“Rick, what is it?” asks Carol (Melissa McBride). “We’re going to have to fight,” replies Rick (Andrew Lincoln) who has just returned from Hilltop and has asked everyone to gather in the church in the beginning of episode 12 of season six of AMC’s horror/drama series The Walking Dead.
Rick hosts the town hall meeting in the church to bring everyone up to speed about what was negotiated and agreed to by Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Gregory (Xander Berkeley) back at Hilltop. Rick goes on to tell everyone that it’s only a matter of time before Negan and his ‘Saviors’ would have found Alexandria. He’s convinced that by showing up and doing a sneak attack, they will have the upper-hand and can win. Rick asks for everyone’s input and if they have any reservations or ideas, now is the time to voice them. Of course it’s Morgan (Lennie James) who has an objection to the plan and suggests instead to give Negan and his group a choice to leave and live. Rick, however, is adamant and says announcing their presence takes away the one crucial element they have in their favor: surprise. With no one else backing Morgan, Rick goes off to tell the plan to those on guard duty who couldn’t attend the meeting.
That night, Maggie tells Glenn (Steven Yeun) that since she negotiated the plan she has to go but she’ll guard the perimeter which is safer. Not looking happy about it but knowing his wife’s mind is made up, Glenn doesn’t argue. Meanwhile, Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) packs up and moves out of the house he was living in with Rosita (Christian Serratos). He tells her as he leaves that when he met her he thought she was the last woman on earth but she’s not, which leaves her in tears, devastated.
Carol can’t sleep so she goes for a walk and finds herself over at Tobin’s place. She sits next to him on the porch and as the two talk about the killer raid tomorrow, Tobin (Jason Douglas) admits to Carol how some of the things she does terrifies him. She asks him why he thinks she can do those things and he answers because she’s a mother and how she’s a mother to almost everyone in the town. She asks if that’s what she is to him and Tobin tells Carol that’s not how he views her. She’s something else to him and they both lean in and kiss.
There are more awkward and sweet goodbyes as Denise (Merritt Wever) walks in on Tara (Alanna Masterson) unexpectedly and Tara quickly tells her that she loves her. Tara tells Denise she doesn’t have to say it back to her but she wanted her to know. Denise tells her she’ll say it to her when she comes back from the raid.
Hilltopper Andy draws a rough map of Negan’s compound and says there’s no way to get in through the doors without waking everyone up. But Rick has a plan and reminds Andy that Negan wanted the head of Gregory so that’s exactly what they will do.
The next morning Rick takes his raider unit out looking for walker. He wants to find one who has a face that looks like Gregory’s so they can use the head to get the Saviors to open the doors. Rosita talks to Carol about Morgan’s behavior in the church, obviously still bothered by how he kept a Wolf alive a few months ago. Carol tells Rosita that Morgan just doesn’t want to kill people and to leave it alone. Carol then talks to Rick about Maggie being with them on the raid. She tells him she’s going to stay behind with Maggie to guard the perimeter, but it’s obvious she wants to look out for the expectant mother and keep her safe.
Glenn and Heath (Corey Hawkins) are the ones who find and kill a walker whose head they can use to look like Gregory’s. Heath tells Glenn he’s never actually killed a living person before and Glenn admits he’s been lucky and hasn’t had to either. Heath asks him if he’s nervous about the raid and Glenn admits that he is because no matter how horrible things have gotten and the nightmares he’s experienced, killing a living, breathing person has got to be much worse than that. The group decide on the best walker head and Rick breaks its nose so it looks a little more like Gregory. That freaks Andy out but Jesus (Tom Payne) has no problem with Rick’s ruthlessness.
After midnight, Andy drives up to the Saviors’ compound and delivers the fake head of Gregory to the two guards. They’re fooled and one goes inside the compound to retrieve the Hilltopper they’ve been holding prisoner. That’s when Daryl (Norman Reedus) slits the throat of the guard left outside. Rick and his group quickly take away the dead body and go back to hiding, leaving Andy in place. He waits for the guard to return with his fellow Hilltopper, and as soon as the guard appears Michonne (Danai Gurira) kills him. Andy takes his friend back to the car while Rick and his strike force go inside the compound.
The gang split up once inside, going through the compound as quietly as possible. Their mission is to kill everyone inside and find the arsenal. Glenn and Heath struggle when they come across two sleeping Saviors. Struggling with never having murdered a human being before, Glenn rises to the occasion and not only kills one sleeping guard but let’s Heath off the hook and kills the second snoozing man so that Heath doesn’t have to go through what Glenn just did.
The silent, deadly, murder-filled night is going well for Rick and his group until one Savior sets off the fire alarm before dying. The whole compound is now awake and guns are blazing from both groups. Rick, Daryl, and Michonne are extremely successful in gunning down a whole group of charging guards while Aaron (Ross Marquand) takes on a very large Savior. Andy wins the fight, stabbing the man to death.
Back at the perimeter, Maggie and Carol are arguing. They hear the alarm and Maggie wants to go help the group but Carol insists they stay put. Carol yells at Maggie, telling her she shouldn’t be there in the first place. Jesus and the other two Hilltoppers are still safe outside, and Tara tells Jesus to take Andy and his friend back to Hilltop so their deal will be complete. But Jesus has other plans and tells Andy to take his friend back on his own and that he’s going to head into the compound (unseen) to help. Tara then shoots and kills two Saviors who are making a run for it.
The bloodshed continues with Glenn and Heath running for a door they believe to be the entrance to the armory while being chased by a small group of well-armed Saviors. They crash through the door, close it behind them, and luck is in fact on their side; they have discovered the armory. They pick up heavy-duty loaded machine guns and fire through the closed door, hoping to stop the Saviors from reaching them. Silence follows as they’ve emptied their weapons. Glenn carefully opens the door to find the dead and dying bodies of the Saviors who were chasing them lying in large pools of blood. One of the Saviors is not dead and points his gun at Glenn. Before he can fire, the Savior is shot dead by Jesus who’s standing back in the hall.
After a night of fighting, Rick and his group check the compound in the light of the morning. Just outside the doors, the Alexandria gang start to calm down and take a breath after such a chaotic and bloody night. Tara and Heath head out on a two-week supply run while Michonne asks out loud to Rick, “I wonder which one was Negan?” Just then a Savior appears on a motorcycle making a break for it and is shot by Rosita. Daryl runs over and tackles the rising Savior to the ground and yells at him, asking where he got the motorcycle. Rick points his big revolver at the man’s head when the Savior’s radio starts to crackle with sound. A female voice says for him and everyone else to lower their weapons. Rick tells her to come out and they can talk. She responds by saying she’s not coming out but he’ll want to talk all right because she is with a Maggie and a Carol.
The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 12 Review:
With a slow and reflective start, episode 12 titled “Not Tomorrow Yet” kicks into a tense, suspenseful, and bloody firefight that matches the intensity of the gunfight between Rick’s group and the Governor’s people back in season four. It’s a brutal, emotional, and fierce battle that’s paced perfectly and shot and edited extremely well.
There are two stand-out performances in this episode, with the first once again delivered by Steven Yeun as Glenn. This episode marks the first time his character had to take another human life as up until now Glenn has only ever killed walkers. The scene where he and Heath discuss the upcoming death raid (which is what this episode should have really been titled) is a powerful one, with Yeun as Glenn subtly conveying his concern about how much more horrible it must be killing a person than anything he has experienced so far. (REALLY?! This reviewer and critic thinks Glenn witnessing Noah being torn apart and eaten alive right across from him when he was stuck in the revolving door should top the list.) The most emotional and dramatic scene in the entire episode is where Yeun as Glenn holds back and bottles his emotions as he silently kills a sleeping Savior and then seeing Heath struggling with trying to kill the other sleeping man Glenn steps up and kills that man as well. Even with everything he’s feeling at that moment, Glenn not only does his job but saves Heath from having to experience what he just went through. It’s another stellar performance by Yeun who has easily become a fan favorite and the moral compass for the group. (Uh-oh…you know what that usually means!)
The other stand-out performance is given by Alanna Masterson as Tara. This is also Tara’s first time killing a human being and the whole build-up to the raid brings back memories of when the Governor, her sister, and her group attacked Rick’s people at the prison. It’s clear she’s on board and trusts Rick to a certain degree but mostly trusts Glenn and Maggie and wants to do her part to help protect the group and Denise. The scene in which she confesses to Father Gabriel that when she told Denise she loved her she was really covering up that going on the killer raid was bothering her because she had done something like it before is touching and profound.
With Maggie and Carol as prisoners to some of Negan’s followers – one who, by the way, is being portrayed by actress Alicia Witt – here’s hoping Rick, Glenn, Daryl, and the others can figure out a way to save them both. But, knowing this show, it wouldn’t be that shocking if in next week’s episode the audience sees the death of a major cast member. Let’s hope not!