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Monday, February 19, 2018

[CAROL'S COMIC CORNER] Season 8, Episode 4 of The Walking Dead, "Some Guy"

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By Carolina Gallardo (@carolgallardo)

Probably one of the best episodes of this season (so far) was episode 804, entitled, "Some Guy".  The entire episode is mostly a character study of specifically and almost entirely King Ezekiel, beyond the facade that we have seen. On the contrary, by the end of the episode, the entire grand facade crumbles until he admits he's not a strong leader but rather just "some guy" (hence the title of the episode).  King Ezekiel's complete collapse of confidence in the face of huge loss is very much documented in the comic source, although told from a different perspective.

On the show, we follow King Ezekiel as he leads his troops/knights (including Carol and Jerry) toward a Savior compound, continuing Rick's plan of assault.  King Ezekiel's immense confidence (dare I say, cockiness) at the beginning of the episode allows him to preach and pontificate to his people on how what they are doing is just and they will never be defeated.  By stark contrast, we are then immediately transported to present day, where King Ezekiel's entire army was killed by The Saviors' heavy artillery that was transported to that particular outpost (unbeknownst to all).  King Ezekiel survives, just barely, due to his people sacrificing themselves to cover him and he is inevitably detained by a lone Savior.

In the comic counterpart, we do in fact see that King Ezekiel and his men very much walked into a trap and were almost entirely all gunned down by the Saviors' artillery.  The difference being that in the comic, this is all being recounted and told by King Ezekiel to Michonne, since in the comics, the two have a romantic relationship.  King Ezekiel is overwhelmed with sadness explaining to Michonne how so many knights of the Kingdom died, including Sir Richard, his right-hand man.  This is different from the show since on the show, Sir Richard was killed by Morgan, in light of his role in young Benjamin's death.  Sir Daniel took over Richard's TV role as the right-hand man and he was one of the losses that weighed heavily on King Ezekiel.

The moments from the show that continue to follow King Ezekiel and the lone Savior (honestly, the Jeffrey Dahmer look-a-like, what a freak) are unique to the show and are not from the comics.  This includes Jerry's epic kill of this guy (pretty gross but definitely justified).  Eventually, we see how Carol rescues Jerry and King Ezekiel and the three of them wade through some radioactive swamp waters to try to escape the incoming Walkers (many of whom are the Kingdom Knights, now regenerated).  As they struggle to get away, Shiva makes a miraculous appearance to allow them a moment to escape but unfortunately, in one of the show's saddest moments, Shiva is overcome by the force of the Walker herd and she is devoured and killed, before King Ezekiel's very eyes.

I'm not crying, you're crying
On a side note, is it incredibly wrong that I get more upset when animals die on this show than the actual people?  Well, with exception of Glenn and Abraham of course.

In any case, Shiva's demise was very much pulled from the comics and this is what brings King Ezekiel to his breaking point in his discussion of the events with Michonne.  He is grief stricken with the fact that she always protected HIM but he could not protect HER. 

This sentiment is very much depicted on the show as well.  We see that King Ezekiel is completely broken by the time Shiva is killed and her death only serves to push him fully over the edge.  At the the end of the episode, the three return to the Kingdom as the sole survivors and Ezekiel walks past all his waiting servants in pure silence. Since in the comic, this entire event is told as a flashback, we do not see how King Ezekiel returned to the Kingdom but we can imagine it was in a very similar state of mind.

It should be noted, that the reaction and response of King Ezekiel's love interest in the comic (Michonne) versus his love interest on the show (Carol) are COMPLETELY different: Michonne punches him in the face and essentially tells him to "man up"; Carol appeals to him and pleads with him to remember he is the King and his people need him to LEAD.  No punch in the face.

Tough Love
Overall however, the show did an excellent job of depicting a monumental event in King Ezekiel's life during the War.  While some embellishment was made to "fatten up" the story, it was well done to add to the depth of King Ezekiel's loss.


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