Season 10, Episode 22, “Here’s Negan”


Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton

Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton
Photo: AMC

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Almost exactly five years have passed since the day Jeffrey Dean Morgan made his first appearance as Negan in The Walking Dead. Despite all the criticism those early episodes with Negan and the Saviors subsequently received, there was always something compelling about Morgan’s portrayal of the character. Even with all the embarrassing “pants shit” talk they used to carry around him, the actor managed to take the malevolent villain and imbue him with charisma, charm, and threat in equal measure, making it all too easy to understand why he was the one. type of person that others would follow without question. You couldn’t relate to him, but it made sense; The intense camp elements of Morgan’s performance were an integral part of the character, a way of skillfully depicting the fact that all Negan did back then was, in a sense, a performance. He knew he was putting on a show, and what helped make it magnetic was the fact that the viewer was never sure who Negan was under all that slippery bravado.

And now, half a decade later, we are finally unpacking the backstory of one of the few characters that continues to maintain. The Walking Dead interesting in his later seasons. “Here’s Negan” makes sense as the final installment of these bonus season 10 episodes, not just because it’s the best of the bunch, but because it effectively closes the first, Maggie-centric episode, completing the circle of her stories. Maggie She returned to her old life because it is perhaps the only place left that feels like home to her. And when she arrives, the man who murdered her husband is there, free and clear. Negan returns to Alexandria at the end of this hour not because it is the only place that feels like home, but because there is no such thing as home; “Home” as a concept ended when Lucille died. What this place represents to him, in my reading of that final look he gives Carol and Maggie, is destiny. If Maggie murders him in the middle of the night, well, she’s okay with that. He deserves it. But he has given what remains of his time on earth to this community, to the idea of ​​making amends, to the “best way” that Carl insisted could exist here. Negan likes that idea. Even if it gets him killed.

But before that, we get Negan’s condensed story. It is very different from Here’s Negan Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn comic book miniseries. Except for Lucille’s cancer, almost everything else has been revised, from Negan’s affair with Lucille’s sister to the story of the nested doll. It is still not ideal to keep throwing all these dates to the viewer in quick succession (1 year before, six weeks before, seven months before, et. Al), but it works better than in Daryl flashback episode, thanks in large part to the way each builds on the previous one: We went from today, to Negan tied up, being interrogated by a couple of motorcyclists, telling them his story of finding the doctor and his daughter and getting the medicine to continue his wife’s chemotherapy. From there, we jump to her meeting with said doctor, where she tells the story of Lucille’s treatment six weeks earlier, husband and wife surviving at their home in an abandoned town while she battles her cancer. But when the power goes out, ruining the remaining supply of medicine, he prepares to go for help, which is when she sits down for Negan and we get other story within a story, this time from Lucille’s point of view, learning about the Negan affair at the same time as her diagnosis. From there, it goes back up, through each level of the narrative, the stories within the stories recover until we are back in the present.

The illustration for the article titled The Penultimate Season of The Walking Dead ends (again) with a sharp and poignant look at Negan.

Photo: AMC

For a breakneck pace that we have, it works remarkably well, thanks in large part to the performances of Morgan and his real-life spouse, Burton. TOCreators playing tag team with their real partner can be a true matter of chance, but this is all about aces, with a heartwarming, vivid relationship in which easy chemistry goes a long way toward selling off some of the most unlikely things. (like Lucille’s abrupt decision to put aside the fact that her husband is sleeping with his sister). The moments of frivolity are as strong as the most painful, and although I think There was some absurdity in the needle drop from “You are so beautiful” after Lucille turned into a bedridden zombie, snapping her teeth at Negan, it was also quite powerful before and after, establishing the intensity of their bond. and the way her death left him unattached to the world, capable of… well, just about anything, as he admits to the bikers who tied him up earlier. Killing some men for the first time in her life, you see the slightly distant look in their eyes when Negan he realizes that there are no consequences, there is no worldly structure for making judgments. There is only her inner voice of compassion, one that she thought died with Lucille.

But when his bat splinters in half after digging it up, he realizes not only the foolishness of investing his dead wife’s spirit in the inanimate object, but also the falsehood. to think about your aforementioned compassion had died along with her. The reason he’s going to search for the bat in the first place is not to make peace with things, but to accept that his pain will always be with him. “You’re nothing without her,” her vision of cruel old Negan tells her, and it’s true, but not necessarily in the way old Negan might have thought. The bat, thrown into the fire, is the symbol accept the fact that cheating Married Negan, the sadistic Savior Negan, and the current repentant Negan are no different men; they are way stations that fade into the background of his memory of who he was with Lucille during those last months. His former self was preoccupied with getting used to killing walkers, but the current Negan has come to realize the harsh truth: that you can get used to anything.

The illustration for the article titled The Penultimate Season of The Walking Dead ends (again) with a sharp and poignant look at Negan.

Photo: AMC

Anything, that is, except the loss of the person who kept you connected to this world. “Here’s Negan” is ultimately a story of loss and regret, and how those emotions can spin us in a violent or human way, just flip the sides of the same coin of our inability to cope. tragedy. Rick, Carl, and the best of our group have always turned those feelings of loss into determination to avoid that loss for others; they have found meaning in surrendering to serve as a bulwark against the pain of those around them. Negan, with his wry and accepting smile towards Maggie, has found a similar meaning, but without any sense of self-preservation. “The bad news is that this time I also have some things to get off my chest,” he told the motorcyclist, before hitting his head. But now, he’s got it all off his chest. There is nothing else to hold onto. There is only destiny.

Strtoand observations

  • That leather jacket cost $ 600? Jesus, if I was Lucille, I’d be mad about that bill even if my husband still worked as a gym teacher.
  • Lucille was a fan of James Bond movies.
  • I take my hat off to the movement of introducing Negan’s eventual lieutenant as the doctor’s daughter, thus connecting some dots between the beginning of her new life and the rise of the Saviors.
  • There are some monologues in this episode, but for my money, the best part was that Negan told the biker that he got into the fight with the guy who wouldn’t let Lucille listen to his song on the jukebox.
  • Carol: “I didn’t want your death on my conscience. And now it is not. ”
  • Another nice touch: showing how there were glimpses of the future villain Negan inside of him during normal times, just funneled into playing video games online.
  • Thank you all for joining me in watching and discussing these additional episodes from season 10. I’ll see you back here later this year for the beginning of the end.

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