...but before I get to that, well, it is Sunday evening so, the usual spoiler warnings count. Again, there are nothing but spoilers below. So, the S.O. flipped the channel to AMC during last week’s closing shot. I joked, “I hope they start tonight’s episode with a flashback.” And they did. Because, you know, let’s ruin the momentum of the previous episode by running it into a brick wall, or the base of the building with the sniper’s nest

Still, the flashback was worth it when Enid sees a tortoise crossing her path and my S.O. mumbled, “Look, it’s a metaphor for her,” only for the scene to cut to her munching on raw tortoise. Beyond a PSA for never eating raw tortoise, all I want to say is: yes, Carol’s back!

She puts a neighbor (soda can ham lady, who’d already been slashed across her torso with a machete) out of her misery, dons camouflage and war paint, and dispatches the Wolf who told Morgan it’d be a slow death before either can land a first blow.

Let me just say it’s been a while since I read the Wolves’ arc in the comics, but, damn, these wolves are vicious. What they didn’t count on? Mutha-effin’ Carol.

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One of my favorite moments happens when Gabriel and Morgan are tying up a Wolf who was about to kill Gabriel and whom Morgan knocked out with his staff. The Wolf wakes and begins talking about them not belonging there, only for Carol to walk up and shoot him in the head.

As welcome as it is to see Carol no longer hiding beneath the façade of a cardigan-wearing, suburban housewife, Morgan’s speech to the five or so Wolves who surround him and take turns lunging at him, only for him to dissuade them of that with some straight-up ninja action, is quite good.

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If I’m remembering correctly, one of these Wolves is half of the pair who attacked Morgan in S5’s “Conquer.” When Morgan tells him, “If you keep choosing this life, you will die,” the Wolf replies, “We didn’t choose,” or something to that effect.

Later on, while checking out a house, Morgan gets attacked by the second Wolf who’d set up that ambush in “Conquer” and seemingly kills him (ETA: did anyone catch what that movie poster was? I don’t have a DVR and can’t make it out even after watching the episode twice).

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So, “JSS”? Were I an optimist, I’d have guessed, “Just Stay Strong,” but I’m not, so I went with: “Just Say Scared.” And then Carl finds Enid’s note: “Just Survive Somehow.”

Which is better, as fear often paralyzes people. It’s the “somehow” that’s problematic, and it’s perfectly summed up by the closing shot as Morgan is walking away down the street, and Carol is walking toward the camera, smoke rising from the ruins.

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Even though the herd hasn’t arrived yet, this is an excellent episode, one which will make Enid’s line to Carl, “They’re just people,” all that more meaningful if the herd makes to the homestead’s gates.

Randoms:

  • Jessie’s reaction to the female Wolf who attacks her in her own home is a perfect reminder to always tip your stylist.
  • The way some Wolves got shot then kept running makes me wonder what they were on.
  • Denise is perfectly cast.
  • Aaron finds his boyfriend’s backpack on one of the Wolves Carol killed. RIP Eric. ETA: I’m blind, it seems (seriously, I am getting new glasses this week as my Rx has worsened markedly), because Eric was in the infirmary. Thanks to BehindDarkGlasses Hides Demons for pointing this out.
  • At one point, Enid mentions something to Carl about the town having “too many blind spots,” saying something like, “That’s how we were able to—” before Carl cuts her off. Are all those who have suspected Enid is a Wolves’ plant right?