This is one of my favorite episodes from this season to date. Lenny James gives an outstanding performance as Morgan. We really get to see the depth of his character in this episode and many call backs from his previous episode, Clear, as well.
With all of the Alexandrians being divided among the three communities, there is a lack of communication between them and decisions are being made that need to be better thought out than they are. Rosita and Sasha are heading out on a suicide mission without telling anyone where they are going, or what they plan to do. They understand that they are going on a suicide mission, however, and they are taking away certain man-power away from the group battle that Rick is planning. Rosita’s emotional state is so clouded by her distress from Abraham’s loss that she can’t see the chance of her plan not succeeding. She is not accounting for a major kink in the plan. Any mistake at all on their part will definitely be problematic for Rosita and Sasha (which could lead to one or both of their deaths) but, in the bigger picture, cause problems for all of the Alexandrians who are trying to think through an actual battle plan.
Similar to Rosita and Sasha, Morgan is determined to take on the Saviors one-by-one, also. In this episode he faces some of his past demons when Richard plans an elaborate ruse by blocking the road with shopping carts to point to an open grave that says, “bury me here” then hides a cantaloupe so that they are one short of the dozen that they were supposed provide the Saviors. Although Richard’s plan was for Jared (the long-haired bitch-Savior) to kill him for it, he shoots Ben in the leg, causing him to bleed out and die. Morgan takes this very badly because he has gotten close to Ben, almost like a father and son relationship. Ben’s death sends Morgan into a fit of rage. He begins to have PTSD symptoms of everything that has happened to him since the world fell. Flashbacks from the episode Clear are shown as Morgan rages out where the shopping carts were blocking them. In his rage he kicks a box holding the missing cantaloupe and he knows that Richard is the one who caused all of the chaos.
When they return to give the Saviors the missing cantaloupe they tell them that Ben died. Gavin (the lead Savior) is visibly upset and he tells Jared that he needs to leave now before he kills him. As the cantaloupe is exchanged, Gavin tells them that it can’t happen again and Morgan rages out and begins strangling Richard, killing him in front of the Saviors and a very shocked Ezekiel. Morgan tells them what Richard did, and he accidentally calls Ben Duane as he tells them what happened. This bring Morgan back to the bad-ass that he has always been. It is a good reminder that you can only have peace if everyone is peaceful. In this world only the fittest will survive. Morgan understands that now. He is filled with determination as he sets off to, “kill every single one of them.”
Carol is also struggling. She knows that something is wrong with Daryl’s story and goes to The Kingdom looking for Morgan to answer her questions. Morgan tries to skirt the answers because he knows that if Carol gets the whole story, she could possibly go back to her former self and go rogue, killing the Saviors. However, when Ben is shot, they race to Carol’s place because they cannot take him back to The Kingdom without people asking questions. She witnesses all of this and you can see the anguish that she feels, not necessarily for Ben, but because she knows that she cannot hide from death. It is all around– even if you try to sit on the sidelines, it will still find you. After Morgan has his breakdown, he goes back to Carol to tell her that the Saviors killed Glenn and Abraham. At this point Morgan wants her to face the truth. He understands that the Saviors will keep killing innocent lives until they are stopped. He tells her that he is going to kill every last one of them (and he means it). The last scene is of Morgan sitting on Carol’s front steps, sharpening his stick.
In order for the Saviors to be defeated, the three groups are going to have to start communicating better than what they are currently. Rosita, Sasha, and Morgan have all gone rogue while Rick, Michonne, and Maggie are trying to be strategic about what needs to happen. The question now is who will get to Negan first? Will it be Rosita and Sasha or will it be Morgan? Will they somehow team up together or will they be hindered by a bigger plan? There are only three more episodes to find out.