The Walking Dead 9 Deuce: S:7 Ep:13 – The Morgan Got His Stick Back Edition

Welcome to the only Walking Dead blog that asks people about cobbler.  This week, I am joined by Bitty, Bob, Briana, Cece, and Teddy as we go through 11 questions and help make the internet great again.  This is one of my all time favorite episodes, and I have watched it 5 times.  They really did a wonderful job on this one, in my opinion.  People can say that the show is going downhill, and to those detractors, I present them with this episode and tell them to choke on it.

In case you aren’t familiar with this blog, I ask 9 questions that are episode specific and then 2 bonus ones that can be anything Walking Dead related.  If you like what we do, please check out the Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/9deuceblog/. You can also follow us on Twitter  @official9deuce and Instagram which is also Official9Deuce.  Finally, if you want to email me because all of those options weren’t charming enough, write me at Kent@9deuce.com. Sorry, I hate all of this promotion as much as anyone else.  If you would like to participate, let me know.  The more the merrier…….. until we hit double digits.  Please note all messages in bold are written by me.  If you watched Talking Dead, this will make sense to you.

  1.  Whose death will have more impact moving forward, beyond this episode::Benjamin’s or Richard’s?

Bitty:  Richards death was key to igniting Morgan’s will to kill and survive. Richard had a similar view that I believe Shane would’ve had if he was still alive.  (Points for bringing up Shane!  Yeah, those 2 along with Merle would have made a great team.)

Bob:  Being that Benjamin’s death finally triggered Ezekiel to extract his mind from his brown eye, the answer to this is clearly Richard.  Richard was a leader and tactically, the rebellion will suffer unknown loss due to Richard’s death.  Also, Richard because Morgan is killing.  (Yeah, the tactical point is a big one for the Kingdom, like a huge loss.  Also, point for brown eye.  I miss browneyedgurls.geocities.com)

Briana:  That’s tough! Benjamin’s death will have more of an emotional impact because he has his little brother and Ezekiel was so close to him. Richard’s death will have an impact on the sense that it fueled the fire to get the Kingdom on track to join the others in the fight.  (I am still wondering if Richard was never found out, would Ezekiel have gone to war just over Ben’s death.)

Cece:  I’m not really sure either one of them was too important. But, Benjamin’s death led the Kingdom to understand what they may be dealing with now.  (You’re not sure?  You may need to re-watch the episode because you may have missed something.  They pretty much Peter North’d it down our collective gullets.)

Teddy:  Richard’s death was surprisingly inconsequential, Benjamin’s was the spark that lit Ezekial’s fire. Honestly was shocked by that since I thought Jerry’s death was the fuel.  (Jerry’s death would have been huge, but he did get whacked.  I am still undecided on how much Ben’s death impacted Ezekiel’s decision vs Richard’s, simply based on what was presented to us, and knowing how much Ezekiel likes to deliberate.  I think this is something that will be touched on in a later episode, or so I hope.)

Kent:  Richard’s is more important.  Yes, Ezekiel is ready, but it took the death of both guys before we saw that in him.  While Ben’s death effected Morgan, it was Richard’s plan that pushed Morgan to kill again.  We have a pissed off Morgan back with us, and while I feel that Ezekiel would have decided to fight the Saviors after Ben’s death, but we may never know.  What we do know is that Ben was still learning to fight and was still a teen, and Richard was a man who could fight.  

 

  1.  Is Carol about to go back into season 5 and 6 mode where she will do whatever is needed, or will we see a hybrid version of Carol where she may not be as intense?

Bitty: There must be a middle ground for Carol. She should be a leader and not just a ninja killer. I hope to see Carol leading a smart and efficient way, not just “do it herself” mode where she gets overwhelmed and has to leave again.  (I can absolutely foresee a way that they could make Carol a leader by season 9 or 10, if they so choose to play it that way.)

Bob:  I think we will see a Carol that is frankly deadlier than before but she will be more reflective upon what she does.  She will be more choosey about who she kills but woe to them she decides to kill.  (I like the idea of her being more choosey.  It would serve her character well.)

Briana:  Carol seems to only have 2 speeds. Rabbit or Turtle. She’s been stuck in Turtle mode for a while and she will have get back into her crazy self if she plans on doing anything. She doesn’t half ass so I’m saying she will definitely be back to her intense self.  (As a person who is permanently on Turtle mode, I will cheer for the rabbit this one time.  Makes me want to watch some Looney Tunes as well.)

Cece:  I think she will fight, but I don’t think she will completely be savage.  (Ohhhhhhhh Yeaaaaah….Dig it.  That was a Macho Man Randy Savage reference for the uninitiated.  Sometimes my comments are for my enjoyment.)

Teddy:  She softened really quick, but I don’t really believe she lost her kill everyone spirit lol.  (Let’s hope that she hasn’t.)

Kent:  She will definitely be closer to the former than the latter.  I think she will be more open to planning a strategy instead of just doing what is needed, which could backfire.  Carol’s instincts have been spot on.  I really want to see her go Dr Dre 2001 Chronic album on the Saviors.  I’m excited.

 

  1.  Regarding Richard’s death, was it more important for Morgan to kill him in front of the Kingdom due to Ben, or more important to do in front of the Saviors?  Please only choose one.

Bitty:  Ugh one?! Honestly this is a tough choice to make. If Morgan had killed in front of different Savior members, Dwight, Negan it would have been super important. I think that’s all I can add to this question. (Ugh, I know right?  I think you undervalue Gavin’s importance in the Savior’s rankings.  I could be wrong, but I think he is probably #4, and maybe #3.  Dwight has a bigger role, but as far as rank, I don’t know who’s higher.  Simon is clearly #2.  Eugene is #1A.)

Bob:  Morgan followed Richard’s death.  Morgan even guarded against Richard lying since clearly, Richard will do a thing for a just cause in his own eyes.  That being said, Morgan earned prima facie the Saviors’ trust of the Kingdom to be compliant.  Morgan saw the emotional opportunity of the one Savior being dismissed and capitalized on it.  The death was needed for the sake of restoring relations with the Saviors. (The guy dismissed is named Jared.  Prima facie means based on the first impression; accepted as correct until proved otherwise.  There, we just worked together to Kentucate people.)

Briana:  Obviously, there’s reason for both but if I have to say one was more important than the other, I’ll go with the Saviors. I think it’s what Richard planned all along once his first plan didn’t pan out. He needed the Saviors to think the trust was still there. They need the element of surprise so making the Saviors think he killed him for stealing one of the melons, gives them that. It lets their guard down with them and keeps them off the radar of them potentially going rogue.  (Speaking of Rogue, I’m still irritated with how she was portrayed in the X-Men films.  Just saying.  She was so much better in the 90’s animated series on FOX.)

Cece:  More important for him to kill in front of Saviors. By him showing the fuck up to everyone and killing him on spot, it also shows that the Kingdom isn’t fucking around.  (D0 you think that possibly Gavin took notice or gave a damn about it?  I hadn’t considered him walking away taking note, but I can see that as a possibility.)

Teddy:  I believe he did what Richard wanted. Richard wanted to die in front of both to spark the flame…he got his monkey paw wish granted lol.  (Point for the monkey paw reference.  I pretty much love every monkey paw TV or film reference that I have seen.  It’s a simple story, and I don’t know why it’s not used more in modern day storytelling.)

Kent:  I look at it this way, the relationship with the Saviors wasn’t going to really alter from the Saviors’ perspective, even if the group rebelled, they were confident that things would carry on eventually.  I’m of the belief that Ezekiel needed to actually see somebody “rise up” and fight.  He just lost his best soldier, and Morgan has instilled some confidence in Ezekiel to go to war.  In that regard, isn’t that more important than just “fooling” the Saviors?

 

  1.  Carol has not really enjoyed the company of younger people since the prison.  Do you think that she will ever find somebody to mentor or to care for, who isn’t an adult?

 

Bitty:  No, Carol needs to focus on her relationships with people her age and older. The Mom figure is too much for her to handle. She is a bad ass strong woman who needs to take charge and lead men and women, not be a surrogate or school teacher.

Bob:  No.  I believe she is protecting them from becoming like her psychotic self.

Briana:  The way I see it going down is she and Ezekiel end up getting together and sort of adopting Benjamin’s little brother. From the previews, it looks like that’s a road they may take. (Yup, I think there’s a good chance of that.)

Cece:  It could be nice to see her branch out into her old habits again. But I can’t seem to think of anyone this could apply to.

Teddy:  Not after she tried with little miss Satan (look into the pretty flowers…blam!)  (I really miss Lizzie.  She was a fun, psychotic character.  We need more of them.  People should be more psychotic folks in this world.)

Kent:  I think that not only will Carol start to care for Ben’s brother, Henry, but also I have this feeling that Carol has to impart some wisdom to Carl and Little Ass Kicker.  I can towards the end of the show’s run, Carol with Judith, and it would absolutely make sense.

 

  1.  Is Lennie James (Morgan) the best actor on the show?  If not, who is?

Bitty:  Although his skills are flawless, I still feel the pain in Carols eyes, she doesn’t have to speak and she is in pain. (I was going to say Tara to see your reaction!!)  (You would have been able to feel the hate in my eyes, because you know, I’m also a great actor.  I think between Morgan and Carol, they can just look at each other and carry a scene.)

Bob:  He ranks high, but no.  I hate to do this, but I believe Andrew Lincoln is the best actor.  We have seen him with his sanity and without it.  We have seen him happy and crushed.  We have seen him arrogance and fearful.  We have seen him rash and calculating.  He has covered a slew of different emotions and states of mind and is convincing and captivating at the same time.  He has had his boring moments, but my better half also noted his near perfect acting when they were initially captured by Negan.  (I have 2 issues with putting Andy higher on my list.  First, he is the character we see way more than anybody else, meaning that he has had more opportunity to showcase all of that, which may not be fair, but I tend to count that against the leads, except in Breaking Bad because Bryan Cranston was so good.  Secondly, when Lori died, Rick rolling around on the ground, he cries about as badly as Edward Norton does.  I have to acknowledge that.  He is really good though.)

Briana:  Oh he’s absolutely one of the best! I don’t think I could pick just one to be the very best though! I’ve always been extremely impressed by Rick and Maggie being English! I seriously had no clue either of them were anything less than Southern until I saw them in other things (and yes I had totally seen him in Love Actually long before Walking Dead but just didn’t connect the dots until I saw him interview for some other show he did!)  (I also saw Love Actually, last month thanks to Cece.  He was good in that.  The being English thing is a valid point, well him and Lauren.  Did you see her in The Boy?  If not, I can’t say that I recommend it, but if somebody did like it, I recommend checking out Housebound.  Similar story, but better done.)

Cece:  He is most definitely one of the best actors in the show, for sure. I can’t think of anyone I really like who acts better than he does in their roles specific to only this show. When it comes to careers, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, for sure.  (When it comes to careers Michael Rooker, Norman Reedus, and Jeffrey DeMunn are all in the conversation.  DeMunn probably has the best career when considering the show in totality with Shawshank Redemption, Green Mile, and The Mist.  That’s tough to beat. Rooker has been in a lot of stuff, just not as high profile, but more quantity.  I can go all day on this.)

Teddy:  I believe he shows range for sure, and he tows that sanity line better than Andrew Lincoln does as Rick.  (Bingo!  I think he does that better than Andy, and that’s the biggest reason that I favor Lennie over Andy.  Morgan’s sanity feels more volatile and real to me.  RIck was just chasing a ghost.  Morgan feels it.)

Kent:  This is a tough one.  He’s in the top tier with Michael Rooker (Merle), Scott Wilson (Herschel), Melissa McBride (Carol), and Andy Lincoln (Rick).  I favor Lennie over Melissa, but they are 1 and 1A.  Morgan has had less screen time, but he does crazy in such a good way.  Plus Lennie kicked ass in Snatch.

 

  1.  Do you miss when The Walking Dead would spend time showing a character’s backstory, pre-zombie apocalypse or whatever they did to get to this current point in time?

Bitty:  I love knowing these things about a character!! However there is no time anymore when so many stories are in motion. When Eugene explained his back story in less than 60 secs a couple weeks ago it was perfect. Exactly what I wanted to know how him without an entire episode.  When we first had the Morgan episode years ago, getting captured and taught and all I was frustrated and bored with it. But now I understand Morgan’s development because of that. So I guess what I’m saying is that there aren’t any other characters right now that i need  a back story for. Except Daryl. What did he do??  (He was a private investigator.)

Bob:  Yes BUT I don’t want whole episodes of that.  It can be sooooo boring.  Glimpses are good, and leaving some mystery is a good thing.

Briana:  I really enjoy when they do that but I definitely think limitation is important! This show can be one of the worst about prolonging stories that aren’t quite as important as they make them out to be. Something that takes an entire episode can sometimes be explained in way less time!  (There are times when the show tries to force a story and it just doesn’t work.  Most shows are probably guilty of that, but in a show with such a huge cast, it’s more prominent here.)

Cece:  Absolutely. I LIVE for character development!  (D0 you die when a character is introduced but never talked about ever again?  I’m looking at your Morales and you Vatos and the remaining Wolves.)

Teddy:  Depends, I believe outside Jesus and Ezekiel they’ve pretty much covered all the important people left.

Kent:  I do because they have usually been really well done.  The exception was how poorly Abe’s backstory was.  I still love when Orange is the New Black does this, and is actually the best thing the show has going for it nowadays, unless you like preachy bullshit.  Here are people whose backstory I would love to see: Rosita, Negan, Gavin, Simon, Jesus, Gregory, Jerry, and of course Kent.  I know that Morgan’s 90 minute episode wasn’t universally loved, for some inane reason, but without that episode, Morgan’s character would be very lackluster now.  I just want the pre-credits backstory, not full episodes, except for Negan.  I would have loved to know more about Fat Joey too.  RIP

 

  1.  “To injure an opponent is to injure oneself” was a quote that Ben used during this episode.  This episode, the meaning is obvious.  Give me another example(s) of when that applied to the show.

Bitty:  Deep. Very Deep. When the Governor beheaded Hershel. He injured a crucial member of the apocalyptic society and in turn was killed himself because of that act.  (You took my initial thought when I wrote the question.)

Bob:  When Shane was killed by Rick.  By the way, Shane was also a great actor on this show.  Nothing like killing your adopted daughter’s father.  When the Governor killed Herschel.  When Negan killed Spencer and (mostly) Olivia.  (I read this, and I had this idea.  In 20 years, I would totally be in favor of the show being remade, but different characters survive.  So early on, we may see a lot of the same things play out, but suppose Shane and Dale don’t die so early and maybe Glenn gets it and that means that Maggie or Beth ends up with T Dog.  Sort of like the TV show, Sliders.  The same premise, but just played out differently.  Maybe they make it all the way to the prison, and maybe they work together with Governor, or maybe they attack the Governor and kill him like they initially wanted to.  Think about the possibilities.)

Briana:  I’ll go with Carol having to kill the red head from the Saviors. Killing her really had a huge impact on her making her completely emotionally unstable.  (Which is kinda weird when you think about it.  THAT was her breaking point.  Not being F’d over by Rick, not having to put down Lizzie, not having to kill that lady in Terminus, who had a sad story herself.  It was the Red Woman, but I don’t think her name was Melisandre.)

Cece:  Definitely pertains to when Rosita shot Lucille and then we lost Spencer.  (Good one.  Didn’t even cross my mind.  To add to that, that same scenario, Negan kept pushing the buttons and Lucille got hurt, so Negan took away Eugene, if you look at it from the Saviors POV.)

Teddy:  Daryl hit Negan so Glenn got the bat pretty easy choice. Also, Rick’s group took out the Savior’s outpost so Negan took out Abraham.  (Really, the whole round up, let’s play eeney meeney miney moe thing, that is once again, another example of this, only from the Savior’s POV.  Yes, they lost that outpost and the Dick Brigade, but then they took out Abe and Glenn.)

Kent:  No shit, everybody said something different. I was going to go with Herschel and Governor, but Bitty tackled that one, so I will suggest the Merle and Michonne thing.  Not only was Rick considering giving Michonne to The Governor, but Merle went to carry it out and realized that would injure the group too much, and then he got injured/killed.  That whole thing really works here.  Dale’s death got the group moved into Herschel’s place and sparked a fire.  Rick’s injury also strengthened Carl after the Prison went to shit.  Plenty of examples.  Great job guys and gals.

 

  1.  Another theme throughout this episode, and in the series for that matter took place when Nabila was talking to Ezekiel about how the garden was overrun with weevils, and that they would have to cut it and burn it, but if they want, it can all grow back.  Give me another example of this taking place in the series.

Bitty:  When the Walkers invaded Alexandria and were running rampant. The townspeople sacrificed part of their water source by filling it with gasoline and igniting it. Drawing the walkers to the fire as they burned in their clean water source.  (In hindsight, wasn’t that a terrible decision?  With 20-30 townpeople all fighting, was it necessary when if each person killed 3 walkers, that would have thinned it out pretty quick?  You had Rick and Michonne and Kent all out there fighting.  I’m just asking.)

Bob:  This actually goes back to the Old Testament of the Bible.  Destroy your enemy completely, utterly and competently.  Then prosper.  In the series, this has continually happened with every surbibor in the show.  Every person has needed to break themselves down or be broken down, choose to embrace that change, thus destroying a former version of themselves and then accept who they have become and grow into that person.  (You had to know that this was coming based off of your Surbibor comment.  Nobody reading this is in on the joke, but suffice it to say, 10+ years ago, we used to jam out to this song while playing many a video game, notably Deathrow.  Seriously, they do not say Survivor.)

Briana:  These are tough questions today!! Lol! I’m shooting in the dark here but look at the flowers was a pretty big theme.  (I like to ask the hard questions from time to time.  It helps us from becoming too complacent with the easy questions.  Plus, now you have Destiny’s Child above you, so there’s that.  

Cece:  Not too sure I can think of another example offhand, but maybe more like getting rid of the people who don’t want to work to make things better and starting fresh.  (Sure, consider the prisoners, and how Axel and Oscar had to really prove their worth, but only after losing what they knew and where they were safe.)

Teddy:  Rick and Hershel’s farming outings which Hershel told Rick to do it with CORL(Carl) (This was a really good one, and obvious, and I totally didn’t think of it.  Good call!)

Kent:  In a way, that’s what Rick was talking about with the Governor prior to Herschel’s beheading.  Burn the hate, and build something amazing.  

 

  1.  Will Morgan ever find peace before death?

Bitty:  I think he found peace IN death when he killed Richard.

Bob:  That is exactly when he will find peace, in those last moments right before death or a near death experience.  He is closer now that he will kill again.

Briana:  I think peace comes and goes with Morgan. He was at peace for a while. But will he find it again before he dies depends on how soon he dies! I could see him going full fledged psycho during this fight and getting himself killed. If he can make it past this particular situation then yes I think he’ll find peace again, at least for a while.  (I like your answer better than mine.  I have Night of the Living Dead references though to help make up for it.)

Cece:  I think so. He’s a very peaceful person. I hope someday his mind is at ease.

Teddy:  I believe he either will find peace in death (sacrificing himself) or he will save someone and let the pain go

Kent:  There’s no wrong answers here, except for maybe mine.  I like that people all had a different take on it, which tells me that Morgan is a complex and well done character.  In a weird way, I think killing Richard offered that peace.  It cleared his mind a bit, while also sending him spiraling.  I know that doesn’t make sense.  I think he’s at peace knowing that he avenged Benjamin, and has enough perspective to understand the world for what it is.  More importantly, I want to offer up this nugget.  Most of you know that Morgan’s son, Duane Jones, was named after the lead character in Night of the Living Dead.  Benjamin kinda became somewhat of a son figure briefly for Morgan.  Duane Jones’ character’s name in Night of the Living Dead was Ben.  Yeah, I’m sure that was intentional.  I can’t be the only person to have made that correlation.

 

Bonus Deuce

  1.   Why did Ezekiel want Jerry to leave the cobbler?

Bitty:  Cobbler equals Carol. Ezekiel wants to honor Carol’s wishes and leave her out of everything. If the cobbler isn’t there Ezekiel doesn’t have to think of Carol.  (I hadn’t considered a Carol correlation, but you made it work.  I like it.)

Bob:  He didn’t want the Saviors possibly seeing it and I also think Ezekiel is somewhat frustrated at how jovial Jerry is.  (Once again, I didn’t remotely consider that, but yeah, I think Ezekiel wishes Jerry would take things at least 47% more seriously for these missions)

Briana:  Partially professionalism, partially so he wouldn’t risk starting something with the Saviors. They may have decided they wanted it or decided that if they have enough food to eat on a run, they have enough to be giving bigger deliveries.  (This is probably the right answer.  It makes a lot of sense knowing what little we do of Ezekiel.)

Cece:  Who knows? He didn’t want him sharing.

Teddy:  Bruh those Saviors are greedy af lol. That cobbler is theirs lol and they won’t share….unless it’s with Carol.  (No sense in wasting food or sharing it in the ZA.  Look at how upset Morgan was about Michonne taking his peanut butter bar, or whatever the hell it was.)

Kent:  Ahhh, this is why I enjoy this blog.  Ezekiel probably just didn’t want everybody else to smell it and get hungry before this big mission.  There are more serious obvious answers, but eh, fudge that.

 

  1.  Gavin (the leader of the Saviors group that visits Ezekiel) provided us with a little insight into his character.  Do you think that he is closer to Simon, as in an uncaring hard ass, or to Dwight, who clearly has a lot going on?

Bitty: Based on pure hope- Dwight. Easier to break and destroy.  (I am curious as to how strong willed Simon really is, just based off of Bob’s response.)

Bob:  Simon, since I have to pick one of them.  Gavin has you fooled if you think he truly cares.  That’s all for pomp and circumstance.  Just because we have insight into the manipulation of Richard and Morgan with the Kingdom setting up for resisting the Saviors does not mean the Saviors are doing something similar of which we have no insight into.  Lastly, we need to trust basically, that Negan has put people in power whom have everything to lose and he controls.  (Thank you for mentioning Pomp and Circumstance because that allows me to make my second Macho Man Randy Savage reference!  That was the name of his theme song.  Also, that last line you wrote, very spot on.)

Briana:  I lean toward Dwight. I don’t know for sure if he does what he does out of fear or genuine care for making the situation work out without casualties. But it seems he genuinely doesn’t want people to die when he’s out on these runs and that says something compared to how other leaders act.  (Dwight strikes me as  a guy who doesn’t want to kill, but if he ends up in a better place due to that death, then he supports it, which is the way a large portion of us really would end up like, given similar circumstances, no matter how think of ourselves, people do desperate things in desperate time.  I plan on lying a lot and using big words and basically pulling a Eugene, minus the hair game of course.)

Cece:  Definitely a Dwight. You could even see how he was somewhat upset that Benjamin had died. (That is what the show wants us to believe.  As a cynic, I am hoping for more layers to Gavin, sooner than later, as I don’t think he’s going to survive much longer.)

Teddy:  Benjamin’s death shook him for sure. I feel like he doesnt like to do his job but he knows he has to despite liking talking to Ezekial.  (I can see him liking doing business with Ezekiel.  That makes a lot of sense realistically.  Way better than dealing with Gregory.)

Kent:  I think he is closer to Simon.  If anything, he may have witnessed his own son get killed and maybe it hit him hard briefly, or it could have all been an act.  He is still about doing business and pleasing his boss.  Jared on the other hand is just a douche bag that has been granted the slightest bit of power and takes it way too far.  He has to be the most hated character on the show behind Tara, right?  He whacked Jerry!

 

All of the pictures are the property of AMC, the producers, Robert Kirkman, and all of the other people who helped make this. I am simply using the images for review purposes.

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