Spoiler Alert. Yes, it’s a recap and review. So yes, there will be spoilers. Read at your own risk.
Well, this week was yet another episode with no Negan in sight, but given the cliffhanger ending of last week, it’s not particularly surprising that we pretty much just focus on King Ezekiel and his survivors (who, surprise, are literally the only two other characters in the group that we knew the names of). But thankfully, instead of trying to pull itself in too many directions, this episode only focuses on King Ezekiel and his survivors, with a brief appearance by Rick and Daryl at the end. So while we still want Negan, King Ezekiel is still such a fun character that we don’t mind, especially considering that this is, by far, the most entertaining episode of the season.
Yes, the episode starts with another theatrical speech by Ezekiel, but that pretty much just exists to prepare you for “all of these soldiers are going to die, so that sucks.” Which, yeah, is what happens. After last week’s machine gun blast, Ezekiel wakes up and lets out a scream of anguish, surrounded by his dead followers, who promptly get zombified. Though he’s injured his leg, he gets away, thanks to a random member of the Kingdom who saves him at an opportune moment. Of course, the random member manages to survive all of thirty seconds of screen time before getting killed by some random Savior, who spends the next ten minutes telling Ezekiel how much he sucks before getting split in half (!) by Jerry (who is alive! We are on the record as being very pro-Jerry). But they’re trapped in front of a locked fence with zombies shuffling in. “Thank you for being such a cool dude,” Jerry tells his king before they make what they believe to be their last stand.
Meanwhile, Carol survives (you just can’t kill Carol, we’d all revolt) and is inside, tracking the Saviors who are trying to move the machine gun that took out Ezekiel’s gang. She then gets in a firefight with some more Saviors, keeping a cool and level head as she takes out most of the bad guys. But two get away as Carol spots Jerry and Ezekiel fighting for their lives, and she decides to step in and save them. Carol, again, is the best.
Carol’s decision to let the guns go ends up not being a big deal, as Rick and Daryl show up just in the nick of time. With Daryl on his motorcycle, and Rick in a rusted Jeep, they manage to kill the remaining Saviors and flip the car off the road in a really awesome car chase scene. Dads love car chase scenes, and this one doesn’t disappoint.
Finally, Ezekiel finds himself ready to make a final stand one last time, as he wanes about how he’s just “just some guy” before getting saved one last time as Shiva the tiger jumps in. It gives Jerry, Carol and the King enough time to get away, but at a cost. #RIPShiva. In an episode with dozens of deaths, Shiva succumbing to the numerous hoards of zombies was by far the hardest to take.
And that’s where the episode ends. Negan’s forces lose the machine gun that’s been the focus of the last few episodes, but all of us lose one awesome killer tiger. And Ezekiel has to go home and tell all of his people how their family members did not survive the attack. It’s a bit of a bummer of an ending, but it still makes for the best hour of the series in quite some time. Dad Grade: A
Unnecessary Philosophy Rating: 4/10
There are a lot of scenes with Ezekiel, who we all know is just putting on an act to unite his people, grappling with the fact that he’s just a king because he says so, and his actions got a lot of people killed. But it’s well acted, and not as heavy handed as the last few weeks have been with their “let’s not be monsters ourselves” moments.
Zombie Gore Rating: 8/10
There’s a lot of zombie fighting in this one, with plenty of satisfying killing moves. Our favorite is probably when Jerry, after breaking his ax, dispenses with a zombie just using the ax’s handle.
General Gore Rating: 10/10
Umm, yeah, we see Jerry slice a guy right in half. Lengthwise. So we’d say the general gore was pretty top notch.
Any “Oh Hell Yeah!” Moments?
We may have peed ourselves a little in excitement at Carol wasting four Saviors in the blink of an eye while hiding in the ceiling in her first scene of the episode. She’s such a badass. And, we cannot stress this enough, Jerry slices a guy right in half. And finally we have Daryl and Rick showing up out of nowhere to save the day, via awesome car chase scene. This episode had a lot going for it.
What Comes Next?
We’d say we finally get to see Negan but we’ve been saying that for the past three weeks. But heck, they’ve got to go back there at some point. Next week will involve the next step in the fight against the Saviors, whatever that is, so we expect it to cover a lot of different directions. Though Hilltop will have to come into play. They’ve got a bunch of POWs that are probably going to escape. We’re guessing that Gregory finally dies next week as we see some trouble in Hilltop, while Rick and the rest go on another mission like the whole “get those machine guns” we’ve just had.