Cobbler and tigers and kings -- oh my!
Following last week's horrifically brutal premiere, things were considerably lighter and -- dare we say? -- funnier on this Sunday's all-new episode of The Walking Dead.
The undead drama decided to give fans a break from the postmortem panic of Glenn and Abraham's death, and solely focused on Carol and Morgan's bizarre introduction to newest TWD community: The Kingdom.
Lead by King Ezekiel and his fiercely ferocious pet tiger, Shiva, The Kingdom is a well-known community from The Walking Dead graphic novels, which is a part of The Saviors' "give us half your s**t" deal that Hilltop and Alexandria are in.
Carol's first encounter with his majesty Ezekiel actually resulted in our first laugh-out-loud moment of the season. "I don’t know what the hell is going on in the most wonderful way!" Carol chirped to Ezekiel in that fake, sweet voice she uses to fool newcomers when, in reality, she's plotting her next move.
Carol's plan to escape the "delusional" realm of The Kingdom was to befriend and blindly deceive the town's citizens so she could steal enough supplies to leave on her own. But on her way out, King Ezekiel stopped her and chose to share his shocking secret behind his royal ruling.
Before the zombie apocalypse, Ezekiel worked as a zookeeper who had once saved Shiva's life. "When it all started to end, I found myself back at the zoo and Shiva was one of the last animals left," he shared to Carol. "She was trapped and hungry – a lot like me. She was the last thing left in this world that Ioved. She protected me, she got me here, and made me larger than life."
Ezekiel confessed that he used to perform in a community theater and had spent plenty of time in the spotlight playing well-known kings, so his ability to act regal came second nature to him. "I acted the part," he said. "Faked it until I made it."
"People want someone to follow. It's human nature. They want someone to make them feel safe. People who feel safe are less dangerous, more productive," Ezekiel revealed. "They see a dude with a tiger, shoot, they start telling stories about finding it in the wild, wrestling it into submission, turning it into his pet. They make the guy larger than life. A hero. And who am I to burst their bubble? Next thing you know they're treating me like royalty."
"My name really is Ezekiel though," he added of his "faiytale" life. "That's 100 percent real."
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC.
What did you think of tonight's episode of The Walking Dead? Share your Shiva-loving thoughts with @LeanneAguilera on Twitter! Dying for more TWD goodies? Say goodbye to Michael Cudlitz in our exclusive interview with him in the video below.