The Walking Dead Season Six, Episode Thirteen “The Same Boat”

 walker in freezer

“You’re wondering if there’s a way out of this. There isn’t, not unless I say so.” – Paula to Maggie

“The Same Boat”, the thirteenth episode of the sixth season of The Walking Dead begins shortly before the previous episode ended, but from the point of view of this episode’s protagonists, Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) and Maggie Green (Lauren Cohan), who are guarding the perimeter of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his group’s attack of the Saviors in their compound.

forest prisonersThe two woman are in the woods and ambushed by one of the Saviors, who is called Donnie (Russ Blackwell). Carol shoots him in the arm but they are captured by three other Saviors, Paula (Alicia Witt), Molly ( Jill Jane Clements) and Michelle (Jeananne Goossen). Paula, who is the leader of the group, spots with her binoculars Rick about to shoot Primo (Jimmy Gonzalez) a Savior that he captured. She radios Rick and demands that he and the others drop their weapons and that she has Carol and Maggie hostage. After listening to Rick’s offer to trade Primo for the women, she tells him she will contact him later and the four take the women to a slaughterhouse and imprisoned them in a room.

While they are bound with duct tape and gagged in the makeshift cell, Carol finds a rosary on the dirty floor and begins hyperventilating. This attracts the Saviors who are disgusted by Carol’s weak behavior. Of course, they do not realize that she is only acting as a scared housewife. She tells them to spare Maggie because she is pregnant.

Donnie is in severe pain from paula and donnythe gunshot wound and wants to kill Carol, but Paula won’t allow this since she needs the hostages alive for a trade, at least until their backup arrives so they can all ambush Rick’s group. Enraged, Donnie attacks Paula, but she knocks him out and leaves him in the room. Michelle then takes Maggie away to another room to interrogate her.

Carol starts talking to Paula and tries convincing her to spare them and  make the trade with Rick because he will kill them if she refuses. Eventually, Paula decides to go through with the trade and radios Rick that the trade is on. She is suspicious that Rick is nearby though. After Paula and Molly leave the cell, Carol cuts herself free with the rosary and looks for Maggie in the slaughterhouse. She quickly finds her alone in a room and tries to get her to leave immediately, but Maggie wants to kill the Saviors. The two go back to their cell and discover that Donnie died from his wound and will soon turn into a walker; Maggie decides to set a trap.

walker gauntlet

Soon after, Molly enters the cell and is attacked by Donnie, who is now a walker. The walker manages to bite Molly before she kills it but Molly in turn is bludgeoned to death by Maggie. Carol appears and takes Molly’s gun before they leave. When they get to a corridor leading to the outside, they find the walls lined with impaled walkers who are meant to keep them from escaping. At that moment, Paula appears behind them and fires her gun but misses. Carol aims her own gun at her and tells her to run but Paula refuses to budge. A walker tries to attack Carol which causes her to shoot Paula in the shoulder. Maggie spots Michelle nearby and the two women begin fighting in another room. The fight ends when Carol enters the room and shoots Michelle in the head.

They go back to the corridor with the walkers and Paula lunges at Carol. In the melee, Carol shoves her onto  a stake that is impaling a walker. Now in a deadly embrace, the walker grabs Paula and starts to chew her face off.

paula eaten

Paula’s fallen radio crackles to life. It’s one of the coming Saviors. Carol pretends to be Paula and lures them inside the slaughterhouse to a designated spot, the kill floor. A few minutes later, three Saviors arrive and go to the kill floor that is drenched in gasoline. Carol lights up the room and traps the men inside as they burn to death.

saviors burned

The women make their way through the walker corridor as Maggie methodically kills all the walkers, including Paula, who is now a walker. When they reach the outside door, Rick appears on the other side with his group, which includes Maggie’s dead primo walkinghusband Glenn Rhee (Steven Yuen). Rick turns to Primo and demands to know who is Negan, the leader of the Saviors. Primo smugly announces that he is Negan, echoing an earlier pronouncement by Molly that all of the Saviors are Negan. In response, Rick shoots him in the head.

 

“The Same Boat” was gripping and gritty even for The Walking Dead. More than that, this episode was a tour de force for Melissa McBride, who gave her best performance as Carol since the fourth season classic “The Grove”. As with that episode, Melissa McBride largely carries the episode as Carol is the center of the story.

tough carol

Carol is still struggling with the guilt of her past killings and seems genuinely weary and at the end. She isn’t suicidal or has a death wish like some other characters in The Walking Dead but she is perilously close. At this point, she is still bothered by her actions and her place in the world. What probably disturbs her the most is how much of herself she sees in the Saviors, especially Paula and Molly. This point is even expressed in some dialogue that Carol has with Molly where the older woman, who is suffering from a lung ailment and still smokes cigarettes. Molly casually tells her, ” I’m a dead woman walking, which puts us in exactly the same boat.”

Also Carol’s inner turmoil is in the realization of the similarities between the Saviors and Rick’s group, especially herself, and how they are heading in the Saviors’ savage direction. Are they truly the good guys? We wholeheartedly say yes, but that is only because The Walking Dead is told from their point of view.

prisoners

The theme of dark reflections is also explored in Maggie’s scenes with Michelle. It turns out that the two had similar histories, but in Michelle’s case, she lost her lover and her unborn child. So Maggie must be wondering if Michelle’s story is a cautionary tale. But she does not seem to be reflective of this since she is the one who encourages Carol to kill the Saviors when they had their chance to escape. So will Maggie walk down Carol’s dark path considering what could lay ahead with Glenn?

As we ponder this, keep in mind there are only three episodes left until the promised climatic season finale. It’s a guarantee that our heroes will be tested like never before.

José Soto

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