The Walking Dead
Episode 7.2 “The Well”
Directed by Greg Nicotero
Written by Matthew Negrete
Starring Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Lennie James, Christian Serratos, Sonequa Martin-Green, Josh McDermitt, Khary Payton, Alanna Masterson
Air Date: October 30, 2016
Warning – SPOILERS!
While most of us are still reeling from the 7th season premiere, 7.2 gives us all a chance to catch our breath and digest the revelations of what the new world holds for our survivors. “The Well” shifts it’s focus away from Rick and the Alexandrians, and picks back up with Carol and Morgan and tells us who the two survivors at the end of season 6 were. We’re finally introduced to another group of survivors living a sorta fairy tale life in The Kingdom.
The Kingdom’s enigmatic leader, King Ezekiel, is nothing like what we’re used to from our survivors’ previous encounters with other group’s leaders. Gregory of the Hilltop is a coward. The Governor was a flawed man. Deana was ever hopeful. Negan is a maniac. Ezekiel? Well, Ezekiel has a tiger.
Carol’s introduction to King Ezekiel is over the top. Ezekiel knows how to put on a show. But Carol is skeptical. And with good reason. If there’s one thing the show has taught us it’s that everyone has secrets. Morgan gets a glimpse of this while out int he wild herding hogs. We get a glimpse of several wild hogs eating a walker. The Kingdom are using the walkers to fatten up the wild hogs. But why? “I want their bellies full of rotten meat,” Richard admits to Morgan.
On the outside, The Kingdom appears to be a safe haven for Carol and Morgan. As the episode progresses, we learn more about why The Kingdom is thriving. Known only to a few of it’s residents, The Kingdom is being protected by Negan’s Saviors. On their most recent meeting with the Saviors, The Kingdom has supplied several butchered hogs as tribute. One of the saviors even remarks on how fat the hogs looks. Fattening the hogs up with Walkers before slaughtering them is The Kingdom’s way of disobeying the Saviors’ forced authority.
Dissecting the episode further, we have a few Wild Card survivors that, at this point in the comics, had perished long before Alexandria met The Kingdom. Carol, who’s comic book counterpart met her demise during the Prison arch, has become one of the strongest characters in the TV series. In the comics, it was Michonne that began a romantic relationship with Ezekiel. Did “The Well” give us a glimpse at a budding romance between Carol and Ezekiel? And what part will Morgan play in the upcoming “All Out War” story line? Only time will tell.
Finally, it should also be noted that Christian Serratos, Sonequa Martin-Green, Josh McDermitt, Khary Payton, and Alanna Masterson were all promoted to “starring” roles in the main title sequence.
After suffering through a grueling season premiere we’re leaving Rick and the others behind to catch up on Carol and Morgan. Carol, who’s injured from being shot by a Savior wakes up to find herself being escorted by the men in armor. She escapes during a walker attack but doesn’t make it far until the armored people locate her and take her with them.
Carol awakes two days later in a hospital room with Morgan at her bedside. He explains they’re staying in a new survivor community called The Kingdom, which is brimming with life. He escorts her to a school auditorium to introduce her to a man named “King Ezekiel,” who has a throne, grey dreadlocks, and a tiger named Shiva.
Carol sees right through the fantasy but attempts to play along. Ezekiel questions Carol’s reluctance and surmises, “Perhaps you think me mad.” With a smirk, Carol responds, “I don’t know what the hell’s going on in the most wonderful way.” Ezekiel reminds Carol she can stay at The Kingdom so long as she does her part to help. He sends them off and Carol tells Morgan this place is make believe and she’s going to leave when she’s better.
Later, outside the walls, Ezekiel and his soldiers force pigs to feast on a tied-up walker. A small group of walkers approach and the youngest solider, Ben, practices his machete skills on one of them, but Ezekiel ultimately finishes the job. They warn Morgan not to tell anyone back at The Kingdom about their operation.
The group returns and Ezekiel asks Morgan to improve Ben’s fighting skills. Morgan agrees and begins training him immediately. Meanwhile, Carol wheels around The Kingdom to pilfer a knife and clothes. Shortly afterward Ezekiel takes Morgan and Ben outside the walls again and explains they’re purposefully infecting the pigs to trojan horse them into the Savior community. The Saviors arrive for the pigs and one of them taunts Richard, leading him to punch him. Everyone draws their guns until Ezekiel makes them stop. Richard takes some punishing blows and The Saviors depart with the infected pigs.
That night Ezekiel catches Carol trying to break out of The Kingdom. She explains/lies she’s useless to the cause but Zeke tells her (like he told Michonne in the comics), “Never bullshit a bullshitter.” Carol calls The Kingdom a fairy tale and Ezekiel admits his people need need it to feel safe. He explains, “They needed someone to follow…so I acted the part. I faked it ‘till I made it.” He also reveals his past job as a zookeeper and how he saved Shiva’s life at the zoo. Carol sympathizes but confesses she just wants to leave. A dismayed Ezekiel says he’s sorry for whatever bad she’s been through.
The next day Morgan escorts Carol to a nearby house where she’ll stay from now on. He leaves her and hours later, hears a knock on her door. It’s Ezekiel and Shiva, who seem like new allies.