After the deaths of his beloved Shiva (*sob*) and lots of other people from the Kingdom who weren't tigers, Ezekiel is something of a broken man. The OTT, optimistic, Shakespeare-quoting leader is gone, replaced by a wallowing husk who simply demands to be left alone.
It's a stark contrast to how we're used to seeing him, but Khary Payton proves himself perfectly adept at switching gears and giving us an extended look at Some Guy. The confidence and bluster has been stripped away, and so too has the inner strength that allowed him to project that, and it's quite sad to see what's left.
That's where Carol comes in, as she tries to break the King out of his funk, because it's what the remaining people of the Kingdom need. She's always brought out the best in Ezekiel, but this is one of their strongest exchanges yet. It deepens the relationship between the pair - and further hints at a romantic entanglement on the horizon - and gives both the chance to show off the real sides to their characters, rather than the acts they play.