If there’s one thing I’ve continuously enjoyed on The Walking Dead, it’s the Morgan-centric/Carol-centric episodes peppered throughout the show.
Examples: “The Grove” (episode 14 of the 4th season where Lizzie and Mika die) was nothing more than terrific. And Morgan’s “origin” story (“Here’s Not Here,” season 6 episode 4, where Morgan found his “way” under the tutelage of Eastman) was most satisfying.
Put the two characters together and you often double your episodic pleasure. And so it was with “The Well.”
Part of the reason these two conflicting figures serve as the yin and the yang to each other is, surprisingly, their similar, often single-minded goals. With Morgan having discovered his path (“All life is precious”) Carol’s is much more convoluted and worrisome. Her belief the best method to her particular madness is to stay away from those she cares about is understandable … in a skewed sort of way. But it’s somewhat selfish. She’s not looking at the bigger picture, the overall contribution she makes when she’s working alongside her loved ones. Ever on her guard, many of her strengths (watchfulness, awareness, planning) lead to missteps and strife and her undoing.
With the two together once more in a kind of “buddy” episode, that’s what made this chapter such a pleasurable watch.
Because all the past, all the confrontations and all the discussion and attempts Morgan has previously foisted on in an attempt to turn Carol away from her dark side didn’t do anything near as good as coming face to face with a master bullshitter such as Ezekiel. When it came right down to it, when the larger than life figure tore off all the stuff and nonsense he’d swathed himself in and got down to the brass tacks of who the man actually was, that’s when Carol finally caught a clue about her “way.” It struck that chord inside her she didn’t know she was searching for; it wasn’t a full-on strike but just enough to get her attention. Enough for her to recognize she’s been selfish about her “flee and be free so I don’t harm the ones I love” attitude. “You can’t bullshit the bullshitter” Ezekiel told her in so many words. (“You can’t snow the snowman” is the way I like to say it.)
The thing with Carol is she has to have a reason to act. It might be a self-absorbed, left-of-center, not necessarily black and white reason she acts upon, but she almost always has one backing her stunts. Now, break it down as Ezekiel did by getting beneath the camouflage to the heart of the matter and you get to a base formula of understanding … and that type of thing is something Carol can relate to, whether it be planning for a future conflict or a way and means to commandeering some chocolate. In other words, Ezekiel spoke to her in a manner which Morgan never could, not in a thousand bids to do so. Because the best thing Carol and Morgan do with each other is butt heads. And that M.O. hasn’t yet led to a resolution the both of them, together, can happily live with.
Result? It just may be Carol has found a way in which to be apart from her core group, with a resolution to her inner conflicts, and still be in the vicinity of those she cares for to enjoy the benefits of togetherness and camaraderie. Bonus: It’s something Morgan can live with, too.
… and, from that day forward, they lived happily ever after.
Matters Of Interest (to me, anyway)
- Remember back in season 5 when Bob got his leg amputated and barbecued by Gareth and company? (“Four Walls And A Roof”) He pretty much lost it when he found they were munching on Roast Leg Of Bob: “Tainted meat! I’m tainted meat!” he maniacally laughed at them. We never did find out if consuming such “tainted meat” was a detriment to the health and welfare of the consumer. And here, in this chapter, we find members of The Kingdom fattening the hogs offered to The Saviors with the rotting flesh of the undead. Does the disease that triggers the fever, sickness and eventual reanimation in humans kickstart the process if people eat the flesh – in this case pork – of animals who have in turn consumed far less than Grade “A” feed? Wonder if we’ll find out down the line …
- Carol’s “performance” at the meeting of she and Ezekiel was even more over the top than that of Negan’s portrayal during the season opener. There was such sickly sweetness dripping from her I was in fear of getting a cavity.
- There’s a cry throughout the land (of course I’m assuming such) that “The Well” was a poor transition from the devastating events of the season premiere, in as much dissing the natural mourning process fans of The Walking Dead would naturally expect from the characters after such loss. Personally, I say screw that. With the grisly exits of Abraham and Glenn and the degradation of Rick’s character at the hand of Negan it was time for a much needed breather. It’s not like the producers were setting any sort of precedent in so flipping that channel. They’ve done it time and again, much to the chagrin of a lot of fans. Good a time as any, I say.
- Talk about your cheesecake: The sayings plastered on the wall of the commissary (punctuated with Ezekiel’s initials) are the silliest things ever. I understand playing the charade in order to foster confidence in those you’re leading but eyes have to be rolling from at least some of The Kingdom’s residents at such schlock … right?
- … which leads to: “Hey, Michael … nothing about the introduction to King Ezekiel and The Kingdom?” You watched the episode, didn’t you? You want me to take your hand and walk you through a regurgitory episodic recap like just about every other website and blog out there? Fat chance of that …
What did you think of The Well? Did the producers go too far in the other direction? Tell us in the comments below. We want to hear from you!
On the next episode of The Walking Dead