Another Sunday night in Spring means that, along with an unwelcome clock jump, viewers got to go back into the world of The Walking Dead for another brutal entrance in the roller coaster sixth season.
The episode begins with the viewers experiencing a reverse view of the final scene of last week’s episode. We see Carol (Melissa McBride) and Maggie (Lauren Cohen) get captured by a group of mostly women saviors led by a woman named Paula (Alicia Witt). After a brief communication with Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Carol and Maggie are bound and taken to some outpost. We don’t know how far it is, but we can tell that it has been abandoned for awhile based on the number of walkers that have accumulated there.
Right before Maggie and Carol were captured, Carol managed to get a shot off into the only man in the group of saviors. Back at the outpost, he is growing angry at the pain and prospect of losing his arm, and takes it out on Paula by hitting her in the face, then moving to attack Carol, the woman who put him in that position, and Maggie. After a brief struggle, he is subdued, and Maggie is escorted out of the room.
Before the aforementioned altercation, however, Carol was doing a pretty good job of acting as a scared old wife and mother, seemingly incapable of doing the things she needs to do to survive. This facade is almost dropped after the altercation.
In another room, Maggie is speaking with another member of the saviors. The woman shows Maggie her severed finger, and explains that she lost it after being caught stealing gas. Uh oh, it looks like the Saviors aren’t tolerant of their own antics. The woman tells Maggie that one of them will die before the altercation truly ends, and Maggie tells her that it isn’t her who is planning on dying.
Back in the holding room, the shot man seems to be passed out after the altercation with Carol, Maggie and Paula. Paula and the other, final Savior leave the room to attend to other matters. Carol uses this opportunity to use a rosary to get out of her duct-tape bound hands in a mean escape. She finds Maggie taking her bindings off using a sharp wall, and the two make a plan.
Returning to the main room, they find the shot man has died. They tie him up, and when Molly, the final Savior returns, she is promptly bitten and, being caught off guard, disarmed and killed by Maggie bashing her skull in with a pistol. Paula returns to the room seeing the mess, cocks her pistol angrily, and storms to towards the camera.
Maggie and Carol are moving down a hallway when they come to an end completely filled with walkers stuck to spikes in the walls. Measuring their options, Maggie is attacked by the woman she was conversing in the room with, A brief fight ends with Carol shooting her in the side of the skull at point blank range. Before they can really recover, Paula finds them and unloads her only clip of ammunition.
Carol tries to give her an out, but she won’t take it. Closing the gap on Carol, she attacks Carol and almost gets Carol chomped by one of the walkers. With Maggie’s help, the situation is turned and Paula becomes walker chow.
Earlier in the episode, Paula was making plans with another group of Saviors to come meet them. When they arrived, Carol, as Paula, instructed them to meet on the kill floor. The floor was coated with gasoline, and after the two Savior men walked in, Maggie and Carol closed the giant door, but not before Carol lit the whole room on fire with her still burning cigarette.
The end of the episode sees Maggie and Carol opening the door to the outpost, met eye to eye with Rick and the group, who were just coming to save the day. After a brief explanation from Maggie to Rick that all of the members are dead, Rick tells his captive that he should talk, because no one is coming for him. Rick asks who Negan is, and whether they killed him and where, and the captive tells Rick that he is Negan. Without hesistation, Rick lifts his gun and pulls the trigger.
This was a strong episode, and the building towards Negan’s first reveal is steeped in anticipation. It looks like next week’s episode may be slower, but keep an eye out for our recap shortly after the next episode airs!