"We've got a Carol and a Maggie. I'm thinking that's something you wanna chat about." These are the ominous words we heard at the end of last week's episode. Tonight, we got a very slow play-by-play of what's happening while they're being held captive. And it's one of the most boring episodes of the season.
Carol and Maggie are arguing over whether or not Maggie should join her in the Negan fight. Carol shoots a man who approaches them, but just in the arm. Then three more women come, pointing guns at them and demanding their weapons. Now we see the walkie-talkie exchange between them and Rick. "We're gonna work this out, and it's gonna go our way." Rick offers to trade one of Negan's guys for them, but Paula, the leader of the small group, isn't having this two-for-one deal.
"It's a fair trade," Rick assures them, one they can all walk away from unharmed. Paula tells him she'll get back to him about the deal, and her sidekicks put black bags over Carol and Maggie's heads. They're lead away to a car, their wrists taped together. We hear Paula talking to people over her radio, but it's all in a coded language. They bring Maggie and Carol to a holding cell, where they sit on the ground. "You're wondering if there's a way out of this," Paula tells them. "There isn't. Not unless I say so."
Paula's called out when one of her teammates calls for backup. Before she leaves she tells Carol and Maggie's that she really wants to kill them, and it's taking all she has not to, so they'd better not try to escape. Naturally, they try to escape for a minute. Carol starts hyperventilating as Paula and her crew come back in. It looks like maybe she's faking so they take the gag out of her mouth, but I'm not sure. Neither is Maggie. Maybe it's just that moment where Carol finally loses her shit. She's been strong for a long time, so no one would give her a hard time if today was the day she just couldn't hang anymore. "She's a nervous little bird, ain't she?" Yeah, right. This is definitely a Carol plot to make herself look weak so she can hand their asses to them. She clutches a rosary and begins to cry.
"It doesn't matter what happens to me. Just don't hurt Maggie. Don't hurt the baby." Paula and co. don't really believe Maggie's pregnant at first, but eventually choose to believe her. Paula tells her she's stupid getting knocked up in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. If only she could see baby Judith!
One of the woman starts smoking, but puts out her cigarette when she's reminded that there's a baby cooking in the room. She starts coughing into a handkerchief, revealilng it's full of blood. "I'm a dead woman walking, which puts us in the same boat," she tells Carol.
The man Carol shot is losing his cool. He's in a lot of pain and it's clear that he can't take it much more. He punches Paula, and Maggie comes after him. She headbutts him, and Carol tries to help her. The man kicks Carol on the ground and Paula finally clocks him over the head so he's knocked out. Paula instructs one of her women to take Maggie into a separate room for questioning. She tries to get Maggie to tell her where their community is, but she's not talking. Actually, she responds by puking on the floor. We learn that her captor had a miscarriage a while back, but not even that detail allows for any vulnerability between them. Maggie's not spilling any details.
Carol continues her role playing as the meek, religious woman. "You're pathetic," Paula tells her. She sees Carol holding a rosary. "Do you really believe in that crap?" she asks her. "Faith got me through the death of my daughter," she replies. Paula suggests that maybe shortly she'll be reunited with her dead kid. Now I'm really ready for Carol to assume her full form.
Paula's talking to Rick on the radio again, but to be honest I can't really understand what they're saying. It's so crackly! I think they're talking more about whether or not they're going to trade. Carol starts crying and saying Negan's people ambushed them on the road, so they had no choice but to kill them. "You were just defending yourselves," Paula says. Carol brings up that they were working for Negan. That's when Mrs. Emphysema shakes her head and laughs. "We are all Negan." This genuinely irritates me.
Carol asks for a cigarette, which admittedly makes her look badass. Paula goes into a really long-winded story about how she was a secretary before and had four daughters, and how she became a warrior. It's all very boring.
Paula tells Rick she wants to make a trade, directing him to a field that's marked with a sign that says "God Is Dead," because of course it is. Paula notices the radio is much less staticky this time, so she's nervous Rick is thinking of ambushing her. They leave Carol behind as they go to investigate. That's when Carol starts scraping down her rosary so she can cut through the duct tape around her wrists. Now that she's free, she's creeping around the place trying to find Maggie. Once she's located her, she cuts her free, too. Maggie's like, "We can't leave them alive. We have to finish this."
They see the bro who attacked them has died, so they set him up as a booby-trap zombie by the door. As soon as the cigarette lady walks in, he bites her. Really cool! Then Maggie finishes her off. Badass! Paula comes back to see her prisoners are free, and man does she look pissed. Carol holds up a gun to Paula, who's found them in another part of the building. She really doesn't wanna shoot her, so she asks her to run. Maggie's captor attacks her, slashing her stomach with a knife. Carol is not having this attack on the baby, so she shoots her right in the head. It looks like the kinfe just got Maggie's shirt.
Now Carol's got her gun pointed at Paula, who asks her, "If you could do all this, what were you so afraid of?" Carol tells her. "I was afraid of this." They fight and Paula gets her face eaten off in the process by a nearby walker. Paula's crew is on the radio asking what the deal is. Carol answers, shaken up. "Meet us on the kill floor."
Carol admits to Maggie she's been having a hard time thinking about all the people she's killed. "Don't think about it. We're almost done," Maggie tells her. When they hear Paula's guys, they lock them in a room and light them on fire. I guess that raises Carol's count to a solid 30?
She and Maggie have their walk-out-slowly-like-a-badass moment. They pass Paula, who's now a zombie, and Maggie stabs her in the head. A door opens up to reveal Glenn. He and Maggie embrace, and the crew is reunited. Darryl asks Carol if she's alright, and she answers honestly: "No."
Rick tells his hostage he has no allies left so he should start talking. The man claims to be Negan, and that's enough for Rick to shoot him in the head. Carol's shaken up by it, as we see her clutching a rosary so hard her hand bleeds.
Is this gonna be the end of badass Carol? Because if so, we're all in trouble.