The nydailynews columnist Dan Gunderman published an article on the Five bold predictions for the next half of ‘The Walking Dead’ season 7
The sociopathic Negan and his sidekick Lucille return to the small screen this Sunday night in the midseason premiere of “The Walking Dead.”
WHILE THE CHARACTER BUILDING MOMENTS SURROUNDING NEGAN…
While the character-building moments surrounding Negan, portrayed by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, were mostly well-received in the opening eight episodes of Season 7, this first bloc lacked a certain cohesion fans are used to from the apocalyptic zombie show.
The big picture
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Episode 8, entitled “Hearts Still Beating,” teased an epic reunion of Rick’s trusty soldiers — Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Michonne (Danai Gurira), Maggie, Tara (Alanna Masterson), etc. It seems they’ll be forced to go head-to-head with Negan, the domineering Savior looking to impose his will on anyone and everyone.
Although Negan’s talents in the realm of psychological warfare are obvious, Rick and company will no longer be subjected to their role as subordinates. It’s not in their nature — not after what fans saw in Atlanta, on the road, at the prison and in Alexandria.
ITS OBVIOUS THAT THE SHOW IN ITS REVERENTIAL SEVENTH YEAR
It’s obvious that the show, in its reverential seventh year, will still need to push for more “global” answers — a cure or a final showdown, a last “exhale,” or perhaps described more aptly, the zombie version of the tussle at the OK Corral. Is Negan that answer? Probably not. But he is a formidable antagonist and, somehow, still likeable (at least comical).
Dwight will turn on Negan
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Negan’s reluctant soldier Dwight (Austin Amelio), who had escaped Negan’s clutches only to be returned to the Sanctuary and burned with a hot iron, has shown signs of “flipping.” It’s possible that he even let Daryl loose at the Sanctuary (though Sherry, played by Christine Evangelista, is also a prime candidate).
So, will he forget Negan forever and take up arms against his boss? There was a character-building episode with Dwight in 7A, which can only foreshadow more for the back half.
Gregory won’t go down without a fight
The Hilltop “ruler,” Gregory, is an odd fellow. Oblivious, and always donning a suit as he’s surrounded by carnage, Gregory is not the optimal, pragmatic leader you need a zombie apocalypse.
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Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan) has already accepted that, and already sniffed out Gregory’s weaknesses. She’s in a nice political position to elevate herself to “ruler” of the Hilltop, should the opportunity arise — or she makes it arise. But regardless, will Gregory sell them out to Negan somehow?
Negan’s future is bleak
If the comics have any say in the direction of the AMC program, it’s likely that at some point, Negan gets captured by the Alexandrians, and stowed away in a basement cell (maybe Morgan’s, which he built for the Wolves).
This outcome won’t be immediate, for Dean Morgan has reportedly signed on with “TWD” into the eighth season. It is something the showrunners will have to build toward, since they’ve exerted so much energy into propping this crazed character up.
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Also, Negan has a surprisingly large fan group (just look to Twitter for that one), so any death or harm that comes to Negan will have to reflect his standing within the show’s fan base; he can’t just quickly slip off into the apocalyptic ether.
A major character will die in 7B
Look, it’s “The Walking Dead,” no one is consistently safe. To sustain the level of suspense the show has realized for this long, another character is bound to turn to the flesh-eating side.
Who will this person be? Sure, let’s speculate. Will it be Maggie, who is hell-bent on justice for Glenn (no this isn’t Twitter’s “Stranger Things” rant, “#JusticeForBarb”). She’ll stop at nothing to see Negan answer for his violent acts.
Another possible candidate is Sasha Williams (Sonequa Martin-Green). The actress landed the leading role in CBS All Access’ “Star Trek: Discovery,” originally due out later in 2017. With a main role to consider, plus her time as a prominent supporting character on “The Walking Dead,” it begs the question: is she zombie food in 7B?
Some other realistic possibilities include Morgan, played by James, who’s also working on other TV and film projects (he’s even in the “Blade Runner” sequel). Morgan is a survivor, though, and will no doubt long for further existence in the zombie-plagued world. He’s also indecisive and a pacifist, which doesn’t bode well in this new world; but we’ll tolerate it since, well, he’s Morgan!
If you just look where the story rests, too, Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt), is not in an enviable position — snagged by Negan inside Alexandria. It’s always possible Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) finally succumbs to this harsh world; but let’s remember she’s already taken bullets and lived to tell the tale.