Following up last week’s insane season premiere was a daunting task, but The Well accomplished that in the best manner possible. All hail the King.
Even the most hardcore TV viewers with a passing knowledge of the comic book have heard of The Kingdom and their leader King Ezekiel (Khary Payton, Young Justice). Like Negan in the Season 6 finale, Ezekiel made a heck of an impression. With about 400% less brain splattered barbed wire baseball bats.
The Kingdom recalled a glimpse of Alexandria pre-Rick and company helping to ‘fix’ things. What it lacks for with steel reinforced walls and a quick commute the city, The Kingdom makes up for it with cool uniforms, a choir, an actual cavalry, a deuces throwing Jerry (Cooper Andrews), a tiger named Shiva and pigs! Pass the bacon! On second thought, skip the bacon and ham and hot dogs.
Still in the weird emotional state the writers hampered her with at the end of Season 6, Carol doesn’t know what to make of The Kingdom. She immediately goes into charming, disarming happy homemaker mode to steal supplies. Carol’s loner shtick still felt like it came (like an RKO) outta nowhere, but I’m glad The Well hopefully seems to have addressed it and moved on.
It’s likely Carol wouldn’t have been convinced if she didn’t hear the truth straight from Ezekiel. Beyond the flowery proclamations and commanding presence, King Ezekiel is just a regular dude who used to be a zookeeper. The lion he tamed was trapped at the zoo after the walker outbreak and his been his faithful companion ever since.
This confessional was skillfully handled. Ezekiel didn’t come off like a fraud or woefully inadequate like Deanna. He seemed genuine and fully aware of why his act is necessary.
Morgan bought into The Kingdom’s spiel a bit earlier. He was on board and geeked about Alexandria just as it all went downhill with a slice of a sword. At Ezekiel’s request, he’s taken on a new pupil, Ben. TWD is one of TV’s rare big hit shows where having two black people having a conversation isn’t an anomaly. I’m curious if the show’s version is influenced from a comic book character or the Telltale Game series version.
I’m most interested in seeing how The Kingdom continues dealing with The Saviors. Sending them pigs full of walker guts is a solid first step, but what will it take for Ezekiel to take the fight to Negan and company? Either way, Richard (Karl Makinen) is down for some serious payback. I’m a wrestling fan so I’m digging the whole factions popping up.
The Well had to make a significant departure from last week’s season premiere. It quickly established some competent possible allies for Rick and company as well as introduced Ezekiel, who looks to easily become one of the new favorites of the series. It’s crazy to think that in Season 7 The Walking Dead could be setting events in motion to make its standout season, but the early results are very promising.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Catch up on The Walking Dead episodes you missed in The Walking Dead Episode Guide.