***Spoiler Warning: This post contains discussion of The Walking Dead through Season 6, episode 8, and speculation about comic related events not yet seen. If you’re not completely caught up, and/or you’re not interested in previewing possible upcoming events, back on out now. ***
Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is coming. He carries a bat. Comic readers know ***Comic Spoilers*** he puts that bat — aka Lucille — to terrible use, starting with Glenn Rhee, whose death was previously faked (albeit, poorly). In “Start to Finish,” Glenn returned to the Alexandria compound where he caught a glimpse of Maggie across the rooftops. But, will the couple ever be reunited at all? And does this mid-season premiere trailer for “No Way Out” hint that Glenn does indeed meet his comic fate?
It’s Maggie’s awful scream that has me worried; she appears to be looking down and watching something happen to Glenn. Is it the moment Negan shows up and bashes in her husband (and baby father’s) skull? There’s a glimpse of Rhee fighting off walkers (as are Rick and Michonne), but from the looks of horror on their (and Carl’s) faces, I get the feeling walkers aren’t the only problem they’re dealing with.
Lest you think Negan is just another Governor or Gareth, producer Scott Gimple has clarified the character’s particular brand of evil:
“In my opinion, The Governor is more despicable and damaged. Negan is terrifying in that he isn’t a psychopath. He’s charismatic and funny. And even sort of friendly. But he just kills, and it doesn’t bother him. He’s the star of his own movie and we’re all Red Shirts. He’s not nuts. But you can’t reason with him because he’s got it all worked out. He knows exactly the way the world works. And he’s the one in control. Negan also has a bizarre sense of empathy. He actually recognizes your bad luck in you running into him, yet it doesn’t change a damn thing. Robert [Kirkman] has created one of the great pop culture characters of the past 20 years. And we desperately want to get him right.”
The showrunner sidestepped direct questions about Glenn’s fate, but expectations for this particular comic death seems too big for the series to pass by.
“Six years in now, the audience is so smart that the obvious thing isn’t the obvious thing anymore. If you do it exactly like the comics, people might not be expecting that because we [have a tendency to] mix things up. It’s this completely psychological game… as far as the storytelling goes.
The fact that he’s [Negan] coming is not going to mean great stuff for Rick’s group.”
I don’t know about y’all, but my emotions are stuck somewhere in the middle of anticipation and absolute terror. It’s a long wait until February 14th, but at least those of us who despise that commercialized holiday have an actual reason to look forward to (?) Valentine’s Day.