Things open up with a flashback, but it’s nothing we’ve seen. It’s actually the moment in which Carol and Maggie find themselves surprised by the Saviors. Nothing too special about the scene. No one was hurt, and no one resisted. We then move right into the final moments of last episode of The Walking Dead, the female leader of the Saviors telling Rick to “lower your gun, Prick.”
So, we’re resuming the negotiations. Rick offers to return their man and allow them to live in exchange for Carol and Maggie. The Saviors are thinking it over, but they’re a conniving lot and there are some ugly wheels spinning upstairs.
The women are blindfolded and led in a direction they’re uncertain of. Meanwhile the leader gets on the horn and informs her Savior partners that there are men down and they could use some assistance. Carol and Maggie are taken into what appears to be an underground bunker of some sort. They’re held captivate on opposite sides of a filthy room. The scene feels a bit like a nod to Saw. There was even a corpse in the damn room.
Maggie immediately begins working to free herself, Carol isn’t showing quite the same tenacity. But Carol looks like she’s having an asthma attack. No one seems all too concerned, aside from Maggie, who’s got a look of concern etched on her face. Eventually she gets the gag removed from her mouth. One of the women standing over her find a crucifix in her hand, and at this point it looks pretty obvious that Carol is playing a game.
The room occupied by Maggie and Carol now holds a handful of others. The Saviors learn that Maggie’s pregnant. How they’ll use that against her remains to be seen. At this point, either way, the Saviors view them as the villains, and rightfully so.
It isn’t long before the Saviors themselves are fighting amongst each other. A few punches are thrown, and everyone gets roughed up, but it’s nothing too serious. Maggie is hauled away to be interrogated. She’s not getting the upper hand here, and there’s no doubt it stings her when she’s told she’s “not the good guys.” Fans have been starting to feel this way for a while now.
Maggie and Carol are both doing some very creative and intelligent things. They’re each breaking down barriers with their captors. They’re getting them to talk, to open up. To lower their defenses, even if just a tad. These woman are smart, but it would be foolish to underestimate them.
The negotiations continue on. Polly is proving to be a hard-nosed lass. And, for the moment she seems to hold a distinctive edge in this debate. Carol however is learning bits and pieces, particularly about Negan. His people are loyal, unwaveringly so. But just as we feel Polly is certainly edging ahead in this little race, Carol continues to look like a woman with a plan in her mind.
40 minutes into the episode and it has been all dialogue. It’s making for fine character examination. When Polly and her cronies die, we’re going to feel it, because we’re learning of the very real, very family-oriented life she had before the apocalypse.
Still no sign of Negan and we’ve got 15 minutes left in the episode. In fact no sign of Rick, or Daryl, or Jesus. It’s just Carol, Maggie and a very small group of the Saviors. And the Saviors, it seems are waiting for something, or perhaps someone. Can Negan get by Rick and make entrance to confront Carol and Maggie? It seems unlikely, but these guys seem a bit sharper than we may want to give them credit for.
Eventually Polly reaches out to Rick and informs him of a meeting place. They’re willing to make the trade. But Polly is also very paranoid, and she’s got backup coming to lend a hand, and – most likely – ambush Rick and his men. Not that Rick isn’t suspecting something of such nature. It appears we’ve saved the best for last, because the closing 10 minutes feel as though they’re about to get mighty intense.
While the Saviors leave the room Carol manages to get free of her binds. She’s on the movie, quickly finding Maggie and helping her to get free as well. The decision is made to not flee, but to stay and execute the remaining walkers (and Saviors if possible) in the building. Seems like Carol might want to chime in with the fact that more are en route. But hey, what’s an oversight or so?
It only takes moments before the Saviors are being overthrown by these two warrior women. But how long can it last, and can they escape the compound before reinforcements arrive? Looks like we’ll find out after one final commercial break.
Maggie and Carol’s escape doesn’t end up going as smooth as they’d have preferred. And it all comes down to a showdown between Carol and Polly. One of the other remaining saviors shows up and swings her blade at Maggie’s belly, slicing open her shirt. Carol’s not having it. She shoots her in the head without hesitation. And then her attention is once more on Polly. The two end up in a full-blown fist fight, and Carol isn’t the one who ends up impaled and being devoured by walkers.
But Carol has one last surprise in store. When the Saviors’ reinforcements show up Carol tricks them into entering an empty room. Empty save for all the gasoline on the floor. The men walk in, confused. Carol lights a cigarette and with the flick of the wrist tosses it into the room before slamming the door shut.
Somehow we’ve reached the end of this episode and not one single protagonist has been killed. Luck has to run out, and it has to run out very soon. Either way, when Negan finds out about the massacring of his people, he’s going to return the favor, and then some.