The Walking Dead saved the best of its season 10 bonus episodes for the last time: Sunday’s emotional “Here’s Negan” focused on … well, Negan – duh – and his relationship with the woman he named his infamous “vampire bat” after. And the lesson not only sparked a tour de force performance by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, it also asked us to reconsider whether “You Are So Beautiful” is cheesy, gave us a glimpse into Negan’s introduction to a future savior, and sent us back Alexandria a version of the former (?) Villain who isn’t afraid to cross paths – and maybe even swords – with Maggie. Read on, there’s a lot to unzip …
“There’s only so far that I can get out of your way.” | When the final episode of season 10 started, Maggie took Hershel for a walk and told him that his grandpa liked to go for a walk first thing in the morning to get a feel for the day ahead. “Was the first thing so early?” the boy asked, starring on TV for Judith’s Cutest Kid. Mind you, the ease stalled when Maggie Negan spied nearby – and spied on Carol at the same time as Maggie spied the whole spy. It was a whole espionage thing. After that, Carol took Negan to check rabbit traps – or so he thought. Really, what she did led him to his new – if I’m not mistaken, Leah’s old – cubicle. Carol knew what she had promised Negan, but what could she do? The council had voted to ban him, so she and Daryl had taken the liberty of bringing his things out. Hmm He couldn’t help but ask himself, “Has the Council really banned me, or is this more of a situation where Carol has taken the reins?” Whatever it was, he wasn’t going to take her back to Alexandria. However, he could keep the dead rabbit as a nice (?) Parting present.
With just his thoughts that evening, Negan was visited by a version of his evil Savior himself, who was delighted to mock him for ever believing that he could be accepted by the good guys. You are a clown, Negan said to his old self, “a personality cult without a cult.” But sticks and stones couldn’t even affect old Negan’s ego. “You are nothing without her,” said the antagonist, Lucille firmly in his grip. The next day, shaken, Negan set out to find Lucille at his last stand. The bat had been left exactly where it had fallen when Rick cut his enemy’s throat. When Negan finally found what he was looking for, we looked back 12 years. At the time, he was tied to a chair and threatened for a time by the leader of a biker gang (Rod Rowland, who must have auditioned to play Daryl once, wouldn’t you think?). The bikers had apparently arrested Negan on his way back to the cancer-stricken Ms. Lucille with the chemotherapy he had received from a post-apocalyptic mobile clinic. Assuming the doctors had all other good things too, the bikers wanted to know their location – and if he didn’t speak, the bathroom would be his wife’s only chance to beat cancer.
“Let’s imagine it’s Saturday.” | From there we flashed back a few days before Negan approached the mobile clinic he had been chasing with gun drawn. Before things could escalate, he was hit by a bat – well! – future savior Laura. Only at the time was she just a nice young woman working with Papa Franklin in the mobile clinic. And when I say nice, I mean really nice. As soon as he could, Franklin Negan released the handcuffs, fed him and asked why he was “trying to rob some doctors with an empty gun”. Lucille was in the middle of her treatment, Negan explained, when the world was turned upside down. But according to the doctors’ instructions, he had managed to keep giving her chemotherapy. What happened then? We looked back six more weeks and saw Negan and Lucille (Morgan’s off-screen wife, Hilarie Burton Morgan) arguing about turning off their generator. He wanted in the hope that a curious wanderer would run away. She wanted him to just send it off so she could see a Bond movie. In the end he gave in but had so many problems killing the zombie – he didn’t die even after being stabbed in the eye! – that she rolled out her IV drop and shot it with her last bullet.
As it became increasingly difficult for Negan to find gas, Lucille argued that they had to go and find other people. They would, he assured her – once he’d given her the last three treatments and strengthened her strength. And man, in short with Judith, you’ve never seen a Negan as sweet and affectionate as in the scenes where he held his wife as she shook off chemo and quietly popped in her favorite song (the aforementioned Joe) Ohr sang Cocker classic) and even playfully wears her colorful wigs. But they disagreed on killing hikers. “It’s not even like killing an animal,” she said as another approached the generator. “I don’t mind,” he insisted. “I’m just worried that I’ll get used to it.” So they turned the generator off again before eating a dog food and tap water dinner. If Lucille had known the world was going to end, she wouldn’t have been so angry that he would have spent $ 600 on a leather jacket – which she had hidden and now given him as an anniversary gift. (Because who could say for sure? Maybe it was her anniversary.) She shouldn’t apologize to him, he said, not after everything he’s done to her. He couldn’t believe she stayed with him. “I stayed with you,” she said, “because I could always see the man who you are right now … even if it wasn’t you.”
“The time of history is over, bitch” | The next morning, Negan woke to a terrible noise: dripping. The ice that was supposed to keep Lucille’s chemo chilled had melted. It was ruined. But he had an idea. He would go after the mobile clinic he’d heard about, maybe he could catch it. Don’t do it, she said. “I have to tell you something.” In that ominous sense, we looked back at Lucille for another seven months for blowing $ 600 for “that Happy Days st” jacket in Negan when he couldn’t get a new job with an offense charge over his head. At least he had cooked a nice dinner. And she had bigger fish to fry anyway. She needed it to drive her home from her MRI the next day. You can’t do that, he said. He met with his probation officer. Only she soon deduced that this wasn’t who he was with – he was with her friend Janine. A friend. A husband. That night, Lucille waited for him to come home with a gun by her side. But instead of shooting him, she dropped cancer brochures on the table. Negan looked forward again and couldn’t believe that Lucille had known about Janine and was still staying with him. Why was she telling him now? “I want you to know you made it up to you,” she said, “and you can stop.” She just wanted him to stay with her. But he couldn’t. “We don’t give up,” he insisted, “never.”
Back in the mobile clinic timeline, Franklin and Laura put everything on Negan’s wish list and didn’t ask anything back. With a gang of bikers roaming around at night and he ran out of balls, Laura even gave him her baseball bat for protection – the future Lucille. Even so, he disclosed their location to the same bikers who soon returned, had Franklin tied up, and God knows what to do with poor Laura in the RV. Although Negan didn’t even stop helping Laura – cold – he came back to Lucille too late to save her. “Please don’t leave me like this,” she read the note she wrote on her bedroom door. He also found her with a plastic bag over her head and a collection of empty pill bottles. She had turned around, of course. What followed was a devastating series of scenes set on “You Are So Beautiful”. Meanwhile, Negan peeled off the plastic bag to look at his wife’s tortured face and jaws snapping. As a portrait of a broken man, he couldn’t bring himself to put it down. Instead, he added barbed wire to his bat, set her house on fire with her, and emerged from the flames of the Negan we met at the end of season six. Negan shot, beat, and / or basically destroyed the leader’s henchman. Then, after handing the gun to Franklin to get Laura and Scram, he sat down to have a little chat with the boss who had previously said he was cackling too much. “This time,” Negan observed, “you best hope I never stop talking. If I do that, something very terrible will happen to you. “
“It’s like looking at the world through blood.” | With that, Negan was telling the man how he had lost his job. He and Lucille had gone to their favorite bar and played their favorite song (you know that) on the jukebox, and that D-bag was loud and loud. Lucille had asked him to hold it down. “He voted badly,” said Negan, remembering that he had finally understood what it was like to get so angry at being red. He beat the guy to a pulp, took a dollar out of his wallet, and played cocker twice in a row. But his victim had a child who went to the school Negan worked – that is, the school he no longer worked for. Then seeing red had caused a lot of anger for Negan. “When I see red now,” he remarked, “it’s just a matter of what I’m capable of … [and] I am starting to think that I am able to do almost anything. “Finally he put Lucille on the sneaker’s head. At that point we returned to the present. Negan and Lucille hit a walker … it cracked. In response, he brought it back to the cabin and apologized – to his wife, not the bat – for a lot of things, not least of which was a bat named after her! From here on he concluded, “I will fight for you.” At this turning point, Negan returned to Alexandria and his grinning face was restored. He told Carol that his new dig was not going to work. “If you stay here, she’s going to kill you,” she said when Maggie shot looks that seemed designed for just that. “I just didn’t want your death to be on my conscience, and now it isn’t.” Negan was unimpressed and smiled at Maggie as he did so.
So, did he play at WTH? And what do you think about the end of season 10? I know it was a bottle episode but come on it was damn good no? Rate “This is Negan” in the poll below, then hit the comments with your ratings.