The Walking Dead’s Sherry is stuck between a rock and a hard place

Frankie (Elyse Nicole DuFour), Tanya (Chloe Aktas) and Amber (Autumn Dial) in Episode 7Photo by Gene Page/AMC
Frankie (Elyse Nicole DuFour), Tanya (Chloe Aktas) and Amber (Autumn Dial) in Episode 7Photo by Gene Page/AMC /

The Walking Dead’s “Sing Me a Song” shows us the inner workings of the Sanctuary. Sherry demonstrates the fine line that everyone lives by under Negan’s rule.

The ugly truth about Sherry is that Negan is probably right about her, and she knows it. They have a tense and intense relationship. It’s tense because neither trusts the other, and it’s intense because there is a connection between them. What that connection consists of remains to be seen, but from a viewer’s perspective Sherry is really good at being Negan’s “wife.”

We know Sherry doesn’t want to be with Negan, and that parading her around is Negan’s way of controlling Dwight, but there’s also the sense that Sherry is hiding something about her relationship with Negan. Take their conversation after he spoke with Amber as an example:

Negan: Did you see that? I wasn’t hard on her, even though I am very hard in general

Sherry: You’re an asshole

Negan: I know. And the messed up thing is that you like me anyway. You know the truth, just like me.

They kiss, and she’s the one who reaches up to caress his cheek while he stops Dwight and Daryl, who have just entered the room. When he leaves, she immediately takes a drink. Later, she tells Dwight she doesn’t have trouble sleeping at night. Sherry is a complex character.

But what is that truth to which Negan refers?

Throughout history there have been some great wives behind great leaders. There have also been horrific leaders with women in their lives who don’t have much choice but to play along. Think of people like Joseph Stalin. How crazy would it be to be Mrs. Stalin? Crazy. Did Mrs. Stalin have a choice to be with Stalin, and did she approve of what he was doing? It’s hard to say but it’s more than likely that the only choice was to either go along with it, or die.

Sherry is in that same situation, only Negan recognizes that Sherry took his deal to protect Dwight. Negan is no fool. He doesn’t delude himself about love. He knows how she really feels about him, and he also knows that in some twisted way she has accepted her role and she plays it well. And then there’s that weird chemistry. Perhaps it’s the chemistry that he refers to as “the truth.”

Make no false pretense about it: None of Negan’s “wives” are there consensually. They’re there under duress and they pretend it’s consent in order to survive. However, he does seem to want them to want him, and he backs off when they say no, so perhaps the old “I have a headache” might work with him. It’s hard to say.

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One thing is for sure: Sherry is complicated. She has tried to help Daryl and she’s cool as a cucumber with Dwight when he wonders how she sleeps at night. Negan says he enjoys that she stands up to him, which suggests that she does it often. There also seems to be some chemistry between them; it’s weird but either she’s a really good actress or there’s something else going on.