In ‘The Walking Dead’ recap, Richard sets a plan in motion to force King Ezekiel’s hand to go to war with the Saviors…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
There’s been a little frustration amongst fans of ‘The Walking Dead’ that it’s taking too long for the war to finally erupt between the communities — Alexandria, the Kingdom and the Hilltop — going up against Negan and the Saviors.
The first half of the season focused primarily on Rick Grimes and the other survivors being crushed under Negan’s boot and by the end deciding that living to serve someone else isn’t really living at all. So the second half of the season has been the road to war as Rick gathers troops, supplies and allies to finally go up against Negan’s faction in a battle where a lot of lives will be lost but hopefully freedom will be gained.
Of course just launching an all out assault would provide a lot of action but no real context on why the war is happening much less what Rick and the other communities will do to win it. That’s why the slow build towards war is so crucial and what is so important about episodes like the latest titled ‘Bury Me Here’.
In this episode, King Ezekiel’s passivity finally fades but only after he watches two of his own people die while Carol is also snapped back into action when she learns the truth about the Saviors and what they did to her friends back in Alexandria after she was gone.
There was no stronger statement made about the Kingdom’s involvement in the upcoming war than with what unfolded on Sunday night and also why it took so long for them to finally reach a breaking point. Threats are scary but blood being shed was going to either make King Ezekiel revolt or cower in fear.
It looks like we know what his majesty is made of now.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ titled ‘Bury Me Here’…
Despite her solitude away from the world, Carol is still waking up from nightmares that haunt her every night. Whether it’s the killings she’s committed or the fear of what she left behind, Carol struggles to sleep at night and she finally goes to the Kingdom looking for answers.
Carol confronts Morgan about what really happened when Alexandria faced off with the Saviors. There was something about Daryl’s appearance at the Kingdom along with several other visitors that have her concerned that there’s more to the story than anybody is letting on. Morgan refuses to divulge any information and instead suggests that if Carol wants answers she should go back to Alexandria and get them.
Instead of staying, Carol turns around and leaves for her home again. She wants to know the truth but she still can’t face the people she left behind.
Before she makes it back to her cottage, Carol spots a freshly killed walker on the street and can’t help but feel like somebody’s watching her. From behind a building we see someone is there but she turns and leaves before spotting them. The person lurking in the shadows is Richard — and he’s out there to dig a hole where a body will soon be buried.
Meanwhile, it’s delivery day for the latest offering to the Saviors but there are problems mounting inside the Kingdom.
King Ezekiel learns that the crops have been infected with weevils, which means a big part of their land will have to be torn up, burnt and re-seeded before fresh fruits and vegetables can be grown. Of course this also means there’s going to be less food to go around the Kingdom because the community can’t risk holding back on the Saviors or risk ultimate retribution.
Morgan is preparing for the trip to meet the Saviors when Benjamin pays him a visit to deliver a present — a piece of art that he can hang on the wall in his new room. Morgan is appreciative it’s clear he’s as close to Benjamin as he’s been to anyone since his son Dwayne died some years ago.
Once it’s finally time to make the delivery to the Saviors, King Ezekiel rounds up his troops and they pack the truck before taking the journey. Before leaving, Richard tries to make peace with Morgan, who he’s been at odds with most of this season because he believes the Kingdom should rise up and fight back against the Saviors rather than bowing down to them. Still, Richard knows at his heart Morgan is a good man who just hasn’t been pushed beyond his threshold where killing is finally justified.
Of course, Richard only knows this version of Morgan. He’s unaware of the man Morgan used to be.
The group gets on the road but before making it to the drop point, they encounter a string of grocery carts lined up on the street, blocking the way. The group exits the truck in formation because this could be a trap but no one appears to be around. Everybody begins to look around before finding a grave that’s already been dug with a sign that says ‘bury me here’. With nobody else around it just looks like somebody left a grave with no body but by the end of the episode, one would occupy that space.
The carts are moved away and the group from the Kingdom drives onto the meeting with the Saviors but it’s what they didn’t see at the obvious set up that will ultimately cost them.
At the meeting with Gavin and the Saviors, tensions are high as it’s been for the past few encounters, and things only get worse when the group from the Kingdom are ordered to give up their guns. King Ezekiel eventually caters to the demand before Gavin explains why he asked for the weapons to be handed over.
The Kingdom was on the hook to deliver 12 cantaloupes to the Saviors but the truck only contains 11 and that shortage is absolutely unacceptable. King Ezekiel tries to reason once he realizes that they are indeed one piece of fruit short of making the order, but Gavin has already made up his mind about what has to happen next.
See in Gavin’s mind there is no tomorrow or make up for the losses during the next meeting. Gavin can’t accept one less cantaloupe because what happens the next time when it’s two? What happens the next time after that when there are no more cantaloupes? A message must be sent so Richard stands in front of a loaded weapon and offers himself up as a sacrifice as payback for this unforgivable act.
But Jared — the antagonist who has always gone after Richard — turns his gun on someone else and pulls the trigger. The bullet buries deep into Benjamin’s leg and the boy starts bleeding profusely on the street. Morgan and Ezekiel are quick to action to try and stop the bleeding but Gavin’s point hasn’t been made yet.
He tells the group to return tomorrow with the last cantaloupe they are owed — not five more but the one that the Saviors are owed. If they don’t return, the Kingdom will pay one way or another.
Finally, Gavin allows Ezekiel and the others to gather up Benjamin and try to rush him back before he bleeds out.
The group speeds up to Carol’s house because it’s closer than going all the way back to the Kingdom. They rush Benjamin inside and try to tend to the gunshot wound, but the bleeding was already too severe and a few minutes later the boy was lost. Upon his passing, Morgan takes it on himself to finish Benjamin off so he wouldn’t turn a few minutes later.
Everybody is heartbroken but no one more so than Morgan, who had come to look at Benjamin as a son. The last time Morgan had that kind of relationship was with his own boy Dwayne and his death sent him into the downward spiral of depression and psychosis.
After Benjamin expires, Morgan returns to the spot where the group encountered the carts blocking the road and he takes out his rage on the few walkers still occupying the area. In his anger, Morgan kicks over one of the plastic tubs laying on the ground and underneath he finds a cantaloupe.
The one missing cantaloupe that led to the escalation in the friction between the Kingdom and the Saviors. The catalyst that ignited a fire that led to Benjamin’s death. A moment later, Morgan remembers that Richard was the person carrying up the rear when the group got out of the truck and that’s when it hits him — he was the one who set up the carts, hid the cantaloupe and set this entire plan into motion.
Supposed to Be Me
Morgan’s rage is centered just long enough for him to return to the Kingdom to confront Richard over what he found.
Richard makes no excuses and offers up only the truth. He’s wanted to force King Ezekiel’s hand for weeks to finally go to war with the Saviors and he was willing to sacrifice himself as proof that this union couldn’t be trusted.
Richard set up the carts and then hid the cantaloupe in an elaborate rouse to set up the group from the Kingdom so they would be forced at odds with the Saviors. Richard knew that Jared was just itching to kill him so he assumed that once the tribute came up short, he would be the one shot and killed, which would then show Ezekiel the kind of senseless monsters he’s dealing with every week.
Of course, Richard couldn’t have predicted that Benjamin would be shot before later dying and now he’s racked with guilt over his actions. Richard promises to tell Ezekiel the truth and reveal what he did that led to Benjamin’s death.
The group loads back up on the truck the next day to deliver the single cantaloupe to Gavin and the rest of the Saviors. Once they arrive, Morgan questions Richard about explaining to King Ezekiel what happened, but he refuses and instead says this can wait for later. Before anyone knows anything, the Saviors arrive and Gavin gets his final piece of fruit.
Gavin also punishes his own man Jared when he finds out that Benjamin didn’t survive the gunshot wound. He tells Jared to walk back to the Sanctuary on his own or risk his own retribution as a result of his actions.
Just when it looks like Gavin might even apologize for what the Saviors had done, Morgan smacks Richard with his stick before tackling him to the ground. Gavin orders everyone to stand back as Morgan begins punching and clawing at Richard before wrapping his hands around his throat. Morgan tightens the grip until every breath is sucked out of Richard’s lungs and he falls dead.
Morgan then rises up and tells Gavin that Richard had concocted this entire plan in an attempt to burn the bridge between the Saviors and the Kingdom. Richard tries to convince Morgan after he knew the truth that it was key to regain the Saviors’ trust so they could eventually spring another trap on them one day. Well, Morgan decides there’s no time like the present and he gets the Saviors back on board after killing Richard and revealing what he really had planned all along.
King Ezekiel is crushed but Gavin accepts what happened and the relationship between the Kingdom and the Saviors has been saved.
Morgan tells King Ezekiel that everything he said was true and that Richard was the reason why Benjamin is dead. Of course while Morgan is ranting and raving he accidentally calls Benjamin by his own son’s name — Dwayne — before rectifying his words as he nearly falls over from the emotional torment of losing someone else he loved.
Morgan takes Richard’s body back to the hole he had already dug with the instructions “bury me here”. Morgan also finds a backpack — one that belonged to Richard’s daughter Katy, who he lost at the start of the apocalypse when he wasn’t able to raise a hand to save her. Richard has been living with that torment ever since and that’s part of the reason why he’s been trying to get Morgan to realize that there’s no black and white anymore. If Morgan wants to survive, he’s going to have to kill or watch more people he cares about die right in front of him.
It’s a harsh lesson learned but one Morgan takes to heart.
Do You Want to Know?
Rather than go back to the Kingdom and watch more people he cares about being senselessly slaughtered, Morgan decides that it’s finally time to return to the solitude where he found very little comfort and a whole lot of madness after Dwayne died. It’s not an ideal situation but it’s the only way Morgan can guarantee he won’t have to witness more people he loves die right in front of him.
Before leaving, Morgan stops by Carol’s house and asks if she really wants to know the truth about what happened between the Saviors and the people in Alexandria.
Carol nods yes and so Morgan unleashes all the horrible truth on her — Negan attacked and he killed Glenn and he killed Abraham by bashing their brains in with a baseball bat. Since that time, Spencer and Olivia have both been killed along with others and now everything Rick does is in servitude to Negan. But Rick is finally tired of bowing down to the enemy and he’s gathering an army to fight back.
Carol wipes away a tear before grabbing Morgan as he’s about to leave for good. She tells him that he doesn’t need to go — and she offers up her house to him as a place of solitude away from the rest of the world.
A moment later, Carol walks back through the gates of the Kingdom and finds King Ezekiel planting food alongside Benjamin’s little brother.
Carol has done a lot and she’s seen even more but she can’t stay locked up by herself while the people she loves so dearly are dying around her. Carol realized she couldn’t kill anymore so she left Alexandria because that’s who they needed her to be. Sadly, Carol left and now more people she loved are dead.
So Carol is picking up the sword again — so to speak — and she’s ready to fight back. Carol is ready to go to war and this time King Ezekiel agrees with her.
Beware Negan, you may have just met your match.
‘The Walking Dead’ returns with a brand new episode next Sunday night at 9pm ET on AMC and you can take a look at a sneak preview below: