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The Walking Dead 8.04 Review – ‘Some Guy’

November 13, 2017 | Posted by Katie Hallahan
The Walking Dead - Some Guy
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The Walking Dead 8.04 Review – ‘Some Guy’  

Tonight on The Walking Dead, while the overall plan to take down Negan and the Saviors has taken a step forward, King Ezekiel and the Kingdom have suffered great and personal losses.

The plot: After most of his knights have been brutally gunned down, Ezekiel is taken hostage by a savior determined to bring him in–or at least his head. Meanwhile, Carol has gotten inside the compound they were sent to attack and manages to take down most of the men there as they try to load up their big guns to get them to the Sanctuary. But when she has to choose between taking out the last men standing or saving Ezekiel and Jerry, she chooses the latter. Not to fear, though, Rick and Daryl have arrived just in time to follow the gun car and overtake it. Making their way home on foot, however, Carol, Ezekiel and Jerry are nearly overwhelmed yet again, and Ezekiel’s already shattered confidence takes a final devastating blow as Shiva sacrifices her life to save theirs, killing and then distracting the walkers as they kill and devour her before Ezekiel’s very eyes.

Tonight really was all about Ezekiel and his undoing. I loved getting another episode focused on him–it’s been a while–and it was fittingly heartbreaking to see him lose so much. The man has built his image and the Kingdom on his confidence, on his unshakable optimism, and his flair for the dramatic. But as Carol points out in one of the flashback scenes we get, Ezekiel has done very little fighting in the field. Not that he’s not smart or well-trained, but Ezekiel has also largely kept the Kingdom going by making the conscious choice to not fight back. Since deciding to join Rick in resisting Negan, he’s been very lucky. They got to save the day at the end of Season 7, and they did remarkably well in their first few fights in Season 8. But luck will only get you so far, especially when the other guys are bloodthirsty fanatics armed with automatic weapons.

Tonight, Ezekiel finally had to face the harsh side of setting himself up as King. Because so many people followed him, believed in him, they trusted his leadership, and thus did they die for him. Some even died while throwing themselves on him bodily to save his life. At least, that’s how he’s taking it at this point, though I think it’s clear he’s not really at fault. But the flashback where he tells Carol he’s made a choice to be who he is, and that he will continue to make these choices to be this person, this King, are telling. Though he has benefited from being the King of the Kingdom, his love for and drive to protect his people is entirely genuine, and it’s clear that he would gladly for them. Over and over again in this episode, he is willing to die to protect them–whether to make sure he cannot be used against his people or to fight off walkers so others may escape. But over and over again, the faith, belief, and devotion that his people have in him allows him to live. And over and over again, he sees them fall and die for doing so.

Ezekiel is seeing the downside of the community he’s set up. Though he wanted to inspire people, raise them up, and create a safe place, I don’t think he ever thought he would be this important to them all. While he quotes to Carol, “When someone offers you the chance to be the hero, you be the hero,” he has perhaps forgotten just how people feel about their heroes. He tries to tell Jerry more than once to stop calling him “majesty”, but Jerry refuses, and Ezekiel eventually breaks down and admits, insists rather, that he is no king. “I’m just some guy.” Shiva’s death is the final blow here because unlike the humans of the Kingdom, who can all still make their choices, she’s an animal who by all means should be a danger to any human. But her devotion to Ezekiel is so complete that she dies, almost denying her very nature, to save him. And thus, when they return to the Kingdom, now only three, for the first time he has no words for his people. And this clearly shakes them all deeply.

Carol is largely her usual bad ass self here, but I’m more curious to see how she acts going forward and what she’ll do to try and help Ezekiel and the Kingdom recover. I’ve really enjoyed her subtle arc this season of seeing the upside of Ezekiel’s act, starting to believe in it herself. Jerry, too, I expect will play a new kind of role in the Kingdom and be on more equal footing with his King. His total devotion to Ezekiel has always brought a smile to my face, but seeing how it drove him to be a damn unstoppable berserker tonight was awesome. He finally got to use his axe! His insistence that Ezekiel is his King shows how he’s not as dim as he’s let on before now. I would guess that Jerry has also been able to choose who he wants to be because of Ezekiel, and I hope we get to hear more about how he’s been inspired by him soon.

And finally, Rick and Daryl had a cool car chase straight out of Indiana Jones!

Other Thoughts:
– This is the second time we’ve seen chemically-treated walkers this season. Was the first one just a foreshadowing of them showing up today, or might this contamination be an issue sometime in the future?
– Next week we’ll finally get back to Negan and Gabriel! Get excited!

The final score: review Amazing
The 411
I really enjoyed this episode. As sad as I am for Ezekiel and for the Kingdom, it was a change of pace both for the season and for how this show often breaks down its characters. Ezekiel is a very unique character, and breaking down the unique innocence he had needed an appropriate approach. The writers and actors did a great job at knocking him down, piece-by-piece, all inside of a single episode. Even given that, when Ezekiel returned home at the end, his silence when faced with his subjects still stunned me.