Nothing good was going to come from venturing into the cave.
The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 9 was an anxiety-inducing hour that zeroed in on the psychological horror as Alpha led seven beloved characters into a trap.
The sheer terror Carol, Daryl, Magna, Aaron, Jerry, Connie, and Kelly went through during their time in the cave was enough to freak anyone out.
"Squeeze" is an appropriate title for the midseason return, because there were several moments that were not for the faint of heart. The scenes with Jerry were distressing because he remains one of the most comical characters on the series.
But Jerry hasn't had much narrative importance of late, so he would be the easy character to kill off. The characters working together to save his life and pull him through proved that teamwork is a tried and tested method to keep everyone safe.
It's just a shame that Carol never got the memo. If you watch The Walking Dead online, you know she's been suffering mentally ever since Alpha took Henry from her on The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 15.
Her thirst for revenge is putting people in the firing line, and that's not okay. After promising to drop the revenge plot, she disappeared with the dynamite to try butcher the horde.
Aaron: Daryl. Daryl. It would take us a week to clear this.
Daryl: Then help me.
Kelly: We can't. This blast is going to call walkers and whisperers from a 100 miles from here. We don't want our backs pressed against this mountain when they come. We can't save them if we're dead.
Aaron: Come on.
In Carol's mind, she figured that this would be the thing to land a fatal blow to Alpha's defenses, but she failed to recognize that she was putting her friends who were in the cave in danger.
The beauty of Carol's arc is that it doesn't feel forced. It's the culmination of everything that's happened to her over her ten season journey on the show.
The problem with this, however, is that Carol could probably be blamed for what happened to Magna and Connie. The pair were heroes throughout the midseason return, and if they are really dead, they went out as much.
Daryl gives Carol too many passes, and he should have been harsher with her from the get-go. She's becoming a liability, and the other communities will be furious when they learn about the dynamite.
It could be argued that there's no evidence to prove she caused the ripple effect that caused the cave to collapse, but it will be interesting to watch Melissa McBride hit us in the feels as she tries to come to terms with her fateful decision.
Go ahead and say it to me. I deserve it. You need to say it to me. You were right about everything. Just say it. No, please. You cared about her and now she's gone because of me. Please, just say it. Please, say it. Please.Carol
Any way we look at it, the relationship between Daryl and Carol has changed, and we have the cave to thank for that. Connie was a love interest for Daryl, and her demise was the most surprising.
First appearing on The Walking Dead Season 9, Connie blossomed into a fan-favorite character. Her death will impact many of the other characters and should set up a revenge arc for Kelly.
It's hard to imagine communities turning their back on Carol after this, but we can't forget that many of the original characters are dead or have moved on to other communities.
It will be easier for them to do so now. It's possible she will take a self-imposed exile to get her feelings in check, or she will force everyone to keep her in the Alexandria jail.
Either way, Carol's actions are going to fracture the communities because some will defend her, and others will want to make her pay for her actions.
It's storylines like this that confirm the show is moving in an unpredictable direction. The series was stuck in a rut for years, but things took a turn for the better when the new showrunner took over for The Walking Dead Season 9.
Having Angela Kang at the wheel of the series has steered it in the right direction, and I couldn't be more thankful for that.
Away from the cave, we had Negan pulling strings to get in Alpha's good books. The last thing I expected was for them to have sex.
Maybe it was the severe lack of chemistry between the pair, but it just felt off.
Then again, Alpha knows she needs all the allies she can get when the looming war kicks off.
Daryl: Go home. Tell the others we found the horde.
Aaron: Where are you going to be?
Daryl: They got out before us, there's got to be another way in.
Negan has proven to be reformed, but there's no telling whether he will be Team Alpha or Team Alexandria when the battle begins. The common theory doing the rounds is that he will be the one to take Alpha down when the time comes.
But if she's offering him power, there's a chance he will side with her for the long run. Negan's reward from Alpha was likely her way of building a connection with him to keep him on her side.
She understands that he could be a great asset to her cause, even if she doesn't always agree with his choice of words.
Negan is a smart man who knows a lot about mental warfare. That's why he realized Gamma was the weak link and took the necessary action to find himself in good standing with the leader.
There is so much at stake as we look ahead. The tension between the good guys and the bad guys is mounting, and the stories are going to get further complicated.
"Squeeze" was the perfect episode to follow up the cliffhanger and to set the wheels in motion for the battle to come.
What did you think of all the insanity in the cave? Is Carol proving to be too much of a liability?
Hit the comments below.
The Walking Dead continues Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.