A botched kidnapping attempt on Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and a zombie mud wrestling match for Aaron (Ross Marquand) were the side dishes to the Sunday, April 8, episode of The Walking Dead — but the flesh-eating monsters were all but forgotten when the season’s big bad showed up to chew the scenery. Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) was the main event this week, rooting out dissension in the ranks at the Sanctuary and leaving one long-time supporting antagonist dead … or, uh, undead.
Before diving into Negan’s new enemies, the episode began and ended with a shout-out to Carl. Rick (Andrew Lincoln) finally read his letter from his late son (with a voice over by Chandler Riggs), which included him telling his dad about the memories he had about life before the apocalypse and reminding his father that life without war still existed. The episode ended with Michonne (Danai Gurira) reading Negan his letter over the walkie-talkie, since as she said, that’s what Carl would have wanted. In his letter, Carl told him it was time to start over, time for forgiveness and to believe it doesn’t have to be a fight anymore.
None of that really seemed to matter though, since Negan had spent the episode taking out the traitors. The first on his radar was Simon (Steven Ogg), who wasn’t about to abandon his play to usurp leadership of the Saviors just because the boss man was back. Assembling a secret cabal of dissenters, he hatched a plan to kill Negan and seize his power — only to be interrupted by the bat-wielding maniac himself, thanks to some savvy snitching by Dwight (Austin Amelio). Several gunshots and one hand-to-hand duel later, Simon had breathed his last.
But while Simon became the most magnificently mustachioed attack zombie to decorate the gate at the Sanctuary, Dwight wasn’t out of the woods. After taking advantage of the Simon/Negan showdown to dispatch Gregory (Xander Berkeley) back to the Hilltop with intel about Negan’s next move, Laura, the Savior who knew Dwight’s secret and had been missing since the showdown at Alexandria, turned up alive and full of information about his two-faced behavior.
The kicker: She had already informed Negan. He knew all along that his plan would be shared with the Grimes gang, and that hot tip Dwight sent to his allies was a load of horse-pucky, leaving the survivors in a precarious spot as we head into next week’s season finale. Will Rick take the bait and walk his crew right into a deadly trap?
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