The Walking Dead is back! In the midseason premiere, the group navigates a cave and Negan gets a reward. Here’s our recap of “Squeeze”!
“Squeeze” opens with Daryl, Connie, Kelly, Magna, Aaron, and Jerry in the cave of walkers courtesy of an impulsive Carol. The cave proves to be The Walking Dead‘s version of an obstacle course/walker wipeout.
In the course of them jumping rock-to-rock, surrounded by walkers, Carol develops a quick case of claustrophobia. Of course Daryl knows about this even though she hasn’t told him because he’s a good friend. How does Carol repay his friendship? By bullshitting Daryl into thinking she won’t do anything else stupid that may get other people killed.
As they make their way out of the tunnels, they have to get into some seriously tight spaces to wiggle out. The episode’s title “Squeeze” a bit on the nose in these moments. Carol’s super convenient claustrophobia almost gets Jerry killed because she panics and stalls for several seconds.
Eventually Carol gets out, and Daryl’s able to pull Jerry out of the hole before walkers make it through his boots.
These scenes in “Squeeze” were shot really well, though. It was full of tension, and the tight spaces really made it uncomfortable to watch as well as frightening.
Out of that part of the cave, they’ve reached a new stage of hell. The rest of the horde is below them in a gorge. The whole group carefully makes it through to a mine shaft. In their efforts to dig out, Kelly finds some dynamite. Jerry tells her that it may have been left for a reason, so she carefully puts it back.
Aaron tries to tell Magna to slow down in her escape process, and she’s like, I absolutely cannot do that. After a while, they create enough of a hole to get outside, but Daryl realizes that he can’t find Carol.
The camera pans to the dynamite, and we see a couple sticks are missing along with Carol. She’s going back to the edge of the cave to drop the sticks down into the horde, ignoring what that will mean for the rest of the group or the structural integrity of the mineshaft.
Can someone please just let her die? She obviously wants this and has wanted it for some time, and I’m ready to let her go.
By the time Daryl makes it to her, she’s slipped and is barely hanging onto the ledge. He pulls her back up and saves her. Again. I assume he’s supposed to be pulling her out of darkness?
Back at the escape hole, the whole mineshaft starts shaking a beam falls down close to their exit. Kelly gets out while Jerry holds up the scaffolding beam that’s threatening to fall down. Instead of getting out, Connie and Magna go back to find Daryl and Carol.
Aaron gets out of the shaft when Kelly yells that Whisperers are coming. Meanwhile, Jerry’s still holding up the earth when Connie and Magna come back with Daryl and Carol.
Daryl helps Carol out then he gets out. Magna yells for Jerry to get to safety because she and Connie are too far behind. He drops the scaffolding and makes for the exit.
Once he’s outside, the dynamite explodes and Connie and Magna are buried in the rubble.
Immediately, Daryl starts to clear the rocks while Kelly cries for her sister and Carol stands all awkwardly like Steve Urkil saying, “Did I do that?”
Aaron tells Daryl:
“It’ll take a week to clear this!”
“Then help me.”
That one simple sentence shows how broken Daryl is about what’s happening. He just needs someone to help him fix this. Kelly, who’s also broken, tells him they have to leave. They can’t save Magna and Connie if they’re dead, and that explosion will cause Whisperers and walkers to flood into the area.
Daryl beings to walk away and Carol centers the tragedy on her by telling him to yell at her.
“You cared for her, and I did this.”
He stares at her, and she tries to get him to look at her or yell at her. This is an awful turn for their character’s relationship because not twenty minutes before in the episode, she promised him she wouldn’t do all this shit. Also, her telling Daryl to express himself in anger is completely ignoring the strides his character has made over the last few years. Not to mention the fact that she’s his oldest friend. He’d never be that destructive to someone he cares for. No matter how badly they hurt him.
Carol’s selfish af. It’s absolute shame what they did to her character, and I firmly believe she should have died in season five.
In the end, Daryl starts walking away and Aaron asks where he’s going. He tells them that there must be another way in since all those walkers are down there, and he’s going to find it. I hope Daryl will find his way in and save them, but the one thing that TWD writers like more than complete storytelling is Daryl Dixon crying. So…
“Squeeze” ends with Kelly, Aaron, and Jerry leaving together, and Carol watching them all go. Finally alone. Just like she wanted to be this whole time.
At the Whisperer camp, Negan tries to tell Alpha that Gamma’s the spy. Alpha tells him not to breathe a word of this to anyone to sew discontent. Then knocks him into the latrine. Alpha tells Beta that she believes Gamma is the spy and tasks him to retrieve her, but not to kill her. Alpha wants to do that.
Alpha talks to Negan, and has him walking deep into the woods. He feels like it may be an initiation. Negan talks enough for the both of them.
“I’m not good with long, uncomfortable silences.”
That’s the truest thing Negan has ever said.
Alpha tells him to face forward and take off his clothes.
“I made myself into a monster because that was what the world needed. I built something. I saved people. My name, it meant something.”
Alpha’s naked, too. TWD has turned into a parody of itself and y’all. I simply cannot take this seriously ever again. I look for the layers because I believe they’re there, but I know they’re not now. It’s plot dice and a writer’s room running around unchecked because they’ve patted themselves on the back way too much.
In “Squeeze”, sex is Alpha’s way of rewarding Negan for outting Gamma. She’s expressing gratitude in a way he can understand.
“You just gonna leave that mask on?”
“Does my true skin disturb you?”
She goes in to kiss him, and he makes a statement about her being a praying mantis and killing him after sex, but he says he’ll take his chances.
Now, I can see what they’re going for here if I squint really hard and give them lots of “benefit of doubt” moments. They’ve stripped Negan (literally and figuratively) so that he’s at Alpha’s command.
Sure this will let him get close enough to her to kill her like in the comics, but it’s also a cheap way for them to add levity. They know their audience and their audience is going to have a field day with Negan having sex with Alpha. I can already hear Chris Hardwick’s bad jokes even though I stopped watching The Talking Dead ages ago.
We’ll see how things turn out, but this is all just a means to Alpha’s end.
What did you think of “Squeeze”? Is there any way for Carol to come back from this? Will Daryl find a way in and save the day? Will Negan bide his time and finally kill Alpha?
The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC at 9/8c.