We’re only two episodes into season 7, but “The Well” was a slowdown that we so desperately needed. Last week’s episode was heavy, but this week had a lighter tone, and dare I say it, offered a glimmer of hope?
The episode opens with Morgan and Carol traveling to a community with the group of strangers they had encountered last season. There is a run-in with a herd of walkers, and these strangers prove that they are skilled at fighting and more than capable of handling themselves in this world. But Morgan is hesitant to trust them just yet, and he marks his way back to Alexandria by carving an arrow into a mailbox post.
The place they’re taken to? The Kingdom, and the audience probably had the same reaction as Carol did when they learned about the leader: I don’t know what the hell’s going on in the most wonderful way. King Ezekiel is his name, and medieval times is his game. He’s eccentric and charismatic, and he tops it all off by having a pet tiger named Shiva.
While Carol is off doing her own thing, which includes taking on her trademark “Suzy the Homemaker” appearance, Morgan is recruited to join King Ezekiel and a small group of knights on a hunting trip. Only this trip isn’t an ordinary hunting trip, and their kills aren’t intended for them. A group of hogs are herded into a building with a walker as bait, and Morgan later learns that this is The Kingdom’s offering to the Saviors. Ezekiel appears to have a much more civil relationship with Negan than any of the other communities do, but it is a relationship that he keeps hidden from his community.
Morgan is finding a niche in this community, and he takes on young Benjamin as a protégé, teaching him how to fight and passing down the knowledge that Eastman had given him. Carol, on the other hand, has no interest in staying in this circus and is ready to get out as soon as possible. She doesn’t get far in her escape, though, and Ezekiel drops his act when he gets alone time with her. According to him, “you can’t bullshit the bullshitter.” He can see right through her act because he is putting on an act himself. His people needed someone to follow, and he fell into that role. Ezekiel apologizes for whatever bad she’s been through, and promises her that where’s there’s life there’s hope. He also offers her a safer escape, and in the morning she and Morgan head back to the house where Morgan had marked an arrow on the mailbox post. They part ways, only to have King Ezekiel show up to see Carol a short while later.
The Kingdom is unlike any other community that our band of survivors has ever encountered; it’s not just surviving, it’s thriving. There are gardens and choirs, kids attending school. It’s perhaps the safest and most self-sustaining community we’ve seen on The Walking Dead. But it became obvious fairly quickly that the reaches of Negan extend far beyond just Alexandria and the Hilltop, and while Ezekiel may be king, Negan controls this world. The introduction of The Kingdom offers hope, though, and the possibility that The Saviors can be defeated. Between Alexandria, The Hilltop, and The Kingdom (which has a giant tiger on their side), do the Saviors stand a chance?
- And more animals lost their lives on The Walking Dead. Will there ever come a day where an animal actually survives? That being said, Shiva the tiger was saved, and we couldn’t be happier.
- The Kingdom is so different from any other community we’ve encountered. It’s safe. It’s happy. It’s lighthearted. It’s safe. The leader isn’t corrupt. There is no killing just to kill.
- Who needs Tony the Tiger when you can have Shiva instead?
- Anyone else feel like they need a dictionary of Old English words to understand King Ezekiel better?
- Those pigs that they gave to the Saviors were tainted meat. I like the way that The Kingdom works…very sneaky.
- There were a lot of callbacks to Eastman this episode. RIP Cheesemaker.
- Morgan left breadcrumbs, marking his path back to Alexandria. By the end of the episode, he erased those breadcrumbs. He’s found his home, his people.
- Pomegranates are a sign of rebirth, and they were shown and mentioned throughout the episode. This wasn’t only the beginning of a rebirth for Carol, but also Morgan, and possibly the hope of a rebirth for Rick and Co.