Check out our review of this weeks episode “The Same Boat” of The Walking Dead on AMC.
The Walking Dead – Season 6 episode 13: “The Same Boat”
Warning: There will be spoilers.
Let’s get into it, not recapping just diving in…
Robert: As I mentioned on Twitter, this episode was gritty and dark with some wonderful acting from Melissa McBride (Carol), Lauren Cohan (Maggie) & Alicia Witt (Paula) but I found that the pacing and tone was all over the place. This episode was written by Angela Kang & directed by Billy Gierhardt. I’m hit and miss on this team as Billy Gierhardt directed some okay episodes of TWD and Angela Kang has written some solid episodes. That said, this week I found issues with both the writing and directing. Here’s my thoughts on 3 distinct parts of this episode as I see it. Carol. Maggie & Paula.
Robert: Okay so what didn’t work for me? Carol. At first, I completely thought that Carol was freaking out and grabbed the cross as a plan to get free & escape (which she later did) but then it appears that NO, Carol has suddenly had a complete change of character. Suddenly she’s all upset about having to kill other people especially these Saviors who have kidnapped her and Maggie. This has come completely OUT OF Fncking NO WHERE! Now because of this, I was having a VERY hard time with what was happening with Carol. Her sudden breakdown from Hardcore Carol to her guilt ridden Carol distorted the tone of the entire episode for me.
Ian: No doubt! It’s like night and day compared to the lengths Carol will go to keep the core gang out of danger, when momma bear gets pissed – SHE BLOWS SHIT UP! There’s a few reasons I can see why Carol seems a bit fragile but it’s still stretching it. I think we’re suppose to assume that being sheltered from just having to survive, reverting a little bit back to the early series Carol would seem kinda natural but just two episodes ago, she had no issue with taking down walkers while picking acorns, it was just going through the motions.
Maybe it’s the shoe horned love angle with Tobin? I think it’s more likely that Maggie is starting to get just as vicious but she doesn’t have the cool demeanor that Carol has, the effective nature of a killer and maybe that’s what’s causing a bit of inner crisis. Part of it has to be that playing the fool until the time was just right is also what we’ve come to expect from Carol so perhaps, the act was so convincing that we as the audience were also just as thrown off.
Robert: Next up, Maggie. Talk about flipping the switch, Maggie suddenly became all hardcore and reasonable, to a point, when the chips were down. The whole scene with Maggie being interrogated to find out what the Alexandrian’s know and who they are was well done and we’ve seen Maggie get dark and down but I felt that she was all over the place in the episode. From being dark to emotional for Carol but I’m chalking that up to hormones with her being pregnant. I felt that Maggie was solid but at times the back and forth on emotions broke up the pacing of the episode.
Ian: I think the whole motherly instinct thing is cheap but it does make the most sense. I also think that Maggie doesn’t want to seem like a liability either and that the earlier confrontation with Carol really set the tone, she wants to be in the thick of it despite caring for a potential child. I think that to drive the point even further how ruthless Maggie will be when their back is against the wall, she was the one that insisted on taking them all out despite Carol just wanting to escape.
Robert: Lastly was Alicia Witt as Paula who I wish could have stuck around on the show longer. Paula was the bright star in tonight’s episode and if you don’t think so, realize that Carol can only act as she did when a nice, creepy, dark, evil foil in Paula. Paula at first was toying with Carol and Maggie then opened up to them ONLY to show her end means of living in this new Walking Dead world to the point of losing it when Carol and Maggie try to escape. Sadly Paula then had a very Walker ending which was disappointing. Just take a moment and listen to Paula’s pre-Walking Dead life and what she did to stay alive, fits the chaos of The Saviors. How they all seem to embrace the darkness within and I LOVED how they all believe that THEY’RE in the right & heroes. Well done. Every show needs good villain(s) and she was well enough without too much mustache twirls to be enjoyable for further episodes.
Ian: I kinda think they went a bit overboard with setting up Paula and Michelle as mirrors to Carol and Maggie. While the Saviour group figure that the walker outbreak made them stronger since they did what they had to do to survive, it ultimately comes off as cheap considering how easily duped and ruthless taken out by Maggie and Carol with ease. While Paula droned on about the group mentality, I couldn’t help but shake my head at the whole “We’re all Negan” motto – Despite all the build up, each one of them went out like rookies as Donnie’s fate felt like foreshadowing and also the core message that this episode was about strong women and yet, most of them came off as fragile until the very last minute.
Robert: Yup, I kept my thoughts short as I’ve mentioned, the 3 characters each had something to do with the pacing & tone. My take from tonight was I guess to show that Rick’s group all have a breaking point and that they’re NOT as far gone as we would have believed and NO where near these Saviors. The have guilt that seems to effect them. NOW… that said, Maggie & Carol then leading the scout team of Saviors into the Kill Floor where they burned them alive COMPLETELY FUCKING COUNTERS WHAT I JUST SAID ABOUT THEM and then the doors open and it’s Rick & the team there where Maggie & Carol then revert back to being guilt ridden!? WHAT. THE. FUCK?!
Ian: Sometimes, I feel like some episodes are such a chore to get through. I understand that it’s less of action focused series of killing walkers, that it’s all about the drama and interaction of characters but I’m just mostly tired of the almost aimless direction of the show but a lot of that burden can be placed on the source material. While how the show handled the Governer was more thought out and more engaging than the comic arc, I have my doubts about the lengths and I have bigger concerns about what Rick’s gang will face after the outcome with Negan.
I guess the good thing about this episode is that unlike what happened with the wolves, Paula’s group was just slightly more interesting but being used as stepping stone to hint to the chaos just around the bend made it seem a bit weak. I’m suppose to believe that someone (Molly) who is most likely in fatal stages of cancer stood a chance against Carol or the suddenly rabid Maggie? We’ve got hit over the head with how fragile humanity is but in a blink of an eye, it’s just blood bath – All of them gave their cool character backstories and got knocked over like pins, just feels like bit of a waste.
Bits & Pieces
– So Paula goes on the walkie talkie and says switch to this channel on the main channel she’s talking to Rick. Wouldn’t Rick then know which channel to switch to? So wouldn’t he have heard about the Scout team coming? Perhaps Rick’s team came a few minutes later, don’t know but thought that was weird.
– I enjoyed seeing Rus Blackwell as Donnie, the warm boy Paula sleeps with and future Walker of tonights episode. Rus Blackwell is SO good in the show Banshee.
– Enjoyed the tie into last week only through Paula’s binoculars and then when Rick & team show up the end. Well done.
– Another nice piece by Paula was her telling Carol “Don’t you get it? We are all Negan.” and the look on Carol & Maggie’s faces. Yes, we the audience know about Jeffrey Dean Morgan being cast as Negan but this tasty lie was another reason Paula was a wonderful villain.
Next Week teaser for Episode 614: The Walking Dead: Twice as Far
Next Week Sneak Peak for Episode 614: The Walking Dead: Twice as Far
Guilt of taking lives weights heavily on Carol & Maggie
Don't EVER go to the KILL FLOOR unless you're VERY certain of who you're talking to on the walkie talkie! Carol & Maggie are taken by some Saviors, they deal their captors and their guilt.