This review contains spoilers.
It’s safe to say ‘Some Guy’ has been the strongest episode so far this season, not just in parts, but as an episode on the whole. It was excellent from start to finish and was the perfect blend of story and character development as well as perfectly-paced action. Season 8 gets stronger with every episode and if this trend continues, we are in for a real treat when the show returns after the Winter break.
This week, the show’s focus was solely on King Ezekiel and Carol in the aftermath of last week’s cliffhanger. As expected, Ezekiel was saved by the mountain of bodies of his loyal soldiers. In a scene not too dissimilar to Jon Snow breaching out of the mass of bodies in the ‘Battle of the Bastards’ episode in Game of Thrones, Ezekiel emerges gasping for air and in a state of total shock.
We have mentioned for a few weeks now about watching his mask slip, exposing the person beneath the performance. The mask is well and truly off now, the King… is dead.
While King Ezekiel has always been a theatrical, over the top character, Khary Payton has excelled in the role. But I have been most excited to see how he handles the character when the inevitable happens when he suffers real tragedy. Payton puts in a breathtaking, emotional performance. He is full of sorrow, doubt and shame. The character has gone from one end of the spectrum to the other, but it does not feel out of place, it feels completely natural. They built the character up perfectly, showing clear signs that he was beginning to struggle with keeping up the performance. After one tragedy after another, he is now a broken man and where he goes from here remains to be seen. The end scene where he just walked away, ashamed and broken was a powerful ending to the episode, and we won’t be seeing a ‘return of the king’ anytime time soon. At least not until the latter part of the season. I hope they take the time to develop his new persona and flesh out his character further.
I can’t go any further without talking about the big death this week, King Ezekiel’s closest ally, Shiva. The way the episode was being played out, I saw this coming. They were pulling straight from the comic book, so her death was inevitable. I didn’t find it as horrific I was expecting it to be. It was a noble sacrifice for sure, but it wasn’t as big of a moment as it could have been. Maybe I feel this way because I knew it was going to happen? Some people may think they did this too soon, but it mirrored the plot of the comics so for me it was the perfect time to pull the trigger on this. You get a popular character death that was supplemented with a truly outstanding emotive performance from Payton. The show is mainly practical, and the CGI costs were high for Shiva, so it worked in that sense as well. Yes, it’s sad to see a cool addition to the world like Shiva go, but it was time. RIP Shiva.
It wasn’t just a big episode of Ezekiel though, Carol finally got some much-needed solo screen time. She was a frustrating watch last season, her story was not engaging enough and I felt Melissa McBride didn’t do enough herself to try and make more of the dud script she was handed. Already this season it seems that they have corrected this issue, both with the writing and McBride’s retuning enthusiasm. Here, she was back to her best, delivering a great character performance and hard-hitting action in equal measure. We need to see more of this Carol going forwards.
Despite Ezekiel and Carol being the episode’s focus, for me, the most enjoyable scene was the truck chase featuring The Saviors, Rick and Daryl. It was expertly filmed and well choreographed and made a big impact on the episode. The Rick swerve to reveal Daryl on the bike was an outstanding visual, and Rick jumping onto the truck was a pure 80s action movie moment. The truck going off the road and with Daryl looking down at the wreck reminded me of the tank scene in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. In fact, the whole scene did. While its hard to know for certain if that was the influence, the similarities were striking. This scene was also something a little different from what we are used to in The Walking Dead. All the little new things they have tried this season are a welcome addition and indicate that the show is wanting to evolve and remain exciting and engaging.
I am loving everything about Season 8 so far and the preview of next week’s episode indicates that we are going to be getting a Savior centric episode. They are getting the flow of the season right. Last week they had to move the story away from the raids and they did. They didn’t push it to another episode, which would have been an episode too far. Now the time is right to go back to find out what happened to Negan and his generals, and that is what they are doing. They have put right the wrongs that some people have had with the past few seasons. They are getting the pacing right and pushing and developing the story week-by-week.
Overall, this was the strongest episode this season and will easily fall into most fans top ten episodes of all time. It was beautifully acted, had a well fleshed out story with perfectly executed action sequences. The king may be dead, but long may the high quality of Season 8 reign!
What did you think of the episode? Are you enjoying the season so far? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or let us know on social media.