“You played your people good. They ate your horsesh*t right up,” said one of Negan’s foot soldiers to King Ezekiel on latest The Walking Dead. “They grew food for you. Built those walls for you. Hell, they’re still following you.”
In the fourth episode of Season 8, King Ezekiel faces the aftermath of his failed attack on the Saviors. Now, it would appear that he’s the last man standing. As one of Negan’s minions escorts him, a few dozen walkers follow the King.
As he ponders his own death, something worse starts to happen in his mind.
King Ezekiel Loses His Smile, His Crown…
There’s a major juxtaposition in this episode versus the other episodes. In the first three episodes, every time we see King Ezekiel, he’s happy to be alive. With his “fake it till you make it” mentality, he leads his troops to war.
In this episode, we cut back and fourth between present time and moments before battle. Before the fight, he was confident even though he had never been in a real battle before. Despite his training, he clearly wasn’t ready for this fight.
Things continue to go downhill for King Ezekiel when Jerry and Carol save him.
The King Wants To Give His Life When…
There are several occasions near the end where the King wants to give up. Lying on the train tracks, he told Jerry, “This just ain’t going to work. You gotta leave me. I’m slowing you down.”
“No. You don’t get to do that,” said Carol before she kills a few more walkers. In the King’s mind, he’s starting to doubt himself. Based on the results of the battles and the foot soldier getting into his head, the King is losing his reign.
With a bullet in his leg, he’s having trouble walking with the duo. When the three of them come to a few more walkers in a sewage pit, he gives up once more. At this point, he tries to push the others forward so he can fight and presumably die.
“Just go! I’ll hold them off,” screamed King Ezekiel. When Jerry tells his King that they can’t leave him, he finally revealed, “Come on man, just go!” This time, when he called him King, Ezekiel turned and said, “No, I’m not. I’m not your King. I’m not your Majesty…”
All of the smiles are gone. At this point, it’s clear that the King is losing faith in himself, just like Morgan. Then, he’s forced to watch Shiva die in front of him.
Did you think Shiva the tiger would ever be killed by walkers?