Please feel free to cross-pollinate these sorts of threads to other subs so that we can bring in more people to the conversation to make it that much more stimulating. In this thread style, though, we don’t use any spoilers based on the comics. (So remember to bring your Game of Thrones etiquette.) This space is to share thoughts and critical analyses of the show in order to spark interesting discussion.
What did you think? We want to her your opinions, thoughts, ideas, analysis, and whatever else you.
Here’s my brief analysis. This is not a recap since I don’t see a need for one considering that this thread is for people who watched the episode.
Now that’s the way you do a bottle episode!
It was great to have a well-written episode where all but one character is a woman. Not only should this be a thing in general, but here it allowed for a lot of symbolic reflection among these hostages and kidnappers.
Carol, now a smoker, sees a reflection of herself in the the dying-of-lung-cancer-or-consumption guard Molls (oh, I get the pun now) of herself to come if she keeps at it. Is this subtext that Carol is suicidal and expressing it through the long death suicide that comes with being a smoker?
Carol and Paula both come from comparable backgrounds, and Carol sees in Paula what she is or will become. Those two even talked about tallying how many people they killed, which is Carol’s new and very stressful hobby. Whereas Paula said she lost count after 20, Carol knew that if she got out of there, she would have to kill, and according to her journal, she was just under 20, and by the end of the episode she is now over 20. Subtextually, I think that was a big part of what was playing on her mind, not wanting to hit the over-20 mark.
What’s up with all of this “I am
Spartacus Negan!” spiel going on? I guess it’s a brilliant strategy, a cowardly one though, to make his followers all say that considering that Rick’s now-paramilitary group is confused and shooting anyone who claims to be Negan. We learn in the bottle episode though, that their psychological mentality of that they can only keep their individual identities by sacrificing them and saying, “We are all Negan.” That’s some weird brainwashing cult hoodoo happening.
Clearly Rick’s highly trained band of mercenaries has no idea what the deal is with Negan. He successfully and narrow-mindedly succeeded in wiping out that bunker, but when he thought he was getting the element of surprise by taking out all the men in that bunker, in reality he spoiled his surprise and is now #1 on Negan’s to do list. Rick exposed everyone in his community (and likely the other one too) while at the same time successfully killing Negan’s band of bunker assholes. It’s a complex situation.
Even though Carol is playing a major role again now, I want to see her move past those issues and take a more active role in surveilling (maybe with Jesus and Aaron) to find out where the rest of Negan’s crew are based. They’re the ones who are good at that job of scouting and surveilling. Rick as a leader should know that by now. I hope he learns his lesson after this half-debacle.
At this point, I am viscerally scared for the events of the next and final three episodes of the season. Too many mistakes and half-baked planning keep pointing the way to disaster and death. For many reasons, I won’t hazard a guess of just how bad it will be, who will suffer the most, and all of that terrible stuff. With all of the foreshadowing (some possibly being red herrings) that has been happening over the last several episodes, it’s impossible to think that the group is going to come away “OK” from their war with Negan’s people.
Afterthought: Just when I thought Carol was full and brimming with polymath talents, we now learn that she’s amazing at voice impressions! Who knew? Carol, please keep amazing us even though you’re going through some deep existential crises right now.
I knew Carol could handle the walkie situation, but damn, that was impressive. I think it’s time for a talent contest in Alexandria. That way we can hear Carol’s impressions of Richard Nixon, Marilyn Monroe, and Rick arguing with Shane (through the use of ventriquilism and puppets). And then maybe, just maybe, Carl can finally put together a band with Enid on the drums or piano. They’ll call themselves “The One-Eyed Walking Deadheads.”
(We are in the future looking to consolidate these essays, analyses, critiques, and reviews into one super-thread for each remaining TWD episode, so if you have written a review or critical piece that you consider to be an analytic essay more than a comment, please say so in next week’s thread, provide a link to your blog piece, and we will do our best to include it in the main body of the post via the magic of editing. I will not always be able to helm these posts, so the authorship may switch over the final few episodes of the season.)