SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers from Season 8, Episode 4 of The Walking Dead entitled “Some Guy.” Proceed with caution.
The Walking Dead lost a beloved character in Episode 4 of Season 8. The episode, called “Some Guy,” was the fourth instalment of a prolonged battle against the Saviors, and mainly concerned itself with advancing Ezekiel’s story.
Critical to the King’s arc, his bond with tiger Shiva has endowed him with power and confidence, and commanded respect. But from the start of the episode, which sees Ezekiel preparing to lead his people to war by preening his hair — his crowning glory, one of the symbols of his leadership – we see him set up to fall from his perch.
He had promised none would die, and we witness the aftermath of Episode 3’s dramatic close which saw his Kingdom army gunned down. Then we see him systematically broken down by the taunting of Savior Gunther, who captures him, dismantles his façade and causes an already weakened Ezekiel to doubt himself. And then comes the death of Shiva, the final nail in his coffin, her demise symbolising the death of the performative King Ezekiel he’s shown up to now.
A Noble Sacrifice
While Shiva’s death occurs at the same point in the comics as in the TV series, it has some key differences. Mainly that Ezekiel is alone as it occurs, but also that he’s recounting what happened to Michonne after the event (in the comics, Michonne is Ezekiel’s girlfriend, not Rick’s).
In the comics, after the Kingdom army is shot down, Ezekiel escapes the battlefield with the help of Richard. His right-hand man loses his life here, though — just as Kingdom survivor Alvaro, who assists him in the TV series, does. In the show, Richard is killed in Season 7 at the hands of Morgan, of course. Ezekiel’s escape is also aided by Carol and Jerry in the series, who are both with him when Shiva dies.
In the comics, Ezekiel continues alone following Richard’s death but soon finds himself stuck in a ravine with walkers encroaching. At the point where he has just about given up, Shiva appears and attacks the swarm, sacrificing herself to rescue her human companion – the same one who once saved her. It’s a noble sacrifice – she’s overwhelmed by walkers and dies so that Ezekiel can live.
Carol and Jerry’s Significance
In Episode 4, Carol and Jerry struggle to motivate a downbeat Ezekiel intent on sacrificing himself – and punishing himself – to flee with them. With a severely injured leg, he’s certainly slowing them down but it’s not really this that prevents him from trying. They know it, and they’re there to witness his collapse. Seeing Ezekiel at his lowest ebb, stripped of artifice and, watching, with their own eyes, the heartbreaking death of Shiva – not only a symbol of Ezekiel’s leadership but also a representation of hope and beauty in a devastated world — will no doubt prove vital to the story going forward.
Both Carol and Jerry will likely be crucial in building Ezekiel back up, and helping him to fight another day. What happens next in Ezekiel’s story will definitely be interesting, as will discovering which major character dies next.