The Walking Dead had a really rough year the year that Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) was introduced. The Walking Dead was plagued with ridiculous teases and fakeouts. That was the year of Glenn and the dumpster for those who are wondering. It was also that same year that they tried to trick us into thinking that Darryl was dead. It just wasn’t a very smart decision, in my opinion. We spent a whole season where, let’s face it, not much happened and then the biggest insult of all was that there was no payoff. Negan’s introduction was legendary but the final scenes were not.
At this point in the show, Rick and his group were the alpha dogs. They’d been through some serious shit and had prevailed every time. They had no reason to suspect that the saviors would be more dangerous than the previous groups. Rick got cocky, and he was overconfident in his people. They started that war with the saviors. Rick and his group snuck into a savior compound and killed them while they slept. I hate to say this but Rick and his group were not the heroes that season. They were the villains and they started a war they weren’t possibly prepared for. Watching the saviors corral them to that spot in the woods was terrifying. He scared Rick more than anyone else had at that point.
He knelt the characters we loved in a line and promised to kill one of them. And he did. We just didn’t get to see it right away, and that was the problem. Because Jeffrey Dean Morgan did an amazing job bringing Negan to life. He was the perfect Negan, absolutely perfect. He became the character we loved to hate, and he killed some fan-favorite characters too. Everyone blames Negan for the beginning of the rating decline but I don’t think that’s accurate. I think that Negan’s introduction was legendary. It almost perfectly recaptured the scene from the comics. Negan was the villain The Walking Dead needed at the time. He just got bogged down in the ridiculous cliffhangers the show was trying to push.
The Walking Dead is returning this august for season 11, its final season, on AMC.