Wake up, The Walking Dead fans! After slumbering for two weeks of uneventful television, this week’s “Not Tomorrow Yet” will be sure to stir the fire of fandom deep in your belly, and likely wake the entire house up. Not only will you get your fair share of gore, but there’s a fair amount of retrospect, too. Here’s the skinny:
More complex than morality: For the longest time, our group has been “the good guys.” They’ve rescued people, spared enemies, and been victim to some pretty foul shit, in general. This time, though, by volunteering to slaughter the entire Saviors camp, we see just how jaded Rick has become. There have been times in the show that make you wonder if our group was making morally-justified decisions, but this is purely based on getting what they want from The Hilltop.
Feminism and the Apocalypse: Carol’s vehement argument about Maggie being in the woods alone was the ultimate sisterhood move. Carol’s conscience was really coming through this week. Perhaps there is some connection to Carol no longer being a mother (although it is mentioned that she is the mother of everyone in Alexandria… except Tobin), so she expects that Maggie deserves to be one. It doesn’t really seem that Maggie is taking motherhood seriously and neither is the rest of the group. It is also saying something that Maggie and Carol were taken by two women. I’m not sure what it is saying other than there are more than two kind of women in the world still.
More on Carol: Carol is by far the most complex character in the series, making her incredibly fun to dissect. We said earlier that Carol’s conscience was at the forefront this episode. It was already emerging when she left Sam a single cookie on his grave, but what really brought it out was Morgan. Currently, Morgan’s role is to be Carol’s conscience. Even the camera angle showing Morgan appear to be on Carol’s shoulder tells the viewer that Morgan is her real-life metaphorical conscience. We loved that when Morgan’s ideas about what to do with the Saviors came into question, that Carol was quick to stand up for him. It may not be exactly what she believes, but she understands where Morgan is coming from. Carol coming around also has to do with her realization that she herself has murdered 18 people. There are times that the audience can agree with why she did it. Heck, it is part of the reason we love her. However, Carol’s spree is weighing heavy, and Morgan is forcing her to deal with her morality, something the rest of the group is seriously lacking.
The firefight: With the finale looming, each episode has us more and more paranoid that the EPs will pull the trigger and kill off a beloved character… or even a conflicted character. Well, our blood pressure never went down while they were in the compound. The stealth kills had us breathless, and the moment the fire alarm was pulled (nice to see those still work! OSHA would be proud) had us in a Home Alone gasp the rest of the episode. This more than makes up for the bore that the past couple episodes have been.
Never too serious: AMC did a good job of reminding us that this is still based off a comic book. The drama has been up a notch this season, but there were still a few subtle moments of hilarity to help soothe the tension. The best example of comedic relief if Eugene, whose only contributions to the episode are being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He has all the idiosyncrasies of Forrest Gump, but with none of the good fortune. Virginia may be for lovers, Eugene, but you are not among them..
Popping that murder cherry: Fans paying close attention will know that, going into this episode, there were four characters (that we care about, anyway) who hadn’t murdered a living human: Tara, Heath, Gabriel, and Glenn. While some handle their first time better than others, by striking down upon thee with great vengeance on some Jules Winnfield Pulp Fiction gangsta – lookin at you, Gabriel, it was Glenn that really made the impression on us. After discussing how hard and terrible it would be, Glenn manages to put a man to sleep, then offer to take that burden from Heath. Thankfully, Glenn gets a little validation after he finds all the murder porn those sick bastards keep on their walls, pinned up like topless shots in the bathroom of a dive bar.
Tobin? Really?: While it’s nice to see Carol finally finding herself in a healthy relationship, it came seemingly out of nowhere. Carol has spent quite some time blending in amongst the sheep of Alexandria, so maybe we should assume that they’ve developed some off-camera rapport, but it didn’t seem like there was any basis for her to find romance with the most vanilla character on the show (except Forever Alone Eugene, that is).
Michonne downplayed again: That’s two episodes in a row of Michonne putting her opinions to the side and saying nothing. This time around, though, it’s a little less subtle. Maybe we’re reading too much into this, but it seems like she’s turned from Rick’s rock to his weapon. We’re not saying that she needs to be consulted about everything, but if Grimes is King of this Rictatorship, Michonne should be the Queen. Treat her as such.
So much suspended disbelief: We did our best not to get hung up on this during the first go-through of the episode, but there are just so many things left that don’t make logical sense. How did a giant firefight and a fire alarm not attract everything moving for miles? Why would they see fit to spend the night; they had the guns and the gas to get back. How did they not notice the guy hiding in the garage? Not a dealbreaker, but kind of annoying that the writing team doesn’t think about this stuff when they make the episodes so over-analytical jerks like us won’t complain?
All the flavors, and Rosita chose to be salty: Should Rosita be pissed? Yes. Most definitely. Should she be whining to Carol about Morgan when they’re about to slaughter a compound of sleeping Saviors? No. Check that shit at the door, Rosita. This is a trip for adults.
Let’s be ants: Tara and Denise is another budding relationship that we really know nothing about. Their exchange about leaving on a trip is the most awkward thing on the show, and that’s AFTER Rick punched a corpse’s severed head in the face. Anyway, the whole relationship feels synthetic. Whether it’s the way the characters are intended to be portrayed, or the fact that Alana Masterson (Tara) was about ready to pop (from pregnancy… in real life…), we do not know. It just felt weird and not believable.
The Red Herrings: Remember in Season 3 when they kept zooming in on Rick’s right hand and we were all like, “Oh shit! They are going to cut off Rick’s hand!” And then that never happened? We have a feeling all these hints of Glenn or Maggie getting Lucilled are the same thing. Neither one of them will die, but someone else from our crew will go out with a swing.
A Mother’s Heart: With Carol’s conscience catching up with her, and Maggie being with child, it wouldn’t be an huge leap to say that Carol would sacrifice herself for Maggie if push came to shove. It’s unlikely that Carol will have to leap in from of a bullet to save Maggie, but I could see Carol risking her own safety to help Maggie escape. She better not die, though. We’ll…we’ll… riot or something!
Morgan breaks down: Morgan has managed to survive this long only after a spiritual journey took him from the brink of killing everything. He’s almost to the point of making a difference in Carol’s life, but Rick’s direction is in absolute opposition of Aikido. While it seems he’s still choosing to stay with the group, we see him welding the cage gate back together. If that’s not some in-your-face symbolism for being trapped in his own ideology, we don’t know what could be – especially after telling the Alexandrians that they are NOT trapped in this situation.
Meet the Saviors: It seems as though Carol and Maggie are headed to a different Savior’s compound. Following a logical sequence of events, the kidnappers are going to have to keep the group in radio distance for a while. It seems like there’s a lot of build-up to Negan’s debut, but with four episodes still left in the season, how will they fill up the time with good content? If we’re all anticipating Negan’s theatrical debut in the finale, then nothing between here and then will be as the comic books, so hopefully there is a lot of unexpected content.
The Walking Dead Easter Eggs & Other Tidbits:
Carol’s List: Carol’s Death List Five included: Ryan Samuels (Lizzie and Mika’s dad), Karen, David, Lizzie, blown up people at Terminus, Garrett’s mom (Candle Woman), three others on the way out of Terminus, and seven Wolves. She didn’t even include Erin, her cooking friend in Alexandria.
Commitment: Let us just say that, one day, we strive to have the same work ethic as Rick Grimes, who punched a severed head in the face multiple times to get the job done
The one-liner machine: Why are dingleberries brown? It’s just the way shit is.” Abraham is single-handedly killing poop and penis jokes the way no other character has dare tried. And let’s talk about Abraham rockin the du rag – we mean “tactical bandana” – during the ambush. He’s ready to show Sasha that he’s down!
The Next World: When Jesus comes to Glenn and Heath’s rescue by putting a bullet in a near-dead Savior, he says, “This is the next world,” a callback to Season 6 Episode 10 of the same name.
Amen, bitch!: “Let not your heart be troubled…John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you (King James Bible).”
Kill Them All: Rick has pretty much become The Governor. This is the infamous phrase that Governor yelled as he and the rest of Woodbury charged through the prison gates with a tank. Yes, Rick has reached that level of crazy.
Music From this Episode of The Walking Dead:
Carol’s Baking Music: Carol’s creepy baking music sounded like it came from the 50’s, but it turns out it only came out in 2013. “Weeds and Wildflowers” by Poor Old Shine can be heard below.
End Music: Hozier’s “Arsonist’s Lullabye” played when our group leaves the compound. The title is a little grim considering people are about to die.
Hush Comics gives “Not Tomorrow Yet” an A for making us feel alive again! The Walking Dead has more gas left in the tank, proving both gory and thought-provoking.
All images belong to AMC and are credited to Gene Page. The comic book images belong to Image Comics and are credited to Charlie Adlard and Robert Kirkman.