This season of The Walking Dead has been serving as a none-too-subtle reminder that, when everything hits the fan, there’s a good chance that those who try to help out more than themselves will be the ones taking charge. Sure, there are going to be pockets of resistance, but, for the most part, the more cutthroat someone is, the more likely they’ll rise to power and fill whatever void was created before them. It was laid before us on the show with practically every other group that Rick and his crew have run across, but nowhere is it more apparent than with regards to Negan and his saviors.
Make no mistake, Negan is in it for himself. Sure, he’ll reward his soldiers that are strong and fall in line with his own goals, but he’ll never give them more than a little chain, all the better to snare themselves with. He is willing to use his own strengths and power to lord over those who don’t have his resources. Yes, again, there have been pockets of resistance, but Negan has been able to squash that resistance quickly, and without mercy. Now he’s pushed Rick and the rest of Alexandria into a corner, and they’re being cowed because, at present, they don’t have any other choice. That won’t last, but, for right now, they are backed down and left without recourse. Until they can find the holes in Negan’s armor (and he does have holes), they will be left paying Service to the Saviors.
While off on a supply run with Rosita, Spencer decided that he was going to try and help out in her efforts. How did he do this? Why, by shouting out her name, of course. Never mind that you don’t know if you were being tailed by any of the Saviors, and therefore could have jeopardized whatever she was trying (after all, Daryl’s motorcycle had already been recovered). What about the walkers, who we know are drawn by noise? Basically, Spencer made Rosita’s task, which might prove to be dangerously foolish, needlessly more hazardous. Thanks a lot, Spence. This is probably part of why you didn’t venture out of Alexandria all that often even beforehand.
Negan’s man is taking medicine, and Carl, having witnessed exactly what Negan is capable of, decides that he’s going to fight back a little. First problem? Carl clearly has no plan beyond “stop this guy from taking the medicine”. Second problem? Negan isn’t the type of guy to worry overly much about his own men, as long as he gets to maintain his control over the situation. And third problem? Well, Carl did avoid getting anybody else killed right away, but he also ensured that Negan was going to strip every single gun out of Alexandria. To be fair, Negan was probably likely to do that anyway, but Carl certainly forced his hand.
We know how Negan feels about people being dishonest with him. And sure, his talk about Maggie was definitely creepy, and it would make some level of sense that Rick and company would want to keep Negan from knowing about Maggie’s move to the Hilltop. Except Negan KNOWS about Hilltop. He’s been there. His men have raided it. Clearly this little bit of misdirection with regards to Maggie’s whereabouts isn’t going to be long-lived, so why take the risk in the first place? It’s just going to lead to making Negan angry, and Gabriel may have placed himself squarely in the crosshairs.
Oh, Rick. I get that you don’t want to lose any more people. You’ve lost plenty, and you truly want to see those who remain in Alexandria given a chance to survive, even if it is a meager existence providing for a deadly megalomaniac. However, Spencer has been regularly flinching against your leadership, and you have proof that he was trying to scam everyone, even going so far as to hide food that could have been part of the communal pot. You’re going to defend him, but the question really remains as to “why”?
You’ve got Rick watching your back. You’ve still got something resembling a cozy existence in Alexandria. You decide to first attempt to throw that all by the wayside by pretending to not know who Negan is, which came across a bit like a petulant child not wanting to play the game they’ve been presented with. Oh, but you decide to take it further by specifically picking at the open wound that is Glenn and Abraham while in conversation with the man who’s the only reason that you, and your settlement, are still around. Your survival instincts have been overtaken by pouting, and trying to throw shade at the person who’s responsible for you being here, and your time of usefulness may just be running short.
That does it for this week. Come back next week as we see what happens when some Go Getters take control. See you then!