Negan is now well established and is a force to be reckoned with, but as fans tune out of the Walking Dead, will this week give a reason to tune in? ….. Join Film and TV Nerd to find out!
The Walking Dead Sing Me a Song – After two slow episodes and evidence of a drop in ratings, The Walking Dead was in need of a strong episode to keep interest up and this week’s 90 minute showing was positive evidence of a return to form.
The episode kicks off with Carl and Jesus in the truck on their way to the Savior compound. Jesus doesn’t realize Carl is on a mission to kill Negan himself but when he jumps off the truck and sees Carl waving to him instead of following him, it becomes clear that Carl is serious in his intent. When the truck arrives and the Saviors start to unload, Carl appears from behind a few boxes and shoots two of Negan’s men. He demands to see Negan and at that moment Negan shows up very amused by what he just saw. Carl is quickly subjugated and ordered by Negan to follow him around for a tour. Negan shows Carl how powerful he is when he walks up to an overlook and makes everyone below kneel at the sight of him.
Negan then takes Carl to a room full of women which is evidently something of a personal brothel staffed by his many “wives”. In the room is Sherry, Dwight’s wife, who speaks with Negan in private about a young girl named Amber who is visibly distraught. It appears that Sherry and Negan have a special relationship and she is one of the few people that speak to him truthfully as she rejects his claim of being a kind man after he suggests she talk to Amber and comfort her. They then proceed to kiss as Dwight and Daryl walk into the room. When Daryl is startled by Carl’s presence and asks what he’s doing there, Negan orders him to get the furnace ready while he and Carl go into another room to speak privately.
In the room Negan demands that Carl remove his eye-patch and pokes fun of him for his disfigured face. Carl begins to cry and for the first time we see a soft side to Negan when he actually apologizes to him and admits he forgets he’s a kid and is just having fun. From there Negan brings Carl back to the overlook where everyone was kneeling earlier. Negan decrees to the people that the Saviors are what is keeping them alive and the cost of that is rules must always be followed. Someone apparently broke the rules and is awaiting their fate. Dwight is scene heating an iron in a furnace and hands it to Negan who then presses it against the face of the man in a grizzly scene that Carl, Daryl, and Dwight witness up close.
After the public punishment, Dwight finds Sherry in a quiet stairway and joins her for a smoke. He tells her not to let what happened to Amber bring her down but Sherry dismisses him. Negan brings Carl back to the room from earlier to figure out what to do with him.He reveals to Carl that he doesn’t know what he wants to do with him since he needs to be punished, but with Rick being turned into a provider and Daryl being formed into a soldier, Carl’s place in Negan’s world is still undetermined. In a moment of strength, Carl stands up to Negan and tells him if he knew who his group really was he’d been better off killing them already but Negan seems to take enjoyment over the fire in his heart instead of taking his warning seriously. From there he decides to return Carl back to Alexandria but goes alone without any of his soldiers. Before they leave Daryl tells Negan not to touch Carl but Negan laughs it off and orders Dwight to put him back in his cage.
Though most of the episode is centered on Negan and Carl, there were things happening with some of the other characters. Small pockets of rebellion are starting to show with Michonne and Rosita. While Rick goes on a scavenger mission with Aaron, Michonne goes on her own mission to get back at the Saviors. She creates a barrier of walker bodies to block a road and eventually hijacks a truck driven by a Savior who got out to investigate the bodies. Michonne pulls her sword on her and orders her to take her to Negan. As for Rosita, she was last shown asking Eugene to make bullets. Eugene gives Rosita a little brush back but is quickly convinced by Rosita to go ahead and make the bullets. Over at the sanctuary, Daryl is then shown being given a note with a key attached to it telling him to “leave now” but it’s unclear who is it from.
Back at Alexandria, Olivia is startled to see Negan at the door with Carl. She informs him that Rick is out scavenging and may not be back until the following day. Upon hearing that Negan asks Carl to show him around and ends up coming across Judith. He takes her outside and sits on the porch waiting for Rick to get back while Carl nervously watches Negan play with her and unsure of the limits of his insanity as he bobs her up and down on his knee. Next week’s episode is the mid-season finale and sure to culminate in some kind of suspenseful turning point but until then, very few characters feel safe.
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