And in episode two, we get a reprieve from Negan as we rejoin the Morgan/Carol storyline which features (trumpet fanfare) knights on horseback! Yep, it's Medieval Times meets The Walking Dead as Carol is carted through a suburban neighborhood, escorted by Morgan and the previously mentioned knights, who are dressed in what appears to be armor salvaged from a Sports Authority. On the way, walkers attack. Morgan and the knights fight them off in a scene reminiscent of Game of Thrones, with one knight slicing a zombie's face clean off with an axe. During the attack, Carol sneaks off back into the woods and sees a ghostly oder woman in a window...but it turns into a zombie. When Morgan brains a walker with his staff, Carol has a hallucination of it turning back into a human. Weird. By the house, Morgan carves a symbol into the mailbox post and puts up the flag. The fight finished, the group heads toward what looks like a city we haven't seen before. Later, Carol wakes up in bed thanks to a key-and-collander wind chime. Morgan keeps vigil by her side. "How long have I been asleep?" she asks. "Two day, more or less," Morgan answers. "Where are we?" Well, they're in a bastion of civilization, or what passes for one in this world, like the Governor's town or Alexandria. There are gardens, kids learning in school, people stacking tires for some reason...in other words, a place that will most likely be in flames and/or infested with walkers before the season is up. Morgan gives Carol the lowdown. They're in a place called The Kingdom, run by a guy called King Ezekiel, "He does this own thang," says Morgan. Morgan wheels Carol, in a wheelchair, to see Ezekiel. He's a theatrical Black man with long gray dreadlocks. He's onstage in a theater. And he has a pet
shark that he jumps over tiger named Shiva.
The look on Carol's face at this meeting is everything. "Perhaps you think me mad." Ezekiel says. And we see Carol smile for the first time in forever. Carol puts on a good show, going into her gee-whiz golly-shucks mode. "I would be speechless if I wasn't already speaking," she lies. "I don't know what the hell's going on in the most wonderful way!"
King Ezekiel explains his governing philosophy, which basically boils down to,"Drink from the well, replenish the well."
"Well said." says his sidekick, who's about to become TWD's Hodor.
"Thank you, your majesty. It's a pleasure," Carol lies. She's such a faker. Ezekiel offers her a bowl of fruit, but she turns them down.
Once she and Morgan are back outside, she drops the act. "You've got to be shitting me, right?"
Carol can't believe the circus fantasy they're in. Morgan seems defensive and stands up for Ezekiel. Carol hates it here. She wants to leave.
Later, Ezekiel and his knights go to hunt wild pigs. They run them into a shed where they feed them a walker. "No one back home needs to know about this," one says to Morgan.
"You mean pigs, that they're eating the dead," Morgans asks. "Any of it," he replies.
Ezekiel asks Morgan about his weapon. "Your skill with the staff. How did you come to acquire that skill?"
"It was a cheesemaker," Morgan replies. "A friend."
"There's a saying," Ezekiel continues. "The pessimist looks down and loses his head. The optimist looks up and loses his footing. The realist looks forward and adjusts his path accordingly." Ezekiel asks Morgan to train one of his men, Benjamin, on the staff. Morgan agrees.
Meantime, int's montage time, as Carol, recuperating, stares at the walls, at her wheelchair, while Morgan trains Benjamin in aikido as the Kingdom's chorus sings a Bob Dylan song.
Finally out of bed, Carol starts skulking around, stealing a knife and cigarettes and clothes.
Back at the pig locker, Ezekiel explains that the swine are slaughtered far from the Kingdom. "What we're doing here I keep secret from my people." Turns out that the zombie-fed pigs are an offering to the Saviors. So, you know, enjoy your zombie bacon, Negan.
The Saviors show up to take the offering and one of them starts a fight with one of Ezekiel's men. There's no love lost between these two groups, but at the very least, it seems like Ezekiel is smart enough to avoid letting his people get their heads bashed in. He calls off the fight and the saviors leave.
Morgan's trainee tells him that Ezekiel is keeping his deal with Negan's group quiet because people in the Kingdom will want to fight.
Morgan gives Benjamin a philosophy book. "There was an inscription in the book." He wonders that if aikido means not to kill, what Morgan's deal is. "I'm just fumbling through," says Morgan. "Sometimes we change our minds."
Cue the colander-and-key wind chimes outside Carol's window. Morgan brings her a tray of food, but she's gone.
That night, Carol gets caught stealing fruit by Ezekiel. She plays dumb. Ezekiel is onto her. "Never bullshit a bullshitter," he says. "The sweet and innocent act you've been doing is quite clever."
He tells her it initially fooled him. But he knows why she does it and seems to understand how dangerous she is, noting that the guns she had belonged to the Saviors.
"You're a joke," she tells him. "This place is. That's what you do with jokes. You laugh."
Ezekiel levels with her. "People want someone to follow. It's human nature. They want someone to make them feel safe. People who feel safe are less dangerous more productive." He goes on to explain his legend: He was a zookeeper who rescued Shiva after the apocalypse. As for his kingly demeanor, "I faked it 'til I made it. I used to act in community theater. Played a few kings in my day. My name really is Ezekiel though. That's 100 percent real," he tells her. "Cards on the table. Nothing up my sleeve. i'd appreciate you keeping it between us though. For them, and a little bit for me."
Finally, get turns to leave. "I'm sorry"
"For what," Carol answers.
"For whatever bad you've been through."
Later Morgan drops Carol off at the house with the mailbox outside the Kingdom. He puts down the flag. Carol looks in and finds the old woman zombie from earlier, kills and buries it.
She builds a fire. There's a knock at the door. It's Ezekiel and Shiva. He has a pomegranate.
"You really gotta try one of these," he says.