The Walking Dead Review by John Keegan

The Walking Dead 8.04: Some Guy

The Walking Dead 8.04: Some Guy

Written By:
David Leslie Johnson
Directed By:
Dan Liu

This episode has a fairly tight focus on King Ezekiel, which is mostly to the benefit early on, but slowly but surely starts to reveal some of the weaknesses of the current storyline and its enormous scope.  I love character exploration as much as the next Walking Dead fan, since that’s one of the highlights of the franchise, but let’s face it: the “All Out War” story arc has been riddled with odd decisions and a substantial lack of clear scope and shape of the conflict.  It doesn’t help when events happen a bit out of order, either.  (A problem that seems like it will continue into the next installment as well.)



As I mentioned, there is a tight focus within this episode, even if it underscores how often that hasn’t been the case.  At the end of the previous installment, most of the Kingdom forces were wiped out by the Saviors’ big guns, and this episode is largely about Ezekiel’s struggle to survive while Carol (and eventually a few others) try to take those big guns off the board.  Naturally, there are more losses.


I suppose this will go a long way towards explaining why Ezekiel, previously so intent on independence as an ally, will ultimately concede to working more or less under Rick’s authority.  Not that Rick hasn’t had this kind of major loss in the past either, of course, but Ezekiel seems broken.  This is everything that he wanted to avoid, everything that his constant secret concessions to the Saviors was meant to deflect.  And on some level, perhaps he also began buying into his own legend, and reality came along to smack him hard in the face.




Oddly, Ezekiel’s plight (and the inclusion of his surviving allies Carol and Jerry) is compelling enough that the sudden inclusion of Rick and Daryl as action heroes is a bit jarring by comparison.  Not only that, but it also comes across as a perfectly generic action sequence, complete with Rick and Daryl managing to walk away from the entire situation with barely a scratch.  It gives them the victory of eliminating the weapons, of course, which is important in the big picture (one of the few times we get that sense of context), but it lacks the intimacy of Ezekiel’s suffering. 


Carol’s moves and countermoves, by comparison, are a lot more interesting.  Not only are her actions important and pertinent to Ezekiel’s survival, but it highlights how she is once again at the top of her game.  She may have had a very long (and tedious) internal journey for a couple seasons, but that’s over now.  This is the Carol that took on Terminus, and she thinks her way through the crisis with remarkable calm.



Fans of the source material knew that Shiva’s time was running out, and sure enough, the moment arrived despite the changes made with this adaptation.  It’s a horrifying scene, and while everything truly terrible happens just off-screen, all one needs to see is the shock and pain on Ezekiel’s face for the point to be driven home.  It’s not at all surprising when he can barely limp back to the Kingdom and walk past his followers without a word.  If only the rest of “All Out War” was so focused.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • Ezekiel is one of the best characters right now, so focusing on him is a great idea
The Bad:
  • Who else was hoping Shiva would escape the fate foretold in the source material?

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

The Walking Dead by - 11/14/2017 11:51 AM182 views

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