It’s been a few episodes since we last saw Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), the swaggering villain of The Walking Dead who’s as peculiarly charming as he is unabashedly evil. But on Sunday, December 4, the baddie was back in full force, as the episode brought him face-to-face with the vengeful teen who wants to see him dead.
These were the biggest moments in the AMC series’ latest, extra-long episode, titled “Sing Me a Song.”
Carl Makes His Move
After tricking Jesus (Tom Payne) into jumping out of the Saviors’ truck, Carl (Chandler Riggs) rode solo into the Sanctuary, where he killed two of Negan’s men before being disarmed by the maniac himself. What followed was a series of manipulative, intimidating games, as Negan introduced Carl to his harem of wives, sat him down over a nice cheese plate, and made the poor kid remove his eye patch so that Negan could poke him right where it hurt.
“Have you looked in the mirror?” the villain crowed. “That is gross as hell! I can see your socket! … I wanna touch it.”
The good news is, Negan did not touch Carl’s eye socket. (Small favors, folks.) The bad news: This was when Carl’s badass exterior crumbled, and he started to cry. Negan apologized for hurting the kid’s feelings, but it came off rather insincere, especially in light of what happened next.
Negan Ironed a Man’s Face Off
When Negan referred cryptically to Dwight (Austin Amelio) getting “the iron,” you might have thought he was being figurative. Nope! The iron is just what it sounds like: an old-fashioned metal clothes-pressing device, superheated in the bellows of the abandoned factory where Negan makes his home.
This time, it was an unfortunate fellow named Mark (the husband of one of Negan’s many “wives”) getting the face-melting treatment as punishment for his rule-breaking, which they showed in graphic hideous detail right down to the moment where his cheek peeled off. Thanks, The Walking Dead.
The Scavenging Continues
Meanwhile, the Alexandrites scrambled to find supplies for their extortive deal with the Saviors. This led Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) to a surprise discovery: a bunker in the middle of a pond, guarded by dozens of floating zombies.
At the same time, Rosita (Christian Serrano) guilt-tripped Eugene (Josh McDermitt) into making a bullet for her, although she might have permanently ruined their relationship in the process. And Spencer (Austin Nichols), after being called “a tremendous s–t” by Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam, in his greatest scene on the show to date), made himself useful by following a Latin treasure map to a stash of canned goods.
Escaping the Sanctuary
And now, the plot thickens: Negan didn’t kill Carl. Instead, the two got into a truck (which Jesus was revealed to be hiding on top of) and departed for Alexandria. Shortly after their departure, the captive Daryl (Norman Reedus) found a note (“Go now,” it said) and a key pushed under the door of his cell — but by whom? Is it a trick? And will Daryl risk the possibility of a face-ironing to chance an escape?
Negan Loves the ‘Burbs
As if this episode weren’t emotionally torturous enough, here is how it ended: with Negan — relaxing on an Alexandria porch with Carl by his side and baby Judith on his lap — smooching the tot and contemplating a permanent move to the walled community.
It’s hard to blame him; the Sanctuary is kind of a dump by comparison. But this kind of overconfidence might just be the thing that spells Negan’s undoing. Remember what happened to the last guy who moved in on Rick Grimes’ turf and tried to play Daddy? (RIP, Shane.)
The Walking Dead airs on AMC Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.
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