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"The Well" brings a welcome reprieve from the brutality of the season premiere, introducing a colorful new character and focusing on two of The Walking Dead's most fascinating regulars.
TWD plays lightly but deliberately on the obvious comparison between Negan and Ezekiel-both charismatic, theatrical, clever leaders who know that their power derives solely from the devotion of their followers.
So more horrors await us sooner rather than later, but it's nice to have the occasional respite and argument in favor of humanity.
We definitely needed a break after last week's torture, but there really wasn't much of anything happening tonight.
The show smartly puts that conversation at the end of "The Well," only it's Carol, not Michonne, who says it to Ezekiel.
In the case of "The Well," thinking smaller may mean including a wild new character and his pet tiger, but it also means getting a lot of juicy material for The Walking Dead's two best characters.
After last episode's horrific, grim exploration of just how many times you can smack a person's head with a baseball bat before it explodes, this week's Walking Dead was a significantly calmer, funnier affair.
It was an interesting introduction to another corner of the post-zombie world, and the handful of characters we briefly met were more colorful than those in Alexandria or The Hilltop.
"Where there's life, there's hope," King Ezekiel told Carol - and, by extension, all of us... And, after that brutal Season 7 premiere, it was certainly a message that we needed to hear, even if it was still damn hard to believe.
Watching the two most pacifist members of Rick's group explore this seemingly humanistic new world provided a much-needed respite from the nihilistic violence of "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be"-and a welcome change of focus.
'The Well' doesn't so much put the breaks on as grind the vehicle to a complete halt. As far as pit stops go, however, this was a mandatory one.
Though "The Well" is shaky in its first few acts, the episode redeems itself in the end, presenting one of the deepest characters the show has ever put forth.
"The Well..." is a stark change in tone, and (we hope) a great preview of what's to come this season.