The Walking Dead – Season 6 Episode 13
“The Same Boat”
The latest installment of The Walking Dead was a pretty tense affair. The fact it only really included a few main characters helped the episode focus on the story at hand. It filled in quite a few of the gaps from last week giving us the details of how Maggie and Carol came to be captured, including their imprisonment in what appears to be a slaughter house.
This episode is really the second in succession that focuses around Carol, it looks at her doubts about her ability to kill without hesitation, and her empathy with the Saviours character Paula. Although it was a slow burner in parts, ‘The Same Boat’ quickly became tense as the hostage situation unfolded. There isn’t a great deal of action until the final 20 minutes which is always a bit of a disappointment for me. It mostly deals with the internal struggles of Carol who hesitates at two vital moments and almost ruins the whole escape plan.
Another focus was further graying the lines between the good guys and bad. Last week Rick and the others murder a bunch of people -who they had never even met- in their beds and by the end of the episode Carol and Maggie once again show that they are capable of the type of fundamental brutality that has seen them survive this long. Maggie takes the initiative over Carol as they try to escape and I think the irony isn’t lost on Carol that they are really no better that the people they are fighting against. They are simply two groups of people who are doing what they can to survive.
Despite the fact that Carol and Maggie were taken prisoner I never felt any serious concerns that either of them would die, at least not at this stage. The character Paula seemed very level headed and resourceful. as well as having an air of ruthlessness about her, but they were backed into a corner in the deal with Rick and she knew it. She needed to keep Carol and Maggie alive in order to have people to trade for their own man. In many ways Paula is a darker version of Carol who clearly sees the similarities between the two of them.
“The Same Boat” was an appropriate title for this episode as it suggests the similarities between Paula and Carol that would be significant to the overall plot. I think in particular Paula’s mistreatment by men and the loss of children in their past seemed to almost endear her to Carol. When it came to the point of killing her she was extremely hesitant and very un-Carol like. It took her three attempts to finally kill her, even then it was only because Paula was coming right at her. At first I thought the whole pathetic act that she had going on, such as appearing religious and even the hyperventilating, was to fool the Saviours. Her reluctance to kill later in the episode tells us this is not the case and that something has definitely changed in her. I think this is well highlighted at the end when she grips the cross on the Rosary Beads so tightly that it cuts through her skin. This seems to be the influence of Morgan rubbing off on her with his ‘all life is precious’ philosophy. If she changes her ways that have allowed her to survive this long, it could endanger herself and the rest of the group. Unfortunately in The Walking Dead ruthlessness seems to be the most effective survival trait.
Going back to Morgan -we do get a glimpse of him tonight- I do think that he was wrong in wanting to open a dialogue with the Saviours, this however does not mean Rick was right. Leaving the question of morality up to the individual reactions of the audience is a good idea that adds more complexity to the storytelling.
Rick’s actions where led a group of his people to attack somewhere they had not scouted were so far beyond reckless. The numbers loyal to Negan were a complete unknown, he brought a pregnant Maggie with him and there was still no clue who Negen actually is. The members of the Saviours who we were briefly introduced to seemed to me to be a shadowy reflection of Rick’s group. If any of them survived then I imagine there will be some kind of revenge plot which should create an exciting dynamic between the two groups. It was alluded to by Molly and Premo that Negan isn’t one person. Perhaps it’s a kind of Spartacus thing they have going on with this, or maybe its an acronym. Either way we still don’t exactly know what or who Negan really is.
There was a lot of tension in ‘The Same Boat’ which I really enjoyed, despite its slow burning nature for the first half. I have to say I was pretty sure that Carol and Maggie would manage to escape. I was in doubt as to whether Maggie’s baby would be alright. It did seem to be a struggle to tell if Carol was actually losing her nerve- right up until the end of this episode of The Walking Dead. Her character was a focal point of the last episode too and has really now seen her character arc almost come full circle as there were timid glimpses of her that reminded me of Carol’s demeanour right back to the first few episodes of season 1. I’m curious to see what remains of the Saviours and who Negan really is. It will also be interesting to see if Gregory holds up his end of the bargain.
- Carol being the most interesting character
- some great tense scenes this week
- the slow pace early on