The Walking Dead has allowed Morgan to become incredibly stagnant. His morality has been the sole subject of his character. Every episode that focuses on him tends to rehash the same conundrum. How can Morgan survive without killing? Can anyone stay righteous in a walker-filled world? “Bury Me Here” tells an okay story, and helps to make Ezekiel ready for war. But it doesn’t disguise the fact that nothing all that new happens here.
Morgan’s dilemma around killing takes an odd turn in “Bury Me Here.” When we last saw Morgan, he wanted to avoid war so no allies would die. But this week, The Walking Dead threw Morgan a curveball with the death of Ben. While it seems obvious in hindsight, the death of Ben seems very sensible and wasn’t too obvious. The fact that suddenly, Ben had “a girl,” should’ve been a tip-off, but nevertheless, it worked. It gave Morgan just the right amount of motivation to rework his ideas. He doesn’t exactly change his entire persona, mind you. He’ll be back on the path of morality soon enough, the same way he reverted last season.
The more shocking twist is Morgan killing Richard. Richard was the Kingdom guard obsessed with taking out the Saviors. He’s been plotting several attacks on the Saviors – one which included sacrificing Carol. So the fact Richard seems so torn up about Ben dying in his place isn’t super convincing. Likewise, the character of Gavin seems a bit inconsistent. How much does he care about The Kingdom, and how much does he care solely about resources? Most importantly – how did NO ONE stop Morgan from killing Richard? I don’t care how long Morgan has been in The Kingdom, nor how much Ezekiel relates to Morgan. The fact that nobody stopped Morgan defies logic.
At its core, “Bury Me Here” is more filler, teasing the eventual war. It’s unclear just how much The Walking Dead intends to lead viewers on before the conflict begins. It seems like Morgan has been put on the right path, stepping away from The Kingdom. He may have ratted out Richard to Gavin, but he’s still willing to kill. Ezekiel and Carol have each been pushed forward as well. The deaths of loved ones is a common motivator for The Walking Dead, and it works. It’ll be interesting to see if these characters really embrace this war fully.
On a more technical note, the editing on The Walking Dead is pretty abysmal. It’s a category that has been added to these reviews, specifically to call it out. The pre-credit scene is about twenty seconds too short, and the lead in to the second day of trade is poorly paced. There’s also a clear lack of coverage for “Bury Me Here,” as many lines are spoken off-camera (particularly by Savior). And I understand the reasoning for Morgan’s freak-out montage. Yes, it’s meant to disturb the audience, and make the chaos in Morgan’s mind clear. But it’s too jumbled here, and it’s about as annoying as shaky-cam action shots.
It’s hard to feel immersed in a show that’s so repetitive. So many episodes this season are rooted in build-up over payoff. With such a large cast, it makes sense that The Walking Dead wants to give each character their due. Morgan is on roughly the same path, but at least there’s effort. Likewise, it seems Ezekiel and Carol may be ready to become relevant again. The payoff will determine whether or not these exposition episodes will be worth it. But for now, all we can hope for is that next episode will bring us the action we crave.