The Walking Dead 1014: Ezekiel finds a new reason to smile

Khary Payton as Ezekiel - The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 14 - Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC
Khary Payton as Ezekiel - The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 14 - Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC /

It has been a rough road for King Ezekiel on The Walking Dead, but “Look at the Flowers” gave him some new reasons to smile these days.

The King is laughing once again on The Walking Dead, and it is a welcome sight for his fans who have been concerned that the former leader of the Kingdom had lost his joie de vivre. The past few seasons have been hard on him, to be sure, but things seem to be looking up for Ezekiel after “Look at the Flowers.”

If there was a misery index in the apocalypse, King Ezekiel would probably land near the top. Over the course of a few short seasons on the show – which is actually a span of about seven years in the show’s canon – the King lost Benjamin, Shiva, Henry, Carol, the Kingdom and then the Hilltop, not to mention his faithful steed who perished in The Walking Dead 1014. Not only that, but a large mass on his neck and a family history of cancer suggest that the King’s days are numbered.

It has been hard for the man who became known for the expression “and yet I smile” to find a reason to smile lately, but if anyone can find the cup half full, it’s Ezekiel.

Things started to look up in “Morning Star” when Carol arrived at Hilltop and discovered Ezekiel’s illness. After being torn apart by Henry’s death at the end of season 9, the former couple ended up making love before their battle with the Whisperers. It doesn’t even matter if they reconciled or not in that moment, rather the key is that two souls shared a healing moment that helped them keep going in the face of impossible odds.

“Look at the Flowers” started out with Ezekiel bidding Jerry a fond farewell. His horse died in the middle of the journey and it left Ezekiel wondering if he should have gone with Yumiko and Euegene at all. It was Yumiko who reminded the King that he was the man who built a kingdom, and whether he realizes it or not he plays a major role in their lives. He’s an inspiration, and he is valued.

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Later, when they arrive in the city, Ezekiel sees the walkers arranged in humorous dioramas and he is reduced to helpless laughter as a result. Ezekiel hasn’t had a reason to laugh in such a long time that it’s quite the sight to see, and there’s every reason to believe that the King is going to become fast friends with the stranger in a fluffy pink jacket. Indeed, Princess and the King were made for each other.

With a brighter future ahead of him, Ezekiel has a new reason to smile.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9pm on AMC.