For all that has been said about the pacing of the seventh season of The Walking Dead, an event happened in “Bury Me Here” that was necessary, but not expected. Last night’s episode, which was penned by Scott Gimple, gave audiences a different type of episode with some foreshadowing time jumps and disconnected scenes that all came together at the end to give viewers a different sort of experience. The episode provided viewers with an important, yet unforeseen step on the path to the war with the Saviors.
As always, SPOILERS for The Walking Dead!
“Bury Me Here” could easily be labeled as a Morgan-centric episode, although portions of the episode saw him on the periphery. The very first scene of the episode shows Ezekiel loading and securing one lone melon for delivery to the Saviors. Right off the bat, the audience is given a puzzling scene that goes against what is known about the Kingdom making it’s deliveries to the Saviors. One melon is not nearly a large enough delivery. A quiet hope arose that this was meant as an insult given to the Saviors right before Ezekiel unleashed the Shiva on their sorry asses. As we find out later, this is sadly not the case.
Next, we have Carol waking in the middle of the night. She seemed determined and slightly angry as she made her way to the Kingdom. At the gate, she killed several zombies in front of Benjamin. For those who don’t know or remember, Benjamin is the kid who goes to the Savior deliveries and is learning the ways of Donatello by having Morgan teach him how to use a staff. Benjamin sees the aftermath of Carol killing he zombies and wants to learn from her. She turns him down. Carol finds Morgan and questions him as to why Jesus hasn’t brought Rick and the others to the Kingdom. Morgan chickens out and refuses to tell her, citing that it was something she would have to take up with Daryl. Going full coward, Morgan offers to take Carol to Alexandria right then and there to speak with Daryl. Unsatisfied with anything Morgan has said (along with the rest of us), Carol walks off in a huff and returns to her cabin.
One of the standouts of this episode has to be Navilla. She approaches Ezekiel to tell him that the royal garden has weevils and that in order to prevent them from spreading to the rest of the crops, they would need to harvest what they could now and burn the plants. Navilla is a breath of fresh air. She is open about her fear of Shiva, despite Ezekiel’s assurances that the tiger likes her. After delivering the bad news about the royal garden, Navilla launches into this absolutely beautiful sentiment about how even though things get used and burned down, they will always grow back stronger. This was followed immediately by Shiva chuffing, to which Navilla instantly said, “I think I pissed myself.” Looking back, the scene itself was completely unnecessary and had nothing to do with anything that was going on in the episode. Yet, it was a very entertaining exchange that added a little humor to the episode. Here’s hoping that we get to see more of Navilla and her real talk.
When you have watched a TV show, such as The Walking Dead, that has been on for seven years, you can’t help but begin to notice and even predict the subtle nuances. So when Benjamin brings a painting to Morgan for his place, I immediately knew that the kid was going to die at some point in the episode. We were shown Benjamin and Morgan bonding together, so that Benjamin’s death would have more of an impact. Also, it was evident that Richard was clearly tying up his loose ends by apologizing to Morgan about how things have been between them. Richard even went so far as to respectfully disagree with Morgan’s no killing policy, which led me to believe that Richard was also deader than a doornail.
So the Kingdom crew sets out to make the delivery to the Saviors. Along the way, they encounter a road block made of shopping carts in the shape of an arrow. The arrow points to an already dug grave with a sign that says “Bury Me Here”. The shopping carts make the delivery crew late. The Saviors take the delivery party’s guns because the Kingdom is short one melon. As retribution, the Saviors make like they are going to kill Richard, but instead, one of them shoots Benjamin in the leg. They give Morgan his staff back and demand that the Kingdom delivers it’s one melon the next day. The crew rushes Benjamin to Carol’s place because it is closer and stocked with medical supplies. But all is for naught and Benjamin dies. Morgan is seen cleaning a bloody knife which implies that he delivered the final blow when Benjamin turned. Morgan loses it and begins killing zombies with his staff in a rage. Kicking over an upside down box, Morgan finds the last melon and pieces together that Richard had arranged the whole thing. Morgan confronts Richard who admits to setting things up, but also tries to use Benjamin’s death as a catalyst to move Ezekiel to war. Harkening back to previous Savior drop-offs, Richard tells Morgan that Richard was the one who was supposed to die. Instead, Richard vows to Morgan that he will try to win back the Saviors trust and then will lead the army to crush the Saviors.
During the following days’ drop off of one melon. Morgan attacks and kills Richard with his bare hands. Morgan reveals to Ezekiel and the Saviors that Richard set the whole thing up to start a war with the Saviors. Morgan then buries Richard where the sign said to and then proceeds to kill some more zombies. Morgan then goes to Carol and tells her the truth about Negan, Glenn, and Abraham. He tries to pull a Carol by going off by himself, but Carol gives him the cottage and informs Ezekiel that she will be residing in the Kingdom. Morgan is seen sitting on the porch carving into the end of his staff. No doubt, he is turning it into a spear.
Two really important things happened in this episode. Carol somewhat “snapped out of it” and is now preparing for a fight with the Saviors. Morgan has abandoned his no killing policy and is also preparing for war, however, it seems to have taken a toll on him. Having Morgan get with the killing program was a major step in building up to the fight with Negan.
Overall this episode was pretty good. It took some risks by doing a bit of time jumping by showing the single melon being loaded up on the truck. There were also a few predictable moments that foreshadowed the two deaths, but ultimately the episode came off as being satisfying. We got to see Carol get back to business and Morgan wrestle with his morality in a way that cold not have been predicted. This episode should serve as an example of how to follow characters, yet keep things interesting. If this episode had aired during the first half of the season, I’d wager that there would not have been as many people who have reportedly stopped watching.