By: Casey Johnston (@Darthhockey)
WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of The Walking Dead.
This episode covered one of my favorite issues of the comic and it’s one I’ve been looking forward to for a while. I’ve mentioned it before, but I need to point out again that Negan has an almost uncharacteristic respect towards women and children. It’s one of the things that makes him such a fascinating character. He’s an evil bastard who does evil bastard things, but every once in a while he’ll do or say something that makes you think maybe he’s not such a bad guy. He’ll set aside a woman’s fears by saying, “Have I ever hit one of you?” or he’ll show Carl a sincere amount of regret for making him feel bad about his eye. Of course, he reminds us that he’s an evil bastard by maiming a guy’s face with a red-hot iron, but for those moments, we can see why people follow him. He’s not pure evil, at least not in the mustache-twirling villain way. He’s layered in a complex way that makes him one of the most captivating villains on television right now. Hell, I’m a huge Rick fanboy and I spend half the episodes ready to cheer for Negan just because Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s performance and the way Negan is written captures me that way. They’re handling him perfectly and I hope this carries through towards the end of the season.
I’m always back and forth on my feelings for Carl. Sometimes he annoys the hell out of me and sometimes he’s an incredible character. This is a rebuke of the writers and not Chandler Riggs, who does a great job in the role. The writers just don’t seem to know how to handle the transition of Carl from the young boy of seasons one and two to the growing man he is now (it’s also typical of the show that I can finish praising their writing of Negan only to bash their writing of another character). Tonight, Carl was interesting for me. One of the reasons I like this issue of the comic, and why the episode worked so well for me, is because we got to see the two Carls that exist on The Walking Dead. On one hand, Carl is a bad ass. He walked to the Hilltop and snuck into the Saviors’ sanctuary in the back of a truck. He then preceded to kill two Saviors while demanding to see Negan. None of the others characters in the group would have the guts to do that (or the lack of brains, because it was ultimately a stupid move). Later, he breaks down and cries because Negan points out how disgusting the eye hole is. Like Negan, we sometimes forget Carl is still just a kid (it’s worth pointing out that Carl still looks much younger than Chandler Riggs at this point in the comic). He can handle himself as far as survival goes, and this world has hardened him, but he’s still got the mentality of a kid. This episode was a stark reminder of that and it renewed by interest in Carl.
What is Rosita doing? What does she think she’ll do with one bullet? Get herself and others killed, that’s what she’ll do. She is another character that’s annoying me right now. Hopefully, this little arc pays off in the end because it all seems so pointless right now.
Spencer’s making a little power play against Rick and it’s not going to end well for him. Rick has a ton of pent up anger that he needs to release, and Spencer needs to recognize that before he gets himself hurt or killed. I guarantee that if he keeps this up, he’ll wish it was Gabriel chastising him (I love that scene, by the way).
Thanks for reading!