Watching an episode like ‘Not Tomorrow Yet’ sums up The Walking Dead pretty clearly. This show can be as dark as it wants, but it rarely (if ever) goes too far without going into overdrive to justify the actions. Here we have an episode where the lead characters murder men in their sleep, only to double back and show us that they really are awful enough to deserve it, before we cry foul. It’s the show getting close to raising real points, yet making it hard to take seriously. However, some real good character moments shine throughout.
Let’s start with Carol. This show’s best character is not even a huge part of the episode’s main story, but she gets a fantastic montage to open the show with, some terrific conversations with key characters and everyone gets a cookie because of her. What else does Melissa McBride need to do in order to get an Emmy nomination? I am not sure, but in a show where few characters are all that interesting and the rest vary from week to week, we have Carol, a character who continues to make this show work.
Following that opening montage, she is put in contact with Morgan and we see something far greater than the two of them squaring off in a silly fight. The two dig into their philosophies once again, with plenty of subtext in regards to how to proceed. It is revisited later on, when she talks to Rosita about Morgan and shows a clear amount of difficulty in Carol’s mind in regards to balancing her pragmatic handling of situations with genuine emotion for what all this killing means.
Of course, debating what killing means goes out the window this week the second Morgan’s desire to talk things out with Negan and the Saviors is shut down. While there is a good amount of buildup that basically makes sure we are caught up with where most of the characters are, the big moment in this episode comes in the form of a raid on Negan’s compound. Some talk between Glenn and Heath addresses the difficulty to kill, but things get kind of scary once our characters dive into action.
Again, this show doubles back pretty quickly once we are given pictures that put on display how evil the Saviors are, but watching Rick and Glenn stab people in their sleep is the kind of tense scenario that makes you wonder when a random walker will come along to lighten things up. That doesn’t quite happen, but this stealth section quickly turns into a gonzo action movie that is also quite exciting to watch.
The show may ditch the philosophical talk (not that I am all that interested in what a good portion of these characters have to say), but it does well by its action. Lots of gunfire and maybe a bit too much hyper-active editing, but it’s a thrilling sequence that pits our heroes against real danger. Even Father Gabriel gets in on the action, likely living out some sort of fantasy of saying something biblical to seem extra bad ass, before shooting some guy.
By the time we get to the end of the episode (where Daryl once again punches a guy in the face multiple times), it may seem like something of an anticlimactic moment, but then the show springs a cliffhanger on us. Carol and Maggie have been taken hostage and it looks like we are a step closer to meeting the Negan this show is constantly warning us about lately. The situation may seem questionable for someone as strong as Carol, but maybe new thoughts in her mind allowed her to get distracted. Regardless, much as I enjoy this series, it is certainly exciting to have wished the next episode came immediately for a change.
‘Not Tomorrow Yet’ starts off with some fun and then throws in a lot of angst balance between multiple characters. It follows that up with some really nasty kills and finishes it all off with a big shoot out. I guess some zombies factored in here or there as well, but The Walking Dead is doing a pretty good job of having us focus on other things that are sure to cause real trouble. Perhaps next week that trouble will manifest itself. Let’s just hope it doesn’t mean doom for our favorite characters.