Walking Dead – Season 7- Ep. 13 “Bury Me Here”: A Review

Posted: 03/14/2017 in Uncategorized

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“Bury Me Here” presented a rather hard run. Set purely in the Kingdom with the premise of the ‘stressed’ relations between Ezekiel’s group and Negan’s Savior emissaries, the ep played like a lit time bomb. The only questions would be when would it go off and who would be hurt? The tension from the onset, featuring a flash forward segment that alluded to violence without context, set the stage for what was to occur. This was solid, grim fare. My opening offered, on to my review.

The inevitability of war is a foregone affair. The peace brokered by King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) was rattled not so much by Gavin, Negan’s lieutenant, but by his subordinate. This situation worsens with this foray but the circumstances which unfold were very unpredictable. This is very much a Morgan (Lennie James) arc and he carries the episode as ably as he did in “Clear” and “Here’s Not Here”. Morgan is a pacifist but not a fool. He realizes the inevitability of killing as a means of survival, but eschews taking this path unless absolutely forced to.

The catalyst to all that happens in this segment is Richard (Karl Makinen), a character for whom I felt a high degree of empathy. His earlier suggestion to Daryl (Norman Reedus) that they sacrifice Carol (Melissa McBride) a few episodes back revealed that his character was spiralling. His constant attempts to ignite his group to take on the Saviors fell on deaf ears and he was clearly desperate. His meeting with Morgan in which he shares his back story and advises him to “not beat himself up” for inevitably killing-  was somewhat prescient.

The arrival of the Saviors, namely Gavin (Jason Warner-Smith) and his hotheaded second, Jared (Josh Mikel) was tension inducing. Framed by the music of Bear McCreary, the feelings of desperation and dread are palpable. The earlier discovery that the Kingdom’s garden needs to be razed due to a weevil infestation informs that their capacity for delivering what the Saviors expect is about to change. The meeting between parties is barely handled by Ezekiel who Gavin disrespects, calling his title ‘a fairy tale”. Jerry’s (Cooper Andrews) speaking on his King’s behalf plays out as expected. What occurs afterward, when Gavin finds them short an item, is horrible. The Saviors are punitive and viciously so. What was to happen and should have happened does not. A member of the Kingdom dies and while there were hints of such an event occurring, via his character’s rising hope and the acknowledgement to Morgan that he had a girlfriend; the reason for his demise is incredibly galling.

The notion of the second half of this season being titled “Rise Up” brings with it the semantic inference that in order to rise, some will have to fall. This fall however was avoidable and that it came about through pure spite pushes forth the idea that peace with the Saviors is untenable. Richard’s part in the affair hits one like a sledgehammer. When he spins the event into an opening to create a chance to “prove themselves” to the Saviors and regain their trust, things implode. When Morgan charges him with telling Ezekiel the truth, we stand on the precipice, one from which we may return. When the second brokered meet occurs to ‘repair’ the relationship between parties and Richard states “now’s not the time….” there is no coming back.

Gavin, like Dwight (Austin Aurelio) is not completely damned. When he asks how Benjamin (Logan Miller) is doing, he is sincere. His actions toward Jared afterward illustrate his shred of humanity. Morgan’s actions however are both ascension and decline. His reaction is so damn violent that we are taken aback as much as the King and his people. No one intercedes as there is both shock in such a switch in behavior and the creeping knowledge beneath that if he is doing what he is doing, it must not be without cause. Watching Gavin flinch afterward as Morgan essentially puts Richard’s advice into practice was a cool moment. Lennie James annihilates his scenes as he reverts to “Clear” mode which bolstered by key scene cuts made for a powerful dramatic moment.

All of Morgan’s scenes with Carol, throughout this series, are terrific. There were no exceptions with this episode. His offering Carol the truth knowing she isn’t quite ready for it played well. Watching her come out of her torpor as she ably eliminates Walkers with a street sign was awesome. Melissa McBride is brilliant in this role of a lifetime. She knows what Daryl told her was fiction. She is simply working her way up to learning the truth. When Morgan finally tells her what she needs to hear, she is ready. Her compassion however still remains as she offers Morgan an opportunity to “go and not go”, taking over her cottage as she moves within the Kingdom walls for what is to come. Her eliciting the answer needed from Ezekiel and his follow up response was a perfect capper to what was an exceptional episode. Morgan’s porch side ‘staff conversion’ moment sets the tone for the remainder of this season. WD is just so damn good. It remains assuredly simply outstanding and well worth your time.

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