Every time Sunday rolls around and I know TWD is coming on, I get an excited feeling in the pit of my stomach
We’re going to Disneyland!
Then, I watch the ep, and I’m like
Oh, we actually went to Wallyworld … and it was closed.
Actually, this episode wasn’t as bad. Stuff actually happened that was cool. We got a lot of Morgan emoting (and his face looks like a UFC fighter during weigh-ins/face-off) and Carol finally went back to being Carol, instead of a thirteen-year-old girl playing hard to get. Also, I sorta cared about Richard’s story.
We open with Ezekiel’s soldiers working together
Including Lin-Manuel Miranda’s cousin
to load one measly cantaloupe into a truck. Then it’s credits. WTF? Two minutes of show (really one minute of show, then one minute of opening credits) and then three minutes of commercials? This is a new low. It’d be different if that one opening minute of show was Carol pulling Negan’s testes out through his anus with a plaque pick, but that didn’t happen.
Carol wakes up when it’s till dark, and smokes a cigarette. It doesn’t make her feel better, just like it didn’t work for Sherry and Dwight. She swears and gets up.
Nicotine’s no balm for a broken heart, people.
At The Kingdom, Morgan’s teaching Henry to be a ninja with a stick like he taught Benjamin. Benjamin comes up behind Henry and overhears them talking. Ben is happy that Daddy Morgan is taking the reins with his little bro, too.
Carol walks toward The Kingdom with a rifle and a backpack. She hacks a walker in town who gets in her way, but she doesn’t kill it. That’s how we know she’s in a hurry. When she gets to the gate, there are five walkers banging on it. Efficiency is Carol’s best strength, so she pulls up a “One Way” street sign, climbs a tree, bangs on the tree to attract the walkers, and then stabs each one through the eye with the sign support as the walker approaches her tree. Damn, girl! Carol doesn’t have time for this shit right now.
I’ve got a busy day, and there’s only ONE WAY I’m gonna get through it.
Carol missed one of the walkers and brains her with a machete as Benjamin and a few soldiers from The Kingdom run out from the front gate. Carol walks right by them into The Kingdom and insists that a stammering Ben takes her to Morgan. In Morgan’s new room, Carol confronts him about what Daryl told her about Alexandria. Visibly upset, Carol wants to know if everyone is okay there, “really”. Morgan refuses to tell her anything, but offers to go with her to Alexandria right then if she wants to get the real story. Her bluff called, Carol pusses out, leaves Morgan’s room and heads out toward the front gate. Ben scurries after her, asking if he can escort her back to the cottage and get some walker-killing tips along the way. She just walks faster.
It’s like when your kid is throwing a tantrum in a store and you just want to GTFO.
Carol sees that someone dispatched the walker she disabled as she walks quickly back through town. Stopping and looking around, she doesn’t see anyone who could have done it nearby so she continues toward home. We see Richard go around the back of a store and can assume he did it. He’s walking by a line of grocery carts. He looks down at the ground at his daughter’s backpack (the one with “katy” written on it that he had in the camper where he kept his cache of weapons), and starts digging with a shovel.
Back at The Kingdom, Ezekiel is watching a soldier load a wheelbarrow full of a dozen cantaloupes from his second-story balcony when Nabila, the poor woman who has been chosen to be The Token Muslim for this show approaches him.
Although I think thick, black, Muslim females who wear overalls is a pretty small TWD niche audience
She tells him that his royal garden is infested with weevils and they have to burn it all before the bugs get to the main gardens in the courtyard. She apologizes because she knows how much he loves his royal garden, and then Nabila gives him some bullshit line about how it can all grow back. At least she doesn’t directly quote the Quran.
Ben goes into Morgan’s room and tells him it’s time for The Saviors’ drop. He gives Morgan an ugly velvet painting he found somewhere on a supply run
Was there no Old Elvis? No dogs playing poker?
and returns Eastman’s book. Ben tells him he really liked the quote, “To injure one’s opponent is to injure oneself.” That smacks of Morgan. Outside, Richard and Morgan watch Ben say good-bye to Henry before the drop. They discuss their respective fatherhoods, and Richard seems pretty grateful that he had a family. He tells Morgan he’s sorry about the way he treated Morgan, and that he still doesn’t agree with Morgan’s outlook on The Saviors. Richard warns Morgan that a time is coming when he can’t be a good man, and when that time comes, Morgan should not beat himself up about it.
On their way to the drop, they stop in town because the road is blocked by a line of the grocery carts Richard was near earlier. He leads the soldiers out of the truck to inspect the scene. The carts are arranged in an arrow pointing to the side of the building Richard was hiding behind when Carol was headed home.
Christo was in a hurry with this installation
Jerry leads the way around the building. Maybe he thinks there’s some cobbler back there. All they find is an empty grave with a handmade marker that says, “Bury me here”. They think it was set up by some random crazy person.
The Kingdom reps reach the drop site, where Gavin and his guys are waiting. Gavin’s pissed they’re late and even lets the White Trashketeer who hates Richard (and still has Morgan’s stick) hit Jerry when he tells Gavin not to yell at King Ezekiel. Gavin walks over to inspect the dozen cantaloupes. While he’s standing there, he tells Ezekiel and his soldiers to turn over their guns to The Saviors. After a tense few exchanges, including Richard’s advice that they hand them over (????), Ezekiel does it. Then Gavin tells them the reason he wanted their guns is because there are only 11 cantaloupes, not 12. Ezekiel doesn’t believe it and Gavin invites him to count them himself. Ezekiel is incredulous, but there are indeed only 11, even though they left The Kingdom with 12. Gavin wants to teach them a lesson and Ezekiel offers to bring back 24 if they just give him another hour. Gavin refuses and tells them they’re going to handle this right now. White Trash whips out a pistol and points it at Richard’s forehead. Richard steps closer and tells WT to “Just do it.” WT says “Okay” and then SHOOTS BEN IN THE LEG!!!
Morgan panics and begins triage. He screams at Ezekiel that they need to get back to The Kingdom because Ben’s bleeding out. Gavin makes them all wait, even after he sees that WT has shot Ben (not Richard), and orders him back to the truck and to leave Morgan’s stick there. Gavin lectures Ezekiel and tells him he better bring one cantaloupe, and only one cantaloupe, to the drop off tomorrow. He then releases them to go take care of Ben. Morgan yells that they have to go to Carol’s because it’s closer and she has lots of medical supplies. Richard is dazed, in shock that this happened.
At Carol’s, they put Ben on her table and Morgan holds his hand. Ben paraphrases the quote from Eastman’s book: “To injure an opponent is to injure yourself.” Richard’s having trouble keeping it together. Ben dies and the room’s a tad somber.
Not Easy Street
Ezekiel apologizes to Carol for involving her and Morgan, after wiping his knife clean of the blood from stabbing Ben’s head to prevent the change, storms out without speaking even after Carol asks him to wait. On his way back walking to The Kingdom, Morgan passes the grocery store and tries to piece together what happened. How did they leave The Kingdom with 12 cantaloupes and only arrive at that drop with 11? He starts hallucinating and mixing up reality with memories. His memories of Ben get intertwined with his memories of Duane and his guilt for failing to save them both. In his frustration, Morgan kicks an overturned recycling bin and the missing cantaloupe rolls out from under it. We see him remembering Richard coming up behind them all as they approached the line of grocery carts, telling Ben to put his gun up.
After commercials, Morgan bursts into Richard’s room at The Kingdom, and throws the recycling bin down in front of him.
Have you not heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Richard? #reducereuserecycle
Knowing the game is up, and anxious to relieve his own guilt, Richard tells Morgan everything. He tells him it was supposed to be him that died, and that Gavin had even promised as much at a previous drop — that Richard would be the first to die if there were any more problems with Kingdom drops. Morgan don’t care.
Richard was frustrated because The Kingdom has done nothing to stop The Saviors. He tells his origin story, about a huge survivors’ camp he was in with his wife and daughter at the beginning and how he never did anything to make life better for his family or to improve life at the camp. There was “a fire” and “a fight” and he lost his wife, because he did nothing. Then Richard ran for three days and nights straight with his daughter (the mysterious “katy”), but then he lost her because he did nothing. He just can’t do nothing anymore. Morgan don’t care.
Richard takes another tack. He tells Morgan they can use what’s happened. They can show The Saviors that they get it, that they understand what they need to do. Richard says they can show The Saviors The Kingdom knows how to go on, and they need to make The Saviors believe it. Richard tells Morgan they need to do something to make The Saviors believe that, and then, when The Saviors trust The Kingdom again, they can kill them, and join Alexandria’s war. But Richard needs Morgan to kill, or, Richard says, Morgan should just kill himself. He tells Morgan someone had to die to get Ezekiel on board with fighting, and Richard tried to be the one. It didn’t work, so Richard will now lead Ezekiel’s army in the war. He tells Morgan he’ll tell Ezekiel and everyone what he did with the cantaloupe and why, and he’ll spend the rest of his life making up for his responsibility for Ben’s death.
We see a montage of Cymbalta ad scenes: Morgan in his room, thinking in the candlelight, Morgan watching as Ezekiel tells Henry that his brother is dead and comforting him, Morgan crying in his room in the flickering candlelight. And the Apocalypse Father/Father Figure of the Year Award goes to …
Me and my shadow ….
The next morning, Ezekiel watches Nabila and a helper collect the infested plants from his garden into burn barrels while his soldiers load the truck with the lone cantaloupe (hence the first scene of the ep). At the drop site, Morgan gets out of the Kingdom SUV and meets Richard as he gets off the truck, where Ezekiel was also riding. Morgan asks Richard if he told Ezekiel about his failed cantaloupe caper from the day before. Richard says he’ll tell him when they get back. Ezekiel overhears them and wants Richard to tell him what happened right then. In an ironic twist, Richard is saved from Ezekiel’s ire by the sound of The Saviors arriving in their vehicle. Morgan is pissed. He takes a few seconds to walk over where his stick is laying next to Ben’s stick … and a lot of Ben’s blood.
Me and my (sob) shadow ….
Morgan grabs both sticks and returns to the group, but stands off to the side a bit as Gavin, White Trashketeer and their crew get out of their trucks. Gavin asks how “the kid” is doing.
If The Kingdom peeps were a bunch of disgruntled wives, they’d answer “Fine”, and of course, they’d mean “Not fine at all, muthaf*&ka”.
Gavin realizes their silence implies Ben’s death, and wisely immediately tells WT to keep his mouth shut, his weapon holstered, and step lively back to The Sanctuary on foot before Gavin caps his ass. Long-haired Kevin Federline is extremely unhappy but does as he’s told.
I got 99 problems and now I got another one.
Gavin wants the cantaloupe and Richard brings it to him. Richard uses the opportunity to tell Gavin that they get it, and they understand. Before Richard can go any further into his spiel that Morgan heard the day before, Morgan walks up behind Richard, hits him twice with his stick, and brutally chokes the life out of Richard over Ezekiel’s protests. Everyone stands there in horrified awe, even Gavin. Gavin regrets not returning Morgan’s stick when he asked for it nicely.
I think I have 101 problems now.
Once he’s sure Richard’s breathed his last, Morgan looks up at Ezekiel and Gavin and tells them both what Richard did: he blocked the road to make them late, hid one cantaloupe and tried to start a war between The Saviors and The Kingdom. Morgan then hops up and turns to Gavin, who’s scared shitless at this point. Morgan hides his crazy eyes behind some normal ones and then gives Richard’s spiel to Gavin: they get it, that The Kingdom understands what they need to do, that they know how to go on (he begins crying at this point). By killing Richard, Morgan proves this to The Saviors. Ach, I love me some foreshadowing swirled with dramatic irony. Richard probably doesn’t, though.
Gavin is convinced, and leaves. Ezekiel asks Morgan if Richard really did this, and Morgan tells him Richard thought he could choose when and where he could die for The Kingdom, and that’s why Duane had to die. He realizes his mistake only when Ezekiel asks, “Duane?” and Morgan repeats “Benjamin” a few times.
You can’t remember your kids’ names, Antonio Cromartie?
Morgan wants Ezekiel and The Kingdom soldiers to leave him there, and insists that they do when they ask him to come back with them. He dispatches Richard’s corpse, and then drags him through the town back to what we now know is supposed to be Richard’s grave. He buries him, finding Richard’s daughter’s backpack in the dirt, and buries that with Richard. On his way out of town, Morgan kills seven walkers, looking like a character from Into the Badlands.
Guess he didn’t lose his form during his I’m-not-killing-any-longer sabbatical.
He raps on Carol’s cottage door with the bloody end of his stick. When she answers the door, Morgan asks her if she really wants to know what happened at Alexandria. Carol asks what happened to him. Morgan tells her he killed Richard because Richard was the reason Ben died. Then he asks her again if she really wants to know what happened at Alexandria.
I can’t decide if Carol’s eyes are prettier when she’s crying or when she’s killing a walker.
Morgan tells Carol how Negan killed Abraham, Glenn, Spencer and Olivia. He also tells her that Rick wants to fight them. Then he turns to leave. She asks him where he’s going and he says he’s going to kill them all, one by one, somewhere else. She begs him not to leave, telling Morgan he can “go, but not go”, which is the same language he used to convince Carol to stay in the cottage instead of leaving The Kingdom area entirely. He is intent on leaving anyway, but relents when she says, “Please” twice. Man, I wish that “Please Please” thing worked for me. I would drink less often and be much thinner.
Carol enters The Kingdom with a backpack and a duffel bag. I wonder which bag has the weapons … knowing Carol, probably both of them. She enters the now bare royal gardens and finds Ezekiel and Henry planting a tomato seedling while the burn barrels still smoke nearby. She tells Ezekiel she’ll be staying there now, because they need to get ready; they need to fight. Ezekiel agrees, “But not today”.
Today, they got to plant some shit and make some cobbler for Jerry to cry into.
Our parting shot is of Morgan, who has decided to stay in Carol’s cottage. He’s sitting on the porch, whittling either the end of his stick or Ben’s stick into a point. Only three episodes left. I hope they are exciting!