Welcome to the Heavy Spoilers show; I’m your host, Paul, and like a bat out of hell, The Walking Dead has returned with a set of six episodes before we head into the show’s final season.
The finale culminated with a Negan-centric entry that filled in a lot about the character. There are flashes of A Christmas Carol here, an actual Carol here, and overall it leads to one of the most introspective entries that the entire show has had so far.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan completely knocks it out of the park as he searches for his baseball bat, and the actor delivers a home run that easily elevates his character to being my favorite in the entire show.
We’re going to be breaking it all down, but obviously, there will be heavy spoilers here. If you enjoy the video, then please click the thumbs-up button and don’t forget to subscribe for breakdowns like this each and every day.
With that out of the way, a huge thank you for clicking this. Now let’s get into The Walking Dead.
THE WALKING DEAD FINALE BREAKDOWN
Now we open with Maggie walking with her and Glenn’s son Herschel. The pair sing ‘You Are My Sunshine,’ which, in a cruel twist of fate, is what Negan made Carl sing to him earlier in the series. Negan made him do this because it’s a song that Lori used to sing to him as a child, and we see this repeated here once more with a mother singing it with her son.
Like Carl and Rick, Negan has had a large impact on the pair because he, of course, killed Glenn, who was both a husband and father to them.
He was also Alpha’s second in command when the Whisperers burned Hilltop to the ground, and there’s clearly a lot of anger there on her behalf.
Maggie is, of course, still angry and frustrated that Negan has been allowed to live, and Carol, overseeing this interaction, decides to take things into her own hands. She escorts Negan out into the woods, namely to the hut that she and Daryl discovered, and tells him that the council recently voted to banish him.
However, this is a lie, and as per usual, Carol has simply stepped in and told Negan this because she believes it will avoid further conflict down the line. Carol, like Negan, is someone who is very headstrong and can very much see the way things are going and like him, she somewhat uses theatrics and deception as a means of control.
Though she’s nowhere near as villainous as he was, it is nice how they reflect one another and both have used lies in their leadership in order to shape things to be a certain way.
Now Negan, of course, has a lot of skeletons in his closet because, unlike Carol, he led in a way that was best for him, rather than how she handles it, which is what’s best for the group.
Negan is very much haunted by the idea of his past, and that night in the cabin, he’s visited by the savior version of himself. This taunts him, saying that there was no way his past would ever be forgiven, and we cut to the character returning to where Rick slit his throat.
We also see a flashback of Michonne saying that they left Lucille out at this location, and this very much speaks to Negan’s ego. He believed himself to be someone that was vastly important, a symbol of fear that ruled over a mighty kingdom. However, when this tyrant was brought down, not even the things that made him infamous were respected, and they were dumped in the very spot where he, quote-unquote, died.
After digging in the dirt, he comes across Lucille once more, and this episode very much symbolizes him not only putting his past to rest but also the memory of his wife, who we meet in this episode. Negan has believed that if he just buries his past, then it will be forgotten, but he metaphorically and literally must dig it up in order to become a newer and better person.
Now we jump back in time to find him tied to a chair while being interrogated by members of a motorcycle gang. Negan was out on the road trying to get chemotherapy drugs for his wife, and they came across him and took him captive.
THE WALKING DEAD FINALE TWISTS EXPLAINED
Turns out that he’s had run-ins with them in the past, and he sent them off on a wild goose chase, which they now seek retribution for. They want medicine, and Negan has to somewhat sell his soul in order to get back to his wife.
From here, we get a further flashback and catch him meeting Laura for the first time, who you may remember as a prominent member of the Saviors. Negan was trying to rob her and a doctor named Franklin but he’s knocked out by the former, who’s using the bat that later becomes Lucille.
After revealing that his wife has cancer, Negan also confirms the long-suspected theory that he’s a high school gym teacher.
We do a further flashback to six weeks before this when Negan was treating his wife. He’s trying to give her as much normality as possible, but because of the almost endless swarm of the undead that exist, she’s unable to chill out and watch James Bond movies.
Negan won’t let her “live and let die”…thank you, and he constantly heads out into more and more dangerous situations to ensure that she gets to “Die Another Day”…thanks, I’m here all week.
Because of this, the time that the pair spend apart becomes longer and longer, but Negan sees it as being necessary due to the trips being the only thing that keeps her alive.
The moments that the pair spend together are really touching, and watching Negan sing ‘You Are So Beautiful’ to me as we get flashbacks of their lives shows how much he really cares about her.
It’s during these moments that we see Lucille kept a leather jacket that Negan bought for himself when he was jobless. His wife was angered that he bought himself this gift when they had spiraling credit card debts, and this showed his very self-centered nature. Throughout the entry, we discover that before the apocalypse, Negan actually had an affair, and this further cements how selfish and self-serving the character really was.
Lucille has forgiven him because since the world went to crap, he’s really shown her that he did love her more than anything, and it’s clear that she was a good influence on him. As we know, in her death, he returned to being this self-centered person once more, but we’ll discuss how the character comes full circle to how he
was when they were married later on.
Back to the motorcycle gang, and Negan offers to bring them the rest of the chemotherapy drugs in exchange for his freedom.
However, when he returns home, he finds that his wife has taken her own life. She’s left a note that says ‘Please don’t leave me like this’ which he sees after she’s turned. Negan lights the house on fire, and though we don’t see it, it’s clear that he put her out of her misery.
This act of mercy is something that he carries with him, and though it’s not shown, I believe that he named the bat after her because it represents both the love he had for his wife and also the mercy that he gave her.
Negan returns to the motorcycle gang with a sack of guns, and after killing them all, he forms the Saviors. He looks at his creation, and we see him reflected in the chrome of a motorcycle as he dons his leather jacket and begins his transformation into the man who ruled with an iron fist.
Back in the present, Negan returns to Alexandria, and he meets Maggie in the middle of the street. He’s ready for whatever she has for him, and though there’s a lot of tension there, he somewhat says without saying that he’s sorry.
THE WALKING DEAD FINALE ENDING EXPLAINED
This episode is about Negan facing his past and trying to put it behind him so that he can move on to be a better person. Though he still carries the bat and leather jacket, it feels like these are no longer symbols of the power and control he once had but instead reminders that he’s changed. The character is far removed from the villain that once bashed people’s brains in, and it’s somewhat fitting that the final shot is of him smiling at Maggie.
He’s done apologizing, and though what he did was unforgivable, he’s not going to let it define him anymore. He’s willing to put it all behind him and become something more than just the monster that he once was.
Though we don’t know if Maggie accepts this, it does seem like she’s at least willing to let him try and change, which is a big step for her character too.
And that’s the episode. Though I know some people were disappointed with this being the season finale, I think it was a brilliant way to end things and set up the next chapter.
Thank you for joining me for this breakdown, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the episode so make sure you drop them in the comments below. If we hit 30,000 likes, then I’ll do a breakdown of the first season of The Walking Dead to celebrate the show’s ending.
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I’ve been Paul, you’ve been the best, and I’ll see you on the next Heavy Spoilers show.
Take care, Peace.