The Good News: This was a much better episode than the last two. The Bad News: It still wasn’t very good.
You know what’s more dangerous than walkers? All those hot shell casing lying around on the ground.
Anyway, let’s see if this episode is any better than the last two.
We open with a flashback to Ezekiel giving his Kingdom warriors one heck of a good speech. It’s such a good speech, in fact, that I really wish we could have seen it before the end of the last episode when they all got mowed down by machine gun fire. I get the mirror effect the show was going for, but it was too obvious (and too long) to have the desired effect.
Back in the present, Ezekiel climbs out from under the bodies of his dead comrades and gives a great Darth Vader scream to the skies. As if that weren’t depressing enough, the dead Kingdom warriors begin to reanimate and start lumbering toward him.
Thankfully, a random extra sensed that a main character was about to die and came to the rescue. Unfortunately, said random extra was immediately shot dead by the skeeviest looking Savior we’ve seen yet (which is saying something). Instead of killing Ezekiel too, he forces the king to get up and begin walking back toward the Sanctuary to be taken prisoner by Negan.
Along the way, he taunts the King about how his undead subjects are still following him (HA!) and delivers a massive bit of foreshadowing by pointing out that without Shiva, he has nothing.
Okay, two things really bugged me here.
- Where is Shiva, anyway? Like, I get that she couldn’t die in the hail of gunfire with the others, but wouldn’t a giant tiger be stalking along the front lines with the rest of them? And wouldn’t she be trying to defend Ezekiel from Serial Killer Savior and/or the walkers lumbering after them?
- Speaking of Ezekiel, the dude continues to keep up his dinner theater voice, even without any of his people around (that he knew of) and facing what appeared to be certain death. I’m all for some good method acting, but that seems just a tad bit ridiculous.
Big J with the assist
After reaching a locked gate, Serial Killer decides it would just be easier to cut off Ezekiel’s head and bring that to Negan instead. Fortunately, Jerry had somehow survived the shootout and been stalking behind them like a ninja the whole time. He brought his ax down on Serial Killer, splitting the man and his sex offender mustache right down the middle.
As the pair turned to face down the oncoming horde of former friend walkers, Ezekiel reminded Jerry that he no longer had to call him ‘your majesty’…while still continuing to speak in his dinner theater voice. *eye roll*
Jerry’s response: “Dude, yes I do.”
Gotta admit, I liked that part a lot.
Meanwhile, Carol’s main character forcefield also managed to protect her from the shootout at the outpost. She used the opportunity to sneak into the building and began gunning down bad guys.
After heading back outside, she is met by another group of Saviors with unlimited ammunition, who proceed to pin her down behind a truck. She also spies a button to open a garage holding a ton of walkers in it. Carol surrenders, which somehow makes the trigger happy Saviors all cease fire and decide that taking hostages is the smarter course of action. Carol makes them pay by taking their own hostage, releasing the walkers, and reducing her opponent’s ranks to two.
Yeah, I thought it was pretty dumb, too, but it did look pretty cool.
Just as Carol is taunting the Saviors about their lack of ammunition (!) and poor position, she notices Ezekiel and Jerry behind the fence/about to get overtaken by walkers…which really confused me. What type of weird path was Serial Killer Savior taking Ezekiel on before this?
Anyway, Carol flashes back to a conversation she had with Ezekiel about how he saved Shiva when she was helpless (FORESHADOWING) and how he himself had no real fighting experience. Because of this memory, Carol allows the Saviors to get away with the guns and goes to rescue Ezekiel and Jerry (ugh).
Maddening Max, Road Warriors
This scene was all types of stupid, but my editor says I still have to recap it.
The Saviors Carol let escape are almost immediately met and pursued by Rick. One of the Saviors sits in the back of the truck and fires at Rick’s jeep, which is apparently bulletproof. Thankfully, the machine gun Savior is considerate enough not to EVER SHOOT AT THE FREAKING TIRES.
He does manage to shot the engine after 100 rounds or so, causing Rick to swerve. This gives Daryl the opportunity to look cool as he rides up on his motorcycle and somehow hits the machine gun savior dead in the chest, killing him.
Then Rick pulls up alongside the Savior, jumps from his jeep into the front compartment of the Savior’s truck (…), stabs him, and causes the truck to swerve off the road into a ditch.
As you might imagine, Rick survives completely unscathed.
As Carol, Jerry, and Ezekiel try to make it back to The Kingdom, they’re surrounded (?) by walkers. Ezekiel FINALLY breaks character and tells Jerry that he’s just “some guy” and doesn’t deserve to be saved.
Right as he’s about to sacrifice himself for Carol and Jerry, Shiva FINALLY appears and begins kicking zombie ass…and then gets torn to shreds. Much as I have not enjoyed this show lately, listening to her growls turn into pained rumbles was incredibly hard. Also, hats off to Khary Payton, imbuing Ezekiel with shock and heartbreak that you couldn’t help being affected by.
After arriving back at The Kingdom, a disheartened king brushes by his subjects, devoid of any cheer or hope that he’d previously supplied without fail.
The Good News: This was a much better episode than the last two.
The Bad News: It still wasn’t very good.
While I love seeing Carol kick ass, the constant stream of bullets and nonsensical actions of the bad guys attacking her was too ridiculous to ignore. And don’t even me started on the Rick/Daryl car chase. I don’t care how well-choreographed it was — that was just plain dumb.
As far as the parts with Ezekiel are concerned, the Main Character Force Field effect made it hard to feel any real tension…although I do give the show credit for making Shiva’s death all types of impactful. Also, Payton’s performance was outstanding. All dinner theater jokes about his character aside, the actual actor behind the character is objectively superb.
But no matter how good his individual performance was, it still didn’t answer the question about what Negan and Gabriel have been doing in that trailer for the last three episodes. Hopefully we see something about that soon — it’s not like we have an awesome tiger to look forward to anymore.