Hey, Grue-Believers, what’s the word? Let me start by apologizing for my lateness. I was attending the Pennsylvania Governor’s Health and Safety conference held in the sweetest place on earth, Hershey, PA. I was finally able to sit down and watch episode 2 of The Walking Dead Season 7 last night. The good thing about this episode is it allowed us to exhale from holding our collective breaths through the season premiere. This episode definitely did not come with the action and macabre that the premiere did. Does this mean it was a bad episode? Well, read on chuckleheads and find out.
“The Well” picks up where we left off with Morgan (Lennie James) and Carol (Melissa McBride) being saved by members of another group of survivors known as The Kingdom. Carol, wounded and exhausted, is being pulled in a make-shift horse drawn buggy (no, not like the ones in Amish country in good old Lancaster, PA) on their way with their knights in not-so-shining armor to the Kingdom. While Morgan is marking trees (like last season), Carol flashes back to the action that happened moments earlier (to us, last season). She sees all the walkers closing in as the Knights and Morgan take them on. We know last season Carol had a breakdown due to the conflict she was feeling from all the killing she was doing and seeing the living continue to slaughter each other. In her flashbacks, as the walkers were being killed, she sees the dead in their pre-walker human form, further adding to the conflict within her. The one walker kill I thought was awesome with fantastic effects was the one that got its face completely sliced off like a big slab of deli meat.
Carol wakes up in a bed with Morgan sitting next to her and she finds out she was asleep for two days. Morgan gets her in a wheelchair and takes her out to the Kingdom community which is thriving with successful gardens of vegetable and fruit, children being taught in a school-like setting, and generally happy people strolling about. Morgan tells Carol all about what the Kingdom has to offer as he wheels her into an auditorium to meet King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and his pet tiger, Shiva. Now, this definitely gave me a chuckle as I’m sure it did for anyone who is a fan of the FXX show “The League”, if you don’t get it well that just makes me sad for you.
King Ezekiel is pleased to meet Carol and his character reminds you of a very kind and generous King that really loves his kingdom and people. His people, including his right hand man, really seem to reciprocate that feeling. Some even speak in the old English accent using the syntax as well. Carol puts on her old “gee golly housewife” routine and refuses the fresh fruit being offered to her. As Morgan wheels Carol out of the auditorium, she questions “what was that bullshit?”
The Kingdom has a lot of animals including pigs which we find feeding on tied up walkers in an enclosed area. It is curious, they want the pig’s stomachs “full of rot” according to Richard (Karl Makinen). We see a young man named Benjamin (Logan Miller) being trained how to dispatch walkers properly. He is not very good at it and Ezekiel steps in to kill the walker while reaffirming to Louis that it is ok, that he will learn. Ezekiel goes on to ask Morgan about his sweet bow staff skills and asks him if he’d be willing to train young Benjamin. Morgan objects initially but then gives in.
Ezekiel really has taken a shining to Morgan and wants him to come for a ride with them. Well, the ride was to do an exchange with none other than the Saviors. Morgan recognizes them. Apparently they require supplies from the Kingdom as well. What supplies you ask? Well, the pigs of course — skinned and ready to eat. Will the fact that these pigs were fed with walkers come into play? I’m guessing we will find out next week or in two weeks as is the pattern of The Walking Dead. There is a fight between one of the saviors and Richard in which Richard dominates. However, Ezekiel commands Richard to release the savior and tells him “this is not how we do things”, then allows the Savior two free punches to Richard’s face.
On the ride back, Morgan tells Ezekiel he knew those men and asks if that is the reason Ezekiel brought him. Ezekiel asks if they were part of the group that he and Carol were fighting. Affirmative. Morgan begins to train his new padawan, young Benjamin, and we find out at dinner that he is also raising his younger brother due to losing their father during a recon mission. Despite turning down the invitation to movie night, a relationship seems to be developing here. This could be a good thing for both of them with Louis having someone to learn from and Morgan being a father figure.
Later that night, Morgan goes to visit Carol but, she is gone. She is actually out in the orchard about to take an apple when Ezekiel and his right hand man show up. Ezekiel tells her she is welcome to the apple but does call her housewife routine bluff, telling her you can’t bullshit a bullshitter. They have a good exchange where Ezekiel reveals that he did not fight and tame Shiva – which is the thoughts of the Kingdom, one of the reasons for his kingship. He actually found her hurt as a cub and freed her from her paw being stuck. She stayed with him and protected him ever since. At the end of the conversation, Ezekiel tells Carol it is up to her if she wants to go or stay; but, if she chooses to go, he wants someone to escort her safely.
We see Carol being escorted to the gate by Morgan and they say their goodbyes. Alas, this is the house we saw earlier in the episode right outside the Kingdom’s gates which Carol seems to have taking a shining to. As she enters, Morgan pulls down the mailbox flag he raised in the beginning of the episode — which I’m guessing signifies this is now home. Carol goes in dispatches the original homeowner, buries her in the graveyard in the backyard, then settles in and starts a fire. As she is tending to the fire there is a knock at the door. Carol grabs a gun and moves slowly to the door where we hear a familiar tiger roar. She opens the door to a smiling Ezekiel and Shiva as the episode closes.
Although The Well did not contain the action and heart wrenching storyline of the premiere, this was a nice follow-up which establishes what the Kingdom is and what we may see this season with a likely Hilltop-Alexandria-Kingdom alliance. The episode was interesting as was the introduction of some new characters. I like the relationships that seem to be taking shape and I like the fact that we were allowed to get some smiles and catch our breaths this week.
The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 2 “The Well” (4 / 5) on the Thug Meter