On The Walking Dead, Ladies Get In Free
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.
Jesus shows our gang his encampment, called The Hilltop, but then informs them that practically as soon as they built their wall, the Saviors showed up to rain on their parade. Rick and company decide to go kill chief Savior Negan, and "and company" includes a pregnant Maggie, much to Carol's extremely vocal dismay. Then, after Team Rick successfully takes out all the folks at the Saviors' bunker (including a straggler who shows up on Daryl's bike) they get radioed by a splinter group of Saviors who've taken Carol and Maggie hostage.
Spin Off Idea
Smoky, Righty, Mole, And Red
Just a couple good old gals and a guy, trying to make it in the zombie apocalypse.
Main Cast: That older lady (Smoky), some white guy (Righty), a fairly hot chick with a mole (Mole), and Alicia Witt (Red).
New Characters to be added: "The Scout Crew," a couple of gun-toting folks known for their love of Samoas and Thin Mints.
Sample episode plot: Smoky, Righty, Mole, and Red make friends with a wimpy old lady and some chick with a really great jacket! After a road trip to a charmingly industrial building, they end up opening an artisanal pop-up barbecue/kebab joint.
Place Of Interest
Some Georgia (?) Slaughterhouse
Hey, remember when you saw the first Saw movie with Murtaugh and and Dread Pirate Roberts and were like "hey this is pretty good!"? Relive those memories at Some Georgia (?) Slaughterhouse, where you and your buddy will be across a room from each other just like that movies' protagonists were. Make sure to visit our gift shop on the way out for all your cigarette, lighter, duct tape, and rosary needs.
What's the game? Hide-And-Seek.
Who's playing? Carol, Paula, and Smoky (not her real name).
What's at stake? One thing that the pre- and post-apocalyptic worlds have in common is the constant under-estimation of the middle-aged woman. No one knows this better than Carol, who used this to her advantage by playing the greying wimp when our guys first assimilated into Alexandra. She falls back into the act when abducted by Paula's group, faking a panic attack to get her gag out, cleverly fucking with everyone's heads, then playing pious to hang on to a rosary that she turned into her means of escape.
Who wins? Carol. Always Carol. But at what cost?
That Quote"Honey, you need to take some yoga breaths and calm yourself down."- Smoky, to a playing-panic-possum Carol -
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Fight! Fight! Fight!
Righty vs. Paula, Maggie, and Carol
Though Paula's people expect the scout crew to arrive in about 30 minutes, Maggie (based on her dad's veterinarian chops, I guess) warns them that Righty's (not his real name) going to lose his arm before then, and that they should speed up the trade for Primo since he has medical skills that could salvage the limb. The injured man is in a less productive mood, however, and goes after Carol, saying that since she shot him, he should get to kill or at least shoot her arm, too. When Paula tells him to back off, he clocks her, then goes after the captives. Maggie sweeps the leg and head-butts him, and Carol (in my opinion) takes a bit of a dive to retain her "Little Bird" cover. The confrontation ends when Paula smacks the man with the butt of the gun.
Winner: All of us, because from here on out we get a nearly all-girl show.
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?
Who called the meeting? 'Chelle.
What's it about? If Maggie "has time to make babies" then she must have a pretty sweet encampment, 'Chelle correctly surmises. 'Chelle and the rest of the Saviors love sweet encampments! If Maggie gives up her group's home base, her baby and she might make it out alive.
How'd it go? It's a standoff. We get to know more about how the Saviors run things when we see that 'Chelle's finger was cut off for the crime of "stealing" a car to try to find her deceased "jerk" boyfriend. (She also had a dad named "Frank" and lost a baby.)
That Quote"You're not the good guys. You should know that."- 'Chelle to Maggie -
Don't Give Me Static
Rick radios Paula to nag her about making the trade, much to her irritation. Nothing's resolved, but it gives Carol a chance to make a self-defense plea, saying that it was the Saviors who ambushed them first. "So now we know what happened to T's group," Smoky says. But since Carol's people successfully fought those guys off, why not let it stop there, Paula asks. Carol says that this Negan fellow T's group said they were working for "sounded like a maniac" and scared them enough that they knew "we had to stop him." "We are all Negan," Smoky Spartacuses, in a sentiment we'll hear echoed again before we're through.
Happy Secretary's Day
Situation: You know that truism about how the traits you hate in others are what you hate most about yourself? Nowhere is that more accurate than in Paula's contempt for the character Carol is playing.
What makes it awkward? Well, we know Carol is a tough as nails, so Paula looks pretty stupid as she blathers on about tough she is for killing her boss when the shit went down in D.C. and how she's now at murderous "double digits."
How is order restored? Carol -- who even though this situation is serious as fuck must be thinking "Bitch, do you KNOW who I AM?" -- shows a little steel when she tells Paula, "You're the one who's afraid to die, and you're going to," and a little more when Paula mockingly asks, "Are you going to kill me?"
"I hope not."
When Paula radios Rick back to make the trade, they agree to meet a nearby field that contains a sign that reads "God is dead" (pretty subtle, TWD writers) in 10. However, he sounds a lot clearer than he did the last time, making Paula suspicious. Does his sound quality mean that his group has managed to track them and is waiting outside to kill the remaining Saviors the minute they step out the door? (Not considering that the previous static could have been on her end last time is Classic Paula, huh?)
She gives her reinforcements a ring and they say they're also 10 minutes away, but are low on gas. So, here's the plan: Paula and Co. are going to pack up and get ready to go, which includes clearing out a hallway they've intentionally filled with zombies (they call them "growlers," like that awful hipster next to you at the bar). Once their buddies get here, they'll fuel up and all pick Rick's team "off at the door."
Hail Carol, Full Of Grace
As soon as Paula and Smoky go off to manage walkers and gather their booty, Carol takes that yoga breath and uses her rosary to slice off her bonds, leave the Saw room, and free Maggie. She's ready to just cut and run, but Maggie wants to "finish this."
So first they leash up a now-deceased Righty and let him take a chomp out of Smoky...
...then Maggie beats Smoky to death.
Stop With That Film-School Blood-On-The-Camera Crap
As Maggie pistol-whips Smoky, and again in just a bit, as a person is injured we see their blood fly onto the camera lens. I hate this device. It takes the viewer out of the show by reminding us that there's a camera. This is not The Found-Footage Dead, nor is it a documentary (and if it were, the doc shooter would not be filming from Smoky's POV). Everyone just stop it; it's dumb, beyond played, and beneath this otherwise excellent show.
It's Time For The Big Reveal
What's the occasion? Carol and Maggie are holding a surprise party for Paula and 'Chelle in a hallway filled with tethered and skewered walkers.
What are the refreshments? The most refreshing refreshment of all: Carol casting off her mask to reveal herself as a bad bad badass.
First, Carol and Paula face off. Carol, whose humanity is more intact than we might have realized, encourages Paula to run before (accidentally?) winging her.
Then Carol blows 'Chelle away as she beats and slashes Maggie's fecund midsection.
Whose big public scene will everyone be talking about tomorrow? Like all the best surprise parties, boy, was Paula surprised.
"If you could do all this, what were you so afraid of, Carol?"
"I was afraid of this."
Suck It, Marquand
Proving that the actor who plays Aaron is not the only impressionist in the cast, Melissa McBride does a dead-on Alicia Witt as she responds to the newly-arrived scout team. "Meet us on the kill floor," she says, somehow without snickering.
Here's An Idea
Never Agree To Meet Anyone In A Room With "Kill Floor" On The Door
I'll admit it, I was skeptical when Rick said that his group wouldn't have too much trouble killing Negan's gang, but between people who somehow don't wake up when other people are walking around in their bedrooms stabbing them in the ears and these yahoos who don't think twice about meetings in a room with "kill" WRITTEN ON THE DOOR, I am thinking they could have sent Judith to handle these folks and she would have been back in time for her afternoon nap.
These guys aren't even worth the ammo, it seems, as Maggie and Carol play the anti-Temple Grandin and in-humanely slaughter the scout team by burning them alive.
Wrap It Up
On their way out, Maggie kindly euthanizes zombie Paula.
Our gang comes in, Daryl embracing Carol ("You good?" "No.") and Glenn embracing Maggie ("Are you okay?" "I can't anymore.")
Primo looks understandably bummed out when he realized that Carol just smoked his buddies. "Was Negan in that building or was he here?" Rick asks Primo. "Both. I'm Negan, shithead," Primo says.
"I'm sorry it had to come to this," Rick perhaps prematurely responds, and shoots him in the face. Maybe it was being up all night, maybe it was low blood sugar, or maybe Morgan made a dent the other day, because something about this broke Carol, just a little.