By: Casey Johnston (@Darthhockey)
WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of The Walking Dead.
Gregory has the worst aspects of every leader we’ve met through the course of this series without actually having the stomach to be an evil bastard. I’ve complained a lot about the characters on this series. So many have passed through that have annoyed the living hell out of me, and I know many of you feel the same way. Lori, Beth, Carol (season 1-2), Tyrese, the list goes on. Gregory is different. He’s a character we hate that’s we’re actually supposed to hate. He’s not a poorly written good guy or a lazily developed villain; he’s meant to be a bastard and that’s exactly how we feel about him. Let’s look at all his high points: he’s got a drinking problem (he looked sadder than Rick in the premiere when the Saviors took his alcohol), he either refuses to remember people’s names or just calls them by the wrong name to belittle them, and he makes unwanted sexual advancements towards Maggie and Sasha. Worst of all, he can’t actually lead. Sure, he’s got the Hilltop going pretty smoothly as far as the day-to-day operations go, but he’s not someone who can get his people through difficult times. Maybe he was an office manager or something before the apocalypse, but he wasn’t doing something that prepared him for this life. I’m pretty sure the only reason the Saviors have kept him around is because he’s so clearly harmless that they know he won’t cause them one bit of trouble. That’ll change if they ever find out he made that deal with Rick, which I’m pretty sure they already do. It all adds up to Gregory not being long for this world. Either the Saviors or his own people will take him out.
Jesus really did a good job of acting as the kingmaker in this episode. We’ve haven’t spent much time with the people of the Hilltop other than Jesus and Gregory, so we don’t really know what they think of their chosen leader. Until we get a more definitive look, I’m going to assume the writers are using Jesus to communicate the greater feelings of the community. It makes sense because he seems like the kind of guy that would have his finger on the pulse of the people. He says he’s not a leader, and he may be right, but he’s certainly doing a good job of looking out for the well-being of the people.
The writers basically had two ways to go with Maggie after the death of Glenn: she could be irreparably broken or she could harden up more than she already was and fight on. I think we all knew the former was never an option for her. Maggie is not going to give up in any situation, not when a herd of walkers storms through an open gate and not when her life and the life of her unborn baby is being threatened by a group of armed crazy assholes. But Maggie is not dumb. Pregnant or not, she’s not going to go on a suicide mission to avenge Glenn. I’ve written about how this season is just one long setup for the big war against the Saviors, and Maggie’s story right now is no different. She’s going to bide her time and she’s going to make a plan of attack. Listening to Jesus, it sounds like part of that plan may involve usurping Gregory and leading the Hilltop herself.
Give Carl a chance. I know he’s become annoying again, and he’s regressed back to the “stay in the house, Carl” phase, but he’s going to make it back to the Saviors compound and we’re going to see one of my favorite parts of the comic. There’s going to be some epic interaction between Carl and Negan. I’m exceedingly excited about this, and you should be too.
Thanks for reading!