After The Walking Dead season 7 premiere brought more bloodshed and gore (and the threat of bloodshed) than most viewers might have expected, there’s always the promise of what comes next to keep fans from ruminating on what horrible things transpired. While it’s clear that Negan is definitely every bit the Big Bad that was teased all through season 6 and only introduced for mere moments during the season’s contentious finale, it has been promised that season 7 will focus on more than He Who Swings the Bat and his Saviors; it will also open up the world of The Walking Dead to include some as-yet-unseen destinations.
During its offseason, The Walking Dead was not at all coy about the addition of The Kingdom and its leader King Ezekiel. The community was also briefly mentioned at the end of season 6, and it was clear this small but thriving society under the rule of a man, his dreadlocks, and his tiger would soon become the temporary home of trying to be pacifists, Morgan and Carol. While there has been plenty of details about The Kingdom released online, and even a few images of Ezekiel and his pet Shiva released by AMC, there hasn’t been much in the way of actual footage showing the survivors in their new habitat.
Thankfully, AMC has seen fit to release a new sneak peek in the wake of the season 7 premiere that is all about Morgan and Carol and the latter’s pending introduction to the man who calls himself “King Ezekiel”.
The sneak peek doesn’t actually offer a glimpse of Ezekiel or Shiva, clearly saving the in-episode reveal of the two for when ‘The Well’ airs (unless, of course, Ezekiel will be part of a long, drawn-out tease that ends in a brief appearance and cliffhanger during the season 7 finale). Instead, the clip takes viewers through a brief tour of The Kingdom while also giving Morgan a chance to explain to Carol (and the audience) where they are and what’s going on in terms of their circumstances. The result is the usual sort of non-spoiler-y exposition that poses as an insider look at the next hour.
Morgan wheels a still-convalescing Carol through the community, while members of The Kingdom dutifully toil away. There’s a hint of humor in the way Morgan talks to Carol, taking it slow, giving her details in small, easily digestible bites, and saving the hardest pill to swallow for last. Morgan’s explanation and Carol’s simple questions underline the fact that the two remain blissfully unaware Negan is somewhere smashing in the heads of their friends. It’s a dramatic shift from the violence of the season 7 premiere, and one that can’t come soon enough as it will possibly function as a palate cleanser to help move past the events of the previous hour and steel those watching for what lies beyond.
The Walking Dead continues next Sunday with ‘The Well’ @9pm on AMC.