Negan's Gory New Plan in The Walking Dead Has Legs

Allegiances are tested in "Dead or Alive Or" as the TWD heroes regroup after losing one of their own.

by | March 11, 2018 | Comments

Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 11 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

With the effects of Carl’s (Chandler Riggs) death rippling through the second half of The Walking Dead season 8, Sunday’s Rick-less (Andrew Lincoln) episode, “Dead or Alive Or,” highlighted the blurred morality that distinguishes Maggie’s (Lauren Cohan) Hilltop from Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) Saviors. And while Carl’s charity toward Siddiq (Avi Nash) may have been the precursor to his demise, his humanitarian move could ultimately inspire change in Maggie’s leadership strategy.


Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes; single - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 11 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

“Dead or Alive Or” continues the zombie series’ exploration of the concept of right and wrong within this broken world, where the rule of law is as twisted and bloody as the barbed wire wrapped around Negan’s bat. The episode mostly focuses on unanswered questions from the past, but gives audiences some much-needed, albeit temporary, hope in the form of Father Gabriel’s (Seth Gilliam) continued redemption. With blood seemingly on everyone’s hands, you have to wonder: Is it possible God even exists in the zombie apocalypse?

Fans took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the biggest moments from Sunday’s episode.


As soon as Dwight (Austin Amelio) suggested Daryl (Norman Reedus), Tara (Alanna Masterson), and Rosita (Christian Serratos) lead the Alexandria refugees through the swamps, it became clear that bloated zombies would be crawling out of the muck.

Over the years, the series has showcased Greg Nicotero and crew’s creativity and impeccable skills in bringing a variety of walkers to life. Among the best are some gory nods to classic horror movies. These walkers — err, swimmers? — feel like another nod to Dan O’Bannon’s The Return of the Living Dead. But instead of one Tarman, our heroes are faced with a gaggle of muddy walkers, all emerging from the swamp for a taste of some delicious brains.


Daryl and Rosita were keeping Dwight alive for helpful insight into Negan’s operation, but Tara was having none of it. Let’s remember, he killed off her girlfriend Denise (Merritt Wever) back in season 6 — with Daryl’s crossbow, no less. Even after his heartfelt apology, Tara, who not that long ago fought alongside the Governor (David Morrissey), sought her own hypocritical revenge.

Then the Saviors showed up. Instead of tattling, Dwight sacrificed his freedom, leading Negan’s goons the other way. As hypocritical as this whole thing was, it looks like Tara has finally changed her tune. When they meet again, will things be copacetic?


Seth Gilliam and R. Keith Harris - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 11 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Each step of their journey, Father Gabriel and Dr. Carson (R. Keith Harris) faced one convenience after another: An abandoned cabin, antibiotics to break Gabriel’s fever, car keys, and a map. All this time, Gabriel insisted that God set them on this path and that this was all a part of His plan. And then Carson fell into a bear trap, leading to gunshots fired at the looming walker threat.

The Saviors came, of course, leading Carson to grab their captor’s gun — empowered by Gabriel’s faith — only to be shot dead. So, uh, who’s going to deliver Maggie’s baby? Great timing, Siddiq.


Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter; single - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 11 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

It seems the more annoying Eugene (Josh McDermitt) gets, the more Negan seems to trust him. Aside from the sheer aggravation of seeing Abraham’s (Michael Cudlitz) former sidekick live it up in the Sanctuary — with all the wine and pickles at his disposal — there’s a strong possibility that Negan gave him his own bullet-making outpost to keep a close eye on him.

More than ever, Eugene’s got enough power and influence to treat everyone else like trash. But with the return of the near-blind Father Gabriel, the man he secretly helped escape, it’s beginning to feel that Eugene’s days may be numbered.


Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan; group - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 11 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

In his attempt to keep Negan from discovering he freed Gabriel and Carson, Eugene suggested a more visceral approach to attacking the Hilltop Using a catapult to launch zombie guts over the wall seems silly, but Eugene’s ramblings inspire a new plan.

“Dead or Alive Or” ends with Negan burying Lucille in a walker’s bloody maw. His new strategy is to infect everyone who gets in his way with the tip of his bloody bat. Gory possibilities aside, does this even make sense? The Walking Dead has long established the zombie virus is airborne, which means infected blood doesn’t turn people. Are the rules about to change, or does Negan know something we don’t?

What did you think about the episode? Tell us in the comments.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8C on AMC.

Tag Cloud

GLAAD 2017 Mary Poppins Returns Fantasy President Christmas Super Bowl Brie Larson BBC History Infographic ABC space Tarantino Calendar zombie Adult Swim television Shudder justice league Musical vampires YouTube Red serial killer Masterpiece ABC Family ratings sitcom Nickelodeon casting witnail Interview Comic Book supernatural adventure festivals Anna Paquin Lifetime Superheroe game show E! The Witch Chernobyl political drama CMT El Rey Winners Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt YouTube Premium theme song docudrama golden globes romance TCM Country TNT composers Netflix Holidays Trivia TCA 2017 Ghostbusters TBS Amazon Music DirecTV Awards 2019 Stephen King Elton John Spectrum Originals Animation DC Universe Women's History Month OWN Box Office San Diego Comic-Con Disney spy thriller Sundance Comedy Central BET hist See It Skip It 45 Captain marvel harry potter binge Winter TV 007 TLC Cannes TV Sneak Peek cops Acorn TV Pride Month PBS FXX TV Land Marvel Fall TV BBC America Star Wars cults Logo E3 NBC Paramount MTV LGBTQ spider-man politics Disney Channel Thanksgiving anthology Shondaland Warner Bros. MCU unscripted Columbia Pictures SundanceTV Trophy Talk Grammys elevated horror travel boxoffice streaming award winner Mudbound YA Premiere Dates Pirates ITV TruTV Certified Fresh Song of Ice and Fire singing competition 2018 Marathons RT21 based on movie SXSW CW Seed Paramount Network Mystery Mary poppins Valentine's Day Nominations what to watch Summer Lucasfilm Comedy DGA VH1 mockumentary crime drama Awards Tour Pet Sematary Creative Arts Emmys cats Trailer Photos AMC thriller DC streaming service Ellie Kemper 24 frames Pop Mindy Kaling 20th Century Fox zero dark thirty Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Opinion SDCC Action psychological thriller technology Lionsgate cooking Walt Disney Pictures dc animated FOX finale dragons green book doctor who Reality Competition Pixar talk show The Arrangement sports Food Network Cartoon Network Tomatazos Election crime Esquire 2016 psycho VICE IFC Films GoT Universal Quiz Set visit Fox News Dark Horse Comics Star Trek crossover robots ESPN Teen crime thriller adaptation historical drama First Look WGN richard e. Grant FX facebook Sundance Now anime Schedule Hulu Best and Worst Ovation Extras Heroines Bravo USA Polls and Games zombies Watching Series American Society of Cinematographers science fiction Kids & Family USA Network Musicals toy story blaxploitation biography Freeform CBS comic comiccon Red Carpet Black Mirror cinemax 21st Century Fox NYCC spinoff disaster CBS All Access discovery transformers HBO Amazon Prime Podcast APB Emmys GIFs nature X-Men dceu natural history Spike Crackle PaleyFest Biopics A&E medical drama Rock MSNBC social media Epix IFC TIFF Rocketman Tumblr Year in Review Sony Pictures Toys Superheroes sequel Sci-Fi Countdown TCA Showtime Reality Film Festival Writers Guild of America Apple aliens Character Guide Syfy jamie lee curtis Comics on TV Horror dramedy Vudu Nat Geo New York Comic Con Starz RT History Rom-Com Mary Tyler Moore true crime Cosplay DC Comics teaser Drama CNN Martial Arts miniseries diversity strong female leads The CW police drama Video Games Britbox war Spring TV National Geographic mutant 2015 Oscars Rocky period drama Western