After last week ended with Carol and Maggie in the hands of some of Negan's associates, their fates were in question and, if you're anything like me, you definitely thought this week was going to see one of them go the way of Buttons the horse.
Thankfully, that didn't happen.
Instead, Carol and Maggie fought their way out of their captors' hands and back into the arms of those they love. It was beautiful.
The end? NO. Not the end. Because now that you know what happened, we can roll things back and properly break down just how badass Carol was in this episode. Yes, the fact that Carol is the most impressive character on this show is no secret, but this episode wasn't your average cookie-baking-Carol-kicks-someone's-ass moment. It was a Melissa McBride tour de force.
Here are her top 23 moments in the episode:
1. When Carol used her "meek Carol" voice to talk to Rick and co. over the walkie talkie.
2. When she palmed a rosary for later use.
3. When she faked a panic attack to get her gag taken off, earning her the nickname "nervous little bird." (Yeah, maybe. If the bird is straight outta Hitchcock.)
4. When she used the rosary in front of her captors, knowing they'd see any form of religion as weakness.
5. When her delivery of this line was perfect for selling her act: "It doesn't matter what happens to me — just don't hurt Maggie. Don't hurt the baby."
6. When she further sold her story by asking one of her captors to stop smoking around Maggie for the baby's sake.
7. When she defended Maggie against one of the captors, who was an abusive SOB.
8. When she thanked Paula, one of the captors, for helping her and Maggie, knowing it'd get under her skin in just the right way. "I see exactly who you are, Carol. I know: You're pathetic," Paula told her. "You want to think we're just the same, go ahead. You're wrong." Oh, Paula.
9. When she sold the religious thing like a boss and cooked up tears to talk about the death of Sophia. "My faith got me through the death of my daughter," she said. (Though, did anyone for a second think that while the words were fake, the tears were true? I was torn. It's so good, I CAN'T TELL.)
10. Basically every time she opened her damn mouth and spouted a lie her captors believed.
11. When she tried to get intel AND deceive them at the same time. "They said they were working for a Negan."
12. When Carol picked just the right moment to start getting tough. It happened after Paula told her she was too weak to stick to her own principles and Carol responded: "You don't want me to stick to my own principles."
13. When Carol's response to Paula asking if she was going to kill her was: "I hope not." Chills.
14. When you could literally see her scheming behind her mask of fake-ass tears.
15. When she used that rosary to break herself out of her restraints.
16. When she stealthily moved through the halls and located Maggie.
17. When she and Maggie rigged up a walker trap. Sorry about that, smokey the bitch.
18. When she tried to show some mercy toward Paula.
19. When she showed NO mercy toward that woman who almost slashed Maggie's stomach, thus endangering the Pancake.
20. When Carol actually showed remorse about having to kill Paula.
21. When she put on a brave face to finish the job.
22. When she and Maggie LIT TWO MEN ON FIRE.
23. When she finally let her guard down.