With three episodes remaining in a big-and-promising-to-get-even-bigger season, it makes sense to offer a bottle episode aptly titled “The Same Boat,” which focuses mainly on Carol and Maggie. Carol was MIA for a couple of episodes while Maggie’s deal with Gregory at Hilltop set in motion the entire attack on the Saviors’ compound. Both of them have lost time to make up for and feelings of guilt to explore (and no doubt the production savings will go toward an explosive finale in just a few weeks).
Eighty percent of this episode takes place in a single room in a safe house where Maggie and Carol are held captive by four Saviors: Paula (aka the kid from Dune), Michelle, Molly and Donnie. Bleeding from a gunshot wound, Donnie loses consciousness well before the midpoint; thus the episode really belongs to the women – the two captives and their three captors.
Carol handles her captivity like a pro. She feigns helplessness and reveals Maggie’s pregnancy to mislead the captors into letting down their guard. Her every action is calculated to aid in her eventual escape. Despite being pregnant, Maggie leads the fight when the time comes for the captives to strike back. When Carol wavers, Maggie stands firm in her commitment to the mission: any surviving Savior would be a liability.
“You’re some kind of stupid, getting knocked up at a time like this.”
Though her arc is brief, Paula is the sort of character who might have become a series regular if only she’d made peace with Rick like Carol urged (perhaps Morgan’s similar effort to save the Wolf earlier in the season inspired Carol to offer Paula a second chance). Unlike the thinly drawn Saviors killed by Daryl’s RPG or the Saviors killed during the attack on the compound, we learned that Paula’s cruelty stemmed from the loss of her daughters. Carol understood that pain and tried to offer Paula a way out.
“Y'all are worse than a bunch of evangelical second graders.”
Molly didn’t get much of a backstory apart from her extra-heavy Southern accent. She didn’t really need one with lines like the one above, also getting to tell a hyperventilating Carol, “Honey, you need to take some yoga breaths and calm your ass down.” It’s too bad she’s gone – she and Daryl might have bonded over some smoked squirrel-on-a-stick.
“You’re not the good guys. You should know that.”
Michelle, like Paula, could have become a larger presence on the show if only she weren’t on the other side in this fight. In her interrogation of Maggie, Michelle revealed more than she learned, telling Maggie that she, too, had been pregnant and had intended to name the baby Frankie, after her father. Her words to Maggie made it explicit that – morally speaking – Rick’s crew has crossed into a darker grey area.
“You don’t want me to stick to my own principles.”
After six seasons of training, Carol is basically Liam Neeson in the Taken series. She has a very particular set of skills, and it’s unwise to goad her into using them, as Paula (and Michelle) fatefully learns.
“We have to finish this. We have to.”
Maggie more or less initiated the attack on the Saviors and it’s telling that where Carol felt some small sympathy for her captors, Maggie was committed to leaving no survivors. Though Donnie was already dead when Maggie loosened his tourniquet, her intent was to kill him. Maggie also set the trap using Donnie’s reanimated corpse for Molly before beating her to death. After these actions, it’s possible that there’s no going back for Maggie. Her fear the attack would cost her something will doubtlessly prove true, but even comic readers might still be in for a shock when the finale airs in three weeks.