So much for happily ever after. The idyllic days inside the walls of the Kingdom came to an abrupt end on Sunday, March 12, when The Walking Dead aired a new episode that was the last in the lives of two of His Majesty's favorite subjects.
Tension had been ramping up all season for a deadly confrontation between the Kingdom and Negan's goons, who had maintained an uneasy peace up until now thanks largely to King Ezekiel's (Khary Payton) apparently infinite supply of patience for the Saviors' shenanigans. But now that the conflict has come to a violent head, can the King continue his policy of noninvolvement in Rick's coming war? Here's everything that happened on the episode titled "Bury Me Here."
A Day Late and a Melon Short
As has been so often the case this season, King Ezekiel rode out in this episode with his royal guard to deliver goods to the Saviors — who were represented as always by Thing One and Thing Two, the two weaselly-looking men who peacock around during these exchanges like a pair of assistant principals on a power trip. Only this time, things got more than heated when Ezekiel's team was late after finding a shopping cart blockade on their route that pointed to an empty grave marked "Bury Me Here" ... and their delivery of melons was inexplicably short by one.
"Things are about to get emotional," said Thing One, which is possibly the most understated way on Earth to inform someone that you're about to commit murder over a cantaloupe. Thing Two pointed his gun at Richard (Karl Makinen) ... only to change his mind at the last minute and put a bullet in the leg of teenager Ben (Logan Miller), who dropped like a ton of bricks and promptly began bleeding to death. A frantic run to the cottage of Carol (Melissa McBride) was the kid's best chance of survival — but instead he died on her kitchen table, which is profoundly awful, and not just because Carl could have really used a responsible and non-homicidal friend his own age to play with.
A Saboteur Revealed
Nobody was hit harder by Ben's death than Morgan (Lennie James), who wandered off to a nearby street and had a psychotic, hallucinatory, zombie-slaughtering episode that ended with him kicking away a piece of debris in anguish … revealing the missing melon hidden underneath. Suddenly, it all became clear: Richard had set up the blockade earlier that morning to delay the delivery, and yoinked the melon in order make a Saviors/Kingdom war all but inevitable, which he confirmed when Morgan confronted him.
“Someone had to die. I tried to be the one,” Richard sobbed, as Morgan stared at him with disgust. Yeah, don't worry, Richard. That can be arranged.
Richard Makes Himself Useful
Because the Saviors are nothing if not sticklers for quotas, Ezekiel and his crew were required to return and deliver the missing melon the next day. And because Richard was a total coward, he didn't tell his king the truth beforehand about being solely responsible for this whole sordid, tragic mess. Instead, Morgan delivered that news — after strangling Richard to death with his bare hands in front of everyone.
“I wanted to show you that we get it,” Morgan said, echoing Richard's own words from the previous day about lulling the Saviors into a false sense of security while the Kingdom made plans to strike. And hey, Richard gave his life for the cause after all, just like he wanted! So really, it's a happy ending. Womp, womp.
The Truth and a Trade
With Richard dead and buried in the grave he'd conveniently pre-dug for himself, there was only one thing left for Morgan to do: go back to Carol and tell her the truth about their friends' deaths and the plan Rick (Andrew Lincoln) had to battle the Saviors. And despite Daryl's (Norman Reedus) lie earlier this season, Carol's expression said that she kinda knew things weren't really OK back home.
But when Morgan tried to leave, Carol ran after him — and did for him what he'd done for her, when she was suffering similarly. “You can go, and not go,” she said. Shortly thereafter, Carol marched through the gates of the Kingdom and informed Ezekiel that it was time to get ready to fight, to which Ezekiel agreed. And he's not the only one who has had a major change of perspective. When we last saw Morgan, he was sitting on the porch of Carol's little house — and sharpening one end of the stick he's been using all season to not-kill people to a decidedly deadly point.
The Walking Dead airs on AMC Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.
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