The Walking Dead 7.13: Bury Me Here
Scott M. Gimple
The Kingdom was always going to come into the war against the Saviors for one reason or another, and it didn’t take a lot to guess it would be because of something Richard did to instigate the conflict. The big question was how it would affect Morgan and Carol. This episode reveals the answer, and it’s a pretty nasty turn of events. Carol learns the truth about what happened to Glenn and Abraham, decides to stop sitting on the fence and fight with the Kingdom, and Morgan takes her place on the fringes.
Morgan’s not gone yet, but his reversion into the old madness and his decision to “go but not go” is fairly symbolic. Carol came out of that state after a long dark teatime of the soul with the decision to not go, ostensibly meaning that she intends to fight for survival. Morgan’s status is a lot more precarious. Eastman’s philosophy was the one thing that kept him from ending it all before, and losing that, he may ultimately decide to “go”. (Or simply end up on that side of the fence narratively.)
Richard is the catalyst, and his plan is about as bad as it could possibly be. But the situation was pushing towards revolution day after day, and it was going to come down to someone dying. The Saviors’ model of control is inherently unstable; there are only so many resources to scrounge in the area, and if the consequences are so immediately harsh, sooner or later all these various communities are going to realize that they have a common enemy.
But Richard is largely the catalyst for The Kingdom; losing Benjamin is the catalyst for Morgan’s psychological and philosophical retreat. Frankly, he was never going to be able to maintain that level of pacifism, not in the world where the Saviors hold sway. Losing a surrogate son, however, is a particularly nasty way for him to regress. Then again, the fact that he snapped so quickly is a sign that the loss of his bo staff was symbolic of his eventual fall.
Morgan’s decision to flat out murder Richard makes a crazy kind of sense, as it buys time for The Kingdom by making it look like extreme self-policing. What doesn’t quite work in the scene is the lack of action by Ezekiel or his henchmen as Morgan strangles Richard to death. It was necessary to prevent the situation from escalating further, from a writers’ perspective, but realistically Ezekiel had absolutely no idea why Morgan was killing one of his people right then and there. Inaction seems hard to reconcile.
Meanwhile, Carol has learned the truth, and one might wonder if this will cause a rift with Daryl. I don’t believe it will, because Carol has known Daryl long enough to understand why he chose to delay that truth. Carol was already reeling from the news about the Saviors, and she needed time for it to sink in. Now she’s got the full story, and Morgan has ensured that the timing is right for her to join the fight. It’s a little convenient from a narrative perspective, but who isn’t ready to see Carol get her mojo back?
- A brutal episode that brings Carol back to action and Morgan back to insanity
- Why would no one act while Morgan was committing murder right in front of them?