The Walking Dead Finally Reveals Who Freed Negan From Jail

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After the defeat of the Saviors at the end of season 8 of The Walking Dead, Negan spent years in solitary confinement as a symbol of there being a way to solve differences other than violence. His escape in “Silence the Whisperers,” this season’s fourth episode, saw him apparently defect to the masked killers, but exactly who allowed him to escape in the first place has only now been revealed.

In an episode that saw other deaths including former Whisperer Mary and Hilltop blacksmith Earl, the most surprising moment was Negan turning on Alpha after claiming he was bringing her to her runaway daughter Lydia, only to slit her throat after the ruse was revealed. In the episode’s final moments, Alpha’s reanimated head was rolled along the ground towards someone revealed to be Carol, who taciturnly commented: “Took you long enough.”

The implication, which will likely be soon discussed outright, is that she freed Negan so he could kill Alpha in revenge for the death of her adopted son Henry in the fair massacre that closed the penultimate episode of season 9, something she almost did herself only to be stopped by Michonne.

Carol has always been someone in possession of an unclouded clarity about any given situation, simply doing what she decides is necessary and not all that concerned with what it will make people think of her in the aftermath. The attack on Hilltop was successful largely on account of the community being cut off from aid, which was made possible by the Whisperers using tactics Negan brought to them, so more than one character will likely demand of Carol if her vengeance was worth the community’s destruction. She will probably see the situation as Alpha needing to be put down and her simply using the tools at her disposal.

With the death of Alpha, the most logical consequence will be Beta becoming Whisperer leader, whose callous brutality may well lead to an increase in attacks as he attempts to destroy Alexandria in retaliation for his leader’s demise. In any case, with four episodes still remaining on this season of The Walking Dead, there’s still plenty of time for more to go wrong and further people to die as a result of the choices others make.

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