By Carolina Gallardo (@carolgallardo)
This episode primarily centers on the dialogue between Father Gabriel and Negan, as they are trapped in what appears to be a General Construction trailer right outside The Sanctuary walls. This is due to the swarm of walkers that has descended onto the Sanctuary after Rick and Team's offensive attack at the onset of the season. Negan immediately disarms Father Gabriel (not like he was a serious threat, come on) and they then choose to wait it out until the Saviors manage save them (Negan thinks). As they wait longer and longer, the trailer becomes a sort of "confessional" for Negan who decides to confess his deepest regrets to Father Gabriel, when it starts to look as if they may not make it out of this situation alive. He doesn't regret any of the people he's killed but rather who he COULDN'T kill: His sick wife. Apparently, before the Apocalypse, Negan was a married man, though admittedly a philandering husband, who was running around on his terminally ill wife. Upon her hospital death, he could not bring himself to fully put her out of his misery, since at that point, she turned, as everyone else at that point when they passed away. Instead he ran and left her in the hospital.
This is his only true regret, and we see the emotion resonate on his face and he explains all this to Father Gabriel through the barrier of a door within the trailer. Upon his confession, Father Gabriel opens the door and the two plot their escape from the trailer and make their way back into The Sanctuary (after, you know, Negan punches Father Gabriel in the face).
This background information coincides with Negan's history that is illustrated in the comic, albeit in a different format.
Oh and by the way, Negan's wife's name was Lucille. It all makes sense now right?
Perhaps the biggest DEPARTURE from the comic source material is the TV interpretation of Eugene versus the comic version of Eugene. On the show, Eugene is a spineless coward with moments of bravery but by far, most of us can agree that he is the weakest link. In the comic however, Eugene is DEFIANT in Negan's presence, even as his prisoner. While I have a feeling that we likely see more moments of bravery from Eugene, he will likely never mimic the courage that his comic counterpart exhibits.
This episode however was very much all about Negan (he is after all, "The Big Scary U") and, as already stated, started to lay the very important groundwork for humanizing his character and making a case for how he and Rick are perhaps not THAT far off in their intentions. My thought is that we will continue to see more of this development in the second half of the season, especially in light of Carl's imminent death and the effect that will have on his conscience.
NEXT TIME: CAROL'S COMIC CORNER COVERS EPISODE 806 (THE KING, THE WIDOW & RICK) + EPISODE 807 (TIME FOR AFTER)