Every week for the sixth season of AMC’s post-apocalyptic drama The Walking Dead, David Sims and Lenika Cruz will discuss the latest threat—human, zombie, or otherwise—to the show’s increasingly hardened band of survivors.
David Sims: The Walking Dead is on a serious roll. We’ve had three great episodes in a row now—the first a somewhat comic romp, the second focused on world-building and politics, and the third a barnstorming action-adventure. I’m still worried about Negan lurking around the corner, ready to take the spotlight, but until he makes his entrance and takes over the show, we might as well have some fun, and these episodes have delivered plenty.
“Not Tomorrow Yet” was a dark, thrilling hour of TV, but it wasn’t the misery brigade that last season’s pit-of-zombies adventure often felt like. As the gang raided one of Negan’s outposts, they grappled with the moral quandaries of their violence in real-time, making split-second decisions that seemed horrifying in retrospect, but crackled with energy in the moment.
That’s what I want from this show—an exploration of the extreme choices made to survive in this world, but in real-time. At the beginning of “Not Tomorrow Yet,” Carol made cookies for the people of Alexandria (out of ... beets and acorns?), scored to a bouncy tune, a tone that echoed the relative lightness of the show’s plotting in recent weeks. Later, she tallied up numbers in a notepad, next to names like “Slabtown,” and it was quickly apparent she was accounting for just how many lives she’s personally taken over the course of the series (forgetting all the zombies, of course). It was a quick, quiet, sobering reminder, not just of all the violence committed over the years, but of how quickly everyone on The Walking Dead has to compartmentalize and move forward, just to survive. Cookies one day, murder the next.