The Walking Dead 's, "The Same Boat", picks up directly after last week's cliffhanger ending. Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Carol (Melissa Suzanne McBride) are on the outskirts of the Saviors compound. They hear the fire alarm go off while Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the Alexandrians attack. Maggie and Carol argue over responding, then are ambushed by another group of Saviors; three women and a man. Carol shoots the man in the bicep when he grabs Maggie, but they are both subdued.

Paula, (Alicia Witt) the leader of the second group of Saviors, sees Rick take down one of their members, Primo (Jimmy Gonzalez); through her binoculars. She calls Rick on her walkie talkie, telling the Alexandrians that they have Maggie and Carol. He pleads to make a prisoner trade then and there, but Paula balks. She saw them wipeout the Savior compound, knows they are heavily armed and equally dangerous.

Maggie and Carol are gagged and blindfolded. Then are driven to another location nearby. Maggie overhears Paula calling in back-up to a second group of Saviors. They are thirty minutes away. They take the hostages to a sealed room. The older female Savior starts smoking and coughing, all while dragging a dead walker outside. It trails a crucifix that Carol pulls away with her boots, and then puts in her pocket. Carol starts to hyperventilate on purpose. Maggie is clearly confused as to Carol's plan.

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Maggie gets the younger female Saviors attention that Carol needs help. When they remove her gag, she tearfully pleads for them to spare Maggie because she's pregnant. Then holds up the crucifix, pretending it was hers all along. Everyone who watches the show knows that Carol is the ultimate wolf in sheep's clothing, always baiting her adversaries to underestimate her capability. The male Savior isn't buying it, his arm is seriously injured. He attacks Carol, wanting to kill her, or at least shoot her in the arm to get a little retribution. Paula isn't having it; she knows how valuable their captives are. He strikes Paula. She smashes his head with her gun and he crumples to the ground.

The Carol deception continues. She chides the older female for smoking. The Savior laughs, coughing up blood into her handkerchief. She's already dying. Paula orders the younger female Savior to take Maggie into the next room for interrogation. They want to know who they are dealing with, but more importantly, where is their compound. Paula and the smoker laugh at Carol's crucifix. They already see her as weak, useless, not a serious threat. Carol pleads that their attack was just a response to being attacked on the road. She lies and brings up the incident where Daryl (Norman Reedus) blew up the Saviors on the road a few weeks back. Paula now believes she knows their motive.

Rick is back on the walkie talkie. Paula lies to him, says they can make the trade in an open field a few miles away. She's not stupid, realizing that Rick's signal is coming in much clearer. She knows that the Alexandrians have possibly trailed them to the hideout. She calls her back-up team. They are now just ten minutes away. Carol continues to plead Paula to let them ago. She tells Paula to give up now and survive this day. Paula scoffs at the threat, as if Carol could be a danger to her.

Meanwhile in the adjacent room, Maggie throws up in front of the younger Savior; exacerbating the point that she's pregnant. The young woman wants to know where she came from. She knows they have it good, clothes, weaponry, and the insane idea of getting pregnant. Maggie cajoles her, inquiring who the Saviors are. She notices that the girl has had her finger cut off. The Savior claims that she was caught stealing and punished. Maggie wonders how she can be with such savage people. The Savior mocks her, saying that Maggie's group attacked them. They are the victims. The repartee works as Maggie diffuses the situation.

Carol springs into action when the women leave the room. She uses the crucifix to tear through her duct tape restraint. She finds Maggie alone in the next room and frees here. This is where the episode takes a turn for the dramatic. Carol wants to escape immediately. Maggie refuses; they must kill these people, finish the operation. They go back into the original room. The Savior that Carol shot and was knocked out by Paula has died. He turns into a walker, and they tie him to the door.

The smoking Savior opens the door and is attacked by the walker. He munches on her forearm as Maggie jumps her, grabs her gun, and then beats her face into pudding. Blood actually splashing on the camera. She and Carol make their way into a hallway packed with walkers. They have been spiked to the floor to set up a gauntlet trap. They run into Paula, who smirks at their escape. She calls out Carol to finish it, kill her. Surprisingly, Carol can't do it, she begs for Paula to run as Maggie yells to shoot.

Maggie is attacked by the younger Savior, who had vanished out of thin air to this point. She slashes her knife at Maggie's abdomen. That flicks the switch in Carol. She blows the Saviors head off. Then kills Paula old school by impaling her to a walker. Paula exits painfully as the walker starts eating her face. Carol seems shell-shocked, but Maggie is all business. They have one more crisis to deal with.

Maggie and Carol hide while the Saviors back-up team arrives. They pass them in a hallway and fittingly enter a space marked 'kill room'. The women spring out, tossing a lit cigarette unto the floor, then locking the Saviors in. They had poured fuel unto the ground. They watch as the back-up team burns to a crisp. Maggie with conviction. Carol with a look of horror and disgust. The episode ends when they run into the Alexandrians, who arrive just at the last minute. Carol falls into Daryl's arms. She is not okay. Rick asks Primo if Negan has been killed. His response, "We're all Negan." Earns him a .45 through the skull from Rick.

"The Same Boat" was an unexpected turn of events after last week's massacre of the Saviors. The fact that the episode focused solely on Carol and Maggie was a surprise. Carol's soft deception may not have been all subterfuge. She almost let Paula go, which would have been idiotic. Maggie, on the other hand, was all business. She remained in kill mode throughout the episode, knowing that none of the Saviors could be left alive. The fact they both escape, without help, reinforces how strong these characters are. I thought they would certainly end up in Negan's clutches. We'll have to wait and see how this plays out as the season comes to a close. Two things are certain; Carol is definitely having issues with the violence. And so far, the Alexandrians have beaten the Saviors like a rented mule. It has to be building up to a finale where the Saviors get their sweet revenge.

Julian Roman at Movieweb
Julian Roman