Spoiler alert! This recap contains major spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 8, Episode 4: "Some Guy."
Worst. Episode. Ever. Actually, the episode itself was great, but my favorite character died: Shiva. Never have I felt so sad for a CGI character. She went out a hero, and I will miss her.
On to the episode itself: This was the best of the season so far. I think one of the most successful parts of tonight's episode was that the focus remained on one storyline: Ezekiel, Carol, and their troops. Eventually, the story switched to Rick and Daryl, but it was a smooth, worthwhile transition.
After last week's slaughter, Ezekiel is the only one left alive, buried beneath a pile of his friends' corpses. He is horrified at the slaughter, and things don't get any better when his friends start to reanimate. Ezekiel is injured and has no more ammo. A Savior (who bears a startling resemblance to Jeffrey Dahmer) comes out and takes Ezekiel hostage. He plans on using Ezekiel as a human shield to get back into the compound, as well as a trophy to present to Negan, but a series of mishaps prevent this from happening. Even though Dahmer wanted to be the hero and bring "the king" to Negan, he decides his only option is to shoot him. Before he can, Jerry shows up out of nowhere and axes Dahmer in half in a fantastically gory scene. The gate is locked up tight, and Jerry breaks his axe trying to open it, so the pair try to hold their ground against the zombies.
Meanwhile, Carol is inside the compound, trying to find the weapons. She shoots some guys carrying out boxes of large artillery, but the gunfire draws other Saviors. Carol escapes, and the men decide to let her go; it is more important to move the weapons to the Sanctuary. But Carol meets up with them again outside. After a long, fruitless gun battle, Carol surrenders, offering to give up her friends in exchange for her life. One guy moves in to get her, and she takes him hostage, a knife to his throat. His friends decide his life isn't worth it and shoot him in an attempt to get at Carol. Carol is too fast for them and ducks out of the way, hitting the gate button on her way to the ground. Zombies stumble in, taking out all but two of the Saviors.
It's not really clear how Carol got herself out of that pickle, but she sees Ezekiel and Jerry desperately trying to remain alive on the other side of the gate. I suspect the Saviors decided they had to get the weapons to Negan, and they take off, allowing Carol to go save the guys from the swarm of walkers. She watches the Saviors take off in a truck, and knows they don't have to worry about it ...
... because the Saviors are headed into the path of Daryl and Rick. This is where The Walking Dead becomes The Fast and the Furious. In a really fun, occasionally silly sequence, Daryl and Rick chase the two surviving Saviors, Beardy (driving) and Baldy (who surprises Daryl and Rick by revealing he has a huge machine gun set up and ready to go in the back of the truck). Daryl is on his bike, with Rick in a truck behind him. Baldy shoots at Daryl, causing him to lay down his bike, letting Rick take control of the chase. His truck can better stand up to gunfire, but when it looks like his truck might be about to crap out, Daryl shows up and with an expertly placed shot kills Baldy. Rick pushes his damaged truck to the max, drives alongside the Savior truck, and jumps into the Savior's truck. He stabs Beardy and pushes him out of the car, then Rick crashes over an embankment. Daryl helps him out of the wreckage. "We got the guns," Rick states matter-of-factly.
This fun car chase sequence (how often do you get to see a car chase in a zombie property?) may have been a way to soften up the audience for the bummer that is to come.
Carol and Jerry are helping Ezekiel through the forest. Zombies are close behind, and Ezekiel insists they leave him and save themselves. They refuse ... until they come to a stream that is swarming with zombies. What's more is that toxic waste bins have spilled into the water and seem to be hastening the rate at which the zombies deteriorate. (Perhaps this will be weaponized later on?) Ezekiel decides, with the zombies coming in fast, to stay behind and kill all he can and allow Carol and Jerry to escape. But suddenly Shiva explodes out of the jungle and starts attacking the walkers. Our trio watch with pride ... but the zombies are too many. Shiva puts up a valiant fight, but in the end, the walkers overtake her. Ezekiel is heartbroken, but it allows them to escape and make it back to the Kingdom.
This episode showed the downfall of a king. Ezekiel starts out the episode with certainty and poetic language that is meant to inspire his people -- and maybe fake some confidence into himself. And for a while, things seemed to be breaking Ezekiel's way. He and his troops went through the first two battles without so much as an injury, much less a casualty. I don't think Ezekiel became cocky when they got to that third outpost; I think his luck just ran out. Reality crashed down on him hard. It's hard not to feel dethroned when you find yourself in a field surrounded by the gory carcasses of your people. What was very telling was when Jerry insisted he keep calling Ezekiel "your majesty." It was then that Ezekiel realized that the fantasy of a kingdom he created wasn't just for himself, but for everyone else as well. A little bit of fantasy can go a long way in maintaining one's sanity.
Ezekiel is clearly a broken man. I think the death of his troops affected him on a "professional" level, while the death of Shiva was much more personal, like the death of a child or spouse. When he returns from war, the rest of the Kingdom gather around him, but Ezekiel simply has no words.