– by Anthony Esteves
Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

It is early morning. King Ezekiel prepares himself for the day ahead. He washes his face. He attends to his long locks of hair and adorns his wardrobe. He makes his way outside and addresses the people of The Kingdom. He gives a rousing speech, swearing to his soldiers and citizens that they will be victorious; a joyful smile on his face. His people surround him, placing their hands upon him in solidarity. Yet, in one quick cut, we jump from the past to the present, as King Ezekiel is injured and surrounded by his murdered soldiers.

Murdered soldiers that are quickly becoming Walkers.

Ezekiel is taken hostage by a lone (and probably the nerdiest-looking) Savior, and Carol is able to penetrate the compound and stalk the Saviors. Through some assassin-like stealth skills, Carol is able to take out a few of them before she finds herself cornered under gunfire. She decides to make a deal, drops her gun, raises her hands and turns her back, saying she can give them intel. As one of them approaches, she creates a diversion long enough to press a button that opens the entrance gate, allowing walkers to flow into their area.

As “Nerdy Savior” Gunther disrespects and ultimately attempts to kill Ezekiel, a gigantic axe swings from behind, splitting Gunther in two. The axe belongs to none other than the lovable Jerry, who has hit full Beast Mode. After an attempt to break down the locked fence fails, and Jerry’s axe is broken, King Ezekiel and Jerry stand side by side and fight off as many Walkers as possible. Meanwhile, Carol gets the upper hand and has the final two Saviors cornered, her rifle pointed at the Humvee filled with firearms the two are hiding behind. As she attempts to try to draw them out, she sees in the distance King Ezekiel and Jerry cornered, fighting off the Walkers. Does she save them and allow the Saviors to escape with the guns or does she leave them to fight off the Walkers by themselves?

Carol makes the decision to save King Ezekiel and Jerry. As she mows down the Walkers with her rifle and rescues them, the remaining two Saviors drive off in the Humvee. However, all is not lost, as Rick in the jeep and Daryl on his bike chase down and crash the Humvee.

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Carol and Jerry help King Ezekiel through the woods to escape, where they come across a small creek where biohazard chemicals have been dumped, and where deformed Walkers have been basking in. As the three try to get around them, Ezekiel demands to be left behind, no longer believing in his myth of being “the King.” At that moment, Shiva jumps in and attacks the Walkers. However, much to the horror of the three, there are too many Walkers for Shiva to handle. Ezekiel can only watch as his most loyal confidant, the animal that has been by his side since the beginning, is torn apart by the undead.

The gates of The Kingdom open, the citizens stand in shock as only the three return. Bloodied and beaten, Carol and Jerry walk in first as King Ezekiel limps his way in behind them. He is not the same man he was at the beginning. There is no smile on his face. There is no rousing speech being delivered. There is only a man who has been broken, both physically and emotionally. Ezekiel can barely face his people. He limps past them, head hanging in shame, slowly moving to his barracks.

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