The Walking Dead writers almost knocked this one out of the park. ALMOST.
There are two sides to this episode. The Kingdom/Morgan and Alexandria/Carl. The Kingdom portion gets and A-, but I’m giving the Alexandria portion a B+.
Let’s start with Alexandria.
Everything was going well — in terms of quality I mean because obviously a lot went wrong — until Siddiq said his final words to Carl. After that, everything just didn’t feel right.
So you’ve got Daryl, who suppresses his emotions. I get it. That’s how he is. But he should be the final person to speak to Carl outside of Rick and Michonne. But the writers or director have Siddiq come in and say something. Whatever, I get why they’re doing it, still don’t agree with it. But I’m willing to hear him thank Carl.
Then he goes on for 20-30 seconds saying how he’s going to “honor” Carl for what he did. I seriously think he said it like three or four times. Look, he’s in a weird spot. Everyone in Alexandria probably hates him because Carl tried to help him and that got everyone’s adopted son killed. But that’s what you come up with?! That’s how you thank this kid, who has to be at least 5 years younger than you if not more? (I’m assuming Siddiq’s supposed to be 21 and Carl’s 16.)
Maybe it’s just me, but I would be thanking him up and down. Apologizing and telling him I will do everything to keep those close to you safe. THAT’S HOW YOU HONOR HIM. Tell him what you’ll do. It just felt so forced and not thought out. I blame the writers more than anything.
Then Carl went on this whole thing telling Rick he has to change. Look, I get the kid wants peace. He should. I believe Rick wants that, too. Now’s not exactly the time for singing around the campfire. Negan WILL NOT compromise. Too much has happened for he and Rick to trust one another. And I think Rick wanted to tell his son, but obviously you can’t fully in that situation. He’ll get there, by the end of the show — like the show’s finale I mean. But not now.
And who wants Rick to get soft now? He’s way more interesting when he’s off the handle, shooting first, asking questions later. Soft Rick isn’t good for the show. Not getting the feeling he’ll change in the short term anyways, but I would hate for Carl to have that lasting effect over the duration of the show when he’s gone.
Which brings me to the Kingdom portion. Look, it’s obviously sad Carl died. One of the last remaining members of the Atlanta group (only Rick, Daryl and Carol left for those keeping score). Let’s be real though, he wasn’t exactly a fan favorite. He was a kid growing up in a ridiculous time and he annoyed the hell out of a lot of people because he caused a lot of headaches. He’s a kid, kids do that stuff. I wasn’t a fan, but I certainly didn’t HATE him like others do.
But now they’re bringing in this kid from the kingdom Henry, who’s been around for a bit. Another one that annoys Carol. Well, she at least acts annoyed so if these kids die she won’t be hurt like she was with her daughter, Sophia. Henry’s just another kid that DOES NOT LISTEN. Shows up right at the end of Morgan and Carols raid and kills Gavin. Lord knows how much of it he was there for.
And if ONE savior had been alive and taken him hostage, the whole plan goes awry.
If the Walking Dead producers, directors and writers wanted another prominent kid that’s going to annoy fans, I think they’ve accomplished that. And I KNOW that’s something that’ll push fans away if he’s involved too much.
Other than that, The Kingdom portion of the episode was AMAZING. Morgan’s almost at the point where he was the second time he was reunite with Rick. He frigin pulled out some dude’s guts to kill him! Doesn’t get much crazier than that. Morgan might be the only person who can go crazier than Rick. Negan is pretty damn crazy too, but I’d argue he hasn’t shown a crazier side than Rick, certainly not Morgan. He’s more of the power hungry, control-freak, dictator type. Which isn’t exactly sane now that I write it down. he’s certainly more abusive to his own than Rick, but Rick will go after his enemy til you wish you were dead and have no idea what happens. Negan’s more of a conquistador-type and makes sure he never loses his power, only gains more.
Either way, the height of their craziness doesn’t sniff what Morgan is capable of. (Yes, I do remember Rick’s throat rip with his teeth.) I really don’t think Morgan will go that far, and by that I mean go after EVERYONE. Though I fully believe he could lose his mind on the Saviors, which we got a taste of this week.