REVIEW: The Walking Dead S7 E13 ‘Bury Me Here’ breaks Morgan and fans’ hearts
The Walking Dead season seven episode thirteen ‘Bury Me Here’ returned to the Kingdom for a spectacular hour of tense, gripping television on Monday night.
Something had to give in the Kingdom. The Kingdom’s leader, King Ezekiel, was determined to avoid conflict with the Saviours when the subject was last broached in the midseason premiere. His aide Morgan refused to accept the reality of the Saviours and advise a future which would see many die. Elsewhere, Carol isolated herself from the world in an attempt to escape and deny the pain of all that has happened. Three major characters needed a wake-up call – and boy, did they get one.
The straw that broke the camel’s back came in the form of a plan by Richard to sacrifice himself in order to convince Ezekiel of the need for action. As any fan who has watched the Saviours’ brutal methods of punishment could have warned, this doesn’t go as planned. Instead of Richard receiving the fatal blow, it is Morgan’s son-substitute Benjamin. And then the Walking Dead gets heavy.
Lennie James is brilliant as Morgan deals with the new family he has created for himself being ripped apart in the same way as the last. The facade of the calm Morgan shatters irreparably. He considers suicide, he succeeds in a horribly human revenge, and his grief and pain are so palpable one can almost feel it through the television screen. Although Morgan and Benjamin’s relationship could have been explored in more depth, we still feel the weight of it in James’ acting. Morgan is somewhere far away – back in the internal hell that he struggled with in season three.
Carol’s own journey to choosing to fight parallels Morgans and – in a complete reversal of their characterisation for the last season – decisively less violent. She questions what really happened in Alexandria at the start of ‘Bury Me Here’, but does not receive answers until an inconsolable Morgan tells her the truth near the end of the episode. After this, she packs up her belongings and heads for permanent residence in the Kingdom besides Ezekiel. She will fight from there.
‘Bury Me Here’ is an interesting examination of parallels between characters. We have Ezekiel – reluctant to accept the truth that the Saviours will destroy his kingdom. We have Morgan – reluctant to break away from his religious mantra and disturb the fragile peace he has found within. We have Carol – reluctant to learn the truth of what happened in Alexandria.
Elsewhere we have Morgan and Richard: two men who had everything before the apocalypse. While Morgan buries his head in the sand, Richard is determined not to lose all he holds dear again. There’s a synergy between these two – ultimately very similar men – which ends with one murdering the other. It’s an interesting dynamic of the sort The Walking Dead excels in creating.
‘Bury Me Here’ was an example of The Walking Dead at its best. At heart, it was a human story. It was about loss, denial and grief. It was about what happens when tragedy strikes twice – and how far people will go to avoid and ignore it. Once again, it is truly ironic that a show about a zombie apocalypse can regularly tell some of the most human stories on television.