NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of “The Walking Dead” are present in this review
After a couple of exceptionally great episodes over the past couple of weeks, The Walking Dead largely slipped back into its familiar groove with, “Not Tomorrow Yet” this week, at least for most of its latest episode. The episode was still pretty good overall, though its first half was a bit slow-paced, and the story before the shocking cliffhanger finale might have had more impact, if it didn’t feel like it was yet again raising big character developments, only to completely forget about them in the very next scene.
Something that definitely proved surprising about this week’s offering is how quickly Rick’s crew enacted their assault on The Saviors. Rick and co. briefly debate the ideal course of action, and quickly abandon diplomacy for a simple plan of killing everyone. It might seem like pandering, though at least the episode did a fair enough job of justifying why Rick would ultimately feel like killing The Saviors off the bat is a better option than trying to negotiate with them. If you’ve read the Walking Dead comics and know just how twisted and awful The Saviors really are, it becomes all the more difficult to dispute that logic.
Unfortunately, this is one of the main reasons why the episode’s first half feels sloppy and uninteresting; It feels like it’s largely wasting time until it can get up to the main Saviors assault that the viewers are no doubt waiting for. Worse still is that this is yet another episode of The Walking Dead that just tosses in big character turns, seemingly at random, and then barely addresses them. Carol’s got a new boyfriend now? When did that happen?! Oh, scene change! That’s the last we hear about it! Abraham wants to leave and abandon Rosita? Psh, who has time to dwell on that?! Tara’s got some dark secret that she can’t tell Denise? I guess that’s not important, because we don’t see any fallout from that, nor a clear-cut explanation of why Tara can’t just fess up, despite at least some more effort being made with that element of the story, as Tara briefly confides in Gabriel about her woes. Speaking of Gabriel, he was actually useful this week, and stopped being a shit-disturbing handful, being both a voice of reason for the troubled group, and even putting down one of The Saviors when duty called for it. Good job, Gabriel!
Fortunately, once the awkward and annoying first half of the story is out of the way, the episode does start to become a lot better. The combination of heist plot and action-packed shooting spree makes for an exciting second half that is pretty engaging, and likely the most exciting that The Walking Dead has been in a while! Even the idea of chopping off a Walker head and attempting to make it look like Gregory’s head to fool the Saviors is effectively tense, but it works, and it actually initially seems like Rick and co. might eliminate all of the Saviors in one fell swoop!
Of course, it can’t be that simple. After the team is caught, and one of the dying Saviors manages to sound an alarm, a huge, bloody shootout erupts, and honestly, it’s pretty awesome! It’s a bit of a stretch to see Rick’s crew not suffer a single fatality, and yet seemingly eliminate all of the Saviors in the end, though like I said, it obviously can’t be that simple. Turns out, the base that The Hilltop was supplying was simply one lone outpost, and the real base of The Saviors is somewhere else. Of course. Rick and co. find this out the hard way, when they just barely stop a fleeing thug, and find out that they’ve merely kicked a very large hornet’s nest. This becomes all the more apparent when a mysterious woman’s voice sounds on a walkie-talkie, telling the crew that she’s got both Carol and Maggie as hostages! Oh dear. The episode then ends on this cliffhanger, and it’s a pretty decent one, I must say.
The only small sticking point to this idea is the obvious head-scratcher of why Maggie is still so eager to be in the thick of the fight. Now that she’s pregnant, and it’s so rare to procreate effectively in the post-apocalyptic world, you’d think that she’d stay put in Alexandria, and focus on keeping herself safe, since she’s among one of the only women in the world now who has been given a chance to keep the population going. Why in the world would she risk herself and the baby by stubbornly insisting that she needs to fight?! Maggie doesn’t have anything to prove, and since she’s already serving as something of a passive negotiator with The Hilltop, this just doesn’t make any sense. Maggie dying would be a huge blow to the group now, and especially Glenn, so when she keeps wanting to put herself in danger, it comes off as contrived and selfish.
Still, “No Tomorrow Yet” had plenty good of moments, and was ultimately a pretty solid episode of The Walking Dead. The story took a little while to find its footing, but the show is still continuing to set up The Saviors very well, especially when we got a good dose of thrilling action this week. Rick’s about to get a pretty big slice of humble pie though. As fans of the Walking Dead comics no doubt know, Rick has no idea just who he’s messing with!
- Rick and co. taking the fight to The Saviors
- Awesome climactic shootout
- Gabriel being useful, for once
- Awkward first half
- Raises character turns and immediately drops them
- Why does Maggie have a death wish?