It seems it’s been a lifetime since Negan and Lucille turned two of our favorite characters into ground beef, finally…almost a month later, we return to Alexandria and the core group to settle into the fallout of hurricane Negan. I had thought going in that we’d get a good half hour of catch-up with the group to see how everyone is adjusting before the arrival of the Saviors…nope. The first 5 minutes sees that ominous silhouette waltz up to the gate, as charismatic as ever calling out “Little pig, little pig, let me in”. As Negan walks through the gates with a contingent of his men and, to add insult to injury, a beaten down Dwight. I couldn’t help but to think that they easily could have setup a group of their best marksmen and just mowed down the whole Savior crew right then and there. Granted they showed up early but still, you couldn’t prepare for that?
I have a feeling that this season is going to keep me angry, every time Negan comes on screen it makes me long for the episode at the Kingdom. None of that lightheartedness here. Negan and his men make their way through the entire community taking everything and continually neutering everyone until there can’t possibly be a testical left inside the walls of Alexandria. Seriously, I know Negan is supposed to be this ultimate love him and hate him guy, but DAMN IT, he’s making the love part pretty damn difficult to come by. He’s laying on that psychotic jokester…I guess you’d say charm, but the malicious side is so overpowering it’s hard to enjoy anything funny coming from him. I will say this for the writers, they have damn sure elicited an emotional response. Every second that man is on screen induces an anxiety ridden response, they’ve crafted a villain more unpredictable then any show I can think of, period. His respect, or maybe you’d say curiosity, for Carl, which comic fans will recognize, grows as Carl draws on one of his men but this unfortunately leads to Negan taking Alexandria’s entire arsenal. Side note, since I don’t want to spend much of anymore time on Dwight regardless of where his story arc takes him, I want him to die slowly and badly.
The most disheartening moment of the episode comes during the speech that most of you probably saw in a preview. Rick, standing in front of his people, telling them point blank that there is no way out. They must give up all of their guns, this is their life now, Negan is in charge. I mean, you know it won’t stay that way for ever, but to put yourself in his shoes…to be in a place where your only option is to submit, that everything you’ve done and fought through and accomplished is being taken in one fell swoop by, for lack of a better term, some douchebag.
At this point my only hope for this season is that they don’t marinate on this whole “Negan is in charge” thing long and move right to banding the communities together to fight back. I don’t think I can take a show this depressing for another six months. As if all of this wasn’t enough Rick ends the episode by confirming the show’s worst kept secret to Michonne, that Judith is Shane’s kid…I guess they didn’t think the episode was hopeless enough as it was. If I had to guess, I’m thinking we don’t see the start of rebellion until after the mid-season finale, next week brings us to the Hilltop with Jesus, Maggie, and that waste of flesh Gregory. Until then stock up on prozac and happy thoughts, we’re gonna need them!