The Walking Dead episode 814 - Zombie horde

The Walking Dead: Are we seeing Negan on a path to humanity?

Contributed by
Apr 1, 2018

SPOILERS AHEAD for The Walking Dead Season 8, Episode 14: "Still Gotta Mean Something," which aired on April 1, 2018.

Jadis returns to the Heaps with Negan in tow. Her instinct seems to be to beat him to death with his own bat, but she doesn't. He spends much of their (lengthy) time together insisting that he didn't know or sanction the murder of the trash people. It is interesting because this just furthers Negan's path to humanity. It seems like the producers are trying to take Negan down a different path than he went down in the comics, and I like that. It makes him seem more... human.

When Negan holds some of Jadis' photos hostage with a flare, he admits that his baseball bat is named for his wife, Lucille. "She got me through life," he admits. When his bat got him through the zombie apocalypse, he named it for her. Jadis never reveals what the photos are, but neither destroys the other's most prized possessions. But there is one very interesting facet of this scene: A helicopter flies overhead. Jadis tries to flag it with a flare, but it flies away, leaving Negan (and myself) speechless. What's more, it seems that this was pre-scheduled. Jadis had a timer that went off when it arrived. What the hell is going on with Jadis? I really want to know more about this. Instead, Negan leaves, and invites Jadis to come with him and start a new path. She declines.

The Walking Dead episode 814 - Morgan and Carol

Gene Page/AMC

As Negan drives back to the Sanctuary, he stops and picks someone up at the side of the road. We never see who it is, but my money is on Dwight. He rolls up to the Sanctuary and tells the guard at the gate to keep his return a secret. Methinks there will be a slaughter soon.

At the Hilltop, Ezekiel wants Carol to go out looking for Henry. She refuses, but a short time later, when Morgan comes to her, saying he is going to hunt down the escapees, she insists on coming. Separately, Rick decides to go hunt the escapees when he finds that sitting and playing with Judith is driving him crazy.

Morgan and Carol soon go their own ways. Carol believes that Henry is dead, and she just came to keep an eye on Morgan. Morgan believes he will find Henry alive, until they find Henry's stick stabbed non-lethally into a zombie. They have a "you saved me"-off, which drives me crazy, and eventually it seems that Carol thinks Henry might be alive, and Morgan wants to kill his zombie corpse.

Morgan stumbles across Rick in the woods, and Rick has to talk him down, remind him that he is Rick. Rick decides that they will work together to find and kill the escapees. On the road, they find an amputated arm and leg -- then they are knocked out. When they wake, they are captives of the escapees, held in an auto repair shop.

The Walking Dead episode 814

Gene Page/AMC

The escapees don't know what to do. Several of their group are injured and dying. Jared wants to kill the "dead weight" and deliver "Rick the Prick" to Negan. Rick and Morgan warn that a herd is on its way, and Rick tries to convince Jared that they can rejoin the Kingdom. Jared shuts that down and another escapee stops him from killing Morgan, fearing it will ruin their chance of taking back the Hilltop.

The herd descends on the garage, eating the injured first. Jared refuses to free Rick and Morgan, but another escapee does, and they all work together to kill the horde. When the zombies are mostly dead, Rick and Morgan turn and kill all the escapees -- even the one who literally saved Rick from becoming a zombie snack less than a minute earlier. It's like one step forward, two steps back with Rick and his humanity. When it is all over, Morgan, by way of explanation, says that "everybody turns." That is why he wanted them all dead; everyone turns into a monster in one way or another. Rick wants to know why Morgan saved him all those years ago. "You had your son. And my son was there." So according to Morgan, their sons kept them human. Does that mean that men without children are not human?

Back to Carol. It is night when she hears the screams, and finds Henry hiding from a few zombies who desperately want his sweet, sweet brains. She kills them and he collapses into her arms. Both are crying, both are sorry. "You can survive! I was wrong!" she admits. Finally, Carol has a win with a kid. She lost her daughter, then had to kill Lizzie when she killed Mika. So Henry is a win. They head back to the Hilltop, where they are greeted with joy and celebration. Later, Carol admits to Ezekiel that after she lost her daughter, she found a better version of herself, but "it always feels like it could be swept away again."

Rick and Morgan return to the Hilltop, and Morgan is pleased to see Henry and admits that he killed the man who killed Benjamin. Henry apologizes and Morgan tells him never to be sorry. Rick goes inside and finally, finally sits down to read his letter from Carl. We don't know what it says.

The Walking Dead episode 814 - Rick and Michonne

Gene Page/AMC

Also: Daryl still believes Dwight has turned against them, while Tara -- who was not made sick by Dwight's arrow, and therefore she believes he was trying to save her. Later, Daryl and Rosita go to the bullet-building outpost and decide to take out the people, not the machines.

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