The much anticipated finale of season 10 C aired this week and it delivered. Fans of the show have waited years to see the comic storyline of ‘Here’s Negan’ on screen and the show delivered it excellently and was able to tie it into the current storyline of season 10.
The episode starts as Carol walks with Negan out of Alexandria to Leah’s cabin where she reveals the council voted to banish him after everything with the whisperers and Maggie’s return. Feeling emotionally battered and bruised as he reflects on the man he used to be both pre-outbreak and post-outbreak he hallucinates his former self sitting in a chair next to him taunting him saying he’s nothing without his bat Lucille. Knowing he’s been banished he thinks back to the day Rick slit his throat and arrives back at the scene where he finds an old and aged Lucille buried in the grass. A flashback then starts that shows Negan 12 years prior at the start of the outbreak and then to seven months before the outbreak.
Negan is a completely different man he’s a bum and a scared loser that can barely handle walkers. The flashbacks reveal like in the comics Negan was a PE teacher and did cheat on his wife Lucille that was until she was diagnosed with cancer. The outbreak begins while she is receiving treatment and Negan trains himself to give her chemotherapy and tracks down a unit of mobile doctors that have the drugs and treatments he needs.
Lucille is shown for the first time in the series in this episode as both a human and a bat. Lucille is a sturdy women that takes no nonsense and saves Negan from a walker he struggles to kill with their last bullet while connected to her chemo machine while also showing heart and is humorous.
Negan is a devoted and caring husband to Lucille during the outbreak and gets himself kidnapped and almost killed trying to secure the drugs she needs. In touching scenes you see Negan make her smile by reading to her, playing with her various wigs with her, singing to her, playing darts with her and showing genuine remorse for his previous sins. Lucille begs Negan to stop travelling as far and to stop searching for her treatments as she grows weaker in front of him. Negan repeatedly avoids killing walkers saying that he does so as he doesn’t want to get used to killing, he knows within him at this point he has a violent streak as he reveals that he battered a man to a pulp pre-outbreak and almost didn’t stop.
It’s only upon his return to his wife after being on the road looking for her treatments for six weeks that he discovers she had taken her own life the night he left her as he discovers a note she wrote on their bedroom door begging Negan to put her down after she turns. It destroys him and and he burns their house down as their favourite song plays in a scene that is as heartbreaking and devastating as when Daryl had to put down Merle in season three if not more gut wrenching. He leaves on his bike to get revenge on his kidnappers who had imprisoned the doctor that helped him and the doctor’s daughter Laura ( as in Laura the Saviour seen during all out war) with the bat Laura gave him in an earlier scene. As the house burns he bursts the door down with Lucille in her full barbed wire glory in a scene that can only be described as bad ass. Lucille’s death was Lucille’s and Negan’s birth.
It’s during these revenge scenes where the Negan fans know best is born as he says that before when he was angry he couldn’t inflict the damage he wanted to as there was consequences whereas in the apocalypse he won’t be put in jail, he won’t be sued whereas now he is able to embrace this side and see what he is capable of.
The episode ends as you see Negan kill a walker with Lucille and the bat shatters into pieces as does the rest of his spirit. He takes it back to Leah’s cabin wraps it in cloth says his goodbyes and burns it the same way Lucille was laid to rest by him as he says his goodbyes to his wife and the man he used to be. He then walks back into Alexandria to see Maggie give him a look that says ‘I’ll kill you’ to which he responds with a smile. He told the bat as it burned he would do Lucille’s fighting for her, it’s unknown if it’ll be the old violent Negan that returns or the soft soul Lucille seen him as.
This episode has became an instant fan favourite and has even been ranked as the fourth highest rating episode of the full series according to The Walking Dead’s official Twitter account. The episode was a mixture of moving, sadness and joy as viewers are able to see every layer there is to Negan and what caused him to become the infamous villain he is today. In an emotional rollercoaster of an episode that keeps you on the edge of your seat as every twist and turn is explored it makes you realise Negan is who he is today because of both Lucilles, the bat and his wife.
Overall rating 10/10