The Walking Dead Recap: Bury Me Here
By: Emily Offshack (@CanadianEmily)
Here is the lesson we’ve learned: don’t try to act alone, or even be alone, in the zombie apocalypse. Things won’t turn out the way you expected. The bigger the problem and the more dangerous the opponent, the more people you need. Take notes, Rosita and Sasha. Two isn’t enough people for what you’re attempting to do.
In this episode of The Walking Dead, Morgan and Carol trade places. We lose some friends, gain some motivation to fight, and become overwhelmed with gardening metaphors. The episode begins with a confusing scene of people from The Kingdom loading a single cantaloupe into a truck. We don’t find out what that’s all about until much later.
If your feet ain’t right, nothing’s right
Morgan is teaching Ben’s little brother, Henry, how to be just like Ben by becoming skilled with a staff. It all starts with the feet. A solid foundation is necessary. This kid probably just wants to know how to look cool with a stick.
Meanwhile, Carol sets out on foot for The Kingdom after waking up from a nightmare. On the way, she knocks down a walker, noticeably not killing it. When she arrives at the gates, she climbs up a tree to stab the surrounding walkers with a street sign. Did the “One Way” sign mean that once Carol learns the truth about the current situation, there’s no turning back again? Or that there’s only one way to defeat Negan? Or that The Kingdom is on a one way street? Hmm. She successfully defeats the walkers just as the door to The Kingdom opens, and the walker-clearing crew discovers their job has already been done.
Carol’s destination is Morgan. Apparently Daryl’s story about things being fine with the Saviors, though comforting at the time, was not entirely convincing. She doesn’t understand why Jesus brought Daryl alone to The Kingdom. She wants Morgan to tell her if Daryl’s story is true, but he declines to tell her anything. He says if she wants to see for herself, he will take her to Alexandria right now. Carol leaves and rushes back out of The Kingdom, but not before she is stopped by Ben who asks her to teach him “how you do what you do.” Oh, Ben. Nobody can be taught to do what Carol does. She is a unique combination of awesome. She’s what you get when you mix strength, intelligence, and motherly love with unimaginable trauma.
On her way back to her house, Carol notices that the walker she had merely knocked down has a slash through its head. Someone has been there.
Don’t let life at The Kingdom fool you – they’ve got weevils
A casual glance at life inside The Kingdom makes you think they’ve got it made: a musician carrying his instrument, children receiving school lessons at a picnic table, a father and his young son playing together, and people gardening on a lovely day. But it’s not all perfect, and not everyone is happy. Richard, for one, isn’t even there. He is off digging a hole, seemingly burying the backpack that belonged to a young girl named Katy. And the garden…well, it’s infested with weevils, and you might quickly need a restroom if you need to stand precariously close to Shiva while relaying this news to Ezekiel.
The weevils, like the Saviors, are a big problem. They have destroyed a portion of the garden, which must be burned to save the rest of it. It’s okay, though, because the garden will grow again. So, to get this straight: we kill the Saviors (or Negan himself), make sacrifices, and start again. Got it. Outside of the metaphor, there is the practical question of whether the reduced garden will impact supply deliveries to the Saviors before the war. As we’re about to see, the supplies delivered to the Saviors are rather specific. What if they can’t produce, let’s say, 57 green peppers? Well, we kind of know what will happen.
In here somewhere, Ben delivers Morgan a painting of a bull rider and mentions a new girlfriend he has. Morgan teases him about it like a father would.
Eleven is a lifetime away from twelve
The delivery crew from The Kingdom is packing up cantaloupes for the Saviors. There’s Morgan, Richard, Ezekiel, Ben and Jerry, who is eating cobbler (not ice cream – haha – oh, nevermind). Richard notices Ben trying to parent his little brother and makes a comment about him being too young for that responsibility. He tells Morgan that, before the apocalypse, he had a perfect life and had become a parent at the perfect age. Morgan nods when asked if he had a similar life. Richard acknowledges Morgan’s effort to try to “be good” in this harsh world, but asks him not to beat himself up when the day comes that he can’t be that good.
The crew heads out for delivery and finds the road blocked with shopping carts. Everyone gets out with their guns raised, except Ben, who is told to do so by Richard, who is covering the back. They search around and find a small grave, open and empty, with a sign that says “Bury Me Here.” To the crew, it all seems very peculiar, but they decide someone has just gone crazy in typical post-apocalyptic fashion. To me, this seemed like the spot Richard was burying that little backpack, but there didn’t seem to be anything buried and the sign was cryptic. Something strange was definitely about to happen.
When the cantaloupe delivery begins, a Savior interrupts Ezekiel, to which Jerry demands, “Do not interrupt the King!” Jerry gets smacked across the face for that, to which I demand, “Do not hit Jerry!” Rude. Gavin checks out the cantaloupes and then requests all of their guns, too. Ezekiel wants to compromise by letting them have the guns if Morgan can have his staff back. There’s no negotiating at this point, so the guns are handed over. Gavin says they couldn’t keep the guns because the situation is about to get bad: there are only 11 instead of 12 cantaloupes in the truck. That’s right: the situation is about to get bad over one cantaloupe. Negan can’t have anyone straying even the slightest from their negotiated deal. Ezekiel insists he counted them himself, and that there are 12, but when he counts them again, there aren’t. He says they can deliver twice as much within an hour, but (oddly) that isn’t good enough. Gavin insists that the only thing that matters is now. So slimeball Jared gets his gun and points it at Richard’s head, since Richard has always been the person they agreed would be killed first. Richard bravely steps up, and we sense that Richard is the one who has set this up, though we’re not entirely sure why.
Jared, being another person who acts on his own, shifts his aim and shoots Ben in the leg, because Jared is a slimeball. Gavin is infuriated, yells at Jared to give Morgan’s stick back (because that makes up for it?), and after a much-too-long conversation about when the last cantaloupe will be delivered, Ben is rushed to Carol’s house after he’s unable to make it all the way back to The Kingdom. Carol is planting her own garden when she hears the truck coming up the road. Ben is bleeding profusely, and all he can manage to say is that it’s okay and “to injure an opponent is to injure yourself.”
Ben dies shortly thereafter, and something in Morgan cracks. He goes back to the area of the open, shallow grave, and starts massacring walkers. He contemplates suicide since he has a grave so conveniently nearby. Then, he finds the missing melon and pieces together what Richard did. Morgan takes the melon back to The Kingdom, finds Richard in his room, and drops it in front of him.
Morgan stays silent while Richard explains that he can’t stand by and do nothing. He thought the Saviors would kill him and it would motivate Ezekiel to fight them. Richard tells Morgan about how things were for him at the beginning of the apocalypse. He was in a big camp, with lots of crying babies. He assumed there were stronger, smarter people to solve their problems, so he did nothing. Then a fight came and he lost his wife. Then after three days of running, with no food and no sleep, he lost his daughter. He tells Morgan they need to use this opportunity to gain back the Saviors’ trust, show them they can move on from Ben’s death, and then kill them. Richard offers to lead the fight and spend the rest of his life making up for what he did. Morgan leaves, still having said nothing. He sees little Henry being consoled by Ezekiel and the garden being burned.
Let’s gain their trust
The scene from the beginning of the episode is played again. The single cantaloupe is being packed up to take to the Saviors, and now we know why. When the meet-up occurs, Gavin wants to know if Ben died, and when he finds out that he did, he sends Jared to walk back to The Sanctuary on his own. As Gavin said before, he didn’t sign up for this for the stress. Killing kids wasn’t on his agenda, it seems. It almost feels like he’s going to apologize, but of course he can’t do that.
Richard steps up to deliver the cantaloupe, not expecting that Morgan’s silence meant he was going to attack him. But that’s what Morgan does, knocking him to the ground and then strangling him to death. Right in front of the Saviors, and oddly, nobody on either side makes a move to stop him. After he’s finished, he explains to everyone what Richard did. Everyone seems fine with the explanation. Gavin jumps a bit when Morgan approaches him to explain that he’s showing them that they can move on and keep their deal. The groups depart, but Morgan refuses to go back to The Kingdom. Instead, he accidentally refers to Ben as Dwayne and then leaves to visit Carol, who is similarly messed up from the deaths of children.
Before he sees Carol, and despite his rage, Morgan buries Richard in the grave that Richard dug for himself. He finds Katy’s backpack at the bottom of the dirt pile and presumably buries it with Richard. Morgan might be able to justify killing Richard, since it’s what he had wanted in the first place, but something is set off in Morgan again that will not turn off easily.
At Carol’s house, Morgan immediately tells her that he killed Richard. Then he asks if she wants to know what really happened in Alexandria. She nods, somewhat hesitantly, and he tells her: Glenn and Abraham had their heads smashed in, and Spencer and Olivia were killed. Carol is shocked, but maybe not shocked, and she’s crying. Morgan goes to leave and Carol asks where he’s going. He says, “I’m going to kill ’em. Out there. One by one.” Does he mean the Saviors? Walkers? Anyone who crosses his path? Carol tells him, “You can go and not go.” For now, he goes.
Learning the truth has changed Carol, and she packs her bags and heads to The Kingdom. She finds Ezekiel and says, “I’m gonna be here now. We have to get ready. We have to fight.” He responds, “We do. But not today.” With Henry, the two of them begin replanting the garden. Carol is back and it’s going to be awesome.
Morgan decides to go but not go. The episode ends with him sitting on Carol’s porch, now his own porch, sharpening his staff into a spear. There is more wood for presumably more spears or other weapons. Morgan’s no-kill philosophy seems to be over. Here he sits, broken by the trauma of witnessing children’s deaths, ready to fight.
While Carol and Morgan have swapped their physical locations, indicating their inclusion or exclusion in the larger group, they have both seemed to abandon their desire to not kill again. Maybe after Negan is gone, they can both get back to that.
What I want to see next week: For Rosita and Sasha not mess everything up. Please don’t.