Last time in The Walking Dead we saw Negan negotiate his life with Jadis and make his way back to The Sanctuary, this week he would make his presence felt.
Spoilers Ahead, you have been warned.
Eugene takes charge
Eugene hasn’t had much of a role recently so it was about time he got back into the fray. This week we saw him under pressure as Simon had upped his quota for bullet production. He tries to motivate his workers with some dreadful sounding Sardine Mac & Cheese and the workers looked suitably disgusted.
Things take a twist when he discovers Gabrielle has been sabotaging bullets. He’s made to sit in the corner and think about what he’s done, just the sort of punishment a bizarre man childlike Eugene would administer. Things get even weirder for him later on as he takes a walk outside and is instantly kidnapped by Daryl and Rosita.
Now, sometimes we love Eugene and other times we just can’t wait for him to be killed off. This week was definitely a kill him off week. His script was terrible and filled with all the stupid nonsensical phrases that can be funny but usually just annoy us.
At times it was impossible to work out what he was talking about and it sounded so unnatural. Daryl was clearly annoyed by it as he threatened to cut his tongue out early on. Not one to get a hint Eugene starts talking about their comradely and Rosita puts a gun to his head and tells him they only want his brain and he’ll be locked away and only contacted when they need it.
Eventually, he escapes after vomiting on Rosita during a Walker attack, lovely. At this point, he becomes a SAS level master of disguise as he hides beneath some charred remains and they don’t spot him. He then makes his way back to the factory forces Gabrielle to get back to work and gets on with it. This whole sequence was entirely pointless and just made us want to kill him ourselves.
The Saviors change hands… again.
Life with the Saviours must be confusing at the moment. One moment you’re Negan, following Negan and then suddenly you’re Negan following Simon. Gregory is permanently confused so it’s no surprise to see him grovelling to Simon and doing his best impression of an enema. Simon isn’t one to mess around though as he threatens to kill him fairly quickly before realising he could be a handy asset.
Negan isn’t far away however and soon lets Dwight know about it before regaining his seat in his office. He makes Simon get on his knees but doesn’t kill him. He then unleashes a new plan to take out The Hilltops farming and trade routes.
This all goes far too well for our liking but thankfully it got better later on. We see Dwight making a copy of Negan’s map, surely a terrible idea. Simon knocks on his door and tries to convince him to join a coup against Negan which he begrudgingly agrees to. They make arrangements to gather some troops in the yard later on.
When Simon arrives with a number of followers Dwight is already there. They discuss Negan’s demise until he shows himself and thanks Dwight for his help. Simon is restrained and is sent to the Saviors usual area of battle and punishment.
Negan and Simon then battle to the death and it looks like Simon might just win until Negan turns it around and chokes Simon until it’s over. Whilst all that was going on Dwight gave Gregory the map and tells him to get it to Rick before he’s killed as well.
Obviously, this isn’t the end of it as Gregory delivers the map and we shoot back to Dwight who is finally cornered by Negan about his treachery. It looks like it’s all over for Dwight until Negan tells him the plan was fake and he predicted Dwight’s deceit and even counted on it. Dwight will be kept alive for now but we wouldn’t want to be him.
All of this feels a bit rushed, to be honest, it’s going as we predicted but we would have loved to have seen Simon in charge for longer. This storyline would have had a far greater impact if Negan had been absent from the Saviors for a couple of episodes more and Simon had led more Disastrous raids. On the plus side, it looks like we have a newly maddened Negan to contend with, and this one is angry keen to show the Saviors who is still very much in charge.
Aaron charms the ladies
We’d almost forgotten about Aaron, for the millionth time. He’s hanging out outside the Oceanside settlement trying to get them to join the fight. They show their desire to work with him by leaving him to die, starving in the rain and surrounded by Walkers, nice people. Predictably Aaron looks as though he’s convinced them by the end though as he has a heartfelt rant at them about the evils of the Saviours and how they need their revenge.
We aren’t sure if we should care about Oceanside so far or not. They don’t seem like good people and honestly, their cast is like a walking cliché of butch women which is better suited to something like Orange is the new Black. It’s honestly a bit embarrassing how clichéd they are and again doesn’t feel as though they are realistic in any way. Will they help in the end? Probably, will they be any use? No doubt, Will anybody care? Questionable at this stage.
Carl’s Letters… Again
The final theme of this week was Rick finally reading Carl’s letter. This is done with a voiceover as Carl describes his childhood and how he wants his dad to make peace with Negan and try to find a way to live well. This doesn’t work and Rick vows to kill Negan but maybe spare the Saviors whom Carl describes as “just like us”.
Michonne decides that Negan needs to read his letter so sets out to get it to him. She eventually has to read it to him over the walkie-talkies. Negan listens and is clearly upset by it but as with Rick, he vows to kill every single one of them. Interestingly though, we can get where he’s coming from.
We’ve said it in a few of our recent reviews but Negan is really starting to look like the victim in this war. Again, he mentions that all of this is Rick’s fault and it really does look that way. Before he showed up The Saviours were in charge a few settlements and they lived in peace. Yes, it was very much a dictatorship and fear was used to control which clearly isn’t good but nobody was dying and they were all surviving in communities. Maybe Negan has a point.
So next week is the season finale which means things aren’t looking like they will be tied up. Surely we won’t get to see Rick and Negans final battle, Oceanside’s decision, Jadis’s Helicopter friends, Gregory’s comeuppance and The results of meeting the mysterious woman in the van all in one episode. Also, where was Jadis this episode? didn’t she go to The Sanctuary with Negan? Surely she would have wanted to see Simon’s punishment?
Will Negan’s ambush be the final encounter? Will the war continue into another season? What do you think? Let us know in the comments and be sure to join us again next week as we review the season finale.