‘The Walking Dead’ recap: Season 6, Episode 13, “The Same Boat”, Aired Mar 13, 2016
Can Melissa McBride just pick up her Emmy now? No, we’re being serious. How the actual f**k can she not get nominated after that? Yes, The Walking Dead is a show about zombies, but after the last few seasons, it’s more than that. It’s about people making the hardest choices humanity will ever have to make, and we’ll be damned if The Big Bang Theory wins another Emmy without even a nomination-nod to the pure excellence that is Melissa McBride.
You know what we have to say to that, “Sheldon”?
Let’s get to the break down.
The Capture and Carol’s Mastermind
We pick up right where we left off, with Maggie and Carol captured by what appears to be Negan’s crew, consisting of an amazing guest appearance by Alicia Witt (Paula), a cancer-ridden woman who looks like an extra from The Hills Have Eyes, an Olivia-Munn-lookalike, and a man with small-penis syndrome.
Carol is forced to shoot the man, who has a gun pointed at Maggie’s back. Carol will do anything to protect Maggie, but she’ll go even further to protect a pregnant Maggie. Rick tries to discuss a trade over the walkie, but Paula’s not having it. She’s not an idiot – she knows that they are outnumbered and will most likely be killed if they meet up with Rick and Co. She and her crew take Maggie and Carol to a safe house, and with some brilliant directing, we see a cloaked Maggie and Carol leaving tracks so master-tracker Daryl can follow them.
At the safe house, they hold up in a “Kill Room” (how fitting) which looks like the set from the first Saw movie. (Side note: Check out the extras on how they created the set and filmed the episode; it’s badass.) They tie up Maggie and Carol with duct tape, and so begins a brilliant episode of dialogue and acting.
Carol fakes a panic attack as the beginning of shaping herself as a “weak little bird” to their captors. We love how all the fans watching their TV screens knew right away that she was playing Paula. She played her when she fearfully scrambled for her rosary (right, like Carol hosts the Alexandria bible readings on Sundays), she plays them all when she succumbed to the small-penis-syndrome man’s attack on her for shooting him, and she even plays them when asking for a cigarette. She was seeing if they had a lighter … something they would need later if all went according to plan.
Her true tone starts to creep out when Paula begins to ask her intentions: “Who’s going to kill me, you?” Carol’s response, “I hope not,” has the icy feel we all know. What is great about Carol, though, is that she doesn’t want to do what she’s done. She didn’t want to burn two of their sick people, she didn’t want to shoot Lizzie, and she didn’t want to have to blow up a community of cannibals (OK, so maybe she did want to do that.)
Meanwhile, Maggie is being investigated the other woman, who is getting clucky before her boyfriend was blown up, compliments of Daryl and his bazooka. She doesn’t want to have to kill Maggie; she’s envious of her. Maggie plays her as well, but not to the level of brilliance that is Carol. Maggie is stalling, waiting for the right move to try to escape.
Carol doesn’t want to have to do anything of this – she even warns Paula to walk away when she points a gun to her head. Carol hears Paula’s story – they were the same weak, pathetic person before the apocalypse started. Now they are two badass bitches just trying to live to the next day. The difference between Carol and Paula is that Carol doesn’t have an ego, she just does what she needs to do to protect her loved ones.
Carol gets free when they leave her alone, and she finds Maggie trying to untie herself in another room. They walk their way through the building after setting a trap in one of the rooms. The man Carol shot has died from his injury and is turning into a walker. They tie him up, and he kills smoker-lady as soon as she walks in. Two down, two to go.
Olivia Munnabe comes across Maggie, and the two duke it out. She takes a stab at Maggie’s stomach, misses, and without hesitation Carol walks up and shoots her in the head. Paula oversees this and calls Carol out for being even more psychotic than she. She now knows her game. Carol gives her a chance to leave, but Paula decides to attack instead. Carol shoves her into a pole, spearing her, and we get our epic makeup/zombie moment of the season. (We’ll spare you the GIF – but only because we couldn’t find it.)
When we think we’re done, the rest of Negan’s backup crew shows up as Maggie and Carol stand hidden in a separate room. Carol confesses her struggle with what they have to do, and Maggie tells her to buck the f**k up for 30 more seconds. Carol lights up a cigarette, tosses it in the room with gasoline on the floor, and burns everyone alive.
Rick and Co. greet them as they open the doors to the outside, and we see the women break down.
Welcome to the Dark Side
Listen, we love Rick and Co., and we typically understand why they do what they do, but they are not the “good guys” anymore. Last week, they straight up murdered all of those people based on what Jesus and Gregory told them. Then, Carol and Maggie brutally murder a ton of people this week who were just doing the same thing they would have done. It’s not even so much about killing them, but how they killed them and what it means that two people could do that much damage. Sure, it’s all about survival and protecting the ones you love, but lighting a room of people on fire? How did they get to this point? Have they gone too far?
The whole point of “The Same Boat” was to highlight that our favorite characters may have taken a step past survival and landed in some iffy ethical territory. Carol, the most ruthless of them all (besides Rick), is even questioning their choices. And her face when Rick shoots the dude who claims to be Negan at the end of the episode proves that as she told Daryl, she is definitely not okay.
The fact that next week’s promo showed a shot of Carol and then Morgan tells us that maybe Carol is going to be seeing things from his point of view now or seeking help from him. We may be super annoyed with Morgan’s non-violent tendencies, but he may be just what Carol needs right now as she tries to grapple with what she’s done.
What the hell would Hershel say about all of this if he was still here?
The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC at 9/8c. Don’t forget to check out our TWD podcast, airing tonight on ConRadio.com.
(Image via AMC/The Walking Dead)