With only three episodes left before the finale (tonight included) something was bound to start popping off. Full disclosure, I’m writing this as I watch so I can throw the prediction that before the end of this recap something is going to happen that brings the Kingdom into the fight against the Saviors. During an unusually short cold open after the recaps of previous episodes we get a quick montage of Ezekiel and some of his men rigging up what appears to be one melon in the back of a large truck. It’s no coincidence that the last recap scene was the Saviors telling Ezekiel that they were light on there last delivery…if you ask me they don’t need to be brought into the fight I think we’re about to see that Ezekiel’s already there. That being said, a subject of the Kingdom…Kingdomite I guess, is going to die tonight my money’s on Ben.
We’re back from commercial and are treated to a shot of Carol walking up from a nightmare, looking around and exclaiming “Dammit”. Sounds like she’s already in the fight too even if she’s just coming to terms with it. Checking over to a shot of Morgan training Benjamin’s little brother capped by a heartwarming little exchange where he admits to wanting to be like his big brother….yeah that kids not making it out of this episode, that exchange was a death sentence. As Carol makes her way over to the Kingdom we get a look at that SFX work up close and personal as Carol chops a few down, including poking some through the eye with a street sign. This chick is cold regardless of what she says. She’s about to get colder as the truth Daryl kept from here seems like it’s going to be revealed sooner rather then later. She tries to get the truth from Morgan if anyone was hurt by Negan or not but he defers in true Morgan style, saying that conversation was between her and Daryl, so she needs to talk to Daryl but he’ll go with her to Alexandria. Shocker, she doesn’t take him off on her offer. Benjamin catches her on the way out and asks to go with her to Alexandria. She says “No, go do your drop”, now the kids fate is REALLY sealed and we even know where it’s gonna happen. This is setup perfectly for another knock to Carol’s psyche. When that poor kid gets killed on the drop she’ll see it as her fault. That chick needs an ice cream party or something good to happen to her. A quick shot of Richard putting dirt over a little girls backpack with the name “Katy” on it and we are back to commercial.
Man this show LOVES to show you just how much is being taken away before ripping it from your hands. Back from commercial we see a Rockwell like scene of father’s and daughters, friends, and co-workers, just happy people with Ezekiel looking down from his balcony. Now I’m starting to think things are going to get REALLY ugly…they are laying it on too thick. I’m starting to sound repetitive but if you thought in any manner that Benjamin was going to be ok, just before they leave he has a little moment with his little brother while Morgan and Richard look on and talk about how Benjamin is like the kids father…may as well start playing the funeral march. As the ride to the drop gets underway the crew is stopped by a barricade. Ok, it’s not really a barricade but a bunch of grocery carts strung together. This must be the most face palming moment of the episode, you could literally drive right through that “barricade” with no damage to the truck they were driving, but its TV so they all get out and take a look around taking them to a spot on the side of a building very reminiscent to where we saw Richard burying a backpack earlier. In that spot is a shallow grave with a makeshift headstone reading “Bury Me Here”, and we’re back off on the road. When they arrive the Saviors are in a particularly salty mood…even going so far to hit everyone’s favorite jester, Jerry. After seeing what the Kingdom’s brought to offer the Saviors demand their guns too leading to an intense Mexican standoff during which, surprisingly Richard says they should, and unsurprisingly the Saviors highlight their douchebaggery. In the end the guns are given up, a decision that’s immediatley regretted when the leader who’s name I haven’t bothered to learn, says that they are short and things are about to get emotional…sorry Benjamin. Boom goes the dynamite, the douchiest savior, sorry guys I really know I should learn their names but I just can’t bring myself to it, draws his gun on Richard who immediately accepts his fate, steps into the gun and says just do it. The savior replies “ok” moves the gun from Richard and pulls the trigger. The screen goes black and we hear people screaming. I’m going to be astonished if we return from the commercial break and it isn’t Benjamin laying on the ground.
I hate being right. It’s Benjamin, but he’s not dead…that surprises me. He’s shot in the leg and bleeding out but the Saviors need to have their say before they’ll let them go. The rest of the shipment needs to be delivered tomorrow, 1 cantaloupe. They mount up and tear ass to Carol’s in hopes of saving Benjamin. The series of events was slightly different but the result the same. Benjamin dies right there on Carol’s kitchen table. It won’t be in vain. He’s just rallied the Kingdom but more importantly Morgan into the fight. That is of course if Morgan doesn’t loose his mind first. A messed up scene of him in the street recalling everything bad that’s happened that culminates in him kicking a recycle bin. A recycle bin that has one lonely cantaloupe under it. This was a setup. Someone at the Kingdom, smart money’s on Richard, engineered this to get the exact result that we are going to get. Granted he apparently thought he’d be the one to be killed but he wanted to force the Kingdom into the fight, and it looks like he’ll get his way.
Back from commercial we dive right into Richard and Morgan’s confrontation where my thoughts are confirmed…all of it. Richard thought he’d be killed and it would spur the Kingdom out of apathy. So now everything makes sense. Richard burying what was probably his daughters backpack with a sign to bury him there with it. Karl Makinen, who plays Richard, has his moment in the son here with a monologue explaining his origin story that is not just powerful but some of the better acting we’ve seen in the series thus far. It’s so very easy to make a crying, pour your heart out scene, look laughable and VERY hard to get it right. He gets it right and then puts it on Morgan that he needs to get in touch with reality and start killing, ending out the scene by saying that he’s going to lead the Kingdom’s army and will confess everything to Ezekiel. We get some more quick cuts with Morgan, these scenes have really been on-point, the direction this episode capturing Morgan’s high-wire act with sanity has been impressive.
And the beginning becomes the end, now we see the same scene we opened with but with a lot more understanding. The crew heads out to deliver the one cantaloupe. The leader of this Savior group is a confusing guy, when he finds out Benjamin is dead he genuinely looks upset, making that King Douche walk back to camp. What exactly did he think was going to happen when he said he was going to make them pay? Morgan has decided he’s going to kill again, starting with Richard. As the latter goes to make peace with the Saviors as part of his plan to take them out Morgan knocks him down and kills him with his bare hands. We’ve seen some gnarly things in this show but this kill was extra disturbing…even more so when both sides of the drop crew just watch. Once the light is gone from Richard’s eyes Morgan gets up and relays the story to both sides. If Lennie James doesn’t get an Emmy nomination at some point for his portrayal of Morgan it will be a real shame. Morgan is continuing down the path of insanity, slipping his sons name in where it doesn’t belong. I just wish there was some middle ground where Morgan could be an effective killing machine without losing his mind..same guy just trade the stick for a gun, but I don’t think that’s in the cards.
We come back to Morgan burying Richard where he asked to be buried, but not before Morgan finds his (Richard’s) daughter’s backpack and reburies it with him and heads to Carol’s offering to tell her what happened in Alexandria and admitting he killed Richard. Then he comes right out with it, “Negan killed Glenn and Abraham, beat ‘em to death with a baseball bat” and continues to explain how the Alexandrians are now Negan’s bitches, but Rick is planning a war. Carol takes it better then expected but Morgan has become a man on a mission, saying he’s headed out to kill them, one by one. This time it’s Carol being the voice of reason begging him to stay. He doesn’t and neither does Carol. She doesn’t go with him but rather relocates to the Kingdom telling Ezekiel she’s moving there to train them because they have to fight. Thank the maker, Ezekiel agrees. The episode closes on a very ominious and awesome shot. Morgan sitting on Carol’s porch with his back to the camera holding his staff and sharpening the end into a point. I would hate to be a Savior right now but I’m going to hate even more if Morgan is wasted in some stupid blaze of glory death.
Next week looks like the start of the war, or at least Sasha and Rosita’s war. The Saviors show up at Hilltop looking for Daryl with plenty of quick cuts showing Sasha and Rosita preparing to take some folks out. The gunpowder’s been lain and I’m pretty sure next week they’re going to drop the match. Until then deadites!