Apart from a decent opener, the eighth season of The Walking Dead has been a bit underwhelming. The showrunners have chosen to highlight multiple storylines at once, and while many fans had hoped for that approach following a drawn out seventh season, the execution has been choppy and frustratingly ineffective.

In tonight’s episode, titled ‘Some Guy’, the series shifted to a focused, contained arc, thus allowing for the first great hour of the season. Here are our 5 biggest takeaways from the episode!

the walking dead

1Jerry rules

Since the audience was introduced to Jerry last season, the character has become a bit of a fan favorite despite not really having his chance to shine outside of fun lines of dialogue. Tonight, though, we learned that Jerry’s faith and dedication to the Kingdom are unwavering, and he’s actually a total badass who is capable of splitting a savior in half (vertically). Or, at least he was until he lost his ax. If season eight intends to double down on Jerry, I’m all for it.

2Carol is still smarter than literally everyone

We’ve known for several seasons now that Carol is the smartest character on The Walking Dead. She’s a hardcore killer, but she always thinks before she acts, which makes her truly dangerous. The last two seasons highlighted Carol’s newfound hesitation to kill, but she’s been back in the swing of things thus far in season eight, and especially throughout ‘Some Guy’. She clears a compound of Saviors (save for two) by herself, saves Ezekiel and Jerry from certain death, and remains the voice of reason during an intense hour. It’s so nice to have her back.

3Rick and Daryl continue to kick ass

In each of the last three episodes, Rick and Daryl have been together on a side-mission of sorts: kill as many Saviors as possible and collect the guns. Their storyline was an easy highlight of the season until tonight’s episode, and though they were only featured for a five-minute action sequence, the result was equally effective. The duo chase down the two Saviors who avoided a death at the hands of Carol, Rick in a jeep and Daryl on his bike, and occupy the gun haul they’ve been chasing for three episodes. Daryl hasn’t had this much to do on The Walking Dead in a long time, so this particular plot thread has been a welcome change of pace for his character.

4Death of an icon

Death was no stranger to the latest episode of The Walking Dead, as Ezekiel lost every one of the men and women who joined him in battle save for Carol and Jerry. The final ten minutes of the episode, though, delivered the saddest death of the season so far: Shiva. Much of King Ezekiel’s spectacle came from the fact that he owned a tiger, and in a heartbreaking scene that saw the king facing death, his striped comrade stepped in, killed a few walkers, and unfortunately died so that Ezekiel, Carol and Jerry may escape. Never has the death of a CGI animal been so emotionally crippling.

5The King has fallen

King Ezekiel has primarily been a voice of optimism in a bleak world. Perhaps foolishly, he believed that no real harm could come to his people while they were playing hero in the war against Negan and his goons, and that ultimately led to the deaths of basically everyone. Throughout tonight’s episode, we saw Ezekiel go from a larger than life personality, to a man too broken to face his community. It’s a devastating transition, and it’ll be interesting to see how the events of ‘Some Guy’ shape his character moving forward.

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