If this week’s episode of The Walking Dead had a different title, we would pick ‘Even Psychopaths Get The Blues’.
So it is with ‘Sing Me A Song’, which delves a bit deeper into the psyche of Negan. He hasn’t been able to put across his worldview in as succinct a manner as he would have probably liked to Rick or Daryl – he’s been too busy putting them in their place.
So it’s handy that Carl chooses this exact moment to arrive in the Saviors’ base, having put into action an ill thought-out plan to take out their leader. Instead of killing him on the spot, he takes him on an impromptu tour – one which readers of the comics will be very familiar with.
In other words, we see a few more shades of him. But as soon as the show looks like it may be uncovering a vaguely sympathetic side to him, we uncover more of his true nature.
He apologises to Carl – then presses a burning-hot iron to a man’s face. And that’s not even counting the private harem he keeps.
As entertaining as he is, Negan doesn’t quite get elevated to a different level, although it’s questionable whether the show – or us as viewers – really want this from him.
He’s essentially a run-of-the-mill sicko with a smile, but such is Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s brilliance, he is also the best thing about the show.
Unfortunately, not a lot else is providing much competition. We can buy into Michonne’s rampage of revenge, and we’re kind of intrigued to see where Paul goes, but Rosita and Eugene? Not too fussed. Spencer? Again, inconsequential.
Then again, Rick and Aaron’s discovery – an island of supplies guarded by a lake full of zombies – has us piqued. We suspect that we haven’t seen the last of it.
So what have we learned? That the Saviors consider themselves to be actual saviours of humanity, and that Negan is just as twisted as we first thought. Hardly revelatory, but then again, The Walking Dead has always been about the slow build. The difference is that here, there’s no real indication of what it’s building up to.