Spoiler warning for those who haven't yet watched The Walking Dead's latest episode, titled "Some Guy."
King Ezekiel is quite possibly The Walking Dead's most overstated character, which means almost nothing he says is purely innocuous. And so, after all the focus on Ezekiel's steadfast confidence in raiding the Savior outposts without taking any casualties, it was plainly clear that the Kingdom-ites were going to get slaughtered in a big way at some point. That massacre came tonight, and aside from the myriad Saviors who got taken out, almost all of Ezekiel's battle crew got killed off, and the boisterous leader himself was potentially knocking on death's door when the episode came to a close.
For what it's worth, The Walking Dead hasn't seemed particularly invested in spinning this season's big deaths as massive shocks, as it's gone in the past. The early portions of "Some Guy" centered on Kingdom soldiers bidding their families farewell, which foreshadowed the inevitable mass exodus, and it was arguably better to get the more heartfelt set-up, as opposed to solely using this as a way to shock audiences out of the blue. It was similar to how we got the brief moments between Aaron and Eric before the latter's death.
Granted, I didn't actually expect everyone from the Kingdom to die like that. Save for Carol and Jerry, Ezekiel lost the entire army that he took into that mission. From Daniel, seen above, to all of the other Kingdom residents fighting for their community's further independence. And there was no denying the Kingdom soldiers' loyalty to their leader during this ambush by Savior snipers, since a group of them were piled up on top of Ezekiel to shield him from the bullets. That created an interesting take on the somewhat trope-ish "hand coming up through the bodies" moment we saw.
Ezekiel didn't make it through the ambush without taking his own injuries, unfortunately. He's suffering from a wicked gunshot wound to the leg, which makes it almost impossible for him to walk or properly defend himself against either the reanimated soldiers or that bespectacled Savior that seemed like he might actually kill Ezekiel several times, even though Negan wanted Ezekiel alive. Thankfully, Jerry showed up with his axe in the nick of time, and he totally got to chop that hostage-taker in half. Kudos to the effects department for that wildly disgusting death, and all the other practical effects.
The unfortunate moments didn't stop with that asshat's death, though, or with Jerry's axe breaking. There was one more follower that had to pay the ultimate sacrifice for Ezekiel's safety.
Carol was forced to let those remaining Saviors flee in order to save Ezekiel and Jerry from a batch of walkers, and even though she was in pure boss mode for the rest of the episode, the walker threat was just too much. Carol and Jerry stayed with the injured Ezekiel, rather than leaving him behind as he'd requested, and just when it seemed like they might get overwhelmed, that's when Shiva made another big walker-chomping appearance, and the trio of characters lived to see another day. Shiva, however, did not survive the ordeal. She was rather unbelievably taken down and eated up by a bunch of walkers.
R.I.P. Shiva and the rest of the Kingdom crew. At least we got to hear that story about how Ezekiel and Shiva first met, and at least everyone went out saving their grand leader. Assuming Ezekiel does survive his injuries, of course.
With more than a few remaining battles left to go in Season 8's All Out War, The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see what other shows are yet to debut in 2017, head to our fall TV premiere schedule, and then to see all the shows you won't be watching anymore, check out our rundown of all the shows that ended and got cancelled this year.