Fans of The Walking Dead were treated to a somewhat unexpected moment Sunday night when everyone’s favorite morally ambiguous bad boy got a surprise accessory.
As season 10’s creepy cult of the Whisperers get closer and closer to toppling our heroes’ settlements of Hilltop and Alexandria, the show’s previous antagonist Negan has been hanging out with the grotesque and villainous group. After getting very close to Alpha over the past few episodes, Sunday’s outing finally had the leader grant Negan his very own skin mask, cementing his place as one of the Whisperers.
Though there hasn’t been any confirmation that the leather jacket-wearing loudmouth is actually planning to double-cross Alpha (as he does in the comics), the show certainly seems to be setting up that payoff. The character appears to have grown softer during his many years of confinement at Alexandria, and the monster who once killed Glenn and Abe in season 7’s premiere has now proven himself to be more or less rehabilitated. His relationship with Rick Grimes’ daughter Judith and his recent revenge killing of a man who needlessly slaughtered a woman and child show that Negan is looking for redemption and what better way to get it than to deliver Alpha’s head to Alexandria?
Still, Sunday’s episode “Morning Star” saw Alpha sending a large portion of her walker horde toward Hilltop where many of the show’s most meaningful characters were stationed. And though Negan attempted to persuade her to have Hilltop bend the knee instead, he didn’t go to any further lengths to stop her from slaughtering everyone there. In a bloody final act, our heroes defended the settlement before becoming trapped with fire on both sides in the last few moments of the episode. If Negan intends to follow through on his comic arc, it feels like his window is closing.
Hopefully, The Walking Dead will begin to offer us some payoff in this week’s ominously-titled “Walk With Us.”