Life in the zombie apocalypse isn’t easy, no one ever said it would be. Tough choices must be made, friends left behind, innocent lives lost, and ruthlessness always begats ruthlessness. While the Tribe has mostly come to terms with these truths, it is still shocking and painful to witness the degeneration of self that our beloved Tribe members are experiencing and begs the question, When is enough, enough?
Spoilers ahead, Sweetie…
Time is fluid in The Walking Dead universe, and so we are back in the middle of the Savior raid, right at the point Maggie and Carol are picked up by straggling survivors of Rick and the Tribe’s midnight massacre. The following events read as if they are straight out of a feminist dystopic novel–with Maggie and Carol the underestimated underdogs against three Savior women and one man who ends up killed by his own people. The scene is small and uncomfortable because neither group really knows what the other is about, they have no history of bad blood, only a single night of murder based on the word of the people at Hilltop. The thing is, we know what both Maggie and Carol are capable of to keep the safety of the Tribe, while the Saviors are blissfully unaware.
Rick and Paula, the seeming leader of the stragglers, communicate by walkie talkie, but she gives him no space to negotiate or sweet talk her into releasing Maggie and Carol. Paula has no reason to trust Rick after he snuck into her home and killed her friends and family. When Rick asks Paula to let Carol and Maggie go, it is almost laughable. These women have no reason to trust the Tribe. The Saviors have resources, a bunker, weapons and a unknown numbers. They also tell Carol, “They are all Neegan,” compounding confusion as to who (or what) this (concept of?) Neegan is.
Carol, to her credit, does not want to kill the Saviors. She’s tired. We’ve seen her weighed down by the past and what she has to do to survive. She wants to get out without hurting anyone, but she knows that isn’t possible. So, Carol does what she’s done her entire life–she pretends. She convinces Paula that they are polar opposites, when, in fact, they are only slightly different versions of each other. We don’t know Paula’s motivations, but she mistakes Carol’s shwredness for weakness and gets her face bitten off for her trouble. Carol is a protective mama bear, Maggie is pregnant, and the orders from Rick are everyone dies.
We are reminded by one of the Saviors, the young woman who once lost a pregnancy, that Maggie and the Tribe are not “the good guys” and, she has a point. Still, while the Tribe may not be the good guys, they are the better guys, better than the Saviors. Maggie and Carol work in tandem to escape and, ultimately, fulfill their objective–kill everyone. There are walkers, there is eloquent dialogue, but when it comes down to it, this is a 60 minute waiting game for Carol and Maggie to get the break we all know is coming.
When Carol and Maggie eventually do get it together and escape; Maggie’s emphatic, “I’m not planning to die today,” echoes in every movement as they methodically kill each Savior they see before Rick and the Tribe even set foot in the building. It is another brutal, inevitable chapter in the story of the Tribe, whose consequences yet to be felt.
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