Following four very high-paced episodes to start ‘The Walking Dead’ season 8, the fifth episode slowed things down dramatically as Negan finally made his return and we get a glimpse of life at the Sanctuary before and after the initial attack from Rick and the rest of the communities.
The episode kicked off with a flashback to Father Gabriel praying in his church before cutting to the morning of Rick’s arrival at the Sanctuary when Gregory was supposed to be Negan’s secret weapon to pull away the Hilltop from joining the war.
For all the faith Simon had in Gregory — he made him eggs and pancakes after all — Negan never quite believed in this “thin dicked politician” and it turns out his instincts are right on the money after the Hilltop quickly spurs his ultimatum and he’s thrown to the wolves.
It’s that same meeting where Simon suggests getting the Hilltop back in line by killing everyone who dares to oppose them but that only angers Negan. See for all his faults, Negan believes that people are the greatest resource we have left in this god forsaken world. People are the reason he’s risen to power. People are the reason he’s built this community. People are the reason he’s been able to survive.
Negan quickly shoots down that idea and believes that an alternative plan of attack must be prepared if they are going to knock down this insurgency. At that moment, Rick and his army arrive to knock on the front door — so when Negan emerged at the start of the season and says he was in a meeting, he wasn’t kidding.
It’s not really clear why there’s so much back story at the start of this episode — especially the section dedicated to Gregory being a gigantic weasel — but it definitely shows the power that Negan wields over his people and the influence he has on everything that happens inside the Sanctuary.
Perhaps that’s why Negan being missing in action with some of his leaders presuming he’s dead that the Sanctuary falls into disarray. It’s only momentary, however, because Negan is going to be a lot harder to kill than just tossing him into a trailer while he’s surrounded by a herd of zombies.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ titled ‘The Big Scary U’…
LEADER OF MEN
Inside the Sanctuary following the attack from the Alexandrians, the Hilltop and the Kingdom, Simon and the rest of Negan’s generals try to figure out their next move without him around. Negan is presumed dead, which leaves a power vacuum at the top as he’s surrounded himself with people who are very loyal and people who can emulate him rather well but what they can’t do is be him.
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‘The Walking Dead’ returns next Sunday night at 9pm ET on AMC with a brand new episode.