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Published on March 9th, 2016 | by Bean

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The Walking Dead Review – Season 6 Episode 12 “Not Tomorrow Yet”

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For an episode leading up to a big fight, this hour seems distracted by other things. The Walking Dead has been making definite in-roads to establish a variety of couplings in recent weeks, and “Not Tomorrow Yet” continues to build upon this theme, ending one relationship, deepening another and starting something altogether new. The efficacy of this choice remains to be seen, but the reason is ultimately about jeopardy. The personal dramas between couples may be less adrenaline-inducing (apart from Rickchonne!), but since Alexandria is now a long-term residency, persuading the audience to invest in it’s community by integrating the two groups more and more deeply is a necessary plan.

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Some parts of these explorations land better than others, and the manner in which Abraham leaves Rosita is shady at best. We know Abraham to be a stoic, and little gifted with pretty talk, but giving him perhaps the most dick-line known to man was troubling; “When I met you, I thought you were the last woman on Earth. You’re not.” Hoooooooo! Seriously? It wasn’t until last week that the depth of their relationship was made clear, and it was clearly on the outs, but Rosita deserves better than that. Certainly, he’s trying to avoid explaining, and she makes him, but the callousness is brutal. The exchange was well played by it’s actors, but the scenario itself felt forced.

In happier news, Denise and Tara take their relationship to the next level with an admission of love, though Tara later explains she was obfuscating to avoid bringing up the time she stormed the prison with the Governor. Reluctance to share shameful memories, particularly ones which lead to doubting a current necessary course of action, is understandable, but Jesus makes one of the few useful statements of the episode when he tells her that her love for Denise at least means she knows what she’s fighting for.

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We could do with a few more helpful pep talks from leadership types, as Glenn’s own admission of fear to Heath does nothing to quell the latter’s qualms. When the Reverend is one of your most up-for-it team members, you have issues. For his part, the Reverend appears to be doing better at balancing the disparate elements of his personality, beginning to truly understand that needs must when the devil drives.

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Having not seen Carol for a couple of weeks, “Not Tomorrow Yet” chooses to focus much of it’s attention on her evolving identity crisis. There is a well of uncertainty beneath Carol’s actions of late, and it is clear she has not reconciled the way she failed Sam when he needed her. This resonates deeply with Carol’s previous losses and failures, regarding the sisters Lizzie and Mika and most poignantly, her own daughter Sophia.

The conversations she shares with Tobin, show Carol reaching for meaning and purpose. They flirt in a casual, easy way, and she allows herself to be emotionally vulnerable with a man, all of which are signs of growth and stability. But Tobin’s reference to her being a mother, something she seems to be simulating with the cardigan and cookies, both rings true and shakes the newer foundations she has built as a warrior. When she asks him how does those ‘terrifying’ things, she seems to not know the answer herself anymore, the ‘necessary acts’ narrative she has been telling herself losing it’s ability to assure her.

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We see how deeply connected she is to her actions by glimpsing the book in which she has written her live-kills (which she may see as murders). Her total is 18, a number which clearly horrifies her, but a truth she must live with. When Rick tells her “We’re gonna have to fight”, her disappointment and lack of involvement in the preparation point to a deliberate distancing from the tough calls she’s had to make in the past.

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Shaking the foundations and doubting her decisions may explain why Carol chooses to hide the showdown she and Morgan shared in the basement from Rick et al. Ultimately, the conclusion that would be drawn is that Morgan secretly hid a Wolf, then fought an ally to protect an enemy, who proceeded to kidnap a vital member of their team. A fairly messed up set of avoidable circumstances, but the problem with hiding the full story from the leaders of Alexandria, is that the scale of Morgan’s dissent is not really apparent to all. Whatever he’s welding emotionally at episode end might be further fallout of Carol’s decision. And perhaps Morgan really has no place in the Alexandrian community, if he is so consistently at odds with the consensus. As Rick says during the church debate, “if people are gonna stay here, they do have to accept it”.

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If the storming of Negan’s compound feels too easy or a trifle anti-climactic, it’s because it is. The real shitstorm hasn’t even hit, as the final scene reveals. Carol and Maggie’s capture is another notch on Carol’s list of errors, and there’s no way to tell the scale of their opponent’s forces. However, the appearance of Daryl’s bike may add up to Negan’s group being one and the same as the ‘earners’ from the earlier part of the season who we met in the woods. Figures. They seemed like wronguns, and the gallery of head shots affirms we’ve got some deeply unbalanced types in Negan’s camp. Now to meet the man…

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Review by Nina Clark

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Bean

Director at Nina Clark Music / The Musical Walkabout at Nina Clark Music
Bean is the family nickname of Nina Clark, singer, songwriter and professional musician. Nina's many nerdly passions, aside from music, include Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and all things Whedon. (re. GoT, she has NOT read the books, so please be cool - no spoilers!)
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