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The Walking Dead: "Not Tomorrow Yet"

By Wikimedia Commons
By Richard Nguyen, Crimson Staff Writer

The love bug strikes Alexandria once again! For the record, current notable couples include Rick and Michonne (a.k.a. Richonne), Glenn and Maggie, Abraham and Sasha/Rosita, and Tara and Denise. Out of left field comes another burgeoning romance between Carol and one of the more recognizable—yet still extraneous—residents of the town. In fact, these two characters probably had their first substantial on-screen conversation this episode, featuring an exchange that should be the model for all future romantic dialogue. “Do you think of me as a mother?” Carol asks, to which our fine gentlemen replies, “No. To me you’re something else.” Cue kiss. To be fair, in a time and place where Netflix no longer exists, these people need to have fun somehow.

“Not Tomorrow Yet” spends its first half touring Alexandria’s dating scene, dipping viewers into the sometimes intentionally awkward dialogue between partners about typical relationship topics like their probabilities of not dying in the foreseeable future. It’s one of the show’s more egalitarian episodes, giving every character a moment to consider his or her motivations and allowing the show to reclarify their stakes. The result is a mixed first half, composed of disparate, rushed moments of sentiment between our favorite survivors. After presumably becoming tired of being angry with each other, Morgan and Carol finally reconcile their frustratingly recursive philosophical disagreement over killing people. In addition, Abraham’s breakup with Rosita on the eve of one of their most important and dangerous missions ends with the statement: “When I first met you, I thought you were the only woman left on Earth. Well, you’re not.” Abraham may not be the most emotionally mindful redneck, but this line reaches an entirely new level of romantic incompetence. It is unclear whether the fault should lie with the writers or with the viewers for overestimating Abraham’s common sense. At any rate, Abraham is no Don Juan.

What follows the show’s valiant efforts towards character development is a convergent, tight heist sequence that devolves into a combination of stupidity and cold bloodshed. Rick and company finally execute their invasion into Negan’s compound and, perhaps unsurprisingly, emerge relatively unscathed. Negan is still disappointingly nowhere to be found, raising the valid question of whether he has been a red herring this entire time. Crazy Rick yet again displays an unmatched ruthlessness, killing Negan’s goons in their sleep and in cold blood without hesitation. In stark contrast, Glenn’s teary breakdown highlights his continual spiritual and moral degradation. His regret and guilt in the face of his incoming child only further foreshadows an unfair karmic death. The group’s advantage of surprise is taken away when Sasha and Abraham suddenly lose their ability to effectively kill one loose goon. They opt to stab him in the stomach rather than literally anywhere else, thereby granting him the ability to quickly activate the conveniently-placed fire alarm before dying. The group is then forced to gun down the rest of the compound. They miraculously experience no casualties or injuries because even Negan’s goons attended Stormtrooper Academy.

“Not Tomorrow Yet” consists of a disappointing smorgasbord of hokey conversations somewhat redeemed by a slickly filmed yet predictable heist on Negan’s compound. How often must “The Walking Dead” remind viewers that these survivors are continually losing their humanity by engaging in these acts of merciless violence? The show is reaching the point where we have seen the same look of guilt on these characters’ faces one too many times. Morgan’s impractical creed of nonviolence and redemption is becoming more compelling as the show continues to follow the same rhythms of bloodshed and ultraviolence. The show unfortunately delays Negan’s appearance yet again, and the Carol and Maggie hostage cliffhanger comes off as a filibuster—another plot obstruction to what viewers really want to see.

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