“The Walking Dead” S07 E02: The Well

31 Oct

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On last week’s episode of “The Walking Dead” loyal fans of the series received a double kick to the gut and I know that we haven’t recovered yet. Glenn and Abe are dead. Daryl is Negan’s prisoner and…Rick is broken. The apocalypse has just gone feral. There is no light at the end of this tunnel…or is there? While Rick gives up his reign to Negan, Carol and Morgan meet a king with a strange pet.

Obituary

Before I begin this review, I want to explain to people who don’t watch “The Walking Dead” why the fans get so freaking emotional when a character that we like on the series gets killed. Yes, we know that TWD is only a television series. Yes, we know that the actors are alive and doing well, but that’s not why we grieve. It’s because the actors are representing us in this series.

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They are us as we trudge through our day to day lives putting up with dipshit bosses and unappreciative family members. They are us as we try to keep our heads above water and wonder where the money will come from each month for us to pay the taxes, doctor bills, and the criminally expensive medications. They are us when we worry about the economy and climate change. And, they certainly are us when we worry about the next terrorist attack, or if the next president will be a nut job who can’t wait to push that red button that sends all those missiles flying.

The characters of “The Walking Dead” are us at our best and they are us at our worse, but they have taught their fans that we can survive if we stick together and look out for each other. They have given us hope in the face of insurmountable obstacles. It is for this reason that Team Rick is loved and, it is for this reason that we mourn when one of them dies.

The King and I

While the injured Carol is wheeled on a cart towards the colony known as ‘The Kingdom’ Morgan marks the trees and mailboxes to find his way back to Alexandria. As of yet, neither Morgan nor Carol are aware of the nightmare situation back home. It was curious to note that when the rescuers are attacked by walkers and Carol temporarily escapes, she’s seeing the walkers differently. She is seeing their former selves. Is this the season that we come full circle and realize that the walkers are only victims? Is it time to remember that the walkers were once family and friends? This would be taking the series in a new direction and I think we are ready for some personal growth.

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In one of the funniest interactions between Morgan (Lennie James) and Carol (Melissa McBride), we watch as Morgan tries to prepare Carol for her meeting with the king. Carol still needs a good week to heal, but her reaction to King Ezekiel had to be the best cure for last week’s brutal killings.

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I’m not sure what Carol was expecting to see in that throne room, but you have to admit that Khary Payton knocked it out of the ball field as King Ezekiel and his tiger, Shiva, freaking sealed the deal. When Carol laughs, we laugh with her. We laugh because it’s so much better than crying and we need to heal from last week. But although our Ninja is injured, she hasn’t lost her wit and she quickly and seamlessly morphs into her ‘Susie Homemaker’ persona. Does she fool the king?

Stuffed Pork

While Carol is sneaking around the kingdom that resembles an apocalyptic Partridge Family sitcom complete with fresh fruit and singing, Ezekiel invites Morgan to a pig round up. Morgan is confused as to why the pigs are given walkers to eat, but later when the Saviors show up for their weekly payment of butchered pigs, Morgan understands.

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We are what we eat my little walkers and if the meat Ezekiel is giving to the Saviors is tainted, then maybe they are going to get very sick. Ezekiel and only a trusted few know of the arrangement that is keeping the people of the kingdom safe. The fact that Morgan is included in this ruse proves that Ezekiel trusts him.

Conclusion

Morgan is rethinking his Aikido code after he is asked to train the young Benjamin. Ezekiel had taken over the role of father after Benjamin’s dad was killed by walkers. Even though Morgan is easily assimilating to this new sanctuary, Carol is not. When Carol tries to sneak out of the compound, she’s discovered by Ezekiel and his right hand man, Jerry (Cooper Andrews). Jerry is the wiz of puns and, the new fan favorite second only to Shiva.

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Ezekiel saw through Carol’s Susie Homemaker act, but that’s okay because she definitely saw through his. In a moment of complete trust, Ezekiel tells Carol who he really is. Great leaders can sometimes come from humble beginnings. Ezekiel was a zookeeper at the same zoo that Shiva lived. He saved that cat twice and the cat is loyal to him. Ezekiel’s commanding performance as the king is just that; a performance from his days of acting in community theatre. Ezekiel is giving his people what they need to survive; a fairy tale. He wants Carol to stay, but our Ninja has had enough of fairy tales and she wants to go. They reach a compromise. Carol is free to go…but not go. The choice is hers.

Morgan really cares for Carol and admits that she is one of his favorite people. This we knew because we saw him place his lucky rabbit’s foot at her sickbed. I think Carol is also becoming Ezekiel’s favorite person, because after she made the cemetery cottage her temporary home, Ezekiel and Shiva paid a visit. He brought Carol a pomegranate. Like Carol, the fruit can be bitter, but I’m betting that Ezekiel is focused on the sweetness.

This episode was just what we needed to wash the bad taste from our mouths left by the loss of Glenn and Abbe. Unlike Deanna and the people of Alexandria, Ezekiel and his people might know how to deal with the Saviors. The ham is on the enemy’s table. We only need to wait. See you next week my little walker snacks.

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