Warning: Spoiler Alert!
Turn back now if you haven’t seen this week’s episode, if you have, grab a shopping cart I got something to show you.
In TWD, Happiness is a Fatal Illness
From the opening shots of “Bury Me Here,” I was very concerned for young Ben. Contentment is a deadly affliction for characters in The Walking Dead, and he seemed quite happy learning to fight, being looked-up to by his younger brother, and being groomed like a young prince. He even had his eye on a pretty young girl. All was looking up for him.
Oh What a Difference a Melon Makes
And then, well, Richard finally found his scapegoat. Last we saw, he was trying to use Carol as the pretext for war. Daryl scarred that ambition out of him. Now he was trying to use himself, which, to be fair, was a much nobler option. This time, he setup an elaborate stalling tactic to make the Kingdom delivery late and then stole away 1of the 12 cantaloupes meant for the Saviors!
Unfortunately, the trigger-happy Savior buffoon shot young Ben in the leg instead of Richard in the face. Speaking of which, why did I find myself siding with the irritated Savior leader during all of their exchanges? He was definitely assertive and unpleasant, but he seemed to emphasize that he was just doing his job reinforcing the agreement between their tribes, and wouldn’t the Kingdom please do the same? The threat of violence was always there, but it seemed like it was just that: a threat. Is Negan savvy enough to keep his fiefdoms apart politically by giving some favorable treatment over others? Or is this just one guy who is doing his unpleasant job and just wants to get it done and go home? I mean, he’s not doing this for the stress. Either way, where is this guy’s episode?
Just some working man in the Negan organization trying to go along to get along without sadism motivating him. When he found out the Kingdom was a melon short, he ordered them to bring exactly one more the next day to fulfill the bargain, not one less and not one more. He even thought to ask after Ben the next time they met. As far as evil enforcers go, this guy seems to be holding it together pretty well. #mynewMVP
The Storm Beneath the Surface
Young Ben’s death rocked Morgan to his pacifist core. How could he do nothing in the face of such a violent and senseless act? He was literally killed over a missing melon.
“To injure one’s enemy is to injure one’s self,” the wise boy said, dying on Carol’s kitchen table.
Small aside: Is medicine woman one of Carol’s personas? They brought Ben into her home and my first thought was: well, he’s dead. She doesn’t know any medicine! They could have staunched his bleeding in the back of the truck on the way back to actual medical care in the Kingdom. But then how would they so conveniently rope Carol back in? Ah ha!
Anyway, the Saviors may have done themselves great harm in killing Ben, because now Morgan has relapsed into crazy-town (will he soon go silent and wander into a trash dump, no one asked ever). He even confused the boy with Duane, his dead son. It would have been interesting if Morgan slashed his wrists inside Richard’s grave as they teased; a delicious set of unexpected results from Richard’s botched suicide-setup. It would’ve left Carol and Richard as Ezekiel’s two most trusted advisors, both of whom are deeply-scarred.
Instead, Morgan strangled Richard in front of the Saviors, seemingly activating Richard’s fallback plan: regain the Savior’s trust so they can get inside their guard and deal a fatal blow. Morgan, it seems, is now capable once again of intense violence. Can he find the balance between peace and war?
Carol was also forced to confront her fantasy life. She barged into the Kingdom in badass fashion, methodically taking out four walkers before strolling right past the guards as they opened the gate. By the end of the episode, she got the truth out of Morgan and will hopefully now join the fight. They may even be able to get Ezekiel in on the plan to play nice with the Savior’s until the time to strike. We all know how good Carol and Ezekiel are at acting the part that is required of them.
Burn the Crop
At the top of tonight’s episode, we learned that Ezekiel’s personal garden had been infested with weevils. Without hesitation, he commands it destroyed and replanted. The final shot of the night, after Carol came in to help with the eventual Savior take-down, was of the King, Ben’s younger brother, and Carol sitting down to tend to the barren plots, planting anew where the spoiled crop had been destroyed. Parallels, anyone?
Sometimes, you have to destroy the spoiled crop and start fresh. I hope you’re listening, Saviors (except for my MVP!).
“Bury Me Here” was a nice, focused episode that moved the plot along and developed the conflicts Ezekiel, Carol, and Morgan all face: how to balance the desire for peace with the need for war.
Photos by Gene Page/AMC