It is amazing what some excellent writing, great acting, and solid direction will accomplish. After three lackluster episodes to ring in season eight, we finally had an episode full of drama, tension, and excitement with ‘Some Guy’. Even another long-winded speech from Ezekiel wasn’t enough to ruin the great overall feel of dread and tension in the air.
When we left off last week, Ezekiel and his band of warriors were being slaughtered by one of the big guns that ironically Rick and Daryl were searching for. It never occurred to me that they would be here, and obviously, Ezekiel and his merry band of fighters didn’t either, and that’s really the way great excitement and tension is constructed. If this had been done in earlier episodes maybe they would have been more successful but hey, let’s focus on the positives.
It really came as no surprise that Ezekiel survived the onslaught, as we saw people jump to his defense by shielding him with their own bodies. However, instead of this being a negative the show was able to turn this into a wonderful episode for Ezekiel as his imaginary title of ‘King’ was literally blown to bits in a hail of bullets. The King is dead folks, and I think the show is going to be much better for it. The horror of what happened is written all over his face, replaced by the realization, and more horror, that everyone will soon turn and become the undead, friends, and comrades who have been cut to pieces, limbs blown off and now are reduced to this.
Ezekiel is taken prisoner by a Savior, a rather creepy individual, who eventually abandons the idea of taking him back to Negan when Ezekiel’s wound slows him down, and this is where the Savior meets his grisly demise, cut in two by the axe of Jerry. The two men, backs to a locked gate, face down the horde of undead, all former friends, with little chance of surviving.
As it so happens though, Carol is doing her best Rambo imitation and mowing down some Saviors while trying to get to the guns, or at least stop them from moving them again. This is when Carol is at her best, sneaky, deadly and decisive. She gets pinned down outside and uses her brains to out-think the remaining Saviors, opening a gate and bringing the undead into play. However, she is soon left with a very tough choice. She sees Jerry and Ezekiel fighting a losing battle but if she helps them, the remaining Saviors will escape with the big guns and take them back to Negan. Again, great tension, great television, and even when Rick and Daryl come charging to the rescue to chase down the guns, it doesn’t ruin the moment.
However, this has all been too much for Ezekiel. As he, Carol and Jerry are trying to escape they are quickly surrounded by some truly grotesque zombies and Ezekiel is more than willing to sacrifice himself. He is saved by the timely arrival of Shiva, who tears apart some zombies but is soon swarmed, ripped to pieces and devoured. It was a tough moment and whether you enjoyed the CGI tiger or not, it was just another nail in the coffin for King Ezekiel.
In the end, Team Rick and friends came out victorious but they paid a very heavy price. So many dead, including a tiger and one leader who seems crushed beyond healing. It was sad and painful to watch the trio return to the Kingdom but especially in Ezekiel’s case, who now has the heavy burden of all those deaths to carry with him. It might have been ugly at times but it was a great hour of television and proof that The Walking Dead still knows how to create captivating episodes, if only it was for one week.
Four out of five stars
- Great tension and real excitement from start to finish
- Carol and Ezekiel are terrific for different reasons
- Solid writing, direction, and acting.
- Still had a long-winded speech from the King