One of The Walking Dead’s most surprising kills this week was Richard. Morgan killed Richard even though he doesn’t believe in killing. So why did he kill Richard?
Morgan’s refusal to kill on The Walking Dead may finally be over. He’s become a complicated character as he continued to refuse to kill or fight. But in “Bury Me Here” he killed Richard in a particularly way. Does that mean he no longer believes all life is precious?
No. He still thinks that. But he might finally be coming to terms with the fact that in the cold and brutal world of The Walking Dead not killing is not a viable option. But choosing why you kill is still something that each person can decide for themselves.
Morgan killed Richard for a couple of reasons. Richard wanted to be a martyr. He wanted to sacrifice his life to bring The Kingdom into the war against Negan and The Saviors. That’s why he blocked the road to make The Kingdom soldiers late for their drop with The Saviors. And that’s why he stole the melon and hid it. He just didn’t think his plan through. He assumed that The Saviors would kill him. They killed Benjamin instead.
So Morgan killing Richard gave Richard what he wanted. He was ready to die. And Morgan wanted to be sure that no more innocent people would die because of Richard’s sincere but misguided attempts to spark war between The Kingdom and The Saviors.
The Greater Good
Another reason why Morgan killed Richard was to try and make peace with The Saviors again. Morgan desperately wanted to keep the deal that The Saviors had with King Ezekiel intact. Richard had become an unmanageable problem that was constantly causing problems with The Saviors. Morgan hoped that by killing Richard in front of The Saviors it would send a message. He was trying to let The Saviors know that The Kingdom would do whatever it took to keep peace between the two groups.
Morgan didn’t want The Saviors to start coming to The Kingdom and causing havoc, which is what would happen if the deal totally fell apart. Morgan was showing Gavin that The Kingdom was willing to do anything, even kill their own people, in order to keep things civil between the two groups.
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A Life For A Life
Morgan also felt that getting justice for Benjamin meant killing Richard. In order to make things right Richard had to die because he caused Benjamin’s death. Dying in front of The Saviors who killed Benjamin was the only way that Richard could atone for getting Benjamin killed.
But there was a little bit of revenge in that killing too. Morgan could have just killed Richard with his stick. Strangling him with his bare hands showed a lot of anger and rage. Morgan felt very fatherly towards Benjamin and he equated losing Ben with losing Dwayne. The death of Benjamin may have set Morgan back on the path to the mental instability he was showing when Rick found him in “Clear” back in season 3.
It’s sad to see Morgan go through the pain of losing his family all over again. But really it’s about time he realized that his philosophy against killing isn’t something that will stand up in The Walking Dead world. Morgan knows he has to kill to survive and to protect those he loves. Hopefully now he’s willing to accept that and act accordingly.