The Walking Dead S7E2 recap: The Well

Ezekiel. Season 7 Trailer. The Walking Dead. AMC.
Ezekiel. Season 7 Trailer. The Walking Dead. AMC. /

Morgan and Carol find a whole new world in the Kingdom. How will they fare with King Ezekiel in this week’s episode of The Walking Dead, “The Well.”

After last week’s shocking episode, tonight we meet King Ezekiel and discover that Negan’s reach extends all over.

Carol is on a cart that’s being pulled by a horse. She wakes up and sees the sunlight through the trees. Morgan is with her. Walkers surround the group and eat the horse, so Carol gets up and runs off while Morgan and the others fight them off. She’s having hallucinations, seeing Walkers as they might have appeared during their human days. As other good guys rush in to save the day, she watches Morgan kill a Walker that would have killed her.

Before they leave, Morgan fixes the mailbox in front of the house where he found Carol.

Carol is on a bed, wounds tended to, and Morgan sits beside her. When she awakens this time, she sees him and wonders how long she’s been sleeping. It has been two days, he says. More or less. She wants to know where they are, so he takes her outside in a wheelchair and explains that their doctor helped take care of her. We see kids playing, adults tending gardens. Morgan has been helping them while they took care of Carol. He says they can stick around til she feels better, and then they can head back to Alexandria.

He says he only told them that he went to find her ad they ran into trouble. That’s all they know. The man in charge calls himself King Ezekiel. “He does his own thing,” Morgan adds cryptically. He forgot to say that Ezekiel has a tiger. A pet tiger. Minor detail.

Ezekiel tells Shiva to be calm. Carol is their guest. Ezekiel speaks like a man straight out of the 16th century. Carol remains silent until he asks her directly what she thinks of the kingdom and its king. She thinks it’s all amazing. “I don’t know what the hell’s going on in the most wonderful way,” she laughs. He has a rule about contributing to the well. Those who partake should contribute back to the community. He offers her some fruit, but she’s not fond of pomegranates and she demurs. He bids her wellness and dismisses them.

Outside, Morgan tries to get Carol to understand that this is their best option for now. Carol says this is a world of playtime, and as soon as she can get out she will leave. He won’t be able to stop her. No matter what he does.

Two trucks depart from the Kingdom and the men are going hunting. The wild boars are left to roam the city and the people of the Kingdom eat them. They round them up in a house using a Walker as bait. Ezekiel praises his people for doing a good job at the roundup. Young Benjamin is asked to kill a Walker but he can’t manage it so Ezekiel steps in. Ezekiel addresses the Walkers saying that they live on, and someday they’ll be free. “Only halfway free,” his second in command mutters.

Ezekiel has seen Morgan’s skills with the staff, and he asks Morgan to train Benjamin. He needs Benjamin to live, and Morgan agrees. Ezekiel says that the Kingdom has benefitted once again from Morgan’s presence.

Carol sits in bed and ponders her situation. Outside she spots Morgan training Benjamin while the Kingdom’s choir practices and we see plants growing in file cabinets. Carol wheels herself to watch Morgan, grabbing a few weapons along the way. Carol is blown away by the breakfast cobbler. She’s used to eating opossum. She’s overcome with emotion. Of course, she’s using this is a ploy to distract the laundry guy to gather clean clothing as she prepares for her escape.

Benjamin spots a book in Morgan’s bag and begs to read it. He has been passing his time reading HVAC books. Ezekiel approaches and tells them to join him. They go to a distant parking lot where the pigs have been slaughtered so that the noise doesn’t carry. Cars pull up in the parking lot and the men get out and inspect the payment from Ezekiel. Morgan knows who they are. It’s Negan’s men.

The pigs are loaded into the trucks. One of Negan’s men taunts Ezekiel’s about how they let them off easy. Ezekiel asks Morgan if the man he killed to save Carol was one of those men. He wonders if that’s why he brought him there, but Ezekiel says it’s the opposite.

Back at the Kingdom, Benjamin tells his brother to finish eating before going off to the movie. And then he can read before bed. Morgan notes how close they are. Benjamin says he doesn’t know if he’s raising his brother right, but he does his best. Ezekiel has helped raise him, too, because Benjamin’s father was killed during one of those missions. He says that Ezekiel keeps the deal with Negan secret because the people of the Kingdom would want to fight back. Benjamin wonders if the fact that Morgan is only eating vegetables and teaching him aikido means that he doesn’t believe in killing. Morgan says that’s a personal decision. He goes to find Carol and discovers that she isn’t there.

Carol picks some fruit before heading out. Ezekiel finds her and lights a fire as he explains that the facility was built for recreation. It’s his favorite place in the Kingdom. He excuses Jerry, his happy right hand man, and Ezekiel says that you “never bull shit a bullshitter.” He sees right through the act she’s putting on, pretending to be sweet and innocent. He knows she was fighting Saviors, and he knows she won. She thinks it’s funny she ended up there, because the Kingdom is a joke, he’s a joke. Ezekiel sits beside Carol and says that people want someone to follow because that’s human nature. They feel safe knowing someone is in charge. Seeing a man with a tiger creates stories that breed more stories. Then the treat him like royalty. He faked it until he made it. As it turns out, he was a zookeeper and Shiva was one of his animals. She had fallen into one of the moats and broke her leg, and he saved her life. That’s why she loves him so much. He knows that keeping a tiger isn’t practical. She eats a lot and she could get out of control, but she’s loyal to him. He, too, lost a lot like everyone else. When the outbreak began she was one of the only animals left, and she was hungry and alone like he was. She was the last thing he loved, and together they created this place. He used to act, and he played several kings in his acting days. His name really is Ezekiel, though.

Now that Ezekiel has laid his cards on the table, he asks her to keep it between them. She says she really doesn’t care, and that she wants to keep going. He says he’s sorry for whatever bad stuff she went through, and he says it’s worse when you’re alone. It’s not all bad, he says. It can’t be. He still has hope. He deals with the bad by going over the top with the good. He says that maybe she could go, and then not go. He offers to help.

Carol can’t understand why he cares about her, and he says it makes him feel good. He offers to get her stuff and have someone waiting at the gates. They can give his idea a try.

Outside the gates Morgan and Carol ride along the road on horseback. They pass the house where Carol thought she saw the old woman who turned out to be a Walker. They get off their horses and she says it’s good they’re there because she’s happy she didn’t kill him, and he says she’s his favorite person he ever knocked out.  He gets back on the horse and leaves Carol at the house, taking a moment to push the mailbox flag down. Carol goes inside and kills the Walker, and then she buries her and makes a cozy fire.

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There’s a knock at the door. It’s Ezekiel and Shiva. He hands her a pomegranate. “You’ve really got to try one of these.”

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9pm on AMC.