This is the first of what will be several writings on the latest episode of The Walking Dead, No Way Out [6.9]. I have to say that this is one of the best episodes I’ve ever seen. Yes, some parts were a little hokey (think Gabriel and Eugene) and some were a little unrealistic (in the confines of the zombie fantasy itself), but throughout this episode we laughed, we screamed, we cheered and that is what makes a good episode.
Count that as a first disclaimer. The second is that SPOILERS will abound and where I am able to cut (on various media), I will. The third disclaimer is for this one in particular. I am not a fan of Carol. I have no problem with Melissa McBride and it really speaks to her acting that I recognize that she plays Carol perfectly; I am just not a fan of hers [Carol’s]. I still think I can write an impartial meta or opinion piece or whatever this is.
When she killed the last remaining Wolf, she confirmed for me that she is the most dangerous character in Alexandria. Now, that might be what they need with Negan on the horizon, but she’s not only dangerous within her own group, but to get own group; once she’s set on her own path, don’t get in the way of that.
I do admit and understand that she had no idea that the Wolf was taking care of Denise by that point, taking on the walkers to get her through. Do I think he changed? I don’t know, but he had definitely changed towards Denise. They could have had an interesting friendship/acquaintanceship in the next couple of episodes.
But what Carol did was what she always does. She acts first. She doesn’t think. It’s not even instinct. It’s vindication. It’s “see, I told you he couldn’t be trusted” although we already knew that.
It’s the same thing she did to Karen and David in the fourth season. She “knew” she had to kill them to save the group, and she did. It didn’t matter that she was wrong.
Her story to Sam in the armory about being devoured by walkers/monsters – that was for his silence which she saw as for the good of the group. Not thinking that with his background, he would have been ignored if he mentioned it. She threatened him horribly, abusively, and in the end that’s what got him killed.
She traumatized him.
I do think that might weigh on her – the guilt of how she treated him. She knew he was being abused by his father and that he was already a nervous Nelly, and getting worse, but instead of protecting him like people tried to protect her from Ed, she turned into an abuser and got him killed.
I also think she might hold some guilty feelings for Mrs. Nedermeyer’s death. She appeared to when she sat on the steps holding the cigarette package and firmly trying to wipe the ‘W’ from her forehead. She didn’t have to be so nasty to her in the supply garage. Telling her to smoke outside is what got her killed. She might have died in that rampage anyway, but without Carol’s derisive “suggestion” she’d have been inside smoking where she always had. I’ve talked before how she doesn’t chastise Daryl for his smoking so it’s not really a hot button issue for her. She was needlessly cruel.
She is needlessly cruel.
She is also plotting. It’s not as much that she does what she does for the whole group, but she tells herself (and the others) that she does.
Way back in the first season, she stole Rick’s grenade. What in the world would timid, little housewife Carol need with a grenade?
She’s constantly going behind Rick’s back and now that she brought him back to Judith in season 5, he won’t cross her because he owes her everything.
In season 4 she teaches the kids how to use knives and protect themselves, but she does it in secret. She asks Carl not to tell his father. What if he had not agreed to that? Would she have threatened him in the way that she had Sam? You could see the wheels in her mind turning to figure out what would work with him, and all she needed was that there was too much pressure on Rick and the kids were ready. Treating Carl like an adult is what worked for him.
Telling Morgan that she should have killed him – when did she even have the opportunity?
And it’s a domino effect. If she hadn’t interfered with Morgan, Denise and the Wolf, he’d still be tied up in the basement. He’d still be alive, whatever that would have been worth at the time, but I’m also not sure that Denise would have been able to save Carl if she hadn’t had the experiences she had with the Wolf. Dominoes.
I don’t know the comics, so I don’t know how they meet the Hilltop folks, but from what I’ve heard, Morgan does seem like the best liaison with them. Killing him changes that.
She also encourages others to do her work – the way in season 2 she wanted Daryl to take over for Rick. Whether conscience or not, she would have been able to manipulate Daryl and get him to follow her, to do her bidding. If she had been just a little stronger at that time she might have killed Rick herself and where would the rest of them be?
I think she’s going to start losing it. Just like the wolves really thought they were doing the inevitable, they also thought they were doing the greater good. Carol has the makings of that messiah complex or martyrs’. If I don’t do it, no one will, so I have to do it. I’m the only one who can/will do it.
She blames Michonne for Rick being in trouble with the Alexandrians because she knocked him out, instead of see that the real blame should be on her for stealing the guns. It was her idea to begin with, wasn’t it? If you’re not 100% with her, you’re against her. The only one she defers to is Rick and that doesn’t seem genuine. He’s doing what she wants him to do in the first place.
What will happen when he doesn’t?
What happens when she goes too far? Again.