The Walking Dead Power Rankings 7.13: “Bury Me Here”

Last night's episode of The Walking Dead brought us cobblerus interruptus, an extremely poorly hidden cantaloupe, and one of the better episodes of this half-season. Though the writers still seem stuck on staying with one group for whole episodes, at least this episode moved the story forward. 

Through some pretty forced symbolism with the weevils and “royal garden,” it seems like Ezekiel is finally onboard with fighting. Carol and Morgan played house-swap, but they also seemed to drop their collective pacifism for being badass again. It seems like all we need now are the Fish People and their guns. With three episodes left, let's hope all this lead up actually brings us the war it's been leading up to…

Walking Tall

From displays of dominance to faction elimination, a look at which characters saw their prospects rise this week.

Adam Wagner: Morgan

Morgan regained his stick and finally gave up his schtick. The whole “give peace a chance” bullshit was getting tiresome (same with Carol), and it was nice to see him rampage a little. He may not have a murderbeard, but he’s got those crazy eyes again, which means he’s about to kick some Savior ass.

Also, he must have gained some mad respect in the Kingdom in only a few weeks because he straight up murdered a well-respected, high-ranking Richard while everyone just looked on and let him do it. Someone’s stock is rising, and their stick is getting sharpened…

Pritpaul Bains: Richard

Poor Richard has had a rough go of it in the apocalypse. His plans were a little convoluted, but at least this time he lined up himself to be the target rather than Carol. Unfortunately, his carefully calculated plot unraveled because A) the Saviors' unpredictability, and B) WHY WOULD YOU HIDE A CANTALOUPE UNDER A FUCKING BUCKET AND LEAVE IT ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD? GODDAMMIT RICHARD. At least throw it over the house or off into the woods somewhere. I know you don't have a lot of time to work with, but man ALIVE there is nothing subtle about an upside down yellow container at the scene of the crime.

With all that said, he's still my riser because Richard ultimately got what he wanted. He achieved his objective while sacrificing himself for the cause, as his death only serves to solidify the seeming understanding between the Kingdom and the Saviors, and in doing so primed Negan's crew for betrayal. He also managed to revert Morgan into kill-mode, to boot, which will be interesting (if achieved a bit overly quickly and overly conveniently).

Honorable Mention: Jerry. He got to finish his cobbler.

Joe Brosnan: Cantaloupes

Not since the invention of fruit salad has cantaloupe ever been so popular. Two people lost their lives over the very fruit everyone picks around in search of the elusive pineapple slice. One dozen cantaloupes seems like a wildly cheap price to keep The Saviors happy. It’s no surprise that Ezekiel wasn’t trying to go to war. The dude was literally trading filler fruit for safety. Now, if only we could trade those filler episodes, too…
 

Eaten Alive

From poor decisions to lost lives, a look at which characters lost ground this week.

PB: The Saviors

For a group that has (and has held) so much power for so long, the Saviors really don't seem to have any idea how to hold it together very effectively. If you think about it, the Kingdom is really about as compliant as they can possibly be, and they meet their obligations in full every week without much pushback. So what reason is there for the Saviors to be so antagonistic at each meet? Sure, Gavin seems like he could be a reasonable guy in most other contexts, but his utter inability to rein in Jared has basically doomed what was once a pretty favorable alliance. I guess to an extent, it's inevitable that having an asshole in charge will embolden all the lesser assholes, but it sure isn't smart.

JB: Ezekiel

As I mentioned above, the deal Ezekiel had in place with the Saviors was pretty ideal. He wasn’t giving up too much, his people were safe, and he didn’t even have to interact with leanin’ Negan. But that all changed quickly when Richard’s plans to martyr himself backfired and resulted in Benjamin’s death. Then, Greenpeace Captain Morgan went and rage-killed Richard in front of the Saviors, resulting in yet another loss to The Kingdom’s limited fighters. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think Ezekiel is the absolute best leader we’ve ever seen on The Walking Dead, and his grim admission to Carol about their need to fight back was refreshing in that it makes me hopeful we might one day actually get the war we’ve been promised. Though with war comes death, and up until now, Ezekiel had mastered the art of keeping everyone alive. But that will change soon. I guess those weevils were a metaphor after all.

Honorable Mention: Honeydew. Always living in the shadow of stupid, sexy cantaloupe.

AW: Benjamin

It seems like anytime a fringe character gets a little extra screen time, especially if it’s used to paint that character in a likeable and sympathetic way, they’re on the fast track to getting killed. Benjamin was finally starting to learn how fight, his younger brother was looking up to him, and it seemed he had a girl he was interested in. Sounds like a perfect recipe for getting a surprise bullet to the leg that hits the femoral artery and causes you to bleed out.
 

Hershel’s Heroes

A tribute to the late, great Hershel Greene, this section searches for the best displays of humanity amidst chaos this week.

JB: Carol

Everyone needs some R&R, so I can’t fault Carol too much for needing to get away for a while and clear her head. You knew that the only way she’d return to the fold would be if she found out the truth about Glenn and Abraham’s deaths. She and Glenn go all the way back to Season 1! Furthermore, she also probably feels somewhat responsible for not allowing Benjamin to tag along with her, and instead sent him on the mission that got him killed. So when a blood-speckled Morgan shows up and gets her up to speed with what’s happened, it was only a matter of time before she returned to civilization. There’s no doubt that this show is better when Carol’s in it, and I genuinely look forward to when she meets Negan. We already know how little Negan thinks of women, and I’m guessing she’ll be able to take full advantage of that.

AW: Richard

Sure, Richard was definitely acting like a Dick. His actions directly led to a conflict that ended a young boy’s life (and eventually his own). However, Richard was strong in his convictions and knew what needed to happen to see them achieved. He tried talking to Ezekiel, and he was turned down. He tried scheming to get a non-member of their society killed in order to sway Ezekiel to fight, but Daryl told him no chance. Instead of fighting Ezekiel or Daryl, he decided that someone had to die, and if that someone had to be him, so be it.

Of course, things turned out poorly and didn’t quite go as planned, but his resolve and sacrifice—and even his strength when he had to live with Benjamin dying but didn’t want to waste the chance it provided—to do what he thought was right was admirable and fitting of a Hershel’s Hero.

PB: Benjamin

Despite his untimely demise, Benjamin was the gift that kept on giving this episode in terms of moving characters and plot forward for the show, so if nothing else, he provided a great humanitarian service to the viewers. His death throws Morgan into a psychological break and brings out the killer in him once more, pushes Ezekiel into war, turns Carol back into a functioning member of society, and provides Rick with his first real glimpse of hope against Negan.
 

Rapid Fire

  • “We have to do it. Fight” “We do. But not yet … we’ve got a couple more episodes before all that.” (AW)
  • This episode should have been called “A Cantaloupe Short.” (PB)
  • Why was Richard so committed to dying? I know he wanted to defeat Negan, but simply being the dead catalyst behind the war doesn’t really accomplish much. Just a confusing twist in the character’s storyline. (JB)
  • Garden symbolism! (AW)
  • With only three episodes left this season, I have a feeling we’re in for a rather disappointing finale. Possibly even “they’re screwing with the wrong people” levels of disappointing. (JB)
  • Goddammit, Jerry! You and your cobbler. Who could say no to you and those puppy-dog eyes? (AW)

  • You finally break your no-killing rule and it's on poor Richard? (PB)
  • The Rat-Faced Savior better have a brutal death coming his way. Perhaps Shiva? Perhaps Jerry’s axe? (JB)
  • I want to give Morgan credit for playing a longer game and deliberately orchestrating Richard's death to occur in front of the Saviors to rebuild trust before the betrayal, but it's hard to dismiss the factor of pure crazy here. Sharpening his stave into a spear was a nice touch though. (PB)
  • I think Gavin, the unimpressed point man for the Saviors, just finished up binging the previous few episodes because his I want to be anywhere but here face hits pretty close to home the past few weeks. (Not counting this episode though. We finally got a good one.) (JB)

Zombie Kill of the Week

Wrong way down a one-way track” walkers.

See also: The Walking Dead Power Rankings 7.12: “Say Yes”

 


Joe BrosnanAdam Wagner, and Pritpaul Bains all write for Criminal Element and love Spaghetti Tuesdays. Follow them on Twitter @joebro33@shagner904, and @pritpaulbains, respectively.

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