The Walking Dead: The Same Boat highlighted Carol’s skillset

Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Ross Marquand as Aaron - The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC
Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Ross Marquand as Aaron - The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC /

Background: By season 6 of The Walking Dead, there were enough crazy events. It’s tough even to remember everything. Remember when Daryl and Carol were perilously dangling from a bridge in season 5? If you go, “Oh yeah, now I remember that,” I won’t fault you for forgetting, as it’s just one dangerous moment after another. Season 6 episode, “The Same Boat,” stands out in its own right but also reminds us of many transformative events for Rick’s group.

Survival and negotiating skills are tested once again, much like when the group had to take a stand outside the prison’s walls. By this point, Rick and crew seem to regard killing people not much differently from killing walkers. ITheyswept through the Savior compound, in the last episode killing everyone they encounter, not unlike Milton setting the walkers on fire in season 3. In the show’s context, it does make sense, as a constant threat by people is not entirely different from getting attacked and bitten by the undead. There are times when the survivors seem numb to it, and one might imagine that for ordinary people, coping with killing might require a dulled, almost “shut off” mental state (which I will compare to Novocaine).

The Walking Dead: The Same Boat meaning

The title line is actually a reference to Molly, a tough-talking Savior. After a captured Carol reminds Molly that cigarettes will kill her, Molly replies: “They already have. I’m a dead woman walking, which puts us exactly in the same boat.” She definitely wasn’t attempting to break through the walls between them and unify the group, but sort of emphasizing the hard-edged, “kill-or-be-killed” ethos surrounding them.

For her part, Carol reveals that she is skilled at downplaying her killing side, as she (yet again) manipulates the Saviors into thinking she’s squeamish. However, after escaping her previous captors in brutal ways, we’ve seen Carol as an incredibly tough cookie, who has been on the run strategically, but who also knows how to fight strategically (though, at times, it’s gotten her into hot water). We also know that because Carol will never see her child again, she is also somewhat numbed to the otherwise traumatic nature of killing. Each death she marks down acts almost like another syringe full of novocaine (if I may use that drug analogy again).

Walkers are only tangentially in this Walking Dead episode

In the zombie apocalypse, everyone is surrounded by walkers and nearly killed at some point. Before inevitably dying, if one survives at all, part of retaining sanity involves becoming numb to the presence of walkers. It’s fitting, then, that Carol barely even flinches when facing walkers in “The Same Boat” (in fact, even having walkers in claustrophobic spaces is nothing new, considering moments inside the prison and elsewhere). By this point, Carol is highly trained, and her captors don’t quite know what they’re up against.

Rick and crew lost leverage by being psycho

In this episode, the prisoner Primo becomes a bargaining chip to negotiate for Carol’s release. However, there is a problem: After slaughtering everyone like a bunch of maniacs, there is basically no trying to convince the Saviors that the two groups are connected or could be connected. Back at the prison, Rick would have considered these actions going too far, and The Walking Dead reminds us these are not solely moral/emotional considerations but tactical ones.

If you find a new group and wish to join them or start leading the others to become part of your group, it’s best not to be too extreme, or others will turn on you. By this point in the series, Rick’s group has basically flipped the script, becoming the threat, while hinting at previous “bad guys” may have become that way (it isn’t always that they were born that way, but became that way through circumstance.

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