Wednesday, March 15, 2017

(TV) The Walking Dead: The Walking Dead TV Review: ‘Bury Me Here’

(Photo Credit: AMC)
The Walking Dead
Season 7, Episode 13
By Garrett Yoshitomi

The filler keeps rolling with this week’s episode of The Walking Dead. “Bury Me Here” focuses on the Kingdom’s ever tenuous agreement with The Saviors, as well as Morgan’s path of nonviolence and Carol’s next arc. The show is gradually building up to an all-out war between The Saviors and a coalition between Alexandria, the Hilltop, the Kingdom, and the Scavengers, but so far, the going has been slow. Very slow. At this point in the season, it’s pretty typical for The Walking Dead to become bogged down by filler, but these past few episodes have been particularly arduous. And, it’s not that these episodes have been egregiously bad- for the most part, they've been fine. But, with Negan looming in plain sight, it’s easy to feel frustrated and sidetracked by the seeming lack of forward progress for this main plot. It’s been a month since Rick first approached King Ezekiel about joining forces against the Saviors, and three weeks since he struck a deal for guns, with Jadis and the Scavengers. This episode makes small progress towards the first of these two plot points, but there’s still a long way to go. And, with just three episodes left in the season, it’s fair to wonder if we’ll actually see a definitive conclusion to these storylines, or if history will repeat itself, and the writers leave us with yet another cliffhanger.

(Photo Credit: AMC)
I've been pretty critical of the way the writers have handled Morgan and his pledge of nonviolence. “To kill or not to kill” was a legitimately interesting conversation to have five seasons ago. But now? Not so much. After almost a hundred episodes of death and despair, it’s hard, as viewers, to accept that anybody, who’s survived the zombie apocalypse for this long, would so ardently cling to such a noble, yet flawed philosophy. And that’s ultimately what’s so hard to look past. It would be one thing if Morgan was painted as a generally peaceful person, who respects human life, but understands the necessity of killing someone as a way to defend himself, or others, from harm. Instead, the writers took Morgan hard in the opposite direction, making him unwilling to kill anyone, even those who wish him harm- like the Wolves from season six, who sought to murder as many Alexandrians, as possible. It’s frustrating for sure, but not as frustrating as the new leaf Morgan seems to have turned over this week. The reasoning behind Morgan’s sudden shift in attitude is sound- there’s a point A, which leads to a point B, which leads to a point C. But, the causality is weak, at best. The fact that Morgan changes his tune so quickly is rather insulting to fans who have had to put up with his irrational refusal to kill for one and a half seasons.

(Photo Credit: AMC)
Despite this season’s fair share of misses, I’ve been quite pleased with most of the supporting characters we’ve been introduced to, so far. In particular, Richard and Benjamin have both been solid additions to the show, serving as important pieces to the plot, as well as interesting characters, in their own right. Richard’s smoldering hatred towards the Saviors acts as a reflection of the audience’s similarly unbridled rage. His thirst for immediate action is also representative of a large portion of the fan base, who still seek vengeance for the events of the season premiere. Benjamin, on the other hand, stands out due to his kind and gentle nature- very reminiscent of an early season Glenn. Sure, there is a narrative purpose behind his naiveté, but it’s been genuinely fun to watch his earnest interactions with the hardened Carol, as well as the father-son relationship he inhabits with King Ezekiel.

With the Kingdom now in the mix, things should start to get interesting as we head into the final three episodes of the season. While “Bury Me Here” isn’t exactly the most exciting hour of The Walking Dead to ever grace our screens, it has some cool moments, and manages to steer clear of being outright bad. Sadly, that’s probably the most we can really hope for out of these awkwardly paced filler episodes- the proverbial middle seats to The Walking Dead’s business class. Luckily, there are some interesting storylines coalescing within the upcoming episodes. The preview for next Sunday teases the continuation of Rosita and Sasha’s plan, from two weeks ago, to personally take out Negan. And, it looks like we’ll also be catching up with Daryl, who’s currently hiding out at the Hilltop.

(Photo Credit: AMC)

The storyline I’m most looking forward to, though, is Carol’s. I was getting ready to write off Carol completely after it seemed like she was going to be kept on the outside looking in, for the rest of this season. But, it appears that Carol is back. And, after spending so much time on the bench, there’s no character I’m more invested in than our favorite Suzy Homemaker. I’m immensely disappointed that Carol finally finds out about Glenn in the way that she does this episode. I feel like it was never a storyline that should have involved Morgan, although, I understand- with where our characters are currently positioned- why it has to happen this way. It was still a tender moment, of course. And, I’d be lying if I said a few tears weren’t shed in my household. But, it pales in comparison to the scene we could have had between Daryl and Carol in “New Best Friends,” already one of the most emotionally charged scenes of the season, even without the Glenn reveal.

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