On Talking Dead this past Sunday, in reference to The Group’s ambush of Negan’s minions at The Saviors’ outpost, host Chris Hardwick asked an important question: Did they go too far?
It’s an honest question. For the first time since The Walking Dead started, we watched as The Group served as the aggressors, attacking an enemy first (Rather brutally, I might add), even killing them as they slept. This is, quite frankly, a fairly dark turn for The Group. Whenever anyone from Rick’s Group has taken to violence before it’s never been in a fashion quite like this before.
Now, obviously, Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham had that run-in with Bud and his entourage, but that’s not quite the same as The Group’s other encounters with hostiles, and in all the armed conflicts they had with all the aforementioned hostiles.
They were, in some way or another, ready for action…even if they weren’t necessarily expecting the action they got (A rocket to the face, for example).
In this case, it was a straight ambush, with The Saviors being largely unaware and unprepared for The Group’s arrival; they weren’t innocent civilians getting massacred by any means (We’ll get to their “innocence” later), but, they weren’t armed cannibals waiting to kidnap any poor sucker that stumbled upon them, either…and, of course, there was the whole “Killing them while they’re asleep” thing, which is rather tough to ignore, at least for Glenn and Heath, in any event.
I suppose this whole question hinges a lot on that set of kills in particular: Can you excuse Glenn and Heath killing guys while they slept?
I can’t imagine too many scenarios where killing someone who is defenseless and asleep is excusable. A firefight is one thing, or luring an attacking enemy into a trap, but…killing people in their sleep? That is where we, inexorably, come back to where we started: Did The Group go too far?
In a word…no.
Let’s just consider what we know about The Saviors so far for a minute (And, this is assuming that the majority of you reading this are not aware of their antics, and Negan’s in particular, in the comics), shall we?
They run a large group, they run a large extortion ring/protection racket, they have no interest in being peaceful with any other groups, they demand increasingly more supplies/resources from their victims until they have nothing else to give, they usually end up killing at least one member of a group at their first meeting/threat “Just to show they’re serious”, and their method of doing that killing is (At least from what Glenn saw) especially BRUTAL.
With The Group knowing all but that last part before they infiltrated The Saviors’ outpost, the question loses a little bit of steam, don’t you think?
To be honest, I can’t imagine anyone thinking that any other course of action was warranted against The Saviors other than the one we saw The Group take (And, I’m talking outside of the show, so, no, Morgan doesn’t count)!
Unlike some of The Wolves (Like Alpha, for example), I honestly don’t think The Saviors give a rat’s ass about anything. The Wolves, for as crazed and destructive as they were, at least they had a philosophy behind it, warped though it was.
The Saviors seem motivated entirely by greed, and the desire to control as much of Virginia as they can, in the most brutal, barbaric fashion available to them.
In my opinion, to take any other course of action other than a preemptive strike the way The Group did, would just be inviting an attack by The Saviors, and deprive them of the element of surprise.
Now, as to the whole “Killing guys while they sleep” thing. I’ve said before that I couldn’t imagine a scenario where that was excusable, right? Well, consider this that scenario.
We all saw the pinboard above the guys Glenn and Heath killed, didn’t we? You know, the one with all those ominous Polaroids of scrambled human skulls on it? That one?
…Yeah, I thought you did. Now, I know, Glenn didn’t see that until after he started killing them, but, that’s splitting hairs in this case: Glenn could have just as easily seen it beforehand.
The important thing here is that it showed us that, whether they were gruesome mementos for Negan’s henchmen, or something he threatened them into obedience with, they are either people who did that to others or did the bidding of someone else who did, either way, these were not the kind of people The Group would want to negotiate with if they could avoid it.
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that The Group could cross the line at some point, but, considering what we already know about The Saviors, without even having met Negan yet, I don’t think what The Group did to them did that.
The Saviors are greedy, barbaric thugs, who rule by intimidation, fear, and violence; they believe they’re entitled to demand half of everything any other group possesses and will kill anyone who says otherwise, and even people who don’t just for the sake of it! If there was ever a group of people that deserved what they got from Rick and company, The Saviors are it.
More from Negan
- The Walking Dead season 6 first appearance of Negan
- Does Negan die in The Walking Dead series?
- The Walking Dead: Dead City season 1 – Negan’s best lines
- The Walking Dead: Dead City callback to season 1 of The Walking Dead
- TWD Dead City will the Marshal & Negan conspire against The Croat?
So, that was my thoughts on whether The Group “Went too far” in their handling of The Saviors. Do you agree? Do you disagree? Let me know! And, if you like this and want to read more of my writings, specifically about how to survive a zombie apocalypse, why not pick up a copy of my book, The Rules: A Guide To Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse! You can get it on Kindle here and on iTunes here!