Posted Sunday, November, 12, 2017 by RODNEY HOfirstname.lastname@example.org on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
"Trust the king. We will win!" - King Ezekiel, to his flock, before their first battle
"If you're asked to be the hero, be the hero," - King Ezekiel, to Carol, also before the fight
The price of war is often far beyond any dollar amount. King Ezekiel knew this going in but he felt supreme confidence would equal supreme success. ("Fake it til you make it," he told Carol).
But that wasn't the case. At all. After most of his army was decimated by the Saviors, the reality hits him hard. And he was even willing to just give up on himself so Jerry and Carol could move on.
Then an even worse fate happened: Shiva was overcome by radioactive walkers and died in a river of blood. (Yes, I teared up over a CGI-created tiger.)
He is truly a broken man now in a dramatic episode that was the most focused and most heartrending of the season to date.
Earlier, right after his flock protected him, Ezekiel found himself alive but his left leg was seriously injured.
Fortunately, season 8 walkers are far slower than season 1 or 2 walkers. We mean, seriously sloooow. Much of this episode reminded me of this "Austin Powers" scene:
And in case you've forgotten, look how fast the walkers were in season one:
Ezekiel is on the ground, backing away and with each passing second, it seems the walkers are further and further away from him. Fortunately, one surviving mate kills a few walkers, gets Ezekiel on his feet and helps him try to get away. Unfortunately, a low-level Savior with 1970s-era glasses kills that guy and captures Ezekiel.
Idiot Savior (real name is Gunther, based on the comics) gabs quite a bit to Ezekiel about how exciting this opportunity is for him and how Ezekiel is a fraud. Eventually, they reach a fence and Idiot Savior can't get through. He is supposed to bring Ezekiel to Negan but decides to kill Ezekiel instead. And since this is a standard good guy/bad guy moment, the dude jabbers on instead of actually killing Ezekiel.
This reminds me again of "Austin Powers," where Dr. Evil has a million opportunities to just kill Powers but doesn't, something his son points out:
Fortunately for Ezekiel, Jerry is still alive. His faithful No. 2 slices the Idiot Savior in half with his super ax and they fight off the glacier-slow horde of walkers off.
"Thank you, my majesty," Jerry says.
"For what?" says the king.
"For being such a cool dude."
Carol, in the meantime, has gone to "clear" the outpost by herself. (Why by herself??? That seems stupid.) She kills a few Saviors but eventually gets trapped and "surrenders." Again, the Saviors could just off her but she claims there are other Ezekiel soldiers around and she could tell them where they are. (She's lying.)
This gives her a shot to grab a Savior as a hostage. Bad news: the other Saviors just shoot him. In the end, she gets away and has to make a choice: chase after the men who now have a truck full of arms or save Ezekiel and Jerry.
Of course, she saves Ezekiel and Jerry. But the men don't get away for long. Daryl and Rick were on their way over there and catch the truck on its way to the Sanctuary. The high-speed chase features a man in the back of the pick-up truck shooting at both Rick in his car and Daryl on his bike. Yet the man is such a bad shot, he misses them completely. Daryl kills him and Rick grabs the driver. Eventually, the vehicle ends up in a trench. Rick is alive - of course. Is the Savior alive? We don't know yet.
In the meantime, Jerry and Carol try to get away from the horde. Ezekiel keeps telling them to leave him behind. "We can't leave you here," Jerry says.
"I'm not your king, I'm not your majesty," Ezekiel says. "I'm no king. I'm just some guy."
At a creek filled with chemicals and even grosser-looking walkers than normal, he starts killing them off, telling the others to leave him behind. Then Shiva shows up to defend him. But in a heartbreaking moment, she gets swallowed up by walkers and Ezekiel watches his beloved tiger die defending him.
How will Ezekiel come back from this massive setback and now without his beloved tiger?