The beginning of the end seems in sight as we take this week’s trip to the troubled town of Alexandria. After last episode’s revelation that the crew are not alone in this brave new world, Rick and the gang have taken up arms to save their newfound friends from the oppression of Negan and his Saviours.

Of course, as the gang pile into the RV, armed to the teeth to execute a moonlit assassination, not everyone in Alexandria is happy with the plan. Three guesses who. That’s right; Morgan, who we spent almost five seasons anxiously waiting to return, has quickly turned into the show’s mandatory misery guts. Which is funny, since the former sourpuss, Father Gabriel, is rapidly turning into an awesome character (about time!), with his offing of one of the Saviours in cold blood being one of his strongest moments to date, and certainly this week’s highlight. Morgan, meanwhile, just seems to be moaning his way through this season, his only redeeming quality being his kick-ass bow-staff (which never even gets used…). In the inevitable end-of-season cull, I really hope Morgan gets it.

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The theme this week very much seems to be “what it means to be human”. With Negan on the horizon, sure to be an even more despicable human villain than even The Governor, the exploration into the morality of our heroes is fascinating. Rick’s gung-ho approach of Kill-or-be-killed is beautifully contrasted with the relationship between Glenn and Heath, with Glenn explaining that killing someone is something that haunts you forever after. When Glenn thereafter relieves Heath from killing one of the Saviours in his sleep, we have a wonderful moment of self-sacrifice that few of the now-hardened cast can pull off like Steven Yeun. I’m just hoping that the relationship between the two doesn’t end up in the same revolving door scenario as Glenn’s last bestie…

Happy housewife Carol seems to be finally returning to her hard-ass persona, with a hilarious opening montage of her busying herself around town, complete with casual, cheerful walker slaying. Her relationship with husky Tobin appears to have taken its next steps, and it’s nice to see Carol being happy after all she’s been through. However, jumping in the RV, we see that this has been little more than a sleeper, with mother hen protecting her chicks as voraciously as ever.

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But protection can only go so far, and as our heroes leave the Saviours’ safe house, believing they have won, a mysterious voice comes over the radio announcing the capture of Maggie and Carol. Shit ‘bout to go down.

Not Tomorrow Yet is very much the first part of what will turn out to be a five-part season finale (six part if you include the obligatory “let’s make the actual season finale the next season premier”), but it’s a good’un. Personally, I’m wondering whether the lack of key character loss for, well, wasn’t Tyresse the last character that we actually cared about to die? is a ruse. This seeming safety for key players is rather disconcerting. Shit’s gonna hit the fan soon, and it’s anyone’s guess who’s going to kick it.

Oh, and prepare to fucking hate Abraham this week…

3.5/5

 

Dir: Greg Nicotero

Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Michael Cudlitz, Lennie James, Sonequa Martin-Green

Music: Bear McCreary

Year: 2016

Country: USA

Episode Number: 12 of 16

Run time: 45mins