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Is Negan returning to his old ways on The Walking Dead?
In This Episode...
Negan has hooked up with Brandon, a kid whose parents were both Saviors, before they died in the war and Rick took all the survivors in to Alexandria. Brandon idolizes Negan in the worst way. He wants Negan to be like the Negan of the past, and treats Negan like Charles Manson or David Koresh: with blind devotion. However, Brandon would not die for Negan - he learned the very worst from Negan. When Negan is attacked by a zombie, Brandon is nowhere to be found - he is "getting ready" a gift for Negan: Lucille and his black leather jacket, stolen from storage at Alexandria.
Negan rushes to a bus when he hears a scream, and saves a woman and her son from zombies. Again, Brandon does not help. The woman and her son, Milo, go for a walk, and Brandon wants to know what they are going to do with them. In other words: kill them, or keep them and abuse them? Negan is offended at the idea. He tries gently to suggest that Brandon go back to Alexandria, but Brandon says no, so Negan is no longer gentle: he wants the kid to go away and never bother him again.
Brandon is offended but takes his leave. Negan sticks around and bonds with Milo while his mom packs and gets ready for them to move again. Negan goes to collect firewood for the night, and when he returns, he finds that Brandon has murdered mother and son, thinking this was a test from Negan. Enraged, Negan grabs a stone and beats Brandon to death. Now back in his Savior mode, Negan dons his jacket and throws Lucille over his shoulder, and goes off to kill zombies. He does so in the Whisperer's neighborhood, calling for them. Beta appears and grabs him. "Let's do this," Negan says.
Meanwhile, Kelly is out hunting alone and she is attacked by zombies. She doesn't die or get bitten (I'm still not sure how), but she is knocked unconscious, sending Connie, Magna, Daryl, and Dog looking for her. They find her - but they also find a huge stash of supplies that Magna has been stealing from Hilltop. They cover for Magna, who doesn't offer any excuse. Apparently she has done this before. Her attitude has become untenable to Yumiko (and, frankly, to me too), who makes her sleep elsewhere. This entire storyline went nowhere. I'm assuming Magna's heinous attitude, and why she has been planning to run will be addressed at some point, but wow, Magna is getting on my last nerve.
Elsewhere: Aaron finds Gamma in the forest with a bad cut on her hand. He attempts to befriend her by giving her bandages for her hand. She later reports back to Alpha, who seems to suggest that Gamma will go undercover to exploit his kindness. Also: Ezekiel is forced to reveal to Siddiq that he is suffering from thyroid cancer.
Brandon deserved to die.
He was such a dick. Not so much for trying to turn Negan evil; but for displaying his cowardice by not helping him fight zombies.
New Negan? Classic Negan?
It's hard to say. Negan seemed genuinely against the idea of becoming Savior Negan, but that could have also been because he didn't like the idea of being pigeon-holed by that little twerp. Killing Brandon could have awoken the need to kill, like an alcoholic taking his first sip of whiskey after five years of sobriety. He could just be adopting this persona in order to lure the Whisperers into a false sense of security. However, if you've read the comics, you should all know where this is going, and frankly, it makes for better TV.
Ezekiel's little tiger toy.
Before Henry died, while he was apprenticing at the metalworks, he made a small metal tiger figurine for Ezekiel. He wasn't able to give it to him before he died; but Ezekiel found it. He now keeps it on him to remind him of Henry and Shiva.