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Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Walking Dead 8.4: The King's Not Smiling

Not just the most powerful episode of The Walking Dead this season, but tonight's 8.4 is one of the best in the overall series so far.

First, it was a King Ezekiel episode, which was long overdue and a sight for sore eyes.  But this episode was just tragically perfect in all kinds of ways.

The King has been saying "And yet I smile" for a while now.  It was a constant reminder that, in a narrative such as The Walking Dead, there would come a day when he'd say that no more (all right, I won't write any more in King-speak).

We saw why that would happen at the end of last week's episode, when the King's force is ambushed.  That was shocking.  But the way it played out tonight was exquisite.

Ezekiel keeps denying as he's a king, to himself and even more eloquently and agonizingly to Jerry (who was just fabulous in his ferocious loyalty tonight).  Jerry's response, "Dude, I have to" call you my King said it all, and surpasses even Ezekiel's later, poignant protestation that he's not a king, he's just "a man".  The only way to survive a zombie apocalypse is to have at least the bare bones of order.

And speaking of the zombies, they had one of their best nights tonight, too, literally rising from the dead, all around Ezekiel, as he climbs up and out of the dead who sought a few minutes earlier with their last breaths to protect him from the lethal ambush.  This is the first time we've seen so many dead get up and go staggering, right in front of our eyes.

Carol had her best night in a while, too, saving Ezekiel and Jerry at a crucial time, after she disposes of most of Negan's people aka Negans.  But ...

Well, I haven't read the comics, but you didn't need that to know that Shiva would both come on and save Ezekiel and company at a crucial time, and die in the process.  I don't quite get why she couldn't pull free and get away, but the narrative arc called her to die in that sacrifice.

This episode makes clear why The Walking Dead is the most watched drama series on any channel or streaming service.  It's a show for the ages.

See also:  The Walking Dead 7.1 ... The Walking Dead 7.7: Negan and the Kids

And see also: The Walking Dead 6.1: The Walking Herd ...  The Walking Dead Season 6 Finale: Who Was It?

And see also: The Walking Dead 5.1: The Redemption of Carole ... The Walking Dead 5.3: Meets Alfred Hitchcock and The Twilight Zone ... The Walking Dead 5.4: Hospital of Horror ... The Walking Dead 5.5: Anatomy of a Shattered Dream ... The Walking Dead 5.6-7: Slow ... The Walking Dead 5.8: Killing the Non-Killer ... The Walking Dead 5.9: Another Death in the Family ... The Walking Dead 5.11: The Smiling Stranger ... The Walking Dead 5.12: The Other Shoe ... The Walking Dead 5.13: The Horse and the Party ... The Walking Dead 5.15: The Bad Guy ... The Walking Dead Season 5 Finale: Morgan and Optimism

And see also The Walking Dead 4.1: The New Plague ... The Walking Dead 4.2: The Baby and the Flu ... The Walking Dead 4.3: Death in Every Corner ...The Walking Dead 4.4: Hershel, Carl, and Maggie ... The Walking Dead 4.6: The Good Governor ... The Walking Dead 4.7: The Governor's Other Foot ... The Walking Dead 4.8: Vintage Fall Finale ... The Walking Dead 4.9: A Nightmare on Walking Dead Street ... The Walking Dead 4:14: Too Far ... The Walking Dead Season 4 Finale: From the Gunfire into the Frying Pan

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