Warning: General spoilers ahead
It seems like in every season of The Walking Dead, there’s one episode that really sticks with you, one that’s exceptional and completely stands out from all the rest. “Clear” in Season 3. “The Grove” in Season 4. And, of course, the Pilot/”Days Gone Bye” from Season 1. Going into the new season, I really thought the premiere would be that episode for Season 7. I mean, let’s be honest. Yes, it was brutal, but it was also one damn good episode. At the very least, you can be sure no one will ever forget it. However, after screening this week’s episode, I’m starting to think this one just may topple Negan, Lucille and their ruthless introduction to Rick and Alexandria in the season’s premiere.
The episode begins with what I call a cold open — literally. It’s also one of the shortest opening sequences of the series, lasting a mere 40 seconds. We see Ezekial (Khary Payton), Richard (Karl Makinen), and a few others from The Kingdom loading a single melon into a crate in the back of a truck, strapping it down, and then, closing the doors to the back of the truck, all while very somber music is playing. From appearances alone, it looks like they’re going to make a drop for the Saviors — but with only 1 melon? Also, if you have a keen eye, you’ll notice each character eyeing the area in the back of the truck, and if you look closely, there’s a big spot that looks suspiciously like blood. Then, it cuts to The Walking Dead theme music, and that’s it. If you’re like me, you’re probably going to be scratching your head and thinking “WTF just happened??” Yes, it’s confusing, but trust me, you’ll find out soon enough. In the spirit of the season 6 premiere “First Time Again” that began with the future scene of Rick rallying his troops before leading that mega-horde from the quarry, Sunday’s very short opening scene actually takes place in the future, and we spend a good deal of the episode witnessing the events leading up to that single melon and pool of blood. Yes, just one melon and the bad judgement of a single man end up causing more death and destruction than you can possibly imagine.
And, yes, I just used the word “death,” so you probably should get those tissues ready. While it may seem ludicrous, a very foolish decision and just one melon result in the deaths of multiple characters, and forever change the lives of others — some for the good and some for the bad. One of the characters who’s impacted the most by these traumatic events is Morgan (Lennie James). He appears to have a serious psychotic break, and to blunt, goes kookoo for cocoa puffs. We all probably remember Morgan from “Clear” back in season 3, but to be honest, this is worse. Talking to himself, mumbling nonsensical stuff, having intense flashbacks of moments from “Clear” and even from the pilot when his son, Duane, was still alive. Heck, at one point, he even refers to another character as Duane while talking to Ezekial, which not only surprises Ezekial but also makes him very concerned over Morgan’s mental health. He continues spiraling, and by the end of the episode, he’s about ready to leave and go back to his old ways of having to “clear.” However, at the last moment, he’s talked down from the ledge by another character and agrees to stay. Who this character turns out to be may surprise you.
Elsewhere, what about other characters like Carol (Melissa McBride)? In the sneak peek released by AMC, we see Carol coming to see Morgan at The Kingdom, and she seems pretty agitated. As some may have suspected, she is there to ask Morgan about Alexandria and whether everyone is truly OK, like Daryl said. Well, Morgan flat-out refuses to tell her and says if she wants to know, she needs to go to Alexandria herself. However, after tragedy strikes and Morgan’s moral compass begins to erode, he ultimately goes back to Carol and tells her truth. Abraham, Glenn, and even Olivia and Spencer. And, how does Carol react? What does she do? You’ll have to watch to see, but it’s a great moment that signals a turning point in this unrest and impending war with the Saviors.
Episode 7.13 of The Walking Dead is titled “Bury Me Here” and airs Sunday at 9/8c on AMC.
Geeky computer and math nerd by day and TV fanatic by night. My beats are The Walking Dead, The Strain, Person of Interest, Z Nation, and anything that most people would call freaky. Editor-In-Chief and Lead Writer of TVGeekTalk.com