Spoiler Warning for this week’s episode of “The Walking Dead”

Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene and Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier. (Photo courtesy of AMC.)
Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene and Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier. (Photo courtesy of AMC.)

Without any doubt, Season 6 of “The Walking Dead” will go down as one of the most intense seasons of the series. This episode continues the dark and disturbing tone as it focuses on two of the more hardened characters. With high stakes and emotional character development, this episode is a true gem in the chaotic undead world of “The Walking Dead.”

“The Same Boat” opens up with several scenes from last week’s episode, but from a different viewpoint. Maggie and Carol argue as the alarms ring at the Savior compound. A Savior, later named Donnie (Rus Blackwell), tries to sneak up on the two, but Carol manages to shoot him in the arm. Suddenly, three Saviors ambush Carol and Maggie, holding them at gunpoint. After the sun comes up, the group of Saviors notice Rick holding a lone survivor at gunpoint after their attack in the compound. Paula (Alicia Witt) communicates with Rick through walkie-talkie to discuss a possible exchange, however, Paula realizes that the exchange would not be totally fair; she tells Rick that she needs to think and will get back to him later. Paula’s group blindfold Carol and Maggie and drive them to an abandoned slaughterhouse. This slaughterhouse is a frightening setting that is eerily reminiscent of Woodbury and Terminus from previous seasons.

Carol and Maggie are left bound and gagged in a room alone for a few moments while Paula and her group check out the rest of the building. Carol begins hyperventilating as Maggie watches on in both worry and confusion. Viewers are well aware that Carol tends to act weak around strangers to disguise her deadly strength, but in this episode, it is not totally clear if Carol is putting on an act or not. Maggie pleads for someone to remove Carol’s gag and Paula’s group maniacally joke about Carol’s “weakness.” A member of Paula’s group named Molly (Jill Jane Clements) begins smoking and Carol asks her to stop, citing Maggie’s pregnancy and the dangers of secondhand smoke. Donnie begins threatening to kill Carol, but Maggie trips him and Paula knocks him unconscious.

Alicia Witt as Paula, Jeananne Goossen as Chelle and Rus Blackwell as Donnie. (Photo courtesy of AMC.)
Alicia Witt as Paula, Jeananne Goossen as Chelle and Rus Blackwell as Donnie. (Photo courtesy of AMC.)

Chelle (Jeananne Goossen), another member of the Savior group, takes Maggie into a separate room to interrogate her. Chelle parallels Maggie in this scene as she explains her pregnancy that presumably ended prematurely. Maggie’s strength is displayed here as she refuses to give up any information about Alexandria or her group. Meanwhile, Carol explains why her group attacked the Savior compound. She tells Paula and Molly that it was simply a retaliation for Daryl, Sasha and Abraham’s run in with the group of Saviors in “No Way Out.” She also mentions Negan as reasoning behind the attack to which Molly declares “we are all Negan.” Paula also shares her story of being trapped in Washington DC at the beginning of the outbreak; she was not able to be with her husband or children. Paula eventually contacts Rick again and tells him that she is willing to make the trade and directs him to a nearby field. She notices a lack of static over the walkie-talkie and infers that Rick and the group must be near the slaughterhouse. She then radios another group of Saviors that are on their way as reinforcements. Carol, Paula and Molly demonstrated an interesting dynamic between three strong survivors. Carol is left alone in the room where she uses a crucifix she found to escape. The use of the crucifix is incredibly symbolic as it represents Carol’s struggle with faith and the recurring role of religion in the series.

Carol locates Maggie and recommends that they quickly leave, but Maggie declares that they must kill Paula’s group first. Maggie and Carol return to the holding room to discover that Donnie has died and is beginning to turn. Maggie uses rope to tether him to a pipe as a trap. Molly returns to the room and is attacked by a turned Donnie, who bites her on the arm. Maggie steals Molly’s gun and uses it to repeatedly bash her head in as Carol watches in horror. Maggie and Carol flee down a hallway, but are stopped by a large group of impaled walkers; the walkers were most likely positioned to prevent anyone from entering or leaving the building. Paula arrives and begins firing her gun, but misses both Carol and Maggie. Carol points her gun at Paula and tells her to leave, but Maggie repeatedly urges Carol to kill her. A walker frees itself and lunges for Carol causing her to shoot Paula in the shoulder. Chelle arrives and Maggie rushes to kill her, but Chelle puts up a strong fight and manages to slash Maggie’s abdomen with her knife. Carol arrives and immediately shoots Chelle in the head without any hesitation. Paula makes one final attempt at Carol’s life, but is thrown onto a spear and brutally devoured by a walker. Alicia Witt delivered an incredible performance as the wicked Paula.

After their intense altercation, Carol and Maggie receive a call on Paula’s radio from a Savior sharing that the reinforcements have arrived. They quickly create a plan to kill the Saviors. While waiting, Carol tells Maggie that she has killed nearly 20 people; this is beginning to weigh heavily on Carol. The group of Saviors arrive and Carol manages to trap them in a room doused with gasoline which she swiftly sets on fire. The group of Saviors are burned alive as Carol watches on in horror. Rick and the rest of the group arrive and reunite with Carol and Maggie. Glenn comforts Maggie, while Daryl consoles an emotional Carol. Rick demands information from his Savior hostage, Primo (Jimmy Gonzales), who declares “I’m Negan.” Without any hesitation, Rick pulls his gun out and shoots the man in the head. Now that the group believes the threat of Negan and the Saviors to be over, how will they react when Negan is officially introduced?

“The Same Boat” is rich with character development, specifically for Maggie and Carol. This episode marks a major turning point for Carol, who seems to be less eager to kill. Maggie’s pregnancy contributed to the overall intensity of the episode. Will Maggie lose the baby or will she finally have good luck? Both Lauren Cohan and Melissa McBride delivered some of their best performances to date this episode. Maggie and Carol have rarely interacted on-screen in the past, so it is interesting to see them working together. The larger world that our characters are discovering is filled with both good and bad. With even more blood on their hands, how will the group react when they discover that more threats lie on the horizon? Be sure to tune in to “The Walking Dead” next Sunday at 9 p.m. on AMC.

Jeffrey Kopp is the Community Editor of the Niner Times. He is a senior double majoring in Communication and Political Science. His interests include writing and keeping up with an excessive amount of television shows. He is also the go-to expert on all things “The Walking Dead."