After last week’s harrowing season premiere, it was an interesting decision for The Walking Dead to follow it up with an episode like “The Well”…and I’m still not sure how I feel about that decision.
TWD has made odd decisions like this before – and whether or not they meant it, the most notable occurrence of a strange decision like this was just last season when they followed up Glenn’s fake death with an episode focused entirely on Morgan. And of course “The Well” was about Morgan and Carol’s journey…and it followed Glenn’s actual death.
Even outside of the jarring switch between “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be” and “The Well”, it was difficult for me to get back into Morgan and Carol’s story lines at all. I agree with the many fans and reviewers who lamented Abraham’s death even while admitting that it was past time for him to go, but really, the same can be said for both Morgan and Carol. I’m honestly surprised that both/either of them made it through season six, and while there were some things that I liked about Carol’s interactions with Ezekiel, I’m still wary of her future and questioning how Morgan still has a future at all.
“The Well” featured a lot of questionable content, including a terrible part puppet/part CGI tiger and a lot of forced humor that felt misplaced after the heart-wrenching season premiere. The timeline is also very vague; how long were Morgan and Carol at The Kingdom? Because it didn’t *seem* like they could have been there very long, and yet Ezekiel and Ben clearly both trusted Morgan and wanted to basically be BFF’s with him. I lost count of how many times I asked myself why all these people were so obsessed with Morgan – especially Ezekiel himself, as well Ben, who is clearly favored by the “King”. (Though I know part of me feeling that way is because sadly, I haven’t been very fond of him for a while now.)
I suppose Carol said it best when she told Ezekiel that he was a joke, The Kingdom was a joke, and that’s what you do with jokes – laugh at them. That’s what The Walking Dead was trying to do with “The Well” – make us laugh – only if you ask me, it wasn’t funny. Do I love Ezekiel? Of course. I mean, who wouldn’t? His speech at the end about how he saved Shiva (twice) and became “King”, how he opened up to Carol the way he did – those few minutes were amazing. But a few amazing moments here and there don’t make an episode – or, indeed, a TV show – great. (Or even good, for that matter.)
One thing I’m definitely interested in is whether or not the fact that The Kingdom is serving up walker-stuffed pigs to the Saviors makes any real difference. I have to admit that I was waiting for a “you are what you eat” joke…and I kind of still am. It was just a really big plot point in “The Well” and a mystery that I would like to see solved (or at least touched on sometime in the future).
Admittedly, as frustrated as I was with Carol last season, and as eyeroll-inducing as she was for most of this episode, in the end I grudgingly accepted the fact that she’s back and she’s probably going to be sticking around for a while. While I like the idea of her settling into that house on her own and possibly even ending up in some sort of relationship with Ezekiel (oh please, don’t tell me you didn’t see it), I can’t imagine that she’ll take it very well when she finds out that Negan killed Abraham and Glenn and is holding Daryl of all people captive.
The question is, when will that happen? Ezekiel certainly isn’t being forthcoming about The Kingdom’s relationship with the Saviors, and it appears that Morgan is willing to keep that secret as well. And speaking of Morgan, he and Carol did have a bit of a moment (even if I wasn’t overly fond of that, either)… could it be that some of his philosophy has rubbed off on her? That would certainly change any reaction she might have to the news about Abraham, Glenn, and Daryl.
My guess is it will be a while before any of that comes to fruition, especially as “The Well” is going to be followed by next week’s “The Cell”, which will likely focus on Daryl and the Saviors.
Did you find “The Well” refreshing, as the show runners clearly meant it to be, or do you agree that it was too much of a 180 from last week’s episode? Let us know in the comments!
Author: Tara Lynne
Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.
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