This week’s 90 minute episode of The Walking Dead was more intense than the ones in the past few weeks, despite the minimal walker attacks and bloodshed. It was also a much more interesting and revealing Walking Dead ep. Although there wasn’t much action, there was a lot of information that was passed along, cluing us in on which of the survivors are hardcore badasses – most notably Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
Unlike last week, “Sing Me A Song” updated viewers on quite a few of our unlucky survivors. We found out that many Alexandrians have plans for Negan’s insurgence over their town – Michonne (Danai Gurira) wanted to get into the Sanctuary and decided that her best bet was to lay a trap of piled up walker bodies. The first Savior that came by was carjacked and forced to bring the katana-wielding renegade to the Sanctuary at gunpoint. Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) were out scavenging for Negan and came across what could be a goldmine of supplies – hidden inside a cabin surrounded by a a pond full of bloated walkers… or bobbers, I guess.
Rosita (Christian Serratos) bullied Eugene (Josh McDermitt) into making a bullet for the one gun left in Alexandria, but he refused because he thinks she’ll get herself – or someone else – killed, despite being “stealthy, snipey, gunny or knifey.” Rosita and the Rev. (Seth Gilliam) also have to deal with chickenshit Spencer (Austin Nichols), who pushes them to gather supplies for Negan and then throws Rick’s leadership in their faces when they refuse to cooperate. “What you’re saying doesn’t make you a sinner, but it does make you a tremendous shit,” says the Rev. when asked if his hate for Rick makes him a bad person. Spencer does manage to find a walker in a hunter’s tree stand, snag its crossbow and translate a note a written in Latin, explaining where a stash of guns, meds and food was hidden before this guy bought the farm.
A cigarette was not the only thing that was smoldering when Dwight (Austin Amelio) and Sherry (Christine Evangelista) met and discussed Negan in secrecy. “We should go before someone sees us,” she said. “We’re not doing anything,” he responded. “No, we’re not.” Exactly, dude. After standing up to Negan, Daryl (Norman Reedus) got sent back to his “box,” where a mysterious person later slid a note under his door – on one side it said, “Go now,” and on the other, he found his motorcycle key attached. Could this be his means of escape that will kick off the inevitable attack on the Sanctuary?
Remember a few weeks ago when Jesus (Tom Payne) and Carl stowed away inside one of the Savior’s trucks? They actually managed to stay hidden, although sneaky Carl tricked Jesus into hopping out of the truck early before they actually arrived at Negan’s lair. Finding a nice, big gun with a full clip, Carl ambushed the Saviors when they started to unload the truck, killing two of them and demanding to see Negan. The man in the ascot came whistling into the shot, telling the teen, “You are adorable. You also scare the shit out of me,” before Dwight grabbed the kid from behind. Impressed by his set of cajones, Negan offered Carl his hand and started to show him around the Sanctuary, where a long shot showed a building of an exact replica of the one from the comics, complete with chained walkers and dead men’s heads on pikes, but this one contained an observant Daryl.
Realizing that his plans for the day had changed, Negan smiled at Dwight, saying he wouldn’t have time to screw any of his wives today: “Well, maybe one.” When Carl snivelled, “What are you gonna do to me?” Negan responded, “Number one: Do not shatter my image of you. You are a badass. You’re not scared of shit. Don’t be scared of me. It’s a disappointment.” This and other comments throughout the episode imply that Negan sees Carl as the son he never had, and thinks Rick has wasted a great opportunity to turn the kid into a power hungry psychopath like himself. This might explain why Carl is still alive and not just a notch in Lucille’s handle.
Negan swaggered and gyrated all over the place, grinning as his people knelt before him like Zod and bringing Carl to his harem to show off what being a dictating bastard can get you. Carl was not impressed. As a matter of fact, one of the girls, Amber (Autumn Dial), was crying. Sherry showed her own badassery when she stood up to Negan when questioned but didn’t deny that the girl cheated on Negan with her real husband, Mark (Griffin Freeman). Unfortunately, this meant Mark has to get the iron. As a crowd stood around a blazing forge, Negan took a red hot, old fashioned iron out of the flames and held it against Mark’s face until the air smelled like frying bacon and everyone else was about to pass out from the absolute horror of it. The way it sizzled and stuck to his face was gloriously disgusting.
Carl finally asked, “Why don’t you kill us?” meaning Daryl, Rick and himself. Negan explained that Daryl will eventually crumble and make a great soldier, Rick gets him some great stuff, and it’s more fun to break Carl than kill him. Is “bastarding” a verb yet? Because Negan is great at it. Back in his Room of Insanity, the psycho bullied Carl into taking off his eye bandage, making the kid cry. You could tell that this disrobing was going to happen after all of the eye (or lack thereof) comments from Negan all episode. Carl’s eye hole is gross, by the way.
After reiterating that he was basically trying to toughen him up, Negan apologized to Carl for making him blubber. But because he’s Negan, he sounded completely sarcastic as he said it. Throwing the whole “You killed two of my men!” offense in his face, Negan demanded, “Sing me a song.” No, Carl did not sing “Piano Man,” but he did sing “You Are My Sunshine,” a lullaby his mom used to sing to him. This led to them talking about how the kid had to shoot Lori in the head to keep her from becoming a walker, which impressed Negan even more.
He actually decided to bring Carl back to Alexandria, letting him drive the truck (Oh, Negan! Didn’t you see him crash that car a few weeks ago?). As they passed through the gates of the Sanctuary, we saw Jesus on top of the panel truck, well on his way to infiltrating the Sanctuary. A happy little country ditty played as Carl was forced to show Negan around, testing the softness of Alexandria’s rugs, the pressure of the faucet water and the game room. After trying to get frisky with Olivia (Anne Mahoney), Negan got a hard slap to the face and a bucket of tears, which just turned him on even more. He finally stumbled upon baby Judith, who has been in that same freaking crib for weeks. He was all excited about finding yet another nick in Rick and Carl’s armor and threatened to take over the town as he lovingly rocked the baby and cooed in her tired little face.
Next week is the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead – and yet another 90 minute episode. Hopefully some sparks will fly, the gang will band together and make a serious attempt to take this bastard out.