[Spoiler warning for The Walking Dead season 6 and the comic books series]
'The Same Boat' was a female-driven episode, comparatively slow-paced - if you're talking season 6B - and it continued on the thematic of the darker episodes we've been getting since 'Knots Untie'. It showed us what happened to Carol and Maggie after we saw them captured last week.
in a nutshell: Maggie toughened up some more, Carol keeps second-guessing her choices and seems to avoid having to kill people and, later in the day, they manage to kill their captors and finally reunite with the Survivors.
There were some connection moments to previous - and link to future - episodes, and also a bit of character development through a lot of moral questioning (what would 'The Walking Dead' be without it?). Here are some of them.
"We are all Negan"
Iconic for comic book fans, the line was said not once, but twice in the episode. The Saviors seem to use this as a technique for keeping the others in their group protected, once they themselves fall into danger. It also sticks to the idea of building up to Negan's first appearance (which, despite conjectures, I'm pretty sure will only happen in the finale).
All the Saviors we've met in 'Not tomorrow yet' are dead
This gives me some relief, especially after Carol and Paula (Alicia Witt) had their little chat about the group of Saviors blown on the road. Carol admitted Rick's group had been responsible for that - even mentioning Rick by name. It would have been really bad if Carol were to be responsible for Negan's finding out and eventually killing one of them. Maggie's questioner also reveals she'd lost her boyfriend to Abraham's RPG, saying she even went back to collect the body but there wan't much to collect (Sorry...but not sorry, sister).
Even the guys that Paula asks to meet up with her in the 'breaking point' end up dead, barbecued by Carol and Maggie in the kill floor. When Paula first contacts them, I actually pictured a Dwight reunion in this episode, but they postponed that it seems.
"Switch to alpha channel"
See what they did here?
For comic book fans, we know there's an Alpha person in the books. Yes, yes, it's still far away from the timeline we have on the show, but I though it was a nice touch. Mainly because the 'beta' channel would be the one Paula was speaking with the other group on, and the 'alpha' channel is the one she tells the other group to switch to, in case something happens to her. Could it be Negan on the other end of such 'alpha' channel?
"Cigarettes will kill you"
Carol has been warning us of this since episode 2 of this season and, for the second time, it did kill. The first time she mentions it to Mrs. Neudermeyer in 'JSS', the lady gets killed while smoking a cigarette on her lawn. In this week's episode, Carol warns Molly, whose cigarette and lighter are used to set the Saviors on fire.
Carol herself has picked up this "disgusting habit" and I hope she heeds to her own advice before the cigarettes kill her too.
The episode ended on very adorable parallel, showing Glenn and Maggie reuniting, while Daryl and Carol share a moment of their own. He asks her if she's okay, she tells him "no" and he hugs her, proving that their bond and friendship is still there - even after the Tobin thing.
Though quite slow, as I said before, this was a very insightful episode, especially in terms of where Carol is psychologically right now and where her future choices - like sticking to the rosary - might take her. With only 3 episodes left this season, 'The Walking Dead' has some character driven moments to deliver still, before we get to the (much ominously anticipated) finale.