Previously on The Walking Dead:
Negan inexplicably began avoiding all contact with Alicia Florrick and just when it seemed that the two of them were going to reunite by the end of the episode and have something resembling a happy ending together, we only just see him standing in the distance all in shadows and Alicia doesn’t find him and then Diane comes out and slaps her in the face, and here we are again with this bullshit where Alicia meets a man who is fine as hell and can’t get any love and happiness with him whatsoever. Like…what the hell, Finn Polmar? All season long, you flirt with Alicia and then you just disappear in her elevator and she doesn’t even go after you to make you change your mind and—
(Dustin whispers in my ear)
Wait, what?! What am I supposed to be writing this recap about?
Oh…right, The Walking Dead, yeah. Sorry about that, I still have a lot to get off my chest about those last two seasons of The Good Wife.
Anyway…Negan kills two members of Rick’s crew by hitting them in the head with his baseball bat covered in barbed wire and…well, AMC got a whole lot of strongly worded letters.
THE STORY SO FAR
CAROL: Still recovering from the injuries she sustained in the season finale from her confrontation with a Savior. Both she and Morgan are taken in by the armored strangers who come to their rescue and once she awakens after being patched up, she makes a run for it but doesn’t get very far, due to the home base of the armored strangers dealing with approaching Walkers. Carol passes out and is brought back to the strangers’ home turf (known as The Kingdom) where after being unconscious for two days, Morgan moves her around via wheelchair and explains to her where they are and who they’re about to meet, which happens to be the person who runs it all and calls the shots. And that person is none other than The Walking Dead’s own version of He-Man and Battle Cat: King Ezekiel and his pet tiger, Shiva.
Carol responds to the sight of this dreadlocked Black man seated with his gigantic pet tiger differently than one would expect and uses her sweet-and-innocent-and-harmless act from her days at Alexandria to convince King Ezekiel she finds all of this to be simply amazing. (Yes, even Jerry, Ezekiel’s right-hand man who is as bothersome and overly talkative as Jerry from Parks & Recreation, and gets just as much respect). As soon as she is wheeled outside, Carol’s actual and factual response to King Ezekiel, Shiva, and everything she sees is basically the White version of this…
…and also makes it clear that once she’s well enough, she is out of there, despite Morgan’s proclamations that she’s going to stay.
Carol sneaks out of her room late at night to steal some apples to go with the knife, chocolate bar, and clothes she has stolen earlier, only to be spotted by Ezekiel. He makes it clear that he sees through her sweet-and-innocent act and tries to convince her to stay, by telling her the truth about himself and his own history: how he was a zookeeper who came across a bleeding and injured Shiva as the Zombie Apocalypse first started, and how he took steps to stop the bleeding and help Shiva recover. The two have had a close bond ever since and upon crossing the paths of other survivors, Ezekiel channeled his experience playing royalty in community-theater productions and used that to exude the authority that he does now. Carol doesn’t give anything resembling a shit about any of this and simply wants to go. Despite his hopes for her to change her mind, Ezekiel decides to respect her wishes and let her go.
Morgan escorts Carol to the front gates, where they bid each other farewell. She then rides to a nearby house which she decides to claim as her own and then kills the Walker inside. After burying it, she hears a knock at the door and it is none other than Ezekiel accompanied by Shiva, offering her some delicious fruit from The Kingdom that she turned down before leaving
MORGAN: Goes with King Ezekiel and several of his people out on patrol to go hunting for pigs that are running loose around the city. Despite the fact that they’ve been feasting on Walker flesh, they’re caught and taken in anyway, for reasons unknown. Once they return to The Kingdom, Ezekiel approaches Morgan about training one of the younger and more inexperienced members, Ben, in how to handle himself in combat against Walkers. He agrees to do so and upon completing their first day for training, Morgan and Ben are asked by Ezekiel to come along for an exchange. Ezekiel and company offer up the captured pigs, all of whom have been slaughtered, to none other than The Saviors. They’re exactly as well-behaved as expected and it isn’t long before one Savior ends up in a fistfight with Richard, one of Ezekiel’s people who looks like he’s walked off the set of a Guy Ritchie crime flick. Ezekiel and Gavin, the lead Savior, demand the fight to end but not before Annoying Savior gets some free punches in on Richard and Gavin reminds them all that they expect another delivery same time the following week, or else Richard dies.
DOES NEGAN KILL ANYONE ELSE: No.
IS DARYL STILL ALIVE? BECAUSE IF HE’S NOT, THEN WE RIOT: Uh…huh. We don’t see him in this episode and we haven’t seen him die, so let’s all just assume that he’s still in the land of the living.
ANY TIME-TRAVELING ALIENS IN THIS EPISODE? (presses a large red button which activates an anvil from Acme to drop on Dustin’s head)
DOES JULIANNA MARGULIES MAKE A CAMEO APPEARANCE SO THAT SHE AND JEFFREY DEAN MORGAN CAN HAVE SCREEN TIME TOGETHER? : No, and unless you want her and the rest of The Walking Dead cast to lie about appearing onscreen together when it’s really all CGI, it’s best to not ask for such things.
TO SUM IT ALL UP: Despite the fact that it actually returned last week and I wasn’t able to recap it because I was vacationing in Chicago and finally doing something about all the Black-on-Black crime that White people are always complaining about…everyone’s favorite snail-paced, frustratingly-written cable drama that includes the occasional death of zombies and main characters to keep us all from complaining that it’s snail-paced and frustratingly-written is BACK! Other than the introduction of Ezekiel and Shiva, nothing major happens in this episode, unless you include yet more philosophical discussions focused on Carol and Morgan debating who they are and what their true natures are for the 815th time, in which case, this episode wil be an absolute godsend for you.