If The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 1 was about hopelessness and breaking down the characters, then The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 2 was all about hope and allowing the characters to see that there is still good in the world.
Though as bright and cheery as Ezekiel and his people are, not even they have been able to rid themselves of the darkness that is Negan and the Saviors. Yet.
I smell a team-up between Alexandria and the Kingdom...
After the brutality and gruesomeness of the premiere, it was weird picking things up in such a positive setting.
New characters with friendly demeanors, twinkling wind chimes, sunshine and cobbler, and a kind leader felt surreal. Even the actual brightness of the episode was a stark contrast to the dark setting Rick and company were trapped in.
It was easy to be unsettled by the Kingdom, but more because of how much of a fantasy land it seemed. How can you take seriously a “king” that speaks like he’s only ever read Shakespeare or how bustling and normal the people were in the community?
Carol’s reaction to meeting Ezekiel was priceless. In full “gosh, golly gee” acting mode and a smile that really seemed to be illustrating disbelief, Carol couldn’t comprehend what she’d managed to get herself into. Even Morgan’s reaction to her was humorous, knowing she’d find it all crazy.
Considering all the horror and chaos that she’s experienced, and as fans we again recently witnessed, how could Carol also not think that something was fishy. Even I kept waiting for some twist where Ezekiel had a dark side or there was some breakdown of morality that was being hidden from Carol and Morgan.
It also was hard to believe that Ezekiel would so easily let Morgan join his crew for a ride along, letting him in on their secret with the pigs and the Saviors.
And when the men showed up for their pigs, they didn’t even need to announce who they were. It was an obvious dark and scary cloud that was hovering over all the good that had been shown during the episode. The Saviors are a nasty crew, and Ezekiel is just trying to keep the peace.
I did wonder if that guy who spoke out was going to be killed, and while he got a serious free beating, there does seem to be some sense of respect for Ezekiel’s wishes because he does deliver the goods to the Saviors.
Obviously, his recruiting of Morgan will definitely play into how the Kingdom handles the Saviors down the road.
However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jedi Master Morgan’s new padawan winds up getting killed by Negan or another Savior.
I don’t want him to, I’m always interested in new characters, but I fear by the time we get to really learn more about him, he’ll become zombie fodder because the show needs another death.
At the same time, Ezekiel is a fascinating character already, and not because he has a pet tiger. His initial dialogue threw me off, but it was his sit-down with Carol that was truly revealing. Not only did he speak like a regular person, but he talked about who he was and how he’d come to even take on the role of a king.
And while Carol was still eager to leave, his conversation about leaving but not leaving did actually seem to stick.
She chose to find a house on the outskirts of the area, but still close enough that Ezekiel could pop in to offer pomegranate. It was definitely a positive outlook for her by the end considering all the negative thoughts she’s been having, the sort of mental breakdown of all that she’s been involved in.
But Morgan and Carol’s experience with the Kingdom puts them in such a drastically different mindset than say Rick and the survivors who met with Negan. When Morgan and Carol do get back to Alexandria, will they be able to convince the others of good, of what the Kingdom has been able to achieve?
“The Well” wasn’t quite the follow-up episode I was expecting, but it was one I enjoyed, especially in seeing how different of a leader Ezekiel is compared to Negan, and how he was able to reach Carol with their talk. If anything, it makes me interested in learning more about this new community and how it will play into working with Alexandria and/or helping take the Saviors down.
After all, they do have a tiger.
What did you think of Ezekiel? Were you surprised by the Kingdom? What did you think of Carol’s decision at the end? Sound off below, and if you don’t want to miss out on any of the action, watch The Walking Dead online now!
NOTE: The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 3, “The Cell,” airs Nov. 6 at 9 p.m.
Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.