“Drink from the well, replenish the well.”
Thankfully this week’s installment of “The Walking Dead” refrained from the emotional turmoil that last week’s episode caused.
This episode, entitled “The Well,” introduced a new community into the fold as well as new, dynamic characters whose reputation from the comics precedes them.
Now, with the Kingdom, the Saviors and Alexandria all coming into play, season seven is getting started quickly.
A New Home
After being rescued by members of the Kingdom, Morgan [Lennie James] and Carol [Melissa McBride], the two Alexandrians, were introduced to a new civilization, known as the Kingdom.
Led by the eccentric King Ezekiel [Khary Payton], the Kingdom functioned as an oddly hopeful community of survivors, which was an odd sight for Morgan and Carol.
As Carol recovered from her wounds sustained from one of the Saviors last season, she hallucinated, seeing the dead as the living. Coupled with her newfound home, it’s clear that she experienced some major culture shock.
Carol went from helpless housewife to hardened killer through the course of this series, and her meeting Ezekiel only amplified that feeling.
Morgan brought her to King Ezekiel, who along with his pet tiger Shiva (yes, you read that correctly) made for one fascinating first impression.
“I don’t know what the hell’s going on in the most wonderful way,” she exclaimed.
You and me both Carol, you and me both.
Ezekiel, whose manner of speaking seemed to be something out of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” saw Carol’s skepticism.
“Perhaps you think me mad? Perhaps you see this place as nothing more than a mirage?” he asked.
What’s peculiar about the Kingdom is that it exists virtually unaffected by the influence of the Saviors, but all is not as it seems.
Dealing with the Devil
Through the course of this episode, we gradually learned that not even a utopia such as the Kingdom is immune from the Saviors’ wrath.
Like the Hilltop and just recently Alexandria, the Kingdom owed half its share of supplies to Negan [Jeffrey Dean Morgan] and his crew.
Midway through the episode, they offered up pigs for a group of Saviors to take back to their compound, while one of them reminded Ezekiel what would happen if any of them stepped out of line.
I don’t need to remind you about last week’s episode, but the Saviors already made their point very clear.
That being said, the pigs they were giving up for tribute were being fed walkers for food, so it’s not like they’re healthy either.
It’s interesting to note between these pigs as well as Shiva that animals are unaffected by the virus. Additionally, even though the Kingdom is abiding by the Saviors’ will, Ezekiel is still keeping his people’s best interests in mind.
Hand of the King
Through the episode, we saw shades of the “Suzy Homemaker” Carol, who feigned ignorance to gain the upper hand on her enemies.
Ezekiel saw through it easily.
We came to learn that “King” Ezekiel was in fact no king, but merely a zookeeper who did the right thing and rescued his tiger Shiva when the apocalypse broke out.
“Maybe they need the fairy-tale,” he insisted to Carol, knowing people needed some sort of hope to hold on to in this dark world they found themselves in.
“They needed someone to follow, so I acted the part,” he said, coming clean about his origins, insisting that Carol come clean with hers.
At this point that there was some sort of acceptance from Carol, but she still confided to Ezekiel she wants to live away from this community.
It’s a respectable move though in Ezekiel’s eyes, as she’s seen enough carnage and dealt with enough guilt to not want any human attachment anymore.
Ezekiel visits her towards the end of the episode, still offering her some supplies from the Kingdom – knowing well enough that she’s going to need them.
However, with the Saviors still looming over these various communities, it will only be a matter of time before Negan comes knocking yet again.
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The animals may be unaffected but do you think that eating animals that have eaten rotting flesh, especially that of walkers, would cause sickness? I’m thinking that’s how Rick and Co. stand up chance. The Kingdom thins Negan’s numbers via “tainted meat” and when Rick gets back on his feet it’s all-out war. I don’t read the comics so this is just my guess.