While there has been so much happening in The Walking Dead at the start of season 8, one thing that has been glaringly obvious to horror fans, the King was heading towards a downfall. Last week we saw the start of that, but that wasn’t the end of the cost of Ezekiel’s (Khary Payton) over confidence.
With Ezekiel surviving last week’s attack with just a leg injury he must escape his dead comrades who are slowly beginning to move around him. While this is going on, Carol (Melissa McBride) is trapped inside the compound hidden from the Saviours who are making moves to leave the area with their stash of weapons.
Even before we see the outcome of last week’s attack, we are given a flashback to Ezekiel’s preparation back at the Kingdom. We also see the rest of his group say the goodbyes to their loved ones, and share little gifts that will bring them luck. This is to further emphasise the fall from grace that Ezekiel is going to have in this episode.
What we’ll see from this moment on is a broken man, his confidence destroyed by what he thinks are his own mistakes. The truth of course is that his group needed a motivational speaker and that is exactly what they have in the King. His greatest fear of course is that he leads them to death, which is exactly what happened. This will no doubt change him as a person as he feels he has lost everything.
One thing I will argue about the characters from the Kingdom is that it is not only Ezekiel that is a fan favourite, but also Jerry (Cooper Andrews). I actually said to myself “don’t you dare kill Jerry” and in truth I really doubt they could have done that at this point in the season. He was needed to push Ezekiel to survive, and of course Carol was needed to be the badass to get them out of there.
This week the badass Carol is back and taking down the Saviours. She doesn’t panic, her confidence doesn’t fail, she just gets the job done. In this episode she feels like a classic eighties action hero, and this is further emphasized by the fact her action scenes are accompanied with an eighties like synth score. She feels like the female version of Snake Plissken, taking down the enemies with ease.
Coming back to Ezekiel he feels another loss this week which will probably hit him even harder, and while I won’t say what it is you can probably guess. If you’ve seen the episode before reading this then you’ll know what I’m talking about. Looking past the death though, the payoff of the zombie with the melted face from last week was a nice touch when we discover the toxic waste that caused it. It also showed a foreshadowing of where Ezekiel would have his greatest loss.
This episode of The Walking Dead was an Ezekiel-centric, and was all the better for it. He is a character that fans love, so his loss is felt all the more effectively. We may have shed a tear at the end, but there is also one thing that we have to admit, this was one hell of an episode of The Walking Dead and probably the best of the season so far.
The Walking Dead airs at 9pm on Fox in the UK on Mondays.