Image Source: AMC
I was literally taking a break from writing my blog posts. And then this episode happened. I couldn’t turn away from writing about all of the beautiful and horrific intricacies that were displayed in this hour of television. We got a very good look at two huge fan favorites and this episode really held up a mirror to how far they’ve truly come.
The first thing that I would love to point out is the reversal of roles that took place within this episode. Going into this season; we really saw Carol as the ruthless killer and Maggie as more of a peaceful negotiator. That on the surface may still be correct but in this episode, we saw them change roles. Yes, Carol was doing what Carol does best. She camouflaged herself in this disguise in order to fool her captors. But Carol is now having a problem with all of the killing. Paula was a complete mirror image of exactly the person Carol never wanted to become. For the first time in a very long time….we are seeing Carol have a very serious internal struggle with the deaths she has caused. We see Carol plead with Paula to run. Could it be Morgan’s philosophies might actually be getting to Carol?
And then there’s Maggie. Maggie who is normally more on the side of sparing people was the driving force on killing every single one of their captors. She absolutely wanted every single one of them dead. She may not have thought this plan was the best plan to begin with but she’s clear-headed enough to know that if they started it; they have to finish it. She did not hesitate when it came to her helping these few poor souls meet their end.
In a way; I really felt like Maggie was truly overcome with this need to make her family whole again. Glenn has had quite a few close calls with death lately and Maggie absolutely wants to do everything in her power to make sure her baby is alive and with both parents. Glenn and that baby was completely Maggie’s motivation to stay alive and to make sure no one was going to come after them. The group let the Governor get away and look at what happened to her father. Maggie knows the importance of tying up loose ends.
Besides the fact that I really wanted to punch Paula in the face almost every time she spoke; I was quite impressed with the writer’s ability to have Maggie and Carol come face to face with their evil doppelgangers. The show loves to play around with the question of whether or not the world actually turns you evil or if that is what you are at your core and the world awakens it? In this episode; Maggie is looking at ‘Chelle who is much more hardened version of her who has lost everything. And Carol comes face to face with a scary version of herself in Paula. This episode definitely lends to the argument that the world and your experiences can completely shape who you eventually become.
I also think these two characters in this episode may in fact be future versions of Carol and Maggie. Let’s just think about this for a moment. Carol and Maggie are both one half of two of the most iconic and important relationships in the show. It’s no secret that the writers are toying with us and are all but writing it in bold letters than either Glenn or Daryl will die by the end of the season. Whoever it is out of those two who gets it is going to have a pretty hardened second half in Carol or Maggie after the fact. Because really what’s the point of trying to do what’s right anymore if the single most important person in your life is gone forever.
As much as there is a strong parallel between Paula and Carol; I would like to think that Carol can’t be so easily persuaded to the dark side if you will. Paula apparently killed her own boss not too long after the apocalypse hit. Paula stopped caring about the people she has killed and she is completely numb. We know for a fact that Carol does not feel the same way. Even the sheer pain on Carol’s face when she kills Paula is a friendly reminder to all of us that she is really have a crisis of faith in herself.
But it all wraps up with our two heroines finishing the job. Watching Carol get on the walkie talkie in order to lead those men to their deaths is insanely uncomfortable for any of us to watch. One of the final things between Carol and Maggie while they are waiting for the other saviors to come is so indicative of where both of them are at. Carol says “I can’t stop” as in she can’t stop thinking about the decisions she’s made. She talks about Donnie and how if she killed him, none of this situation would have happened. Carol literally can’t win. If she kills people; she feels horrible. If she spares people; she feels horrible. There is no way out for her. Literally. She can’t get out of her own head. Maggie tries to reassure her that it’s almost done but it is never done for Carol. Never. She lives with this every day and she can’t escape it. Maggie is doing literally everything she can to get back to her normal life. Carol physically can’t get back to a normal life and it was displayed right in front of our eyes in that final scene.