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S10.E22: Here's Negan

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With Maggie back at Alexandria, Carol takes Negan on a journey, hoping to minimize the increasing tension. There, Negan has too much time to self-reflect and comes to a conclusion about his future.

Airdate 2021.04.04

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Even though I’m far from being a Negan fan, and that nothing can excuse his future behaviour towards women in particular, everybody else a close second, I did enjoy this episode. It’s just the ‘speed’ with which he changes that I find alarming, instead of wasting time on Princess, rats et al, they could have shown this over two or more weeks, at least giving us a chance to believe and or understand how a person could change like that.

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Now that it's over - I thought it was the best of this tepid mini-season. Good performance by the Morgans. The bad part? Negan's sudden transformation to flawed hero, which makes no sense in either this episode, or everything afterwards. It would have been more interesting to see how he formed the Saviors. 

Edited by Superclam · Reason: Proofread
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This could have been a decent stand-alone episode, if the writing wasn't so terrible (thanks for ruining Joe Cocker's beautiful song) and it wasn't so insulting that we're expected to forget what kind of sadistic monster Negan is

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I enjoyed it. Still doesn't explain the Neagan reign of terror, but good solid acting all around. Nice twist at the fireplace when you think he's talking about the bat, but he was actually about his wife. 

I liked both scenes with Carol. First when he asked if she was the one to finagle his banishment and she only answered with a smirk. I also liked her cheery straightforwardness that Maggie was going to kill him.

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This was easily the best of the bunch of mostly meandering why did they bother filming this episodes. I still don't have to like Negan or believe it justifies what he became to think it was a fairly decently written picture of what it would have looked like for someone critically or chronically ill as the world broke down in the early ZA and the choices that would have resulted from that. I'll give makeup or whoever props for making JDM look believably younger and less hardened, just as I'll give JDM himself props for doing his best to sell this even with dueling versions of Negan monologuing at each other. I do think it went some way in showing us that he was a guy who knew that he was fundamentally a bad man who was only marginally kept in check by his wife and then lost that check and whatever self-restraint he had just as the world stopped having socially sanctioned consequences. There's still not enough connective tissue though between flashback Negan and warlord Negan to really make me understand how that happened or care about him as a character. There's still no forgetting that this is Negan.

I liked the scenes with Carol too. Given that he was allowed to saunter back in at the end, I'm not all that convinced that the council could even get it together enough to vote either way on him as much as it was her again unilaterally deciding to try to get rid of the Negan/Maggie problem like an unwanted pet you dump in the woods. While I don't honestly believe Maggie is going to do anything but make stink faces about it because she's already had her chance to kill him and like everyone else decided to let him live for reasons, I loved Carol blithely telling him that it might happen and oh well, not her problem. I'm kind of amused Negan decided to call their bluff on it rather than make it easy on everyone and just let them kick him out.

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I enjoyed watching the episode. I was happy that the doctors were trying to help get medicine for Negan's wife. I would love to see a few episodes focused on the rise of Negan.

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3 hours ago, icemiser69 said:

This was the best episode of the bunch and could have really been a four or five episode arc leading into what Negan became with the Saviors.

I know that it would bother some people, but instead of having a Daryl and Carol spinoff, it would make much more sense to have Negan go off on his own with a spinoff.  Filling in the rest of his past leading up to the Saviors, and then jumping past his time in Alexandria.

Anything would be better than the Carol & Daryl show. Actually, I could probably think of 5-6 things that would be worse. The Princess Variety Hour? Father PeePee Prayer Revival? 

If the planned anthology show happens, an episode or two showing what happened after last night's episode would be interesting. How did he turn from somewhat decent anti-hero to face-burning rapist? 

Edited by Superclam
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One more thought - unlike several real-life couples I can name, the Morgans actually had chemistry on screen. It was believable that he cared for her, even if he was a giant dick. 

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4 hours ago, icemiser69 said:

This was the best episode of the bunch and could have really been a four or five episode arc leading into what Negan became with the Saviors.

I know that it would bother some people, but instead of having a Daryl and Carol spinoff, it would make much more sense to have Negan go off on his own with a spinoff.  Filling in the rest of his past leading up to the Saviors, and then jumping past his time in Alexandria.

Yeah, people would have complained if this entire "bonus" half season had been about Negan and the rise of the Saviors too, but in hindsight I really wish that's what they'd done. The show has signaled that we're stuck with Negan, probably to the bitter end, so it would have made more sense to flesh him out a bit and give us something to latch onto that filled in some of the territory between he's the baddest of the bads to ever bad, scary scary! to nope, he loves little kids so all's forgiven now, right right? We talk about how Rick was all over the map by the end, bouncing between murdering Saviors without exception and insisting on saving Negan because Carl of the fourth-grade education wrote a letter, but he only made any of the degree of sense that he did because we saw his journey. We saw how each group of baddies he survived shaved off more and more of his trust in people and shaped him into what he was by the time he went trip trip tripping off that bridge. This episode did a fair job of showing us a guy with a shaky moral compass becoming untethered from the rules and consequences that keep most of us in check most of the time, but there's still a good-sized leap between a dog suddenly off its chain and the warlord we met who kept a rape harem, threw people into fires, and bludgeoned innocent people to death for show. It certainly would have made for more interesting TV than watching Carol and Daryl have the same argument yet again or whatever it was Aaron and FPP were supposed to be doing.

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 29 minutes ago, nodorothyparker said:

but there's still a good-sized leap between a dog suddenly off its chain and the warlord we met who kept a rape harem, threw people into fires, and bludgeoned innocent people to death for show. It certainly would have made for more interesting TV

If he could be allowed to do that without endless, snide, tedious monologues and the peepee, dick humour, I agree it could be interesting (certainly more interesting than "Carol Chases a Rat") but still won't make me see Negan as even remotely sympathetic. Long ago, this show used to be character-driven, which was something I loved about it, until it turned into a boring shoot 'em and blow 'em up with speeches in between, filled with zany cartoon villains and bad, bad Leroy Brown.

 

32 minutes ago, nodorothyparker said:

We saw how each group of baddies he survived shaved off more and more of his trust in people and shaped him into what he was by the time he went trip trip tripping off that bridge.

Exactly this. We saw him gradually and steadily become more and more unhinged and ruthless, going from the person who said "We don't kill the living" to "Kill them all" and it all made sense. We understood him and cared about him, well, until Show utterly ruined his character so no one would give a damn when he vanished. Of course, he wasn't a slimy sicko sadist/rapist. Big difference, IMO.

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I thought it was very weird that he said to his wife that he broke it off with Janine the minute he learned of the cancer diagnosis and never saw her again. Per the radio immediately after Lucille’s appointment, wasn’t the zombie thing already in motion? When would he have seen her? Also, was he planning to repeatedly rob the doctor RV every month (or however long the interim between infusions is)? Also also, I laughed when he asked Carol to put in a good word for him—“a good word”?! It’s not like he ate her yogurt from the employee fridge or dumped her best friend at the prom! He smashed her husband’s head in front of her face while she was pregnant! He should feel more than lucky that all Maggie had done so far was pointedly not say good morning to him (which was also funny).

Oh, and I had no idea after all this time that "Negan" is his first name!

Quote

I think what made this episode so watchable is that Nagen wasn't chewing the scenery like he had back in the old days when he had a case of the can't shut the hell ups every time he opened his piehole.

Haha, even the bad guy was like, "You talk WAY too much."

Edited by TattleTeeny
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Out of these "bonus" episodes, I liked this one and the Gabe and Aaron one the best.  The rest pretty much sucked.

I, too, would have liked to have seen more about how he formed the Saviors and how/why Laura went from nice doctor's daughter to vicious member of the Saviors.

The make-up/CGI? was pretty good at making JDM look younger.  I actually thought for a minute that it was some other actor in the chair getting beaten.  But I thought the walker that he killed looked more like the walkers now rather than one that was relatively fresher, 12 years ago.

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I gotta say I don't understand the complaints about these episodes. They were never going to move the plot forward. That was never the intention. We were always going to be at the exact same place emotionally, plot-wise, etc. as we were at the end of the "regular" season 10 heading into season 11. These were literally BONUS, EXTRA episodes. They were filler episodes, giving us some bits of back story on these characters. Also they gave us some information on just how bad things are in Alexandria--which is clearly really, really bad.

The Aaron/Gabriel ep showed us that Aaron--despite everything--still believes, still has hope in humanity, while Gabriel has lost his faith pretty much. He's broken.

We learned that Princess has a whole shit-ton of mental issues that could (will likely) come into play. One of the complaints about the new characters that have been brought in is that even after more than a few seasons with them is that we don't know diddly-squat about them, they're ciphers. Princess is a real character now. She's not a cipher anymore.

The Negan episode gave us a guy who was fucked up, prone to violence, but held back because of the consequences of his actions and the love he felt for his wife. The apocalypse took away (he thought) the consequences, and then he lost his wife, so he let himself in his grief let loose his violence and never went back. Now, looking back he realizes that even though there's no law, there are still consequences.

The First Daryl/Carol ep that was more from Daryl's pov and the second, more from Carol's, were both setting them up for their journey ahead, getting them back to a more comfortable place with each other and actually explore who they are to each other. They are being broken down and put back together. Normally, shows don't have the time to do these kinds of scenes/episodes. This is what you see in fanfic frankly. (It's why Caryl fans loved the second episode, "Diverged" so much.) It's a deeper exploration of who these characters are in relation to each other, separately and together. Neither is what we'll get in the spin-off.

None of these episodes are what we would see in regular episodes. Again, these are just bonus episodes giving us some bonus material that we would never normally get. It's not about moving the plot forward, it's about digging deeper into these characters. I loved each and every one of them. I loved the exploration of these characters so much.

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3 hours ago, Superclam said:

How did he turn from somewhat decent anti-hero to face-burning rapist? 

We could also have seen what happened to Bar Code Girl, her father seemed to be a good man, she looked as though she was becoming her Fathers daughter. Her transition into a ‘Saviour’ would have been an interesting watch, despite her looking like his first recruit, she wasn’t a trusted lieutenant with her own compound, another possibly good story as to why. Still at least we got a rat and a motorcycle repair 🥵

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6 hours ago, icemiser69 said:

I still say that Maggie getting pregnant in the middle of the ZA is to blame for putting Abraham in harms way.  That doesn't justify what Negan did, but Maggie can't be putting all of her anger on Negan.  She still has to own some responsibility for putting Abraham in harms way.  Not so much Glenn, given that he is the father of Maggie's baby.

If we’re talking about pouring the ‘Bisquick’, two other women could quite easily have found themselves in an identical situation, more luck than not I hazard a guess 😛

Being a trained soldier, he should have known that you don’t blindly attack an enemy when you have no idea how many of them there are, he didn’t speak up at the meeting whether to attack the compound or not, he took part in the attack, blame can be apportioned pretty much everywhere if you try, I don’t think a person getting sick can come very high on the blame list. What happened to Glenn could easily be blamed on someone else yet again.

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44 minutes ago, driver18 said:

It's not about moving the plot forward, it's about digging deeper into these characters.

Considering we’re heading into the last season, I feel that people who have been in for the long run, would gain far more from having the stories and characters we’ve lived with for so long explained more fully, rather than the precious little time left being wasted on new characters like Princess, or silly nonsense like catching rats and repairing motorcycles. The Saviour war and characters within it, love it or loathe it, has been a major part of TWD world. This weeks show, given more time could have explained so much, not just about the past but the future if these characters will be appearing in it. I think these episodes could easily have moved the plot forward, yet IMO, most were just easy, cheap, no thought filler.

Can anyone honestly say that the two CarYl episodes filled them with anticipation regarding any possible spin off? Quite the opposite for me, the quality and usefulness of ‘Here’s Negan’ compared to a week ago, are several country miles apart.

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I've been bagging on this series lately, but this was a good episode.  I don't think the intent here was to fully explain Negan's transformation to leader of the Saviors, but you could see this was definitely the first steps in that direction.

17 hours ago, Iguessnot said:

I liked both scenes with Carol. First when he asked if she was the one to finagle his banishment and she only answered with a smirk. I also liked her cheery straightforwardness that Maggie was going to kill him.

I was a little confused by Negan's smiling face after Carol saying that, and Maggie staring daggers at him.  What was he so happy about?  I thought maybe it meant that Negan wanted her to kill him.  Because he told the creep this was for not killing him, before bashing him in the head with Lucille.  Sounds like since his wife's death, he wants the release of death.

 

8 hours ago, icemiser69 said:

I know that it would bother some people, but instead of having a Daryl and Carol spinoff, it would make much more sense to have Negan go off on his own with a spinoff.  Filling in the rest of his past leading up to the Saviors, and then jumping past his time in Alexandria.

 

That would be interesting, for sure.  And I like the gimmick of skipping around in time, it would sort of be like a Negan version of Young Rock.

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It was nice to know that Neagan was talking about “put on your shitting pants” years before he became a villain. I actually did like the episode but the writers have a really hard job trying to make Neagan a likable or interesting character while showing he had always been a ‘shitty’ guy.

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I think JDM does a really good job of portraying a bad guy while also being very convincing in his moments of — hmmm, I don’t want to say “moments of not being a bad guy” because he is a bad guy. The instances of him being sorry for something, like when he made Carl cry, or when he cares about/wants to protect about Judith. I believe the character does care and is sorry. It doesn’t make me forgive him or forget what he is and has been but I don’t doubt that he’s sincere at those times. Eh, I am articulating this badly. But for all his faults (both the merely annoying traits and the sadistic murderous insanity) and the show’s missteps and whatever, he’s my favorite of the villain story lines. I liked the Governor too, I guess, as far as that goes, but I got bored of him sometimes.

Edited by TattleTeeny
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2 hours ago, rmontro said:

I was a little confused by Negan's smiling face after Carol saying that, and Maggie staring daggers at him.  What was he so happy about?  I thought maybe it meant that Negan wanted her to kill him.  Because he told the creep this was for not killing him, before bashing him in the head with Lucille.  Sounds like since his wife's death, he wants the release of death.

Apologies for quoting myself here, but I watched Talking Dead after writing that.  Jeffrey Dean Morgan talked about that scene, and said that he smiled at Maggie in that scene because he was thinking "Okay, I'm comfortable with who I am right now, this is a good stare down, and we'll see where it goes".   He said he did different takes where he didn't smile, but they chose the one with the smile.  The smile was all his idea, because the script simply said the two stare at each other.

I actually thought the smile seemed a little incongruent, but I can see why it appealed to the director (or whoever did the editing).

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JDM's acting chops notwithstanding, I had a hard time getting into this episode. The gimmick of telling the story backwards: first we get 12 years earlier, then three days before that, then six months before that, then six months . . . oh, I lost track. Look - if your story isn't as interesting if you tell it in a normal, linear fashion, then you are using a gimmick to make it seem more interesting than it is. I find that cheap.

Secondly, and I know I'm beating a dead horse here, they are never going to sell me on Negan as a viable hero or anti hero or whatever they want to call him now. I don't care how many hardships he suffered or sick wives he loved and cared for, you can't woobify Negan enough to make me forget him bashing Glenn over the head and laughing about it.

This just happens way too often on TV. A character has crossed a line and is no longer viable but the actor is popular the the show chases its tail trying to justify and soften the character to keep them around. I want to say it's insulting to the audience but there's a good chunk of the audience willing to go along with it because they like the actor. So I'll just say I'm not part of that audience and leave it at that.

 

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Finally a good episode in this last 6 of seaon 10. I told a friend, you might even skip the first 5, just see #6. It is the only one where something happens. 

I was really looking forward to the Eugene story, but nothing happened there either. We got Princess in a freight car. 

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1 hour ago, Madding crowd said:

I actually did like the episode but the writers have a really hard job trying to make Neagan a likable or interesting character while showing he had always been a ‘shitty’ guy.

If they thought showing him taking off to screw some other women when his frightened wife asked him to drive her home after a medical test and he turned her down was going to make us admire him, they're doing it wrong.

 

43 minutes ago, TattleTeeny said:

I liked the Governor too,

I liked him a hell of lot more than I do Negan. At least he seemed like a real person with different facets and not some comic book figure come to life. And he was actually scary, unlike silly, snickering Uncle Neegs and his juvenile bullshit.

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4 hours ago, OoohMaggie said:

Considering we’re heading into the last season, I feel that people who have been in for the long run, would gain far more from having the stories and characters we’ve lived with for so long explained more fully, rather than the precious little time left being wasted on new characters like Princess, or silly nonsense like catching rats and repairing motorcycles. The Saviour war and characters within it, love it or loathe it, has been a major part of TWD world. This weeks show, given more time could have explained so much, not just about the past but the future if these characters will be appearing in it. I think these episodes could easily have moved the plot forward, yet IMO, most were just easy, cheap, no thought filler.

Can anyone honestly say that the two CarYl episodes filled them with anticipation regarding any possible spin off? Quite the opposite for me, the quality and usefulness of ‘Here’s Negan’ compared to a week ago, are several country miles apart.

As for the first bolded.... those were metaphors. They were both trying to fix something literally (her get rid of the rat to make the soup/him repair the soup) and figuratively (Carol, just learn to let it go, let someone in -- she finally let Jerry be there for her, and the rat left on its own, Daryl, OK, I don't remember because I care way more about Carol than Daryl, but I know it was something, LOL).

The second... first of all, again, this episode is NOT indicative of what their spin-off will be. This was about breaking down and repairing Daryl and Carol NOW. Not a season from now when the spin-off happens. This was bonus material, not a regular episode. And, hell yeah, the vast majority of Caryl fans were thrilled with this episode because it showed how well Angela Kang *gets* the heart of these two characters and their relationship.

Just like she gets Negan and the journey that he's on and the growth he still has to do. He's a work in progress. He's not done yet. And that is what we got in this episode. That is one thing all of these bonus episodes showed us is that with these people separated in different factions, now all forced together, with things at Alexandria getting really bad we're getting to see the nitty, gritty of them again. Instead of just plot, plot, plot, we're seeing character exploration. That's the groundwork that Kang and co. are laying the groundwork for with these episodes.

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31 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

Secondly, and I know I'm beating a dead horse here, they are never going to sell me on Negan as a viable hero or anti hero or whatever they want to call him now. I don't care how many hardships he suffered or sick wives he loved and cared for, you can't woobify Negan enough to make me forget him bashing Glenn over the head and laughing about it.

I've been on the "JDM's a good actor and Negan is occasionally funny (mostly interacting with Gabriel)" train so was surprised that I was not really interested in this episode.    Agree with above.

Oh, so Negan was always an asshole who beat up someone so badly they were hospitalized (though they deserved it, according to Mrs. Negan) and was subsequently fired from his job, played video games and cheated on said wife.  Er, OK?  But when she was diagnosed he dumped the side piece so he could be by his wife's side.  What a guy! /sarcasm

I don't know if the show really wants us to root for him (though I know a lot of people do, not necessarily on this board) or want us to understand him but I just don't care.  I don't care to spend an entire episode on his life.  I don't care about his dead wife or his dumb bat or his dumb leather jacket. The only mildly interesting part was hearing some of the early stuff on the radio "cannibals!"  Oh and I did like Carol's don't-give-a-shit attitude at the end.

I enjoyed the Carol-chases-a-rate-while-Daryl-chases-a-bike-part episode more because I actually care about those characters.  Except for the usual OOT villain, I enjoyed the Gabe/Aaron episode for the same reason.

If they really, really wanted (me) to understand Negan, I needed to see him suffer.  The time jump did no favors because all we know is that he was imprisoned and being waited on.  He wants to remain with the group so he behaves.  Does he honestly feel regret for anything he's done?  Did he suffer at all in prison?  We can debate the killings of Abe and Glenn but from my perspective, they were characters I followed and cared about to different degrees.  Negan is not so if the show wants me to, I need more than a big time jump and an ep showing that he was always a jerk.

Maggie won't kill him; there'll be some other nonsensical reason why she doesn't.  The show is invested in having him around.  I want to watch until the end of the series so I'm stuck with him as well. 

 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, driver18 said:

As for the first bolded.... those were metaphors. They were both trying to fix something literally (her get rid of the rat to make the soup/him repair the soup) and figuratively (Carol, just learn to let it go, let someone in -- she finally let Jerry be there for her, and the rat left on its own, Daryl, OK, I don't remember because I care way more about Carol than Daryl, but I know it was something, LOL).

That's interesting, and if I gave a shit about Carol's angst (and I don't because she's a woman who doesn't give a rat's ass about anyone but Carol - maybe the rat was a metaphor too? 😁) I might have enjoyed this more.

I care(d) more about Daryl, but TPTB turned him long ago into a monosyllabic bumbler, who leaves a woman who is willing to put up with him to roam the woods in his faithful and  eternal search for RickyG. In the woods. Whatever.

8 minutes ago, raven said:

Negan is occasionally funny

The only thing he ever said that I found even slightly amusing was his eulogy for Fat Joey, although I was surprised no one jumped on him for the fat shaming. Mostly his humour is of the type I haven't heard since high school.

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1 hour ago, AngelaHunter said:

II liked him a hell of lot more than I do Negan. At least he seemed like a real person with different facets and not some comic book figure come to life. And he was actually scary, unlike silly, snickering Uncle Neegs and his juvenile bullshit.

OK? And I feel otherwise, as indicated by my post. As far as "scary," neither particularly scared me as I sat on my couch, but I think that both would in person. I apologize, but I am just not sure what I am supposed to infer here. I like the Negan story line; doesn’t matter to me that he’s juvenile or a raging ass.

As for the Governor and the actor whose name I forget now, I recall feeling a similar way at one point, as if he did seem to consider — or at least ponder for a brief moment — being a “good guy” (ie, scrapping the war with Rick, et al). 

 

Edited by TattleTeeny
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1 hour ago, TattleTeeny said:

OK? And I feel otherwise, as indicated by my post.

You said you liked the Governor. I agreed I did as well. I can't remember the context or exacted wording since it's been edited out. Doesn't really matter.

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Oh. But I didn’t edit to subtract anything in the post, only to add. Either way, yeah, as far as big seasonal villains, I think the Governor may be my second favorite (especially compared to those hospital people and the garbage dump gang. Ick).

(Also, though, Negan is a comic book character come to life.)

Edited by TattleTeeny
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8 hours ago, driver18 said:

We learned that Princess has a whole shit-ton of mental issues that could (will likely) come into play. One of the complaints about the new characters that have been brought in is that even after more than a few seasons with them is that we don't know diddly-squat about them, they're ciphers. Princess is a real character now. She's not a cipher anymore.

But yet the characters who came before her, we still don't know about.  If they wanted to give someone some back story, pick someone who's been around a few seasons (Connie, Kelly, Luke, Yumiko, don't care about Magna).  We did get a couple lines about them (at least, Connie, Kelly and Yumiko), but not a full episode.  Or even half.

I agree with most of the rest of the episodes and what they represented, but the Princess one, just no.

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7 hours ago, iMonrey said:

JDM's acting chops notwithstanding, I had a hard time getting into this episode. The gimmick of telling the story backwards: first we get 12 years earlier, then three days before that, then six months before that, then six months . . . oh, I lost track. Look - if your story isn't as interesting if you tell it in a normal, linear fashion, then you are using a gimmick to make it seem more interesting than it is. I find that cheap.

Ordinarily I'm not a fan of this story within a story within a story within a story thing, I'd be making fun of it.  But for some reason this worked for me in this episode.

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14 hours ago, iMonrey said:

This just happens way too often on TV. A character has crossed a line and is no longer viable but the actor is popular the the show chases its tail trying to justify and soften the character to keep them around. I want to say it's insulting to the audience but there's a good chunk of the audience willing to go along with it because they like the actor. So I'll just say I'm not part of that audience and leave it at that.

You're not the only one. It's not the killing that did it for me, but the true joy and jollies he got from it. I had no pre-liking for the actor. I never saw him before this show so this character is all I know of him and this character is tedious, boring, and irredeemable, IMO.

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21 hours ago, madmax said:

The make-up/CGI? was pretty good at making JDM look younger.

Am I the only one who thought he looked a heck of a lot like Aaron Rogers (QB for the Packers?)

Also....is Negan supposed to be his first name?  It is unique, didn't catch a glimpse of anything around their house (mail, etc) that may have had their last name on it.  Does the comics give his full name?

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12 hours ago, TattleTeeny said:

I like Princess a lot, but definitely agree with you! I am kind of wondering why they even introduced her at this point.

I found this article interesting.  I'm putting it under a spoiler tag because, although it's relevant to your speculation, it's not really relevant to this particular episode and does have some spoiler-y info.  

Spoiler

Looks like JDM might have 'spoiled' whether he will return in season 11 because this article makes it pretty clear he will indeed be in the cast.  Apparently a lot of the cast and crew were blindsided by the announcement season 11 would end the series.  Full article is here.  https://www.gamesradar.com/the-walking-dead-wasnt-supposed-to-end-with-season-11-says-jeffrey-dean-morgan/

 

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Mostly his humour is of the type I haven't heard since high grade school.

Fixed that for you.

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I am so over Negan that even the smell of leather jacket makes me cringe, but I did think this was a good episode, probably my favorite of the extra episode batch after the Gabriel and Aaron one. They did a good job at showing how Negan went from a basically decent if very flawed man to the monster we met as leader of the Saviors. You can see that he always had a violent and selfish side, even before the ZA, but it was kept in check by society's rules, his wife, and even his sense of morality, but when he lost his wife all that started slipping. JDM did a good job at showing a Negan that is recognizable as dickhead Negan but is basically a good guy who started slipping here into anti hero territory, but is still not a bad guy yet. Savior Negan never would have bothered going back for the doctors, so he hadn't gone full dark side yet. I wonder if they plan on doing more flashbacks (and since the show loves Negan, they probably will) to the rise of the Saviors, or if we can just guess? I am still not a fan of Negan and I think he has long outlived his narrative usefulness and is sticking around because the show thinks he's a lot cooler than he is, but this was the most I've been interested in him in a long time. 

These bonus episodes have been a real mixed bag. I appreciate them spending time with these characters, especially so close to the shows end, but I wish they had done some more interesting things and given us some new information. That's why I liked this episode and the Aaron/Gabriel ones, they actually gave us new information about these characters and we saw more about how this world affected them. The other ones had their moments, but always left me wanting to get back to some kind of actual plot. 

I love how cheerfully Carol promised Negan that Maggie would kill him. Even with his tragic backstory I cant blame her. He might have had a tragic story, but that doesn't make all of the evil things he did alright or justified, and I still think that everyone is being WAY too forgiving towards him. Everyone on this show has a terribly tragic past/present, and most of them avoided beating innocent people to death and keeping sex slaves. I am also amused by how they had to give all of his stuff a backstory. His jacket, Lucille the bat, and even his annoying habit of monologuing about killing and farts to people he is going to kill.  

Edited by tennisgurl
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18 hours ago, iMonrey said:

This just happens way too often on TV. A character has crossed a line and is no longer viable but the actor is popular the the show chases its tail trying to justify and soften the character to keep them around. I want to say it's insulting to the audience but there's a good chunk of the audience willing to go along with it because they like the actor.

This isn't simply a case of a popular actor however, because Negan's character has a similar arc in the comics.

3 hours ago, ctlady said:

Also....is Negan supposed to be his first name?  It is unique, didn't catch a glimpse of anything around their house (mail, etc) that may have had their last name on it.  Does the comics give his full name?

I'm not sure about that, but on Taking Dead they gave his wife's name as Lucille Smith.  Of course that doesn't necessarily mean Negan's last name is Smith, but it's a clue.

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3 hours ago, ctlady said:

Am I the only one who thought he looked a heck of a lot like Aaron Rogers (QB for the Packers?)

Also....is Negan supposed to be his first name?  It is unique, didn't catch a glimpse of anything around their house (mail, etc) that may have had their last name on it.  Does the comics give his full name?

The name on the mailbox was "Smith." I guess they could have lived in that house and never painted over the previous owner's name, but I took it to mean that his last name is Smith.

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1 hour ago, tennisgurl said:

I am so over Negan that even the smell of leather jacket makes me cringe, but I did think this was a good episode, probably my favorite of the extra episode batch after the Gabriel and Aaron one

I feel the same way.  I like the character-driven ones as I'm sick of them always being on the run, looking over their shoulders, hiding, fearing for their lives, bowing and cowering to the bad guys, etc.  I  may be in lone company when I say I enjoyed the Princess one, though it should've come at a later date after she's been 'seasoned' on the show a bit to have earned her own episode)

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2 hours ago, Lakebum said:

The name on the mailbox was "Smith." I guess they could have lived in that house and never painted over the previous owner's name, but I took it to mean that his last name is Smith.

His wife also called him Negan. I suppose some wives call their husbands by their last name, but I took it to mean it was his first name. 

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5 hours ago, TattleTeeny said:

His wife also called him Negan. I suppose some wives call their husbands by their last name, but I took it to mean it was his first name. 

Funny enough, my mom called my dad by our last name. I don't think I EVER heard her call him his first name. Apparently that was how he introduced himself to her way back when. Nobody else did this, though. He was known as his first name or a nickname to everyone else in his life. But that said, it did seem like it was being established that Negan was his first name.

Didn't mind this episode. Didn't love it, either. And I'm embarrassed it took me this long to realize that JDM's wife was Peyton on One Tree Hill. I kept thinking she looked familiar but couldn't place her for the life of me.

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They did a good job at showing how Negan went from a basically decent if very flawed man to the monster we met as leader of the Saviors. You can see that he always had a violent and selfish side, even before the ZA, but it was kept in check by society's rules, his wife, and even his sense of morality, but when he lost his wife all that started slipping. 

The problem is that lots of people lose their spouses and don't turn into murderous psychopaths. I mean, sure, the zombie apocalypse on top of that is another factor but still, there are decent people in this world who didn't turn out like Negan. So I don't know that the show did in fact do a good job explaining this. I think a better version would have shown us that Negan had some mental health issues from the start. This felt more like an attempt to garner sympathy for the character so as to humanize him and make him more viable.

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This isn't simply a case of a popular actor however, because Negan's character has a similar arc in the comics.

I was under the impression that in the comics, Carl (not Judith) let him out of Alexandria's jail and he promptly disappeared afterwards. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

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54 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

The problem is that lots of people lose their spouses and don't turn into murderous psychopaths. I mean, sure, the zombie apocalypse on top of that is another factor but still, there are decent people in this world who didn't turn out like Negan. So I don't know that the show did in fact do a good job explaining this. I think a better version would have shown us that Negan had some mental health issues from the start. This felt more like an attempt to garner sympathy for the character so as to humanize him and make him more viable.

Don’t forget, though; Negan was a high school gym coach; his sociopathic tendencies were already pretty much set in stone.

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2 hours ago, iMonrey said:

I was under the impression that in the comics, Carl (not Judith) let him out of Alexandria's jail and he promptly disappeared afterwards. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Spoiler

Carl let him out, he went and infiltrated Alpha's group and killed her and, if I recall correctly, Beta as well.  Brought their heads back to Rick as tribute and they let him stay free.  Maggie was off in Hilltop then and they had basically no interaction.  I don't remember much of Negan after that until the end.  Negan was alive at the end of the comic, living by himself, with only Carl visiting him on occasion.  I read the comics a while back so I could be wrong on the middle part.

 

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2 hours ago, iMonrey said:

The problem is that lots of people lose their spouses and don't turn into murderous psychopaths. I mean, sure, the zombie apocalypse on top of that is another factor but still, there are decent people in this world who didn't turn out like Negan.

That's definitely true.  I hate it when people use the idea of something bad happening to them to excuse their poor behavior, even if that does happen sometimes.  But remember, this is the show that had Rick hearing voices and hallucinating after losing Lori.  And Rick's group did some messed up things themselves, although not on the level of Negan.

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