In the latest episode of The Walking Dead, Morgan finally makes a choice.
Side Note: I’m slowly catching up to the episodes. Thanks for your patience and for sticking with me. Okay, let’s go!
So, this ep begins with King Ezekiel and Friends setting up what looks like some kind of trap. And it doesn’t look like it’s one they relish, either. I’m sure all will be revealed by the end of the episode, since there’s blood involved. Whose blood will it be?
Carol wakes up from a nightmare. She knows something is wrong, but can’t quite put her finger on it. So she leaves her little slice of heaven and heads to the Kingdom. When she gets there, a small group of walkers are at the front gates. She uses a clever distraction to end them all, leaving Young Benjamin and his buddies speechless. Carol visits Morgan and asks him if everyone at Alexandria is okay. As always, he is frustratingly vague but offers to go with her to Alexandria if she wants answers. She doesn’t decide then, but heads back to her space. Young Benjamin wants to shadow her so he can learn her skills, but as always, she pushes everyone away, including him. On her way back, Carol notices that the walker she maimed on her way to the Kingdom is now dead. Turns out Richard is tailing her for some reason.
Back at the Kingdom, Ezekiel learns from a very nervous subject that the Royal Garden has weevils and will need to be cut down (wouldn’t you be nervous if a tiger lived in your hood?). The King knows that will be a problem in the end, but for now, he has a delivery to make. On the road, the crew is stopped by a roadblock. Someone put a line of shopping carts in the road, so they all get out and check the perimeter. As they check around, they find a shallow empty grave with a sign that says, “Bury Me Here,” a remnant of the madness that is now their world. Once all is clear, they make their way to the drop off location. When they arrive, Long Hair is playing with Morgan’s stick (the prick). Side Note: one thing that should NEVER happen on TWD is Jerry being hurt. EVER. Long Hair had the gall to smack Jerry with Morgan’s stick. In the face!! Like I said, the prick.
Gavin looks at the tribute and notices it’s one melon short. The King is perplexed but since Gavin is a Savior and the Saviors are assholes, he decides to take their guns, as well. The King and his people reject that idea at first by pointing their guns at the Saviors. Even Morgan’s got his gun ready. The King asks for Morgan’s stick back in exchange for the guns, but Gavin says no way. Morgan doesn’t want any blood shed (or to shed blood) and says forget the stick. Eventually, the guns are surrendered, but of course, the Saviors want more. They decide a lesson needs to be learned and someone has to be punished. The King tries to talk Gavin out of it, but well, you know. Long Hair pulls a gun on Richard, who seems more than ready to die. Instead, The Prick shoots Young Benjamin!! Right in the fucking femoral artery. Gavin wasn’t prepared for that shit show and tells Long Hair to give Morgan his stick back. The King and his people try to get help for their young friend, but Gavin has to make his point first. When he’s done lecturing grown ass men and women, he lets them take Benjamin. They make a beeline for Carol’s place, who was busy doing some planting.
Inside, they put Benjamin on the dining room table to try and stop the bleeding, but you already know how this turns out. The next scene shows a devastated and silent group standing around the Late Young Benjamin, his body covered with a sheet. Morgan can’t take the senselessness of it all and walks out. Memories of his late wife and son begin to haunt him, and Morgan starts losing it. At one point, he sits in the shallow grave they found earlier and contemplates putting his corpse inside of it. But all of that changes when he kicks a bucket and the missing melon rolls out from under it. Morgan puts two and two together and realizes Richard set up the whole thing, which explains why he was walking around looking like a sad sack. Now Benjamin’s blood is on his hands.
Back at the Kingdom, Morgan bursts into Richard’s room and tosses the bucket at him. Richard starts to talk about why he did it, why he needed to do it. He talked of how he did nothing when the plague first started, how he lost his wife, then three days later, his daughter. Richard was willing to lay down his life so the Kingdom could prepare to fight. Unfortunately, shit went sideways and Benjamin died in his place. Morgan listened to all of this with a look on his face that had me wondering if he would snap at some point. Richard wants to continue with his plan, to make the Saviors think the Kingdom has been subdued. Morgan agonizes over Richard’s words through the course of the night, as he watches Benjamin’s younger brother mourn the loss of his sibling.
The next day, we revisit the opening scene, which was no trap after all. It was just the last melon being loaded on the truck for the Saviors. At the drop-off point, Morgan asks Richard if he spoke to the King about what happened with Benjamin. Richard is stalling of course, and the King wants to know what’s going on. But Gavin and his goons show up, giving Richard the chance to suck up to the Saviors and go on with his plan. Gavin, showing a teeny tiny bit of humanity, asks about Benjamin. When no one answers, he realizes that the kid is dead, and tells Long Hair to start walking back to the Sanctuary before he kills him. Once The Prick leaves, Richard walks over with the missing melon and begins to carry out his plan, but Morgan runs up on him, smacks his ass down with his trusty stick, and proceeds to choke the very life out of him. Once Richard is dead, he tells the King and the rest about what Richard did and then he goes on with Richard’s plan. The Saviors think the Kingdom has been put down and all is well. Afterwards, once everyone else has left, Morgan takes Richard’s body and buries him in the shallow grave from before. He does some walker killing on the way to Carol’s, which he desperately needs.
At Carol’s, Morgan asks if she wants to know what happened at Alexandria. She says yes and Morgan reveals that Glenn and Abraham were beaten to death by Negan, and others were killed as well. Morgan then turns to leave. When Carol asks where he’s going, Morgan tells her that he’s going to kill the Saviors one by one. She knows that it will take him over the edge if he does that, so she offers her home to him and Carol goes back to the Kingdom. When she arrives, she tells the King that they need to get ready to fight. He knows this, but taking care of Ben’s brother is the priority. At least for that day.
Will Morgan join the fight against the Saviors? Will the Kingdom recover from the losses they’ve suffered? And will we finally see Ezekiel and Carol get together?
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC. Photos courtesy of AMC.
And here’s this episode’s fan compilation video from Skybound, a source of joy for me every week. Enjoy!