Season 7 of The Walking Dead continues to vacillate between good, bad and lifeless (no pun intended) episodes. Fortunately for viewers we got a pretty good one this time around.
I voiced last post a hope the final four chapters to this season would give us more than just stuff and nonsense; we’ve gotten enough of those. And I wasn’t disappointed over this first of the final four; “Bury Me Here” came through nicely.
The obvious theme of the episode was conflict. It was hard not to notice its pervasiveness from start to finish: Between The Saviors and The Kingdom, Carol’s struggle that came to a head and the concluding realization what she needs to finally do, and Ezekial’s eyes finally being opened to the reality of The Kingdom’s situation. Even between Gavin and Jared of The Saviors during their pick-ups with The Kingdom (and especially so this episode).
The best, tensest conflicts though were the exchanges between Richard and Morgan. Richard’s explanation of his actions – all the while with Morgan seething through a slow burn of emotion, not uttering a single word – was intense. Just as you couldn’t miss the theme of the episode, it didn’t take any prompting to realize the rod-wielding warrior was on a precarious edge and ready to blow. It was a small wonder he held his stance and didn’t react right in the middle of Richard’s justifications.
Not so during the redeliver of that missing cantaloupe. His thoughts and emotions still in contention with one another, Morgan calmly asked once more if Richard had held true to his promise of revealing his actions (resulting in Benjamin’s inadvertent death) to Ezekiel. When he discovered he had not, the combination of the inflexible stance of Gavin and his crew mixed with the fire erupting inside him over Richard’s inaction simply couldn’t be contained. Result? Richard’s fall and exit.
And here is where The Walking Dead Powers That Be did something in the story I thought was absolutely crucial to facilitate and justify Morgan’s strangling of Richard: The flashbacks.
Without them, Morgan would have looked like he’d simply gone off the rails. With the flashbacks, his attack on Richard made perfect sense. His additional explanation to Ezekiel and the others was something necessary as well, otherwise he would (or should) have been outcast by The Kingdom. At any rate, it was a ballsy move on his part to commit that little exercise right then and there with all parties as witness.
Morgan has met up with quite the number of loose cannons during his journeys … and he’s let them all off with a nice little ass whipping, their lives and, more often than not, both. Ever since his education with Eastman (S06E04’s “Here’s Not Hear” which was a terrific episode by the way) Morgan has been a man of peace and tolerance, going above and beyond in those areas to inflict as little harm as possible … but never to the point of death.
Not this time.
This time that ideology got thrown out the window. The primal Morgan was let loose … and to Richard’s chagrin. Had Richard come clean quickly to Ezekiel and confessed what he’d done, the story probably would have taken a different turn. But Benjamin’s unintended downfall was the thread holding Morgan’s internal strife at bay. Once that thread was broken it opened up that floodgate of emotion.
All things told this episode was a nicely done start leading into the last chapters of the season. And, with Carol coming round once more, it made “Bury Me Here” that much more satisfying.
A Few Notes
- On their way to the drop off with The Saviors when Ezekiel and company came upon the blockade of shopping carts, it was obvious Richard had set up that scenario. The obvious and glaring clue was the that previous lingering scene with those aligned carts we saw at the beginning of the episode when Richard was out on his own.
- When (If?) The Saviors fall, I wonder if Gavin will survive that siege. In a position of power, the man might talk tough but we’ve seen him show signs of fairness and compassion, little though they may be.
- The cobbler scene with Jerry was throwaway comedy, unnecessary. Those are the kinds of things that don’t hold any place in the series. Yeah, maybe it’s real life but it makes characters look just plain dumb.
- What goes around comes around: Michonne got her cat back, Daryl got his crossbow back (for the umpteenth time) and Morgan gets his staff back. Was there any doubt?
- That lone cantaloupe couldn’t have been held by someone in the cab on the return make-up drop to The Saviors? It needed to be tied down in a crate in the back of the truck all by its lonesome? Really? I guess if you’re going to put on a show of obedient pomp and circumstance it’s best to pull out all the stops.
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