I love, love, LOVE this episode. There were nail-biting moments, combinations of characters I adore, and Claire actually surprised me! Winning all around.
I’m not even sure where to start. Let’s go with Emma. It was fantastic seeing a tiny bit of steel in her when she talked to Carroll after things had started unraveling. That’s the old Emma I adore. I had a moment of hoping she’d be the one to off Carroll, and I still kind of harbor it. There’d be some poetic justice about being murdered by one of his most loyal followers, the woman who loves him more than any other. But we shall see.
And Roderick, oh Roderick. His role here was fantastic. That moment when Weston recognizes him and he just kind of smiles and walks out of the room? Brilliant. I also loved how his calm demeanor in public completely shattered when he confronted Carroll. Seeing Carroll nearly choke him to death with no expression on his face gave me the heebie-jeebies. I had thought maybe Roderick would be the one to take over things, but he obviously can’t keep his head in the thick of things. That calm, real or not, is what make people flock to Carroll. He always seems to know what’s going on, and he always seems to have a plan.
Then Roderick goes off the deep end. His scenes with Hardy pretty much made my day. They’re both sitting there, kind of smirking at each other, sure they’re coming out on top of this situation. I love Roderick, and I was sad to see him die. But this show is nearly as bad as Game of Thrones when it comes to keeping characters I enjoy alive, so c’est la vie.
Hardy and Weston were both on point, though I have the same issue with them securing the house as I did with poor Batista (or whatever his name was in this show). Why did they not shove Joey back into the closet he’d been in and THEN defend from there? They don’t need to search the house. Carroll’s people are coming for Joey, so they only need to watch over him. I feel like two pretty smart guys keep acting less than smart on stuff like that, but what are you going to do?
I like that Jacob is unraveling. I’d like it better if he was a stone-cold killer, but I think that’d be unrealistic considering the circumstances. He had a little bit of being a hard ass, but he’s still a kid who’s in over his head. After all this, I really hope he doesn’t die a senseless death. Of all Carroll’s followers, Jacob is the most innocent in my opinion. The only people he’s killed were bad ones. Actually… Did he even kill anyone last episode? I can’t seem to remember.
I’m enjoying seeing Carroll falling apart. He’s got this placid expression and is as charming as ever, but he’s having A VERY BAD DAY. I also think the fact he actually struck Emma and managed to contain himself with Claire is fascinating. It’s the old Virgin and the Whore thing. Claire is his wife and he’s put her on this insane pedestal while he was in prison. I imagine it’s one of those things that got him through his time, building her up to be this larger-than-human thing. Emma is just one of his followers and, even if she’s one of his top followers, she’s ultimately replaceable. I wonder how Emma feels about that?
I’m very curious as to the tension between Carroll and Roderick regarding the plan. Because obviously Carroll’s plan is not Roderick’s plan. So there are some interesting options available to where this thing is going to go in the next two episodes.
Claire. Y’all know my continued frustrations with this woman. She’s mucked things up left and right and made some really idiot decisions. Through it all, she’s been pretty melodramatic. Yes, she’s been under some crazy stressed circumstances, but still. So at the end, when she’s cozying up to Carroll and offering him a deal, I was rolling my eyes. I mean, COME ON, that crap is so something she’d do. Again, I don’t blame her for that. I’d do that much and more to save my kids. But it was pretty expected.
And then she stabbed him in the stomach and twisted the knife. I whooped out loud. Who knew she had it in her? I’m super impressed that she managed that, even though apparently it was enough to push Carroll over the edge. That wound looks pretty nasty, which makes me wonder how long he’s got before something terrible happens.
So what happens from here? Carroll might be having a wound that’s killing him, he’s told Hardy it’s time for Claire to die, and he’s talking total rewrites.
I quite simply cannot wait.
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Katee Robert is the New York Times bestselling author of the Come Undone series. She is zombie-prepared.