TV Recap: The Walking Dead, ‘Not Tomorrow Yet’

Walking Dead Season 6 Poster
Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

Not Yet Tomorrow Plot Summary:

Rick (Andrew Lincoln) presents the Hilltop/Saviors situation to the people of Alexandria — they need food, and the only way to secure the food supply from Hilltop is to take out Negan and The Saviors. Not surprisingly, everyone but Morgan (Lennie James) is on board. The group plans to assault the Saviors compound — but not everyone feels right about it.

“This is the next world.” — Paul “Jesus” Monroe.

The character of Jesus utters these words after he kills a Savior that was about to shoot a bewildered Glenn (Steven Yuen) and Heath (Corey Hawkins).

These prophetic words are more than just a clever quip by the bearded new addition to The Walking Dead — it’s the new mission statement for the series.

The Walking Dead - Carol with Cookies
Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

‘Not Tomorrow Yet’ is a dramatic shift from humans battling walkers in order to survive; to humans battling each other in order to survive. In fact, that is probably why the series ended the 2015 season, and began the 2016 season with an orgy of walker violence. The 2016 premiere “No Way Out” was one of the most intense, and grandiose walkers battles the series has seen. In some ways that episode was an homage to the way things were done in the past on the series, and a way “good things” for Rick and company ended. Massive walker invasions ended the gang’s run at Herschel’s farm, and it splintered the group when they were holed up at the prison. Walkers always ruined their new homes, killed loved ones, and unwillingly set our heroes on a new direction.

This time around we lost very few – there was no one like Herschel killed, no one like Glenn scattered to the wind. The humans won, they burned their enemies, and they held their ground. No one had to run, life was able to return to normal. The walkers were defeated, en masse, something our heroes had never done before.

(Side Note: Could this be a reason why we got Fear the Walking Dead? Did the creators know of the impending drought of walker violence, so they created this prequel in order to satiate the audience’s love for the violent undead?)

Now, we’re now in the “next world” — where the biggest threat to all that’s good and peaceful is man itself. And in this case, the man is the mysterious Negan.

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

We’ve seen human on human violence before — Terminus, The Wolves, and most dramatically with The Governor’s posse. However, the tribe of Grimes has never really been the aggressors, they’ve always responded (with force) to defend themselves.

So, the idea of Rick and company being killers is an idea that does not sit well with the majority of the characters, who in turn are reflecting the audience’s own trepidations and queasy stomachs. How can our band of heroes go out and kill people in the middle of the night? How can they hatch a sneak attack like this? Well, history (and in this case morality) is all about whose side your own. Think about Washington’s famed “Crossing of the Delaware” — our founding father lead a sneak attack against the enemy in order to help win the Battle of Trenton. If you’re on one side he’s seen as a murderer; if you’re on the other he’s seen as a hero. All a matter of personal, and historical perspective.

Andrew Lincoln has done wonders morphing Rick’s personality — we’ve seen him as a man of peace, a man deranged, a man on fire, and now a man of war. It’s eerie how Rick has seemingly turned into a soft-spoken version of The Governor – taking a kill or be killed attitude. Yes, he is way less manipulative, but that doesn’t make him any less dangerous. For now we, like his team, must trust Rick’s intentions and go along for the ride.

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The siege on the Saviors was almost unbearably taut, but marvelously shot. The series never delved into silly action movie territory, and kept everything as real and visceral as humanly possible without straying into B-movie territory. The great thing about this series is that it has this built-in fear that anyone could die at any time, and there were moments were Abraham (Michael Cuddlitz), Aaron (Ross Marquand), Glenn or Heath could’ve died. The other great thing about this series is that the writers have done a fantastic job of making us emotionally invest in all characters that ally with Rick. So, even though we don’t know much about Heath, or Jesus just yet, we still fear they could get iced.

Then comes the ending. Oh, that ending. It was so utterly chilling to hear that voice over the radio say, ‘You with the Colt Python…drop your weapon.’ It’s a twist ending that you couldn’t see coming. The battle had just ended, and everyone was splitting up – it’s scene we’ve all witnessed before on the show. So, to have this trademark moment interrupted by an ‘a ha!’ moment was a great move by the writers.

Now, things are really getting interesting. I feel as though the slower, table setting episodes that the series is known for post-battle, are going to be replaced by really intense episodes that just open up a can of plot and moral worms all over the series.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites