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The Walking Dead - Some Guy - Review



The Walking Dead “Some Guy” was written by David Leslie Johnson and was directed by Dan Liu, who has been an editor on the show since season four, but this is his first real directing credit. This episode really belongs to the amazing performances of Khary Payton (Ezekiel) and Melissa McBride (Carol) with special mention for Cooper Andrews (Jerry). And of course that awesome chase scene with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Daryl (Norman Reedus). And of course, a shout out to Greg Nicotero and his team for an army of hero walkers in this episode.

The episode begins essentially where we left off last week as Ezekiel crawls out from under his dead subjects who gave their lives to save their King. Watching Ezekiel lose his hope and his faith in himself is devastating to watch as the episode unfolds. It was also hard to watch all the Kingdom people we never really got to know come back as walkers. But first we see them all say goodbye to their families and loved ones.

The title, however is reflected in the very first scene as we see Ezekiel arming himself for battle. But first, he arms himself – for his people as King. I loved the shot of him framed in the doorway as just a guy out of the shower – some guy – and then he leaves the bathroom as King. And of course a good part of that “kingliness” is Shiva. Before he leaves, Ezekiel pauses to reassure young master Henry (Macsen Lintz) (and how do you not love just the cadence of his speech!) that he will be brave because he IS brave – the same mantra that has been working for Ezekiel.

Ezekiel delivers a stirring speech – the beginning of his “and yet I smile” trope. I loved the shot of Jerry smiling in the background. Jerry smiles because of the hope Ezekiel provides as leader. He is what his people find hope in. He asks them to trust the King – and they do. The King’s cry of we are one even has Carol smiling and believing. This scene of hope, with his people crowding around and hugging each other with the King at the center is then beautifully – and horrifically – mirrored in an overhead shot of the dead piled on top of Ezekiel. In both cases, Carol is apart from the rest still.

He has not come out of the firefight unscathed, he’s been shot in the leg – and limps throughout the episode. My hope is that he is limping back toward faith in himself, but the episode doesn’t end on a very hopeful note in that regard. Ezekiel crawls out and immediately goes to check on his people, but they are all dead, including Daniel (Daniel Newman) and Nabila (Nadine Marissa). Ezekiel crabwalks backwards as the new herd of his people again mock that opening scene and try to descend upon him.

Ezekiel is saved by Alvaro (Carlos Navarro). He asks for his cane and tells Alvaro not to endanger himself for him, and Alvaro tells him, “I have to.” It’s their belief that keeps them going. Ezekiel’s first thought is for Shiva, but she hasn’t been seen. Alvaro is shot by Gunther (Whitmer Thomas) who takes Ezekiel prisoner.

Meanwhile, we get to see Carol doing what Carol does. Going in to get the guns as a one-woman wrecking ball. Though it’s clear that she’s lost some of her edge – but that edge was her completely shut off from her emotions. Now we see Carol pause and compose herself, McBride is wonderful as the fear she feels is clearly reflected on her face. She has to believe she’s the last of her group. I loved her hiding in the ceiling and taking out one group – even if she didn’t get the guns.

Gunther suddenly remembers that Ezekiel has a sword in his cane and takes it from him. Gunther is planning on taking Ezekiel back to the Sanctuary, but Ezekiel tells him the walkers will prevent him from getting in or them from getting out. Gunther tips their hand – that’s what the Brownings are for. The herd following keeps gaining on them and Ezekiel goes down.

Gunther insists that Ezekiel’s come this far, he can keep going. But Ezekiel would rather die by the hands of the dead than Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Ezekiel asks if Negan even knows Gunther’s name, and Gunther responds with the pat, “I am Negan.” But it’s a wonderful parallel. How different is Negan than Ezekiel? They both have their people following them blindly, willing to die for them. But this IS the difference. Ezekiel knows the name of every one of his people and he grieves for them. Negan sees his people merely as pawns, there to do his bidding – even it that includes dying.

Gunther taunts Ezekiel that he rooked the people into believing his story. He used Shiva to help him create this fantasy. Gunther assumes that Ezekiel got his people to build the walls for him and everything else just for Ezekiel’s own benefit. But again, this is where he and Negan differ. That is Negan, but Ezekiel did it because he wanted to save people. To help people. However, we get foreshadowing – and back to the title – when Gunther says, “Take away that tiger and you’re just some guy.”

In the compound, Carol readies herself to make her move on the remaining Saviors and the guns. She doesn’t appear to have a very good plan – and it seems clear from the look on her face that she’s simply flying by the seat of her pants. Once again, she fakes them out by seemingly surrendering.

When Gunther and Ezekiel get close to the compound, Gunther taunts him with do you still have people in there? Ezekiel makes one last play for his sword, only to be knocked down by Gunther and smeared with blood as Gunther tells him “illusions of grandeur.” But it was never about that for Ezekiel. When they end up trapped at the gate, Ezekiel seems willing to go down fighting side by side with Gunther, but that’s not Gunther’s plan. Instead, he knocks Ezekiel down and plants his foot on his chest.

He tells him that Negan’s plan was to have Ezekiel, the Widow, and Rick all chained to the Sanctuary fence. He tells him that Negan will just have to settle for having Ezekiel’s head on a pike. I was worried here because of the foreshadowing from the comics, but this would still not be the storyline from the comics. We get what is going to be a classic shot as Jerry saves his King by cleaving Gunther right down the middle with that fantastic ax!

Jerry borrows Ezekiel’s sword to take care of the nearest walkers. He hands it back with a “your Majesty” and Ezekiel tells him he doesn’t need to call him that. And Jerry tells him flat out, “Dude? Yes I do.” Jerry takes his hope and courage from Ezekiel and the belief in a better world – it’s clear that he knows it is a fantasy – the choice of the word “need” instead of “have to” is a clear indication of the choice being made here. We get another major casualty as Jerry’s ax is sacrificed to trying to break the chain on the gate.

Meanwhile, Carol manages to take one of the Saviors (Trey Butler) hostage and hold a knife to his throat. Of course, Rudy (Keith Hudson) doesn’t care and light up his own man. Again, here’s the difference between the Saviors and the Kingdom. Carol’s plan – because she knew they’d kill their own guy – was to open the gate behind them and let in the walkers to take care of the Saviors for her.

As the walkers close on Jerry and Ezekiel, Jerry tells the King to get behind him, but Ezekiel is going down fighting side by side. He told his people repeatedly not to sacrifice themselves for him, failing to see his own value as a symbol. As the two stand side by side, Jerry thanks Ezekiel – “for being such a cool dude.” He’s not just some guy. It’s a short moment, but one of my favorites this season.

Carol’s plan is working. She’s got the two remaining Saviors pinned down. She knows that they are almost out of ammunition and she has the ammo from their guy. Clearly, she did have a plan – they’d either be killed or use all their bullets against the walkers. She is stopped from completing her plan when she sees Jerry and Ezekiel trapped. She has a decision to make.

And then we flash back again. Carol asks if Ezekiel has ever fought before. He tells her that she’s seen him fight, but she wants to know he has more experience than that. He tells her that he’s fought the dead and a marauder in the woods once – but it becomes clear that Shiva likely did all the fighting there. He assures her that he’s been training for a long time. He’s ready to become what he must.

Carol asks “Become?” He explains that he’ll will himself to become what he must be. It echoes the conversation they had in the woods in a previous episode. It’s very much the power of positive thinking. He reminds her that he was a zoo keeper. He was meek. But when Shiva was bleeding, he didn’t just leap into her enclosure, it wasn’t instinct. There were only a few seconds, but he weighed the risks. He thought about not doing it, and he considered who he’d be in either iteration, and he decided that he wanted to be the one who leapt. He tells her that Benjamin was the one who told him what he didn’t want to hear: “If you’re asked to be the hero, be the hero.”

Ezekiel tells Carol that he deliberated and now he’s ready to be who he must be. He’s decided. And then he asks Carol if it was easier for her! OMG. He asks if she was always this way: this strong, this brave? Or did she decide to be who she is today? She tells him that she decided, just like he did. She goes on though –“But life decided some things too.” And Ezekiel agrees that it does. This scene gives me hope that Ezekiel will find his way back – it might take a Carol ass kicking…

Carol, of course, decides to save them. Ezekiel immediately asks if they got the guns. Carol says there’s nothing they can do about it. Ezekiel is desperate to get word to Rick about the guns – and then we hear the roar of Daryl’s bike. Carol smiles – the guns aren’t getting to the Sanctuary.

We get a fantastic chase scene with some terrific stunts. I loved the shots in the side mirror too. Daryl’s bike goes down, leaving Rick hot on the heels of the guns – with one of the Saviors (Bob Jennings) firing the Browning at Rick, until Daryl can sneak up and take him out. Rick jumps into the moving car, stabs Rudy and takes the truck over an embankment.

Daryl looks worried until Rick crawls out of the underbrush. These two are the most awesome buddy team ever! Rick says “We’ve got the guns.” To which Daryl replies, “You look like shit.” They go to see if Rudy is alive – but it’s clear that Daryl is relieved that Rick is.

Carol, Jerry and Ezekiel make their way through the woods. They are surrounded and Ezekiel wants them to leave him behind because he’s slowing them down. And here we get to the piece de resistance – the walkers melted by some toxic substance. It’s too much for Ezekiel – I’d love to know the story of why they freak him out so much. Ezekiel is determined to hold them off so that Carol and Jerry can get away.

Jerry insists that he’s not going to let his King do that, and Ezekiel loses it on him – he drops the voice and screams at him that he’s not his King or his Majesty. He points at the walkers and declares, that’s what’s real. The melted walkers become a symbol of the melted fantasy of the Kingdom – but again, this is what sets Ezekiel apart from Negan. Negan knows that his “kingdom” will fall apart without him. Ezekiel underestimates his own worth. Ezekiel tells a distraught Carol and Jerry, “I ain’t no King. I am nothing. I’m just some guy. Some guy who thought…”

And then Shiva is there to save him one last time. Ezekiel tries to get her to run and he tries to get to her to help her, but she’s gone. Jerry tells Ezekiel he can’t help her. There’s a beautiful shot of her blood in the water – but I was devastated by her loss. Why do they always kill the animals????

The final scene is a devastating parallel of the opening scene in which they were one. Now Ezekiel has no words for young master Henry and his people part to let him walk away alone.

This was another terrific – though horribly sad – episode. Payton is simply tremendous. We get to see some layers of Carol – and see that she’s finally come back to a place of equilibrium. Once again, kudos to the effects and stunt people on this show. A tremendous effort from every aspect in this episode. I think that based on the teasers we’ve seen for the next episode, it really sets us up to examine what kind of a leader Negan is. What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!










 
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