paula reaches out to Rick by calling him asshole. She’s a charmer. She agrees to make the trade. She directs him to a big field with good visibility so no one can be ambushed. They agree to meet in ten minutes. But the conversation made Paula nervous. There was less static than the last time they talked. She deduces they must be near, ready to attack. She contacts the other Saviors. They’re only ten minutes away. Paula pulls the Saviors away to prep. As soon as Carol is alone she sharpens her cross and cuts away the duct tape on her hands. Maggie is also working on her duct tape when Carol finds her. Maggie tells her they have to kill everyone. Carol just wants to run. “Carol, we have to finish this. We have to.” Carol agrees but her heart isn’t in it. When did Carol turn into Morgan? They start with the knocked out wounded man but he’s already dead and starting to turn. Maggie wants a gun. They tie the wounded man walker just inside the door and wait for someone to come check on them. Yoga breath has that honor. As soon as she enters, the walker attacks. Maggie grabs her knife and kills her. Then she beats her head in with her gun butt. Carol stands in the doorway watching, scared. Paula finds the corpses and knows it’s time for a showdown with Maggie and Carol.
They come across each other in a hallway of walkers. The walkers have been tethered and/or mutilated so they have limited movement but still pose a risk to anyone trying to get in or out. Paula starts shooting but runs out of ammo quickly. Carol aims at Paula and Maggie encourages her to shoot. But she doesn’t. She wants Paula to run. Paula doesn’t take Carol seriously. She believes she’s dealing with a weak person so she comes for Carol. And Carol still doesn’t shoot. Maggie is begging Carol to do it. A walker gets loose and heads towards Carol from behind. Is this how Carol dies? No. Maggie gets the walker but Paula gets away. And then the woman who interrogated Maggie is fighting her. She slashes at Maggie’s stomach. Not the baby! Well, that did it. Carol walks right up and shoots her in the head. The only one left is Paula. They find her around a corner. She laughs at Carol and calls her a “nervous little bird.” Paula finally gets it. “You were her but not now. Right?” They are the same. “I told you to run,” Carol cries in anguish. Paula wants to know what Carol was really afraid of this whole time. ”I was afraid of this.” Paula knocks the gun out of Carol’s hand and attacks her. They scuffle back and forth. Paula gets impaled on a spike and a walker starts eating her cheek. Carol watches and cries.
Then the other Saviors call out over the walkie talkie. Carol and Maggie stare at each other. Finally Carol responds. “Meet us on the kill floor.” As they wait for the backup Saviors, Carol opens up about how many people she has killed. “Well, it’s done,” Maggie stoically replies. They hear footsteps. They’re here. They pass the room the ladies are in. Carol lights a cigarette. Won’t that give away their position? Oh! She slams the kill floor door shut. Just before it’s closed, she tosses in her cig. The room is flooded with gasoline and everyone inside burns alive. On their way out, they kill walker Paula. Maggie opens the door and Glenn is there. They found them! She falls into Glenn’s arms. Daryl checks on Carol. “Are you good?” “No,” she admits. He hugs her close. Maggie assures Glenn they’re all dead. He wants to know if she’s ok. “I can’t anymore.” He understand and hugs her tight. Rick tells Primo his friends are dead. He wants to know if Negan was in the Savior compound or if he is at the slaughterhouse. “Both,” Primo answers. “I’m Negan, shithead.” Before he can say much more, Rick shoots him. Carol clutches her rosary so hard the cross cuts into her hand, dripping blood onto the ground.
Next week: Carol is falling apart. She talks to Daryl about killing people. And then there’s a lot of running, guns and walkers. So, as usual, we have no idea what’s happening next week. But we do know we only have three episodes left. Savior them, my friends. It’s going to be a long summer break.