This week’s emotional episode of The Walking Dead thankfully picked up right where the last one left off, and concluded with one of the biggest moments of the season so far. SPOILERS past the jump…
The first few episodes of The Walking Dead‘s eighth season have received pretty mixed reviews. The show has taken a hard turn to focus on the war between Rick’s group and the Saviors, and this has resulted in pacing that’s unlike what we’ve seen in recent seasons.
This week’s episode, however, was the highlight of the season for me so far. We got to see Carol be a one-woman wrecking crew at the Saviors outpost, a fun car chase with Rick and Daryl, and a surprisingly emotional death of a big character.
Now, it’s entirely possible that the reason I found Shiva’s death so sad is because now we’ll be deprived of seeing a tiger eat Negan’s face, but the loss stung nonetheless.
It was really interesting to see Ezekiel acknowledge what fans have been thinking since he made his debut last season. While we’ve gotten some insight into what makes him the way he is in past episodes, here he showed vulnerability in a way he hasn’t ever before.
Ezekiel’s whole deal was giving people hope. Just as his character gave fans hope that the show might get a little less bleak after watching Glenn and Abraham die in last year’s season premiere, Ezekiel gave people in the Kingdom something to believe in, and something to fight for. But while the persona he built for himself was able to successfully inspire his people, it was still just a fantasy.
Once Ezekiel was reminded of the brutal realities of war and life in the zombie apocalypse, it got harder for him to keep that fantasy alive. Finally, once he was faced with yet another life and death situation, he dramatically renounced his crown in front of his most loyal subject.
It will be interesting to see whether or not Ezekiel will be able to keep up the monarch act once he collects himself. For the sake of Jerry, I hope he can.
Speaking of Jerry, I think it’s safe to say he won the week. The lovable big man once again showed up when he was needed most, and saved his king by slicing that creepy Savior in half like a watermelon. I was a bit worried about him near the end of the episode, but I’m glad he’s going to live another week.
In a world this terrible, we all need a bit more Jerry in our lives.