As I covered in my review of the season 7 premiere, The Walking Dead returned to our screens with a bang (and a wallop) and although the premiere was a wild ride, episode 2 was refreshing. The best way to describe ‘The Well’ is that it was trippy as hell with the introduction of some very memorable characters.
Although many people may have rolled their eyes at the prospect of a Carol and Morgan episode, it was a welcome change of pace from the intensity of the season premiere. I wouldn’t have liked an episode all about Rick and the grieving survivors so soon after the horror of episode 1. I think it’s good to let the audience breathe a little and catching up with Carol and Morgan gives us a chance to digest what’s happened.
If you watched the previews in the leadup to the episode, then you knew well in advance that we’d be seeing the fan-favourite comic character King Ezekiel along with his tiger, Shiva. I was pretty worried that the CGI would be a mess but it was actually very impressive for a TV show.
One of the best parts of the episode was the new characters we met. Usually, when a new place is introduced a lot of the people blend together and there are no memorable stand-outs. This time there are plenty of characters with potential including the happy-go-lucky Jerry (an instant fan-favourite I think), scowling Richard, Morgan’s potential protegée Ben and, of course, King Ezekiel.
We get our first glimpse at the larger than life Ezekiel when Caroli is wheeled in to meet him. I was delighted to see Carol immediately on the defensive and utilising her innocence act; I was afraid that because of her breakdown and depression that she may not even attempt that kind of thing anymore. It was good to see her looking like her old self.
I wasn’t a fan of Ezekiel at all in the beginning. His way of speaking is really irritating and the thought of listening to him ramble on in a similar fashion for the whole season made me want to Lucille myself. I liked that they made him seem kind of crazy (meaning dangeorus) what with the pet tiger and the set design of a castle behind him, but it was far too much and something seemed off with it.
Thankfully, by the end of the episode we got to see his real self and I appreciate him much more as a character now. I especially liked how he dealt with Carol and her indecision on whether or not to stay or to go; the whole “going but not going” thing was a good idea and it’s nice to see Carol have a bit of space.
Carol and Morgan’s friendship has evolved so much. They have the best developed relationship in the show in my opinion; they’ve come a long way from Carol wanting to kill him. I love how they’ve both influenced eachother so much. For Carol, depending on your point of view, it’s been quite negative. Morgan’s consistent narrative of “where there’s life there’s possibility” resulted in her venturing out to die like a wounded dog. Whereas for Morgan, seeing Carol’s perspective may have saved his life and it certainly saved hers. I think they both realise that extremes of ‘kill’ and ‘never kill’ isn’t the answer.
In saying that, I do think that Morgan needed to go through what he did with Eastman and he also needed to walk through life believing that life is precious. It allowed him to live in extremes and to understand that balance is needed. I think if he gets the chance he’ll be able to pass on a new, modified philosophy to young Ben that honours both Eastman and Carol’s points of view.
In the episode, we also got to see more of Negan’s men and their dealings with the Kingdom. There seems to be some degree of respect for Ezekiel but that respect doesn’t extend to other key members of the Kingdom. This kind of tension and the fact that the Kingdom is fighting back in their own subtle way (with the rotting pigs) hints at an uprising this season.
Overall, it was a really good episode and I’m excited to see more of the Kingdom. I imagine next episode we’ll revisit the survivors back at Alexandria and it’ll be interesting to see the reaction towards Rick from his people. He has never been broken like this before and I hope Morgan takes a trip back home soon because Rick is going to need him.
What did you think of the episode? Let me know in the comments below!