Caution….The article in front of you may contain spoilers…Reader discretion is advised Walking Dead Service
It’s one thing to hear about the new world order but it’s entirely different when it comes home, walks right through the front door and puts up their feet on the coffee table. The day of dread is here as Negan strolls through the front gates of Alexandrea as the big bad wolf but whereas the three little pigs had someplace to go, Rick and his group have no place to run.
It’s the Negan show, all Negan all the time, every channel all day long and at the end I guarantee it will leave a bad taste in your mouth. What Jeffery Dean Morgan has done is the perfect blend of page and character meeting the screen I have ever seen. To sit and watch Negan stroll around the streets of Alexandrea, to have Rick carry Lucile, and act like he did was just stomach wrenching. I knew this day would come, and in the comics, you see the absolute worst of Negan but when you witness the mastery at which Morgan takes the Negan character for a walk in this episode is a classic in the making. When you compare Negan to the Governor you see the stark contrast from the simple manipulations and reason of the Governor and the basic brutality of Negan. You always had a basic understanding and almost sympathetic pull with the Governor knowing he was trying to do for the greater good and with Negan that couldn’t be further from the truth. I had always wished we could have seen the two face off in the comic, who could have been the one true villain but the pure effortless level of deplorable actions that Negan seems to operate at is mind blowing. You know the rules but you never know when Negan could change them, adjust them, like we witnessed tonight. Yes; your actions dictate the environment for him to operate in but it could be just as simple as the wrong look to set all of that in motion. What we witnessed tonight was the further breaking of Rick and setting those rules further into stone as we come close to losing Olivia over a couple of handguns. Even the closing scene of the burning mattresses showing they don’t need them but we can take what we want because we can and not out of need. No one died tonight but you could see the spirit of Alexandria begin to crack and fade as Rick come right out and tells everyone Negan is now in charge and that is how it will be. Tomorrow is for Negan, and the day after that and the day after that as he informs Rick to go out there and earn for him and to find him something interesting or someone else will die when he comes back. Best of all and my moment of the night are Negan’s final words to Rick lifted right off the page involving Rick’s throat and saying thank you and delivered with such zeal.
What’s Left? Is there any hope? Rick holding back with everything it takes so people don’t die is about all he can do right now. The question is brought up, if Rick had made a deal could this have been avoided. The answer is no. Simple. There is always an example that needs to be set and that is how Negan operates and if it wasn’t on that road it could very well have been inside their very own walls. How long will Rick be able to take this and keep everyone in line? I have a feeling this is going to go all season as we watch a Rick we never thought we would see. Carl is staying true to form as a pain in the ass just like he was in the comic but I have a feeling we are going to see another roll change between him and Daryl. I know right now it doesn’t look good for the guy, acting like the whipped puppy not bold enough to look anyone in the eyes. A look at his former self before the fall when he was nothing more than a background to his brother Merle just blending in. There is no way Daryl would give up like he has and in his mind, is waiting for the right moment and depending on Rick to let him know when that is. In the comic Carl spends some time with the Saviors and leads to some interesting conversations between him and Negan and I think that is how they are going to spin this for Daryl. Especially now that Dwight has taken everything that was Daryl’s given they are the same character just different sides of the coin. What it comes down to is acceptance is the new law of the land but when you have Father Gabriel the voice of reason watch out. Of all the characters his would have been the last I would have expected to see that from including him growing a spine and his quick thinking to fool Negan. Gabriel’s unwavering faith in Rick and knowing they will find a way was inspiring and for a moment you saw the old Rick but you also saw the fear take over and not wanting to lose anyone else. The best of all was how they explained it, how to make the viewer not only understand but feel it as Rick explains his relationship with Shane and knowing full well that Judith is not his kid but he is her father no matter what.