With Maggie returning, Negan’s tenure in Alexandria will undoubtedly get more difficult. After all, she’s there with Hershel, and she has to go past the man who murdered her husband every day. When you consider that Maggie was there as Alpha’s second in command when she burnt Hilltop to the ground, it’s apparent that forgiveness isn’t an option for her.
Carol correctly intervenes and seeks to calm the tension by transporting Negan and his belongings to a neighboring cottage. It’s said that if something is out of sight, it’s out of memory. The only drawback is that being alone gives Negan a lot of time to ponder. Negan returns his gaze to the path that brought him here. What transformed him from a high school gym instructor to the Saviors’ leader? What horrible things did he do in an attempt to make sense of an incomprehensible universe?
Season 10’s second half went out of its way to avoid advancing the story too far. In reality, if not on paper, “A Certain Doom” remains the season finale, but the extra episodes have functioned as commendable attempts to further individual character arcs. Some have been more successful than others, but none have been as successful as “Here’s Negan.”
The Real Lucille Must Be Saved
A bag that has been taken from a person’s head. Negan is strapped to a chair, bloodied, with two motorcyclists inspecting him. They want to know where he obtained his medical supplies because he has them. Negan begs to be let free; his cooler is stocked with chemotherapy medicines for his cancer-stricken wife. He’s previously led them on a merry-go-round, and if he does it again, all those valuable medicines will be flushed while Negan watches. He relents, his eyes filled with anguish.
A medical convoy with access to a storehouse full of existence medications and equipment is known to Negan. Before the motorcyclists pack up and go on to the next station on their tour, he informs them where they can locate the physicians. He knows these men aren’t trustworthy and aren’t likely to follow their word, but he’s desperate. He’s anxious to see his wife again before she dies of cancer. He’s a man who stands to lose all.
While the reminiscence is primarily intended to show how Negan met Lucille the Bat before turning evil, it also depicts how he met his wife before turning evil. We realize that one key incident connects both Lucille’s lives. Negan attempts and fails to steal a doctor called Franklin and his daughter (who we discover is Laura, Negan’s future Savior lieutenant) with an empty gun two or three days before being taken by the bikers.
He gets a kiss from Lucille the Bat for his troubles, and he wakes up hours later being treated by the same doctor he tried to rob. They provide him with the chemo medicines he requires, and Negan is taken aback by the fact that they demand nothing in return. They simply want to help others, and as the saying says, “what goes around comes around.” It’s a post-apocalyptic mindset that will get you murdered sooner or later.
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Negan’s Life Before the Apocalypse is Aevealed.
The staff hands Negan the baseball bat they used to knock him unconscious as he walks out of the facility. That’s one aspect of Lucille’s genesis story, but there’s more to come. There’s another flashback in the midst of the scenes revealing Lucille’s chemo woes (the fourth, for those keeping count). This one transport viewers back to the outbreak’s early days, before society had crumbled and the press was just reporting on a series of bizarre cannibalistic killings. It also starts a new chapter in Negan’s personal development.
Well before as it turns out, Negan is a bit of a jerk. After being arrested for assaulting someone, he loses his job as a high school gym instructor and now spends his days playing video games. He’s also having an affair with one of Lucille’s friends, which keeps him from being with her when she gets her cancer diagnosis.
This flashback appears to show how much Lucille’s disease affected Negan as a person — or, more accurately, how much his love for Lucille transformed him. In the aftermath of the fall, Negan sobs as Lucille explains how she found out about his affair, but she assures him, “I want you to know that you made up for it.” In these sequences, Negan’s love and devotion for Lucille is palpable, and the episode illustrates how transformational those feelings were for him in the early days of the apocalypse. However, it begs the issue of how he came to be the Negan we know today.
When we return to the initial flashback with Baxter, the gang boss, we get an answer to that question. Negan gives away the location of the mobile clinic in order to deliver the fresh chemo medicines he’s carrying back to Lucille. After rounding up the physicians, the group releases Negan.
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What “Here’s Negan” Means for Season 11 of The Walking Dead
In the day, Negan unearths Lucille the bat and transports her to his cottage. He speaks to it gently, as if it were Lucille herself. He says to her, “I apologize for abandoning you. I couldn’t bear the thought of losing you, so I fled. Then, because I didn’t want to feel ashamed, I forced myself not feel anything.” Even his “stupid baseball bat” is named after her, which he regrets. Negan then throws Lucille the bat in his fireplace and stands there, tears streaming down his face, watching it burn.
This would appear to indicate a huge shift in him, but as we see in the episode’s (and therefore season 10) closing scene, things aren’t quite that simple. Negan returns to Alexandria the next day for a stroll. When Carol confronts him, he informs her that exile is not something he wants to do. Carol threatens to murder him if he steps back, and she makes it plain that she won’t interfere now that she’s attempted to aid Negan. As he passes past, Negan accepts and continues on, staring at a surprised and frightened Maggie. Negan’s new chapter won’t always entail peacemaking, as seen by his sly smirk as he studies her.
Based on how Season 10 of The Walking Dead ends, it appears like the feud between Maggie and Negan will erupt in Season 11 – and it won’t be pretty. While Negan’s background indicates that he is a multi-faceted character with a proclivity for violence as one part of his nature, it also demonstrates that violence has always been within him, even if it is concealed under the surface.
It’s too early to predict how all of this will play out in The Walking Dead’s last season, but it will undoubtedly be tense.
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