The Walking Dead – Season 6 Episode 12
“Not Tomorrow Yet”
The pacing picked up frantically this week in The Walking Dead. ‘Not Tomorrow Yet’ was every bit as good as the shows mid-season return. The first half of the episode was a little slow, though it soon burst into life. In this episode Rick leads a group of their best fighters to attack Negan’s compound. It was seemingly mission accomplished until it was revealed that Maggie and Carol were taken hostage. Although the episode was predominantly about the assault on the compound, it delves pretty deeply into Carol as a character. We also discover what was hinted at last week, that Abraham will leave Rosita, which he did quite ruthlessly. Meanwhile Tara, played by Alanna Masterson who is actually heavily pregnant at the moment, blurts out ‘I love you’ to Denise, rather than reveal her true thoughts to her.
Carol hasn’t been involved a great deal recently, but she is without a doubt the character who has changed the most since the show began. She has developed from an abused and shy housewife to a ruthless woman full of confidence as well as one of the few characters Rick places his full trust in. It did seem that she lost her edge slightly in this episode. Her defense of Morgan in supporting his idea of talking to the Saviours instead of killing them really shows another complex shift in her character.
Others have gone through changes as well such as Rick going from an honest Sheriff to someone capable of killing anyone if he has the slightest doubt about their intentions. Even at that, the changes are slight compared to Carol. I think all of the suffering she has been through has given her a clarity of thought, especially when we compare her to someone like Daryl who can make tough decisions as well but isn’t great at dealing with people. The fact that she keeps track of her kills didn’t come as a massive shock, but it seems to be an indicator of her guilt over some of the things she has had to do in order to survive.
The real meat of the “Not Tomorrow Yet” was of course the assault on the Saviours and the planning that lead up to it. As was the same last week, there was a scene involving Rick that I found quite funny where he punched the nose of a walker in order to make it look broken. The actual assault on the compound very much blurred the lines between right and wrong which The Walking Dead certainly has previous in. When he is trying to gain support from within the group for the attack Rick says “We have to take them out first in case, one day in the future, they think about attacking us.”. The whole thing is completely unprovoked attack, not to steal or subjugate, but to murder. This allows us to see the main characters in a very different light.
Morgan’s attitude of “all life is precious” almost got the group in a lot of trouble when he spared the Wolf Leader. The Carol/Rick school of thought of shoot first ask questions later then became the dominant way of thinking within Alexandria. This particular situation which involves attacking people who don’t even know they exist by slaughtering them in their sleep did well to keep the viewers from feeling remorse for Negen’s group. Obviously we are supposed to root for Rick and co. as the “good guys” however, one of the Hilltop crowd is heard saying that Negan scares him, but Rick is something else entirely. If they were too nice they would have died long ago, I think that is an important message from the series as a whole. Negen’s group are painted as a nasty band of pirates and in the scene when Glenn kills two of them in their sleep, there are pictures on their wall of people who have had their faces removed. Clearly they are not very nice people he has just killed. Despite this, Glenn still had great difficulty in doing the deed and is almost reduced to tears.
Eventually within the compound their presence is finally registered, and pandemonium ensues as well as an exciting and fast paced action scene that I found really enjoyable. The sequence near the end of the battle inside the compound involving Heath and Glenn who end up unloading on half a dozen people through the door of the armory was particularly memorable.
When they finally get back outside and are wondering which of the dead couple could be Negen, a bike races out of the compound and the driver is shot down spectacularly. As a non comic book reader I can only speculate on who Negen could be, perhaps the woman’s voice on the Walkie Talkie? Who ever he or she turns out to be, I think next weeks episode of The Walking Dead could be just as fast paced as this one finished since Maggie and Carol have been taken hostage
I enjoyed Carol being more involved more centrally again as she is one of the better characters in the show. Fair play to Rosita for being ably to carry out the assault quite so effectively after getting hideously dumped by Abraham just a few hours before. All in all it was a really good episode, despite starting a little too slowly. The last half an hour more than made up for this, mostly thanks to the tense action scene that the show is really good at and treats us to occasionally.
- Carol’s development
- the raid scene on Negen’s compound
- slow buildup in the first 20 minutes or so