The Walking Dead: “Some Guy” Review
***WARNING! THE WALKING DEAD IS ABOUT TO BE THOROUGHLY SPOILED***
This week brings the first character centred episode of the new season. Following three weeks of relentless gunfire, “Some Guy” slows things right down.
There have been complaints that episodes like this ruin the show. I could not disagree more. People argue it takes all of the momentum out of the season. OK, let’s say the creators of The Walking Dead listened to this criticism and delivered the plot continuously and nothing else. Sure we would know what happens quicker, but that’s not what good television is about.
The Walking Dead is the kind of show that needs to be enjoyed episode by episode. The characters need to mean something, we have to care about them, otherwise the whole idea simply would not work.
Stuff happened this week, important stuff. Stuff which adds meaning to this war that has broken out. The nameless people who are being mown down by nameless gunmen suddenly mean a lot more. Suddenly, the war matters. Episodes like this will shape the rest of the season, and provide context to every decision these characters make. Without episodes like this, The Walking Dead, or any story, is just a series of events.
Until now, only a few short interactions with Carol have shaped King Ezekiel’s character. We know of his background and his act as a king, but very little about Ezekiel as a person. As such, this episode was inevitable
The opening scene introduced some guy preparing himself for a long fight. He appeared reluctant, but left the room as King Ezekiel. Visually, its simple, but Ezekiel’s expression exposed his internal struggle. Something he alluded to during a flashback moment with Carol, he’s trying to be someone he’s not. He leads with courage none the less.
Back to the present, and following on almost immediately from the massacre at the end of last week. Ezekiel frees himself from an entanglement of dead bodies. Almost immediately, he relinquished his role as the king.
He constructed his character to style himself as a beacon of hope for people who needed it. The Kingdom was built entirely upon that notion of hope.
Yet, during those moments, as he finds his followers dead, he believes his act is to blame. These people only followed him here because he fueled them with hope and belief.
This is a stealth mission Snake
The opening scene greatly emphasised importance of the Saviors’ artillery. The Kingdom’s forces were destroyed, literally. The side with those guns would take a substantial advantage.
Besides that, we had very minimal plot progression. With Ezekiel’s forced totally decimated, it was left to Carol to enter Solid Snake mode and neutralise the Saviors single-handed.
Several moments in this episode were video game-esque. Carol’s confrontation with a group of Saviors within tight corridors could looked like something from a Metal Gear Solid set. Even the music during that scene felt like it was pulled straight from the game.
After that, the presentation of the struggle back to the kingdom the show takes on a ‘protect the king’ vibe. It feels like Ezekiel’s death at this point would prompt a ‘game over’ screen.
A Kingdom falls
This episode signifies the fall of it kingdom in so many ways. For a start, their army is defeated. It’s not clear what percentage of the Kingdom’s population went on that mission, but it is implied it was a majority.
The moment Jerry’s axe is broken signifies the end of Kingdom as a prospering community. That axe symbolised the strength of Ezekiel and his people. It had the power to cleave anything in two, including that ridiculous Savior who appeared to be completely incapable. The moment it broke, it felt like the Kingdom had broken too.
All of this led to the ‘abdication’ of Ezekiel. He is completely lost. The facade that he created is broken beyond repair. The evocative death of his great protector Shiva delivered a punishing final blow. His outburst to Jerry said it all. “I”m just some guy”. His voice broke, along with his will, and the fall of Ezekiel, for now at least, is complete.
Shiva’s death goes straight into the top ten heroic, tragic and horrifically sad losses we’ve had on the show. It seemed to last an eternity, an entirely deliberate move I’m sure to deliver as much pain as possible to us and to Ezekiel. She had to die, this episode basically demanded it, but that is little comfort.
The ‘Darick’ chronicles
I had blank moment when Rick and Daryl appeared, apparently from nowhere. In my mind, the guns were lost, and surely heading back to the Sanctuary. This was necessary, because it meant the Saviors could kick-start their counter attack and the season would continue. But instead, these two heroes come in and score again for the alliance.
Just to say first of all that I am so glad Rick and Daryl are being this much screen time as the world’s greatest dream team.
Unfortunately, what followed was possibly the worst car chase of all time. This is clearly something the makers of The Walking Dead have little experience doing. It looked slow and cumbersome, and the whole scene was jerkily put together – except for that one incredible shot when Daryl pops back up from behind Rick to take out the Savior shooter.
“Some Guy” is emotionally charged and leaves the alliance exposed and vulnerable. Following 3 episodes of all out war, we may be about to hit a period of stalemate. If Rick and Daryl can acquire those guns, the Saviors are in real trouble.