NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “The Walking Dead”, including multiple major character deaths, are present in this review
The Walking Dead brought the focus back to The Kingdom, and particularly Morgan, in its latest episode this week, which unfortunately falls considerably beneath the noticeably better episode we got last week. “Bury Me Here” is yet another filler episode that only exists because of Ezekiel’s inexplicable resistance to the inevitable war against the Saviors. Everything is simply about getting The Kingdom’s citizens, Morgan and Carol included, to finally get ready to fight against Negan’s forces, and frankly, that should have happened a long time ago.
This episode wasn’t a complete bust at least, since it did present a fairly interesting story arc for Richard, who managed to be the one character that acted in any compelling way this week. Richard has finally decided that enough is enough here, and begins putting a plot into motion to force The Kingdom’s hand in taking the fight to the Saviors, namely on their latest routine tribute. Morgan happens to come along for this as well, while Carol continues to hide out in her cabin, not accomplishing much of anything once again.
Richard’s plan, which involves sabotaging The Kingdom’s supply drop by hiding one of the twelve demanded cantaloupes, actually makes some degree of sense, even if there’s no way he could have predicted things going down the way they did. The show referencing the Saviors threatening to kill Richard first if The Kingdom stepped out of line helped to justify Richard’s actions more, and made it all the more shocking when Ben is the one who is shot instead, being mortally wounded, and forcing the characters to rush to Carol’s cabin to try and save him. Unfortunately though, Ben dies on the table, which shakes up everyone, especially Richard and Morgan.
Richard confessing the truth to Morgan afterward, and recounting how he lost his wife and daughter, was one of the episode’s best scenes, especially in how it paralleled Morgan’s own backstory from way back at the start of this show. The contrast of Richard not being so different from Morgan, and warning Morgan that he won’t be able to keep up his peaceful ways for much longer, was all great stuff. The symbolism of Ezekiel having to burn his garden to prevent a spread of weevils, but being told by the gardener that he can always start it again, was also effective, nicely contributing to how Ezekiel would finally come to see the truth after Richard’s botched plan.
From there especially though, this episode started to fall apart, and descend into predictable story turns that audiences already know are inevitable. That’s before we have to deal with Morgan suddenly losing it and going back to his super-violent, psychotic former personality, as he suddenly attacks Richard during the make-up tribute, and literally chokes him to death while everyone else just gawks at the scene. This was an infuriatingly stupid way to kill off Richard, for several reasons. First and foremost, the fact that no one intervened on The Kingdom’s side especially, or even so much as protested, and just watched Morgan viciously kill one of their best soldiers, is complete bullshit. There’s no way that Ezekiel especially would just be okay with that, and Morgan suffering no consequences for this murder, even considering that Richard is a traitor (which they didn’t know until after Morgan killed him!), doesn’t make sense at all. Secondly, Morgan immediately losing his shit and throwing out all of his teachings from Eastman at losing Ben didn’t truly feel earned. Did Morgan seriously care more about Ben than anyone else at Alexandria? Finally, if Morgan’s peace schtick was that fragile, then why the hell did he endanger so many of Rick’s people over a philosophy that he clearly isn’t going to try that hard to defend?!
A similar frustration comes from Carol similarly deciding to immediately take up arms, simply because Morgan finally tells her the truth about what’s going on at Alexandria. Sure, it’s kind of satisfying to see Carol and Ezekiel finally decide to fight at the end of the episode, just as Morgan starts sharpening his stick anew, but again, that begs the question of what meaning Daryl’s lie ultimately had? Why bother having Daryl lie to Carol if it’s just going to be undone in Carol’s very next appearance? It’s just another transparent way to have The Walking Dead drag itself out to fill the mandated 16-episode order, even though Season Seven’s events don’t need to be spread out this much. At this point, the show is just taking a needless amount of time for very simple, expected developments, and that’s a big part of the reason why The Walking Dead has become so frustratingly tedious and boring in its latest season.
“Bury Me Here” at least finally got The Kingdom seeing the writing on the wall and preparing for war with the Saviors, but the fact that we had to eat up an entire episode to do that is annoying, when it should have already happened ages ago. Further hurting matters is that Richard and Ben, The Kingdom’s two most interesting citizens beyond Ezekiel, were both killed off in this episode, which really doesn’t give us many more options for interesting storylines out of this settlement, at least not before they inevitably join Alexandria and The Hilltop to fight the Saviors. Thus, we have yet another obvious filler episode that is only here to fill a space in the season order, and doesn’t accomplish much else beyond nudging along story developments that viewers could see coming a mile away. With Rosita and Sasha’s big mission apparently being the focus next week, I guess we can look forward to The Hilltop’s reason to fight coming into focus next. Hopefully it’s a little more interesting than this.
- Richard's big plan to provoke war with the Saviors
- Ben's unexpected and tragic death
- The truth finally coming out to Carol
- The Kingdom and Carol finally deciding to fight should have happened a long time ago
- Richard's death is idiotic and heavily contrived
- Morgan abandoning his peaceful ways isn't effectively earned