Negan is coming. And first up in big news is that though since Jeffrey Dean Morgan was first cast it’s been reported we’d meet Negan in the sixth season finale, he may be showing up sooner than expected. Speaking with The Wrap, showrunner Scott Gimple seemed irked about predictions, and clarified that we could be seeing Negan much sooner.
“There have been articles pinpointing exactly when Negan shows up, and that’s a bit disappointing, because they may not be entirely true. There’s kind of a build up. But you might even see him next episode. Absolutely. Well, sort of. Well, definitely. Well, maybe. Maybe not. But possibly.”
Did I say “clarify?” Either he’s trying to get us excited for another filler episode, or Gimple simply wants to ratchet up the tension, and us to be on high alert for Negan to show up at any moment. Either way, kudos for drumming up the drama again. Speaking of, let’s talk about what’s headed our way when Negan does finally arrive. Death. That’s a given. It’s just a matter of who’ll be taken out, and this time we’re expecting multiple fatalities. Before we go any further, a ***Spoiler Warning: I’ll be discussing a major Comic Spoiler ahead, so if you don’t want to know what could be coming, back on out.****
Comic readers, and even casual internet skimmers know by now, there’s a huge death that happens when our gang first meets Negan. That said, the TWD writers have already had a little fun with that particular storyline, teasing Glenn Rhee’s (Steven Yeun) comic fate way ahead of time with his faked “Thank You” death, and again pulling a close-call-for-Glenn stunt in “No Way Out.” Gimple has said about the introduction of the Saviors and Negan there’d be some “hard left turns from the comic story that do eventually wind up with a lot of very familiar small scenes form the book and big scenes from the book,” and many people (including Grainger) think that means someone other than Glenn will meet Lucille’s business end. But, there’s a reason we’ve heard from particular cast members about the season finale.
Forget about Daryl and Rick dying. There aren’t many original cast members left (Rick, Carl, Glenn, Daryl, Carol, Morgan) and I don’t believe for one second that the two most beloved of them are going any time soon. Carl just lost an eye; I’m calling him safe. Of Glenn, Carol and Morgan, Carol (already rescued from an earlier death) is the one who’s done a complete turnaround and her character has plenty of room to develop. Morgan is due for karmic retribution, and Glenn has been foreshadowed so many times now, it’s kind of ridiculous he isn’t dead. And after last week’s water-treading (OMFG, is FtWD really going with swimming zombies?) episode that introduced an obstetrician and gave Maggie and Glenn a first glimpse at their little peanut, one of those parents is for sure a goner. But, let’s look at the biggest clue: Who are the two cast members chosen to make public statements about the season finale?
Yeah, I wouldn’t be cheering if I were you, Rick. It’s not by chance that Lauren Cohan and Andrew Lincoln are the actors who’ve publicly discussed their reactions to the last episode; it’s their significant others who’ll bite it this time around. Though I discussed what would be the best, true hard left from the comic, I don’t think the writers have the stomach for that (although I do think it’s possible Maggie could lose the baby, it’s far more likely we’ll see future flashbacks of her remembering Glenn during the sonogram). So Cohan’s comments about her physical reaction, and the hardest day on set are referring to Negan bashing in her husband’s skull.
And, Andrew Lincoln’s comments about feeling sick to his stomach and being unable to sleep after reading the script are because he and Michonne just finally realized what we’ve known for quite a while, how right for each other they are.
As Grainger pointed out, Danai Gurira’s star is quickly rising and she has a pretty big Broadway commitment; her gain is likely our loss. Carl had to go and point out that he’d put down Michonne if she ever turned; the way I see things, it’s all over but our goddamned bawling.
So, those are my dismal predictions and I’m sticking to them. Glenn and Michonne are the emotional gut-punches, with Morgan a possible side-victim-dish because of his dumbass nice guy routine (letting that Wolf with a gun get away). And the one fuckwad who should really be taken out is likely to make it through another round, because I have a terrible, awful, icky feeling that the writers are working on Father Gabriel’s redemption arc.
See you Sunday, and keep your eyes open for some sly, sneaky Negan cameo.