This week, fates rest upon a single cantaloupe, Morgan reunites with his beloved stick, and Carol learns the fate of the Alexandrians.
In the opening sequence, we see some members of the Kingdom ceremoniously loading a solitary melon into a box in the back of a truck. Is this a sacred melon? Does it rule the Kingdom now instead of Ezekiel? No. But more on that later.
Morgan has settled into his role as sensei, instructing the young’uns in the ways of bo staff fighting. Benjamin, who is being groomed by Ezekiel as a successor to the throne, pauses to watch as Morgan teaches his little brother. Morgan asks if Henry wants to be like his big brother and Henry says yes. Benjamin smiles affectionately.
Carol, meanwhile, has decided to leave her idyllic cottage on the outskirts of the Kingdom. Something is bugging her. At the gate, she skillfully dispatches several walkers with a One Way sign (nice symbolism) and young Benjamin is suitably impressed. He wants Carol to teach him her ways, but Carol is not the sensei type. She turns him down and demands to see Morgan. Apparently, Carol cannot stop wondering why Jesus brought Rick and Daryl to the Kingdom. She wants to know if everyone in Alexandria is okay, and Morgan evades her question. She wanted to be left alone, and he was trying to honor that. He tells her that what Daryl said to her is between her and Daryl. See, Morgan – this is why your best friend is a stick. COMMIT TO SOMETHING, DAMMIT.
Richard, who you’ll remember previously wanted to start some shit between the Saviors and the Kingdom in order to force Ezekiel’s hand, is looking at a little girl’s backpack with the name Katy on it. He’s digging a hole, and we can assume that he is up to something.
Ezekiel is hanging out with his pet tiger, as one does, surveying his domain. A woman, Nabila, comes to deliver the bad news that he has weevils in the garden, and no, that’s not a euphemism for his mental state. He’s going to have to tear everything out and burn it down, but he’ll be able to replant. Thank you, Nabila, for being this week’s foreshadowing device.
Ezekiel and a group of his men head out to make the weekly offering to their Savior overlords, but the road is blocked by a row of shopping carts (which happened to be nearby when Richard was digging that hole just a little while ago). Upon investigation, the group discovers an open grave with a sign reading “Bury Me Here.” Ezekiel waxes poetic about the cruelty of the world they now live in, etc., etc. Long story short, they end up being late to the drop off with the Saviors, which is never a good thing.
Gavin, the Savior in charge of collecting from the Kingdom, is NOT pleased at their tardiness. Ezekiel tries to explain, but Gavin cuts him off. This does not sit well with Jerry who tells him not to interrupt the king. Jared, Gavin’s goon, whacks Jerry over the head with Morgan’s stick (insult to injury, man). I don’t like it when bad things happen to Jerry. We love Jerry. He deserves cobbler and happiness. Benjamin calls Jared a rat-faced prick, because he obviously agrees with me. Gavin, meanwhile, tells Jared to take the Kingdom-ers guns. Shit is about to get real.
It turns out, they are one melon short of a dozen. Again, not a euphemism. There are supposed to be twelve cantaloupes – Ezekiel counted them himself – but now there are only eleven. Gavin cannot let this go. He needs to teach them a lesson. Richard puts himself squarely in front of Jared’s drawn gun, urging him to do it. So, Jared does. Only the person he shoots is Benjamin.
Even Gavin seems taken aback by this, and he orders Jared to give Morgan back his stick. He also tells Ezekiel that they must bring the remaining melon tomorrow. Or else. Ezekiel agrees and they rush the bleeding Benjamin into the truck.
There’s no time to get all the way back, so they end up stopping at Carol’s. Benjamin dies on her kitchen table, and Morgan loses it. He heads toward the place where the carts blocked the road, but he’s also having flashbacks of his son and his wife. He comes to the open grave and for a second, it looks as though he’s going to slash his wrist. Instead, he kicks over a box in anger and lo and behold, out rolls the missing cantaloupe. Morgan realizes that Richard engineered the whole encounter.
When Morgan confronts Richard, Richard confesses. He thought he would be the one to die, and that would be enough to convince Ezekiel to fight the Saviors. He tells Morgan about losing his wife and his daughter, and how he did nothing. He refuses to stand by and do nothing again. He tells Morgan that they have to prove to the Saviors that they “get it” so that the Saviors trust them. And then, they unite with the Hilltop and Alexandria to beat them.
This brings us to the single cantaloupe in the truck scene, and it all makes sense now.
Interestingly, Gavin seems regretful when he learns of Benjamin’s death. He angrily berates Jared and tells him to start walking back. Richard brings forth the troublesome melon and as he does so, Morgan jumps him and begins strangling him. Ezekiel and the other Kingdom-ers simply watch in horror. Richard does not fight back much. Once he is dead, Morgan looks at Gavin and tells him that Richard staged the roadblock and the missing melon. But Morgan says they get it, they know what they need to do, and they will be no trouble.
Later, Morgan explains that Richard knew this is what needed to happen. He drags the body to the empty grave, which also now makes sense, and he finds the backpack marked Katy.
When he returns, Morgan goes to see Carol and tells her the truth about what happened at Alexandria and about the deaths of Abraham, Glenn, Spencer, and Olivia. He tells her that Rick wants to fight the Saviors, and then he heads out, intending to kill the Saviors one by one, on his own. Carol pleads with him to stay, but he refuses.
Carol enters the Kingdom and tells Ezekiel that they have to prepare to fight. The final shot is of Morgan, carving his bo staff into a pointy weapon. It is ON.