March 25, 2019

The Walking Dead season 8 finale: is there a future for Negan?

16 April 2018, 06:22 | Regina Holmes

Watch 'The Walking Dead' Season 8 Finale Live Online Streaming 'Wrath' on AMC

Lennie James Thinks Morgan Will Return To 'The Walking Dead'

Trouble ahead: Rick and the Alexandrians spotted a huge herd of walkers in the distance before the battle with Negan; afterward, Rick tells the former Saviors they'll have to stand together against the horde.

But then his rage got the better of him, as Rick slashed open Negan's throat with a shard of broken glass. I really think that Rick has the right idea on building the future.

In the end, Rick doesn't kill Negan, confirming that previous flash-forwards to a bleary-eyed Rick weren't him truly lost, but rather when his mercy does indeed prevail over his wrath. The biggest moment, of course, being Rick Grimes sparing Negan's life and taking him as a prisoner to rot for the rest of his life.

Negan is subdued, and it's actually Dwight who declares the end of the war and says much of the speech that is given to Rick in the show.

But the Rick vs Negan showdown was much more of a head scratcher.

Eugene similarly aligns with his comic self, finally revealing himself to be #TeamRick. John, on the other hand, is a ideal foil for Morgan-not quite as intellectual, much more optimistic, and certainly more interested in becoming partners in crime than Morgan is. Garret Dillahunt, who plays the lonesome cowboy, was a brilliant casting choice: his comedic background, as seen on Raising Hope, allows him to balance out Morgan's dour outlook with some levity; on The Walking Dead, too often, Morgan got paired off with people who were just as negative as he was.

Earlier in the season, the show included a gauzy flash-forward sequence that depicted a bearded Rick and pointed toward a more harmonious future - one in which Negan, jarringly, still had a place. Rick has repeatedly pledged to kill the leader of the Saviors, and Negan's last words to Michonne were that he planned to return the favor.

After a season of "All Out War" on "The Walking Dead", the battle between Negan and Rick came to an end on Sunday night's big finale. This is the kind of emotional intra-community conflict that we haven't really seen since Shane, and which the show has been sorely lacking. Michonne too. So we're gonna bide our time, wait for our moment.

It's possible we may never even see Dwight again on the show, and the same could definitely be said about Morgan. Viewing of "The Walking Dead" has already fallen off pretty dramatically, a byproduct of age, the overall gravity of a saturated TV marketplace and yes, missteps that the program has made along the way. The move is clearly a step in the right direction, though. Are they changed people based on their experiences? Oceanside isn't an all-women community in the comics, and they don't participate in the fight against Negan. Have they developed more or less morals?

Jadis is another wildcard who's not in the comics.

Carl was also name-checked during Rick's hand-to-hand combat with Negan. He tells her to tell Henry that he's going to be okay.

And what happens to Negan?

Rick now seems committed to this new world and new vision. It's an uneasy partnership, and one that opens the door for Negan's redemption.

To think that the season started with the assault on the Sanctuary, where Negan and Father Gabriel ended up in that trailer, feels like a long and arduous time ago. Sound off in the comments!

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