A Look at The Walking Dead- Season 8, Episode 4: “Some Guy”

“We will lose not one of our ranks.”

Time to collect, Ezekiel.

The episode begins with a flashback as Ezekiel gets ready for the day.  Outside, the Kingdom warriors bid farewell to their friends and families when Ezekiel and Shiva join the group getting ready to head out for the battle ahead.  Before leaving, he tells a young boy to be brave because he is brave.

He then addresses the crowd, informing them of the challenges they face ahead. They pray for not one drop of rain on an overcast sky, and yet Ezekiel smiles.  The Kingdom will fight and bleed, but Ezekiel smiles.  They will find honor this bastion of life and win.  Trust the king, after all.  On this day, they are one.  Huh.  Didn’t know that Ezekiel was a fan of Mufasa.

Cut to the present, as many Kingdom fighters lay dead.  Ezekiel emerges from a pile of the fallen and looks around as his followers now rest dead- even familiar faces like Daniel.  Ezekiel lets out a horrible yell as the dead begin to reanimate.  Ezekiel doesn’t kill any of his former followers, but scurries away.  He picks up a gun, but Alvaro provides him backup as the two leave.

Inside, some Saviors pack up their weapons while Carol makes her way through the facility.  As the Saviors prepare to leave, they’re gunned down by Carol, who was hiding in the ceiling.  Just as she prepares to leave, other Saviors enter and pursue her.

Outside, Alvaro is shot and killed by a Savior named Gunther, played by, Whitmer Thomas, who looks as if he stepped out of the film Office Space.  He asks for Ezekiel’s blade, but it’s how Ezekiel can walk.  Even still, he surrenders it.  The two have a big trip ahead to the Sanctuary, even though the gates are down. Ezekiel knows that no one can get in or out, but Gunther needs Ezekiel’s help with their current situation.

While Carol watches some Saviors loading up ammo and getting ready to head to the Sanctuary, Gunther threatens to kill Ezekiel, who mocks him for just being a mindless foot soldier who calls him Negan.  Ezekiel won’t let himself be used, even though all of his people are now dead.  He steps on Ezekiel’s wound, which gets him back up and moving.  And he knows all about Ezekiel’s story.

Despite being outnumbered, Carol springs into attack, but the Saviors open fire and force her to wait behind a truck from all the gunfire.

Gunther tells Ezekiel that they’re leaving.  As Ezekiel goes for the Gunther’s knife, Gunther knocks him to the ground first.  He smears the blood on Ezekiel’s face and the two get moving again until they reach a locked gate.  Gunther wraps Ezekiel’s coat around the barbed wire as he prepares it, but before he does, he tells Ezekiel that Negan hoped to chain him to the Sanctuary fence, along with Maggie and Rick.

Since that can’t happen, Ezekiel can just have his head on a pike instead. Hm.  Before Gunther can lay the blow, Jerry comes from out of nowhere and slices Gunther in two.  Jerry then takes his axe, cuts a few more walkers, and then takes his axe to the gate.  And hey, he still calls Ezekiel a cool dude.

Carol manages to subdue a Savior, but the others still shoot him dead just as Carol hits a button, opening a gate and allowing walkers to enter the facility.  Their attention is divided while Carol grabs a machine gun.

The Saviors tell her to walk away, but she’s not letting them leave with the guns.  They dare her to approach, but then she spots Jerry and Ezekiel fighting for their lives at the gates.

In a flashback, Ezekiel tells Carol that he’s practiced for so long and has fought before all of this.  All to will himself into what he must be, given that he was a weak zookeeper.  He thought of how risky it was to approach the tiger, but years later, Benjamin said what Ezekiel knew, but couldn’t hear: he never asked to be the hero.

But he’s now finally ready.  He then asks if it’s always been this easy for Carol to be strong or if she decided to be that way.  And of course, like Ezekiel, she decided, but life decided.

In the present, Carol chooses to save Ezekiel and Jerry at the risk of letting the Saviors go free.  Ezekiel wants to get word to Rick, but according to Carol, those guns won’t be getting to the Sanctuary.

How does she know this?  Because the Saviors are being pursued by Daryl and Rick.  The Saviors open fire on Daryl, causing his motorcycle to skid into the ground, but he soon comes back as he fires and kills the Savior.  Rick, meanwhile, drives alongside the Savior’s truck, hops into the van, and stabs the Savior just as the truck goes skidding off the road.  Still, they got the ammo.  They then head down to check if the Savior is alive.

Carol, Ezekiel, and Jerry meanwhile go on when the pain in Ezekiel’s leg is too much to bear.  He wants the two to let him go, but Carol, low on ammo, won’t let that happen.  They arrive at the sewer drain from IT as Ezekiel fights off the walkers on his own, telling Jerry that he’s not his king or majesty- just some guy.  Roll credits.

Then Shiva swoops in and saves the day, but is overrun by walkers and devoured as her blood mixes with the water.

They arrive back at the Kingdom, wounded, as Ezekiel makes his way past his followers and into the compound, disillusioned at the lost of Shiva.

It’s amazing how Ezekiel all but wrote out the obituaries of his followers with all of his talk.  Now there’s nothing wrong with confidence.  The ‘fake it til you make it’ attitude is what’s helped keep everyone motivated.  It’s the attitude that’s allowed them to persevere over the Saviors up until this point that the plot armor for the Kingdom fighters felt unbreakable.

It didn’t help that Ezekiel always had a smile on his face and proclaimed over and over that we will lose not one of our ranks.  How do you spell out your doom in a more telegraphed way than saying none of your followers will die?  It was pretty much a setup that would lead to someone losing their life, but the cost was larger than Ezekiel expected.

Similar to Rick being so confident with taking on the Saviors prior to “Last Day on Earth,” the end result here was a cold splash of water to Ezekiel’s confidence as he now contends with the reality that his followers, all of whom would willingly die for their king, are now dead.  The ones here, anyway, since folks like Dianne are over with Jesus and Tara’s group, assisting the Hilltop.

But here, except for Jerry and Carol, they’re all gone.  Sure, we don’t know most of them, but the fact that they perished after facing so many victories serves as a setback more than just for the survivors, but for Ezekiel specifically.  For so long, the men and women in his ranks have followed his every order and would lay their lives on the line.

Now they’ve lost that, but Ezekiel must contend with having to face his followers becoming walkers, so he must put them down.  But then it’s made even worse when Shiva sacrifices her life in order to save him.  It’s another watershed moment for Ezekiel to watch his trusted companion die, but also have him accept openly and tell Jerry that he’s no king, just another guy like him.

This isn’t the role Ezekiel wanted, but one he’s been willing to play in order to ensure confidence in those that followed him.  Like Rick, he’s been willing to take charge and make hard decisions, but on-screen, we haven’t seen him lose nearly the same amount in his ranks as Rick.  To see him crumble here is a big deal and Khary Payton is great in showing Ezekiel’s agony as his confident persona shatters.

It’s a stark contrast from the stronger, more methodical looking Ezekiel we saw at the start of the episode as he prepared to lead the Kingdom to certain victory.  And by episode’s end, he’s a much different, shattered man.

Know what we could’ve done without, though?  Gunther, who seems to pop out of nowhere and exists just to taunt Ezekiel.  Who is he?  He’s not even named in the episode as far as I recall, we haven’t seen him before, so his death feels uneventful as his appearance.  He was a very quirky kind of Savior and gave me a bit of an early 90s Jim Carrey vibe, though I get all the Jeffrey Dahmer comparisons I saw.

I think it would’ve been an even bigger loss had the Saviors actually escaped, thus giving Ezekiel another failure, but I suppose it made for a fun chase sequence for Rick and Daryl.  And the plot armor on Daryl is strong since he can get shot at, skid off road, yet somehow double back and kill a Savior before Rick.  Daryl Dixon truly is a one man army.

Looking at it, “Some Guy” was a pretty fast watch, but provided some great development for Ezekiel as his confidence was broken down by the loss of Shiva and the rest of his followers.  With a now disillusioned Ezekiel back home, the question remains how he will move forward from this major setback.

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