Worth set a lot of interesting and long developing plans in motion for what should be a pretty strong season finale for The Walking Dead next week.
Negan knew his right-hand man was dangerously unpredictable, but unlike a lot of people on TWD, Negan knows how to work people. He knew if he set the proper scenario, Simon would screw up badly enough that he could use him as an example.
Negan made a big show of sparing Simon knowing he’d waste his second chance. Simon seized the moment to rally his loyalists and pitched a hostile takeover to Dwight. Dwighty Boy saw Simon’s coup as the perfect distraction to warn Rick about Negan’s new plan to surround the Hilltop with mini outposts.
Sadly for Simon, that meant he had to get sacrificed. Unlike Starscream, Simon didn’t get burnt to a barely held together mound of ash. Negan even gave him a fighting chance to channel his inner Ric Flair. Predictably, this does not end well for our favorite nutjob and Negan chokes him out. It beats Lucille upside the head a few dozen times. But that’s just so Negan can string Simon up as one of the walkers on the wall…fence. That’s how you make an example boys.
Any hopes of redemption for Eugene seemed to be squashed on Worth. He was a dick to Negan’s ‘wives,’ the bullet producing factory workers and old ally Gabriel. But he got just careless enough for Daryl and Rosita to kill his escort and capture him.
Daryl and Rosita are not Negan. They don’t grasp that the potential of Eugene making bullets for them doesn’t equal out to the bullets he’s already made for The Saviors. Or helping them devise a strategy to foil the walkers at the Sanctuary plan. Negan only takes a betrayal one time and the betrayer typically isn’t in position to screw him over again. Eugene went real dirty this week, making himself projectile vomit on Rosita. It’s crazy how the writers keep coming up with even more disgusting scenarios than walkers biting people.
Since Daryl is a worthless tracker, Eugene escapes and gets back to the Factory, determined now to crank out all the bullets Negan requested to end the war. A motivated Eugene probably isn’t a good thing. And I’d be fine if Gabriel and Eugene end up killing each other.
Meanwhile, down by the Oceanside, Aaron is apparently abstaining from food, shelter and common sense in a desperate pitch to get the ladies to join the fight against the Saviors. I’m typically a big fan of Aaron, but trying to play Justin Timberlake to show how much Hilltop and Oceanside needed each other was a bit much. Especially since he had no protection or even a warning system if walkers stumbled onto him.
Rick finally read Carl’s letter. Carl wrote really, really small to get everything down and basically charged Rick with making everyone feel safe again, by ending the war. Michonne takes the Saviors hotline walky talky and dials up Negan to deliver Carl’s message. Carl reiterated his working together pitch, but starting over for Negan means killing everyone at Hilltop. The time for talk is over.
I kinda like neither Rick or Negan are so moved by Carl’s letters that they’re ready to sit by a campfire and talk it out. There was a far better chance of Rick and The Governor ending things peacefully, but Negan has done way too much for Rick to ever stop fighting him.
Negan is extra motivated now to wrap things up. He has another invading personal space conversation with Dwight where he appoints him his new right hand man. But it’s a swerve. Waiting in Dwight’s room is Laura, the Savior that Dwight didn’t kill when he turned on his crew to run off with the Hilltop crew.
Negan set Dwight up with that outpost plan and it’s a trap for Rick and company. Dwight isn’t going to get the Simon treatment though. Negan has something far worse in store for him. Looks like Dwight should have rolled out a few weeks ago.
File Closed: Daryl and Rosita lacked Negan’s convictions, which will come back to bite them as Negan rallies his troops to presumably end the war.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC