Negan’s Back in The Walking Dead – Season 8 Episode 5 Review

Negan returns and Gabrielle learns

negan and gabriel twd
Image Source: AMC

Yes it’s that time again so sit back and see what we made of this week’s The Walking Dead.

As always the following contains major spoilers so read on at your own risk.

After last week’s filler episode we were all hoping for some movement in the plot and thankfully we got it.


Negan and Gabrielle have been trapped together, surrounded by the walker horde, since episode one and we haven’t heard from them since. With this in mind it was no surprise that this week we would almost get a full episode of the unlikely companions.

We had all expected to see Negan at his worst when we finally returned to him but what we got was a Negan in crisis. He attempted to intimidate Gabrielle and act his usual badass persona but he clearly hadn’t counted on Gabrielle pushing back with his own mind games.

During a number of flashback scenes we learned that Gabrielle had come to terms with his fate some time ago and that he now saw it as his mission to save the sinners of the post apocalypse. He puts this theory into full effect, trying to push Negan into confessing his sins. This led to some great interactions between the two as Negan started to look more humans the balance of power shifted.

The Origin of Negan

Finally we learned more about Negan’s past before the outbreak. It turns out he worked with kids, claiming it was his duty to set them on the right path, something he believes he’s continuing to do with The Saviours. We also found out that he was married and when his wife was bitten at the beginning of the outbreak he couldn’t bring himself to finish her off. This was a great move by the writers, giving us another insight into the mind of our key protagonist and helping us to understand his motives.

We also got to see a glimpse of Negan’s inner circle and what they were doing as Rick and co showed up for their initial face off. It seems they were planning on killing King Ezekiel and Maggie for their plotting. This could spell trouble ahead for the pair as Negan rebuilds his army so it’ll be interesting to see where that goes in the next few episodes.

Willy or won’t he?

There was a lot of talk regarding thick or thin veiny things in this episode, almost everything Negan said had something to do with balls or their counterpart components. There was also a lot of talk to this effect from The Saviours inner circle as they grilled Gregory around the table.

Speaking of dangly things Rick and Darrel were acting like a right pair when we got to see their brief cameo in this episode. Arguing and eventually coming to blows as Rick decided it was all over for their rebellion and Darrel disagreed whole heartedly. This all led to the pair of them accidentally blowing up the guns they had fought an entire two episodes to get their hands on. Like we said, a right pair.

Solidarity of the workers

Finally we got a glimpse into the society that Negan has built as the workers began to rise up, believing Negan to be dead and claiming that the fighters were no longer protecting them. It seems their society works on some base principles, the workers do their jobs in order to ear the protection of the fighters and a place in the society. It was all about to come to a head when Negan re-appeared with his new sidekick Father Gabrielle in tow.

It would seem as though Gabrielle has earned the respect of Negan, or at least enough for him to be kept alive for the minute. There was certainly an interesting look between Gabrielle and Eugene when he arrived, Eugene looking fearful of his former ally.

Time to meet his maker?

The episode ended with Eugene taking Gabrielle some lunch only to discover him looking very ill. Had he been bitten in his escape with Negan? We couldn’t be certain but it didn’t look good as Gabrielle pleaded with Eugene to smuggle the doctor out and to get him to Maggie. Will Eugene have the nuts for this task? We’re sure to find out soon.

Did you enjoy the latest episode? Why not let us know in the comments and be sure to share.

Up Next: Need reminding about how badass Negan is? check out our ultimate Negan moments here