A modicum of levity returned to the latest season of the show which in it’s previous episode brutally dispatched two of its most loved characters. A slightly jarring shift in tone, but a necessary one if only to prevent us from feeling miserable two weeks on the bounce.
Episode 2 ‘The Well’ picks up with Morgan and Carol who we last saw in Season 6 running into new people, with the latter seriously injured. Skipping forward slightly Carol is now recovering and Morgan introduces her to the new surroundings, also known as “The Kingdom” as well its rather eccentric leader King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and his tiger. As a result the world just got a lot bigger for our walking dead family, with Alexandria, the Hilltop, and now The Kingdom all active communities, and all under the threat of Negan and the Saviours.
After pretty much zero development in story or character for anything and anyone other than Rick and Maggie in the last episode, ‘The Well’ not only introduces us to new pivotal characters but lays the groundwork for the journey of Morgan, Carol, and few members of The Kingdom as well. Melissa McBride continues her beautifully acted role as Carol, who is now quite easily one of the most diverse, three dimensional characters on the show. Clearly still trying to escape from the path she found herself on, Carol might find a sort of solace in The Kingdom despite the aura of a charade surrounding it. Morgan, again played superbly by Lennie James, refuses to give up on Carol and finds a role in training some of the folk who he now lives with.
It’s a nice episode to fall back on following previous events, a break from misery as we now have a whole new world to explore that is somewhat connected to the world Rick and those from Alexandria now live in. There is clearly a tantalising history between the Saviours and The Kingdom to be explored, and with King Ezekiel giving his background story to Carol the platform is set to finally move forward. There is now solid grounding for this new season to grow from, but with a glut of new characters and an ever increasing world will the show manage to balance everything effectively? Time will undoubtedly tell.