'The Walking Dead' recap: 'I'm just some guy'

Kimberly Potts
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Warning: This recap for the “Some Guy” episode of The Walking Dead contains spoilers.

“Fake it ’til you make it” was King Ezekiel’s motto, and it worked well for him, for a while. But lack of battle experience — and “life” — supersedes the best of the Rick Grimes resistance team’s plans sometimes. And in a very short window, Ezekiel loses his army, his tiger, and possibly his will to maintain the royal persona that had led the Kingdom to thrive where other communities had not.

King Ezekiel
Ezekiel wakes up and heads to the bathroom to perform his morning ablutions, and for a minute, he looks like a stressed businessman dreading a day at the office. And he is. Armor and a long duster replace a suit and tie, but once he dons his kingly wardrobe, Ezekiel watches out the window as his community members — adults, children, and babies — bid each other farewell with hugs and kisses.

They begin to pack trucks with battle supplies, and King Ezekiel joins them.

Photo: AMC

“We face dire challenge and chance,” he begins his rallying speech. “Our lives, our way of life, it hangs in the balance … and yet I smile. We will fight, and we will bleed, and yet I smile. We shall face men, some cornered into their roles by circumstance, some desperate murderers thrilled by blood. We shall end them all, as is our charge this day, as is our sorrow. And yet I smile. We will leave our loved ones and traverse a dangerous road, rushing out of peace into war, and yet I smile. For we will mine glory from the rock of struggle this day…

“We will win! You trust the King … we will win!”

The Kingdommers crowd around him, patting him on the back, as he continues to shout to them, “We are one! We are one!”

And then, in the next flash-forward scene, his people once again surround him: dead, their bodies full of holes created by the Saviors’ M2 Browning .50-caliber guns (the ones Rick and Daryl were looking for at Alvarez’s outpost), littering the yard outside one of Negan’s outposts.

His people had jumped on top of Ezekiel when the gunfire began, and he crawls from beneath them with a leg injury. He can only scooch backward from the pile — he can’t stand because of his injury — and as he looks across the yard to see how deep his losses run, he lets out a scream. And while he’s trying to process that, they begin to zombify. One second he’s looking at dead Daniel, and the next Daniel’s eyes pop open and he’s trying to chomp on Ezekiel.

Again Ezekiel begins to crawl backward, like a crab, as quickly as he can, because all those he lost are now beginning to reanimate and shamble toward him. He picks up a gun from the ground and shoots one, but that’s the final bullet. Another gun he picks up won’t fire at all. He tries again to stand and run, but falls. Just as it looks like he won’t survive the Saviors outpost, a gunshot rings out, and Ezekiel sees Alvaro walking toward him. Ezekiel finds his cane on the ground, and Alvaro helps him stand with it, but the King tells him to leave him, that there are too many walkers for them to tackle. Alvaro refuses. As they try to get out of the field where the walker herd threatens them, another shot rings out, and it hits Alvaro.

Photo: AMC

The King is on his own again when he meets the shooter: a Savior, a Jeffrey Dahmer-looking motherfella who makes Ezekiel hop along on his cane because he’s a prize the shooter wants to present to Negan at the Sanctuary. Ezekiel asks the man he calls a “desperate foot soldier” if Negan even knows his name, and the Savior tells him, “I’m Negan.” Ezekiel insists he won’t allow Apocalyptic Dahmer to use him to hurt his people, and that sets the Savior off.

“Your people?! You mean all those sheep you rooked into thinking you’re a king?” he asks. He tells an already guilt-ridden Ezekiel that he’s just a “con man in costume,” and that Negan plans to chain him, “the widow,” and Rick to the Sanctuary fence. When the two of them reach a locked gate and find themselves trapped inside the walker-filled yard, the Savior plans to escape solo and take Ezekiel’s head with him. Just as he’s about to behead him, an angry scream rings out from behind them, and Jerry runs at Apocalyptic Dahmer with his double-sided battle axe. He literally chops the Savior in half.

Jerry helps the stunned Ezekiel to his feet, calling him “your majesty.” Ezekiel tells him he doesn’t need to call him that. “Dude, yes I do,” Jerry insists, while he tries to cut the lock off the fence that is keeping them penned up with the walkers.

Photo: AMC

“Sh**balls!” he curses when the axe breaks, and he’s left with nothing but a jagged stick to fight off the herd. He tells Ezekiel to stand against the fence, behind him, but Ezekiel has his blade back from the dead Savior, and insists on helping Jerry in what threatens to become a fatal onslaught of Kingdommers-turned-walkers.

“Thank you, your majesty,” Jerry tells him.

“For what?” Ezekiel asks.

“For being such a cool dude.”

When last we saw Carol, she told Ezekiel she was going to sweep the compound they thought they had just emptied of Saviors. At about the same time Ezekiel and his crew learn there are still Saviors inside, so does Carol. She — singlehandedly, as has so often been the case — takes out five of them as they’re preparing to load several boxes of guns onto a truck and deliver them to the Sanctuary.

Another group of five Saviors spots Carol but decides to let her go. They run outside with the weapons instead and load them into a truck. Carol follows them, and through a combination of firing on them and tricking them into thinking she wants to surrender, she gets the upper hand. With help from some strategically released walkers, she whittles her group of opponents down to two. But just as she’s about to get the last duo in her sights and prevent them from driving away with the truckload of guns, she spots Jerry and Ezekiel, backed up against a fence, with a slew of walkers just feet away from making them a snack. She runs to the fence and starts firing at the walkers, and releases Jerry and Ezekiel from the yard.

Ezekiel asks if the Saviors got away with the guns, and Carol tells them there’s nothing they can do about it. He tells her they need to get word to Rick, so he can stop the weapons from reaching their final destination. Just then, Carol hears the sound of a motorcycle on the road where the Saviors just drove off with the guns.

She smiles and tells the King, “They’re not getting them to the Sanctuary.”

Rick and Daryl
As the Saviors duo speeds down the road with the guns, Daryl follows on his motorcycle not too far behind them, and Rick is just behind Daryl in his Jeep. Daryl closes in and shoots at the Saviors’ truck, but one of them climbs into the back and starts firing at Daryl. He and his bike are knocked off the road, and Rick moves in closer. He tries to force the Saviors off the road with some slick maneuvering, and Daryl joins back in the fray, killing the Savior in the back of the truck with his gun.

Photo: AMC

Rick pulls his Jeep up to the Saviors’ truck then, and jumps from his car into the Saviors’ passenger seat. He stabs the driver and pushes him out of the vehicle, but before Rick has a chance to get the swerving vehicle in control, it goes over the side of a hill.

Daryl rides to the crash site and looks down the hill, where an uninjured Rick climbs up through the weeds.

“We got the guns,” Rick says.

“You look like s***,” Daryl tells him.

“Let’s go see if this a**hole’s still alive,” Rick says of the Savior he tossed out of the moving truck.

Carol, Ezekiel, and Jerry are traveling back to the Kingdom, but Ezekiel is having a tough time with his leg injury. The walker herd continues to follow the trio, and they’re nearly out of ammo. Ezekiel wants his friends to go on without him, but they refuse. They’re managing to move forward, but run into a ravine that is filled with chemicals that have spilled out of barrels that indicate they contain “corrosive” material. Walkers who’ve clearly been corroded by the waste fill the ravine, and Ezekiel says he can’t traverse the muddy terrain; he once again tries to persuade Carol and Jerry to leave him behind and save themselves.

Jerry says he can’t leave him. “You’re my king!” he shouts.

“No, I’m not! I’m not your king, I’m not your majesty,” Ezekiel shouts. “I ain’t no king. I ain’t nothing. I’m just some guy.”

Before Carol or Jerry has a chance to argue with him, Shiva comes out of nowhere and begins to attack the walkers. She tosses one aside and does her best to take on the rest, but soon they have her surrounded. As Ezekiel yells at her to run, the walkers begin to attack her, and the chemical-filled water in the ravine turns red with her blood. Ezekiel is helpless.

The Kingdom
The Kingdom gates open, and the residents run out to welcome their loved ones home. But they know everything they need to know when only Jerry and Carol enter, with Ezekiel bringing up the rear. The only sound heard comes from Ezekiel’s cane clicking on the ground as he limps forward. The remaining townsfolk have gathered, right where they were when they told their loved ones goodbye and sent them off to fight the Saviors. Ezekiel has no words for anyone this time, as he shuffles past them, stopping just long enough to put his hand on Henry’s shoulder, and then limps along to his home.

Zombie bites:

• In a flashback to a pre-battle bonding session, Ezekiel tells Carol he has not always felt like a natural leader. He chose to save Shiva’s life back in his pre-Kingdom days, and he chose to be brave enough to fight the Saviors. He says Benjamin inspired him. “If you’re asked to be the hero, be the hero,” he says Benjamin advised.

“I’m now ready,” Ezekiel tells Carol. “Finally. I’ve deliberated, I’ve made the decision on who I’ll be.” He asks if that decision was easier for Carol, or if she’s always been the strong, brave woman she is.

“I decided, just like you,” she says. “And life decided some things too.”

“It does,” Ezekiel says. “It will.”

• Shout-out to Whitmer Thomas, the Los Angeles-based comedian who played the Jeffrey Dahmer look-alike Savior who captured and taunted Ezekiel. It’s another one of those brief but well-written and meticulously delivered performances that belong on the list of classic TWD guest spots, along with the likes of Noah Emmerich, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Alicia Witt, Jill Jane Clements, and the great Christopher Berry.

* F-bomb count: Still zero, with Season 8 one-quarter done. King Ezekiel lost an army of people and his tiger … he earned one of those effs, don’tcha think?

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.

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