This week’s episode of The Walking Dead was all about two of the strong female characters on the show and how they view the new world order. In last week’s episode, Carol was focusing on all of the murder she has committed and the impact on their future. Maggie’s pregnancy inherently being the “future.” As compared to the fact that Maggie didn’t seem to realize the danger she put their “future” in.
Carol is such a dynamic character throughout the series because she has grown and with that growth has become a sense of ruthlessness. “Look at the flowers” and the cookies both show instances of her knowing the world order but also trying to soften the blow of this world on children. Performance was a big theme in this episode for her as well because the lines were blurred where some aspect of the act of religion and smoking were Carol trying to get out of this, but her being afraid for Maggie and afraid for the future was evidence of things she is currently dealing with. This is one of the first times in a long time that we have seen hesitation on the part of Carol in taking a life, be it walker or human. Carol has been performing this “Suzy homemaker” person who bakes cookies and is weak for most of her stay at Alexandria and we know performing is something she has always done especially in her abusive marriage.Carol was one of the first to realize the world and killed those that would become problematic for the whole. She was this mother figure that we could always trust to come through for us and take care of the group.
We see Maggie now realize that she has to assume this mother role that Carol had filled. Maggie takes charge where violence and killing is involved and yet strategy never really her strong suit that remained with Carol. Maggie showed initiative and agency where she hasn’t before.
“We are all Negan” is said by the episode’s antagonist. Once again the characters don’t know who Negan is, what he looks like, and how far his influence spreads. The group is on shaky ground thinking they are all powerful when they don’t know if they are the biggest fish in the pond. The dramatic irony that the viewer knows Jeffrey Dean Morgan has been cast as Negan so we know we haven’t seen Negan yet. I’m not sure if I’m ready to either.
Was this an episode that moved the plot forward? No. Was this an episode that had me on the edge of my seat? Yes. Was it one of the best this season? No. Did I love seeing Maggie and Carol lead an episode? Yes.
The Walking Dead airs Sunday’s at 9p.m. EST on AMC