Having edited 21 previous episodes of The Walking Dead, Dan Liu makes his debut as a television director with this week’s episode, “Some Guy.” He kicks off the episode with one of the better cold opens in recent memory. We see Ezekiel as just “some guy” — the zookeeper with some acting experience — before he puts on his costume and transforms himself into “King Ezekiel,” the man thrust into a leadership position by circumstance and by necessity. “Fake it ’til you make it, baby” Ezekiel told Carol two weeks back. In tonight’s episode, he learns that some things cannot be faked. The cold open nicely establishes one of the night’s major themes before Liu hits us with a really powerful transition from Ezekiel standing with the Kingdommers huddled around him chanting “We Are One!” to the present, with many of those same men, now corpses, huddled on top of him after being gunned down by the Saviors and their massive artillery gun.
When Ezekiel finally does crawl out from beneath the pile of bodies, he’s faced with a new living nightmare: Nearly every single man he led into battle is dead, crumpled on the ground, riddled with bullet holes, guts hanging out of their massive wounds. Worse: Ezekiel’s leg is broken. Even worse: His soldiers reanimate as zombies and begin lurching toward him. Ezekiel and his fractured ankle can only scoot away helplessly He’s about to be devoured by his own soldiers when another surviving Kingdommer comes to his rescue.
That’s short-lived, however, because a Savior who looks like the young version of a famous serial killer in every Lifetime biopic arrives on the scene, kills the Kingdommer redshirt, and takes Ezekiel hostage. The Savior — who also looks like a guy who drives a wood-paneled van in a movie directed by Richard Linklater — thinks he’s going to drag a hobbling man all the way back to the Savior compound while being chased by zombies. The Savior — who looks like the villain in an ill-advised horror sequel to The Sandlot — does hit a nerve, however, when he calls Ezekiel “just a guy in a costume.” Eventually, however, Jerry comes to the rescue and kills The Savior — who looks like Robert Crumb’s much younger, much less successful little brother — at least until Jerry splits him down the middle with a battle ax.