The Walking Dead

‘The Walking Dead’: 10 Questions Raised by Episode 2, “The Well”

Photo by Gene Page/AMC

After an emotionally draining season premiere that saw Negan and Lucille brutally murder not one, but two important and regular characters, The Walking Dead took a much smaller and slower step forward with Episode Two, “The Well.” Rather than check in on Rick and company in the aftermath of their terrible, no good, very bad day, the show kept this episode far away from that seething pile of grief and anger. Instead, we focused on Morgan and Carol, who have turned up in a new settlement called The Kingdom. Run by an eccentric leader (more on him later), The Kingdom is a new player in the game, joining Alexandria, The Hilltop, and The Saviors (where ever their home base is) as the major survivor settlements in the area.

10. What Happened to Carol?

Remember when Carol was a stone cold killer? There was a time, like when the group was held captive by the cannibals at Terminus, that Carol literally Rambo’ed her way in to murder the bad guys and save the day. Once a meek victim of domestic violence (remember Season One?), Carol somehow turned into a ballistics and explosives expert. And it was awesome! Once settled in Alexandria though, she again flip flopped. She became more passive and then randomly decided she didn’t want to live in a community anymore. She snuck away from the group back in Season Six, causing Rick and Morgan to go looking for her. Apparently unaware of all the problems she caused by leaving once, Carol leaves again, despite The Kingdom appearing to be a safe place with plenty of resources. We don’t get it.

Photo by Gene Page/AMC

Photo by Gene Page/AMC

9. Why Do People Put Up With The King Ezekiel Act?

When we first meet King Ezekiel, he is playing the part to perfection. He speaks in a proper and eloquent tone, worthy of royalty. He calls the people of The Kingdom his “subjects” and a personal Royal Guard follows him around. Of course, we quickly learn that he’s just some dude who worked at a zoo before the zombie apocalypse hit and played King Duncan in Macbeth once. But his community eats up the royal act. As he puts it, they were desperate to follow someone, so he faked it until it become normal. But Morgan and Carol see right through his act almost instantly, so why doesn’t everyone else? It’s cool to have someone in charge, but why do the people of The Kingdom put up with all the theatrics? Give it a rest, man.

Via AMC

Via AMC

8. How is the Kingdom so Good At Producing Food?

Despite the corniness of the phony monarchy in The Kingdom, leadership certainly seems to know what they’re doing. The community boasts plentiful gardens that produce both fruits and vegetables. They even seem to have gotten the hang of slaughtering meat, as evidenced by the pig carcasses offered as payment to The Saviors. It’s unclear exactly how large the community is, but there appears to be no shortage of food for everyone. The Hilltop also claimed to have more than enough food in Season Six, while Alexandria was basically starving to death. All of these communities are within close proximity to each other, so how can Rick and his people fail to get the hang of making food, when there are (at least) two other communities nearby who seem to have no problems at all.

Via AMC

Via AMC

7. How Many Communities Are Being Extorted by The Saviors?

We see in this episode that The Hilltop and Alexandria aren’t the only settlements that Negan and the Saviors are intimidating in order to get food and other resources. In fact, the Saviors and the Kingdom appear to have a complex arrangement, with different resources being scheduled on different weeks. King Ezekiel seems to take the extortion in stride — maybe because they have enough food anyway? Or maybe because he realizes that he has no choice. The Saviors seem to have their racket down to a science, even it sometimes gets a little bloody. We wonder who else they might be hitting up for supplies. Are there other communities we have’t met yet? For that matter, just how many Saviors are out there, anyway?

Photo by Gene Page/AMC

Photo by Gene Page/AMC

6. Is There a Kingdom Equivalent to Hostage Daryl?

Speaking of The Kingdom and their arrangement with The Saviors, there is a mention that if Ezekiel and his people fail to continue meeting their resource quotas, someone will “have to go first.” The vague threat from the Savior could have a couple different meanings, but we interpreted it as meaning that the Saviors have a member of The Kingdom held hostage, just like they kept Daryl at the end of the Season Seven premiere. It’s possible that the hostage is someone close to Ezekiel, or even Richard (the guy who got punched in the face a couple times). Or maybe, as some are theorizing, the threat just meant that Richard himself would be the first to die should the Kingdom come up short with their offerings.

Via AMC

Via AMC

5. Is Carol Really Going To Live in That House By Herself?

Carol seems determined to not be a part of any society, and the episode ends with her moving into an abandoned house somewhere outside of town (complete with creepy female walker, who was quickly taken care of and buried in the yard). If The Walking Dead has taught us anything, it’s that being by yourself is dangerous. There are just too many things that could go wrong, from a herd of walkers rolling through or some Saviors showing up at your doorstep. We already talked about how Carol’s story arch is approaching explainable territory. Maybe Ezekiel and Shiva showing up the end of the episode (with a pomegranate) will lead to Carol making a decision that actually makes sense for a change.

Via AMC

Via AMC

4. How Long Until Morgan’s Protegee Dies a Horrible Death?

Morgan has been given a task of training young Benjamin, who confides that his father was killed. He also gives Morgan (and the viewers) some backstory on why King Ezekiel rolls over so easily for the Saviors — simply put, they don’t think they could fight them off and win. Remember that The Hilltop felt the same way, which is why Rick went after Negan in the first place (although he vastly underestimated Negan and his followers). While it’s nice for Morgan to pass on his philosophical musings and his skill with a staff to another character, we don’t expect big things from Benjamin. Sadly, we feel that he won’t be making it into Season Eight. A true Red Shirt if we’ve ever seen one.

Photo by Gene Page/AMC

Photo by Gene Page/AMC

3. Seriously, a Tiger?

Okay, we kinda get it. Tigers are cool. Shiva looks awesome and we admittedly can’t wait for her to maul some bad dude to death in a blaze of orange and black glory. But it doesn’t make much sense, when you step back and think about it. Ezekiel even admits as much to Carol, saying that Shiva’s daily diet could feed ten humans. We’re sorry, Shiva, but The Walking Dead used to be a gritty, somewhat realistic zombie survivalist story. Now it’s ventured into a unrealistic circus show. We know the comics featured a tiger, but that doesn’t mean the show needed to include it too.

Photo by Gene Page/AMC

Photo by Gene Page/AMC

2. Has Ezekiel Met Negan?

We know how the meeting between Rick and Negan went (not well). We can’t help but wonder if there was a similar moment between Negan and King Ezekiel. We see that the weekly supply pickups are always on time and suitable, and have been going on long enough that there is even a schedule for different types of goods on different weeks. It all seems very neat and tidy. But how did it get that way? Did Ezekiel just agree to give up half of The Kingdom’s resources the first time Negan came knocking? Or did he have to learn the same hard lesson that Rick learned? If there ever was an initial meeting between the two leaders, we hope that The Walking Dead will give us a flashback scene of how it happened.

Photo by Gene Page/AMC

Photo by Gene Page/AMC

1. Will The Poisoned Pig Meat Actually Work?

Before The Kingdom offers up eight butchered pigs to the Saviors as their weekly payment, we see the swine are getting fed a delicious walker buffer. The reasons for this aren’t clear, but Richard makes a point of saying that the hogs were “well fed.” It’s possible that the Kingdom simply didn’t want to waste resources feeding livestock that they would be giving away. But we also suspect that King Ezekiel and his most trusted advisers are hoping that they can poison the Saviors with contaminated meat. After all, if the Saviors all become walkers after eating some delicious-but-tainted pork chops or bacon, the Negan problem is basically solved. Will it work? Who knows. But maybe King Ezekiel, who looked meek and non-aggressive for most of his introductory episode, has some balls after all.

Via AMC

Via AMC

X