While you may still be deciding who the nastier villain is — Negan or GOT’s Ramsay Bolton — The Walking Dead’s latest and most rotten antagonist proved how despicable he can be in last week’s installment “The Cell.”
He bragged about stealing Dwight’s (Austin Amelio) wife and kept breaking down Daryl (Norman Reedus). When he wasn’t doing the honors, Negan (the incomparable Jeffrey Dean Morgan) let his minion Dwight do the dirty work, dog-food sandwiches and all. But in the end, it’s pretty clear that all Dwight really wants is to be Daryl because Daryl is stronger and braver.
Dwight is so jealous of Daryl, it's actually kind of funny ?#TheWalkingDead
— Taylor (@DarylDixonSwag) November 14, 2016
That’s why this week’s 90-minute episode, “Service,” is so critical. Fans had to see just how far Negan would go once he got to Alexandria, how far Rick (Andrew Lincoln) would let him go, and what Dwight was going to do to further try and destroy Daryl. Seriously, we understand that Dwight wanted Daryl’s hog (stalk much?!), but did he have to take Rosita’s hat and pour out her water? Such a fourth-grade-bully move.
— Danielle McCants (@justDanielle_M) November 14, 2016
Speaking of Daryl, that’s so messed up that Negan brought him along for the raid on Alexandria. Sigh. Did you hear that? That is the sound of our collective hearts breaking. Equally heartbreaking is Michonne (Danai Gurira) trying to maintain some semblance of dignity as she watches Rick crumble.
In the meantime, Michonne needs to spend more time at the firing range. That was just embarrassing. Instead of killing that walker, she accidentally killed an innocent deer in a very symbolic way. Some viewers chose to see the deer’s death differently.
Michonne is such a good shot, she hit the deer in the woods that she was aiming for even with that walker distracting her ? #TheWalkingDead
— ?Author Nyla K. (@MissNylah) November 14, 2016
Thankfully, the moments of levity gave us the laughs we needed. For instance, just as Negan proceeded to embarrass Rick time and time again, he decided to double down and ask Rick about Maggie (Lauren Cohan). Apparently, Negan has a thing for widows. But before Rick could discuss Maggie’s whereabouts, Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) crept up and said Maggie is dead.
“Ho-ly crap!” Negan exclaimed at Gabriel. “You are creepy as shit, sneaking up on me, wearing that collar with that creepy-ass smile.”
Gabriel’s entrance is so awesome on so many levels but mostly because it startled — and unsettled — Negan. Score one for the Alexandrians.
— vijay (@tchallashuri) November 14, 2016
Then the gunshot came, Negan’s face shifted again, and he stopped smiling in the most menacing way. I know we’re supposed to hate Negan, but Jeffrey Dean Morgan is seriously delivering the performance of a lifetime.
That gunshot that Negan heard made him straighten up #TheWalkingDead
— ??The Perv King?? (@jason_fenty) November 14, 2016
— REN (@TGirlIF) November 14, 2016
Turns out Carl (Chandler Riggs) popped off a warning shot to threaten one of Negan’s men who took one too many bottles of Tums. Sigh. Come on, Carl. Now Alexandria is going to lose all of its much-needed guns. Making matters worse, once Negan and his gang checked Olivia’s (Ann Mahoney) inventory list, they realized a couple of guns were missing and said they’d kill Olivia if the guns didn’t magically appear.
See, that’s the thing about Negan: When Rick does what he says, Rick looks weak. But the minute Rick doesn’t play along, someone dies or comes very close to dying. Meanwhile, some viewers think Olivia needs to be more street smart.
— Denver. (@DenvsTheName) November 14, 2016
Alexandria doesn’t have a ton of street-smart natives. Take Spencer (Austin Nichols). On one hand, he wisely hid guns, but on the other hand, he’s too quick to kneel and too quick to question Rick. He also nearly got Rosita killed in the wilderness full of Walkers by talking too loudly and he seems to think there is a way to actually reason with Negan. Sigh. He’ll probably die next.
so Spencer needs to die like now #TheWalkingDead
— ㅤ (@symaaantha) November 14, 2016
Other twists and plot points of note include Rick giving Negan Michonne’s rifle, Negan taking Michonne’s dead deer, the fellatio reference Negan used to further emasculate Rick (bastard), the gross savior who taunted Enid (Katelyn Nacon), and Michonne saying she would try and follow Negan’s rules.
Those burned mattresses say otherwise. Michonne is coming for you, dude. And how crazy/amazing is it that Rick knows Judith isn’t his baby, but he’s still willing to die for her? This is why we love Rick.
— WalkingDeadSquad (@TWDClique) November 14, 2016
Daryl loves him, too. Rick tried to save Daryl, but Daryl can’t be saved — at least not like that. Cue Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”
— AndyLincoln's Finger (@Lincolns_Finger) November 14, 2016
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC