As my frustration mounts with seemingly every new Marvel Cinematic Universe project, it’s nice to see The Walking Dead: Dead City stick the landing of its first season. Not with a shaky, still on two feet kind of way, but a confident full GOAT-mode Simone Biles manner ready for the next challenge/season. Doma Smo did what an ideal season finale should accomplish — polish up the rough edges of the season while eagerly have viewers anticipating where the series will go next.
Ginny’s flare attracts all the major “hero” characters to her though that phrase is generously being used in this case. Between Negan, Perlie and Maggie the heroes are few and far between.
Negan is upset to see her since her safety was all that mattered to him. She starts to talk, presumably to warn him that Maggie can’t be trusted, but he wants none of it. To ensure she leaves, Negan tells her that he killed her father and only looked out for her out of guilt. Yep, that’ll do it. Perlie offers to take her back though it’s unclear how he’d track down Maggie’s camp. It’s not like Ginny is going to be telling him “Turn left in 800 ft.”
Maggie looks ready to strike and Negan isn’t missing those daggers she’s shooting at him. When she finally makes her move, he’s ready and they have a nice chase brawl over a gantry complete with walkers underneath pawing at them from the ground. Despite 11 seasons of The Walking Dead, eight Fear the Walking Dead seasons and two seasons of World Beyond, it’s impressive that Dead City’s showrunners have come up with several unique visuals and action set pieces.
Negan gets a knife to the chest, but eventually gets the upper hand breaking down why Maggie betrayed him. “It doesn’t matter how many apologies I give you; you can’t get over it and you shouldn’t.” At least Negan gets it, in more ways than one as Maggie seizes the knife he dropped when The Croat and his crew arrive.
Time for a hostage exchange! Negan simply asks Maggie to look after Ginny. The Croat brings out Herschel, who doesn’t look overjoyed to see Maggie. When they’re safely away, Herschel starts pulling out all kinds of knifes to stick into his mother. “I just wait for the next bad thing to happen. If anything, I felt safer back there.” Man, Herschel is such a little tool. Of all the grief Maggie’s endured, Herschel being such a crappy kid has to be the worst.
The Croat shared how he learned valuable lessons from Negan and realized he messed up when he killed the girl. That won’t happen again. Negan is understandably cautious about The Croat seemingly desperate to regain Negan’s favor again despite having him at a clear disadvantage.
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He introduces Negan to Doma, who was thrilled to hear about Negan’s performance at the bank. In a shocking departure from every other settlement, Doma echoes The Croat’s excitement and wants Negan to be in charge of their NYC community. She says others want their resource and they need a strong authority figure to dissuade them.
This isn’t a lie as Perlie reported to his New Babylon supervisor (Jasmin Walker), who wants to know all about the NYC reserves of methane.
Negan going back to playing “Negan” almost seems like a fresh career path for him at this point. He’s tried to be a decent guy for a decade plus and he’s still met with disdain or treated like an outlaw for simply trying to protect his family. Being the big bad wolf again would be a relief knowing that no one would dare try and take what’s his again. It’s like there’s another Alexandria/Kingdom/Hilltop alliance unless there’s a Five Boroughs Crew on the island. Or unless Wu-Tang Clan is chopping necks of walkers and bad guys in the NYC…
Maggie tells Herschel she’s gonna finish this thing with Negan so she can end it. Before she heads out, she stumbles onto his latest series of drawings with a detailed route back to The Burazi, The Croat and Doma.
Just then, Doma reveals to Negan a souvenir of her last guest — Herschel’s baby toe. She threatens to go back and get the rest of Herschel if he decides he doesn’t want this new job opportunity. This leads to a great split screen shot as Negan and Maggie both contemplating what’s in store for them next.
That’s a very solid hook for the next season. I wasn’t sure if Dead City needed another run or would work better as a one-off season. There’s definitely several different directions the series can take now and few of them seem boring. I’ll be looking forward to when this one returns.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Photo Credit: AMC