UK TV review: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 12 (Not Tomorrow Yet)
Neil Brazier | On 07, Mar 2016
Already seen Episode 12? Read on at the bottom for spoilers.
“So this is the next world,” says Jesus (Tom Payne), as he and members of Alexandria infiltrate the Saviours compound. It’s an attempt to fulfil Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) promise to the Hilltop to free them of the threat they face, in exchange for supplies. The group need to fight and even Glenn (Steven Yeun), who has never had the blood of the living on his hands, may not escape the raid as lucky. The episode promises that the next world is going to be harder and more unforgiving than they have ever experienced before.
Starting softly, the episode builds to extremely high tension and unease that will grip your trachea and twist. Before we reach that point, once again, The Walking Dead touches on some of the relationships between the Alexandrians. It seems that behind all the slaughter of recent events, couples have been forming, perhaps in an attempt by the writers to add some extra emotion, another heart string to tug at, even if it is not necessarily required. Tara (Alanna Masterson) and Denise (Merritt Wever) was teased before but now things have suddenly become deeper, Carol (Melissa McBride) has been baking cookies for the residents, but one man gets special treatment, and Abraham (Michael Culditz) has finally made a decision about who he wants to spend his time with. He is also responsible for one unforgiving line that cuts deeper than any blade to a zombie skull.
Although Carol is getting closer to someone, she is also trying to understand her own demons and what they have turned her into. McBride’s stoic exterior hides that inner turmoil: Carol has been dealing with the next world ever since the first season. An abusive husband, the loss of her daughter, the slaughter at Terminus and looking at the flowers – it’s all shaped Carol into what appeared to be a one-woman wrecking machine, but that machine has also been destroying her from the inside. Back in Episode 2, JSS, Carol reprimanded an Alexandrian resident for smoking, saying there was enough in the world trying to kill them already. 10 episodes later, she’s decided to take up the habit. Is this her punishing herself for the terror she has endured and inflicted?
This might not be the best time for Carol to be doubting herself, as Rick leads the group to the Saviours encampment with nothing but death on the menu. Although searching an unknown, dark building under threat of attack is no a standard trope of The Walking Dead, it still manages to terrify. And with no sign of Negan, it may be that mystery that fuels the panic. Who is he and what does he look like? Is he stood around the next corner and will he put one or more of our survivors in danger? These questions and the silence of stealth that opens this scene really capture the fear and tension that makes your heart beat faster. Greg Nicotero, usually a master of make-up, directs this episode (his fourteenth since the series began) and transforms his ability to provide gruesome visual effects into an honest scare.
Rick’s actions leave him with no recourse; if he doesn’t complete the job he will have Negan and the Saviours hungry for revenge. Therefore, it is imperative that both his group and the Hilltop are aware of the consequences this strike will have. Win or lose, is Alexandria ready for the next world?
The Walking Dead Season 6 is available to watch online on Amazon Prime Video, as part of a £5.99 monthly subscription. You can also buy and download it on pay-per-view VOD.
Spoilers and further consideration
– The attack on the Saviour’s camp really is frightening and rather gruesome. The slaughter while the inmates sleep will have you holding your breath, desperate for them to hurry and finish the job. (The pictures on the wall of one of the victims showing bashed skulls is a tribute to Negan from the comic books and also a horrifying prospect of what may lie ahead.)
– Neither Glenn nor Heath (Corey Hawkins) have yet to kill a human life, until now. Watching the pain on Glenn’s face as he performs the kill is almost as agonising to watch as it would be to receive that knife through the skull. Despite this being his first human kill, Glenn is still able to keep some of his humanity about him, as he saves Heath from the same feeling by taking the burden of his kill too.
– Glenn’s not-a-death fall from the dumpster was so hard to take because he represented the last shred of humanity and moral virtue that was left in the apocalypse. The next world requires Glenn to fight and do everything he must to protect his group and his new, unborn child, even if it means taking a human life. Judging from the tears he shed as he made the kill, the signs are positive that he may not change too much.
– Carol and Tobin (Jason Douglas)? This is likely to upset those hoping she and Daryl (Norman Reedus) would ever end up together. Yet while Daryl expresses her fearless, ruthless side, the part of Carol that heartlessly killed a little girl, it appears Tobin is the part of Carol who wants to be a housewife, safe behind the walls of Alexandria and the arms of a strong man. Conflicted, this is perhaps causing a chink in her armour, which may have caused her capture. She may have to be the Carol of Terminus once again, in order to save herself and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) from the clutches of the Saviours.
– Was Morgan (Lennie James) making bars to lock himself away in a cell? He is still standing firm on his no-kill philosophy, despite it nearly causing the death of his friends and neighbours when he refused to slay the Wolf. Surely, this is all preposition for Morgan to save the day with a one-man murder machine? We know what he is capable of and we have an exciting wait for him to break one way or another.
Photo: Gene Page / AMC
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