Previously on The Walking Dead: Negan is forced to confront his legacy as leader of the Saviors when he escapes and finds himself accompanied by Brandon, a young man from Alexandria who admires and respects him and will do anything to make a good impression and help Negan bring back the Saviors. Kelly’s degenerative hearing disorder kicks into high gear while she’s out on patrol, resulting in her being hunted by Walkers and having to go into hiding. Ezekiel reveals to Siddiq that he’s dying from thyroid cancer and nothing can be done to save his life.
THE STORY SO FAR: Negan is held captive by Alpha and the Saviors but is determined to convince them (no matter how much Beta sees him as a threat and wants him gone) of how he wants to join them and would be a valuable addition to their ranks. Daryl and Carol go out on patrol together to find and destroy Alpha’s horde. Eugene makes contact with another survivor of the Walker apocalypse via his radio, and though they do connect and get along, she is reluctant to trust him and give any further information about her identity and location. And the mysterious flu that is affecting the people of Alexandria, including Rosita, is only getting worse.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT THIS EPISODE?: Pretty much every scene with Negan making his accurate and funny observations of Alpha, Beta, and the rest of the Whisperers. Beta trying his hardest to keep himself from cutting Negan’s head off as he clearly finds himself getting more and more annoyed every time Negan opens his mouth, while also testing him with many a tedious and arduous task (killing a pig, digging a grave, skinning Walkers) to see how strong and willing he is to join them. Daryl and Carol confiding in each other once more, including Carol telling him that if there really is something between him and Connie, he’d be foolish to not follow through and be with her if he can. Eugene and Rosita attempting to resume their friendship after her telling him that they’d never be together. And Negan showing his appreciation for Beta’s sense of humor right before having to fight for his life unarmed against a group of Walkers, and then survives that fight to walk right back into camp to speak to Alpha.
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD ABOUT THIS EPISODE?: The scene of Siddiq holding Coco and rocking her to sleep, only to wake up in an entirely different location and wondering what the hell just happened only reminded me of this scene from 30 Rock:
IS NEGAN IN THIS EPISODE?: Well, yeah.
CARL?: Nope. Still dead.
CAROL?: Yes, and despite her promise that she’s not going to be reckless and go after Alpha again, that doesn’t stop her from going after a Whisperer and taking him hostage, most likely for information about Alpha and the rest of the Whisperers.
RICK?: No. Whereabouts still remain unknown.
JADIS/ANNE?: Same as above.
IS DARYL STILL ALIVE? BECAUSE IF NOT, THEN WE’LL
PROBABLY RIOT IF WE HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO: Yes.
DOES THE BLACK HELICOPTER MAKE AN APPEARANCE?: No.
ARE THE WHISPERERS IN THIS EPISODE?: They certainly are, and they seem very captivated at the sight of Negan surviving Beta’s attempt to have him ambushed by Walkers, but also at the sight of Negan getting down on his knees and pledging his loyalty to Alpha in front of them all.
TO SUM IT ALL UP: As much as there are people who have no desire whatsoever to see Negan get a redemption arc, to see him butting heads with Beta and mixing it up with him, Alpha, and the rest of the Whisperers is a pleasure to watch, and it’s always great to see Jeffrey Dean Morgan cutting loose as only he can. I’m honestly looking forward to seeing how this story plays out, and to see how Beta responds to his possibly being pushed out of the spotlight by Alpha in favor of what Negan brings to the table.
This episode of The Walking Dead has been brought to you by “Shut Your Mouth” by Garbage.
Header Image Source: AMC