Not getting enough of Negan in The Walking Dead yet? Well expect him to take centre stage in the fourth episode of series 7 which will run to 85 minutes instead of the usual 60 minute running time. Why the extension? Well the synopsis for this episode is: “The remaining members of the group try to keep it together in Alexandria; they receive a sobering visit.” Guess who that is going to be?
If AMC didn’t think they were getting their money’s worth out of Jeffrey Dean Morgan yet, then it’s time to really stretch that dollar now. Not satisfied with the entry Negan made in the series 6 cliff-hanger or the splattering of much beloved cast members that occurred in the opening episode of season 7, then this will likely be yet another chance to see just how much of a nasty fellow Negan can really be.
It will be his first time on Rick and crew’s home turf and Negan will be keen to make an impression on the other residents of Alexandria. Should we expect Lucille to get thirsty again? Don’t bet against it.
Readers of the Walking Dead comics will know that something very significant happens when Negan comes to Alexandria. More specifically, somebody does something very brave (or very stupid, depending on your perspective) when Negan is leaving Alexandria again. So while it might be a sobering visit for most of the characters, there is one who is still desperate to fight back against Negan and at least make a bit of a dent in his reign of terror.
What we are guaranteed to see in this 85 minute episode is the differing ways that the good guys are dealing with the deaths of those who Negan killed in the opening episode. Most notably, we should start to see how Rick has decided to respond to Negan, while Carl may still have very different ideas.
Andrew Lincoln has stated that Rick is completely shattered by Negan’s actions, but that not everyone in Alexandria will be feeling quite the same way. Speaking to EW, Lincoln says ‘this is a rocky road… This season is about rebuilding and about characters dealing with the trauma and grief of this brutal attack, but also this new regime that they are now a part of. And each react in their own individual ways.’
Meanwhile before we get to the extended fourth episode, we’re likely to be catching up with Daryl in episode 3. Norman Reedus says, ‘The weight of Glenn’s death is going to weigh on Daryl heavily, I know it does. He gives up, he loses the fight, he’s keeping to himself, whatever’s happening to him, he thinks he deserves it. He’s going to let it happen, which is crushing. To take somebody wild like that — a wild, pure, honest fighter like that — and just strip him of his desire to fight back or fight for anything, it’s crushing.’
But if Daryl has given up the fight for now, expect Maggie to step up over the course of this series. Lauren Cohan says ‘what Negan’s actions do to Maggie is light this crazy fuse. And we’ll see that burn pretty strong’. Whether that fuse will run out in the extended episode remains to be seen, but you can bet this series is going to get a lot more grim before it gets better.