The Walking Dead: Why Fat Joey was perfect choice by writers

Fat Joey (Joshua Hoover) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in Episode 7Photo by Gene Page/AMC
Fat Joey (Joshua Hoover) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in Episode 7Photo by Gene Page/AMC /

The Walking Dead made the perfect choice with Savior Fat Joey in every way possible to make the points that needed to be made for the story.

As can often happen on The Walking Dead, we can have a strong emotional connection to a character in a very short amount of time. We are capricious and we can change our minds, but we are rarely indifferent about characters when we meet them in our zombie world.

We decide pretty quickly if we like, want to like, like but don’t trust, hate, really hate, distrust, suspect someone. Even when we hold our judgment, we know what we want the outcome to be. We know if we want to like someone, but we’re afraid it’s going to be a mistake.

Fat Joey was instantly in the like category. But he was a Savior. So we knew it was going to be complicated. He was a Savior. He was a Savior that Negan trusted, but mistreated. We felt bad for Joey. He was a mini-Dwight. That was another strike against him in the story, but a plus for him in our book.

We loved him even more because Negan was mean to him. We knew Joey was just trying to survive. He was doing what he could to work for protection and food to make his way in this crazy new world. If that meant taking a little humiliation and putting on some thick fake respect for Negan, it was a small price to pay for safety from the walkers and some good food.

We loved him enough to secretly hope that he might leave Negan and join our group. He didn’t seem to find joy or pleasure in punishing and torturing people. He didn’t seem happy about Carl being humiliated by Negan. He seemed aligned with Carl in a way.

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But that is why Fat Joey had to go. If Daryl had taken out a mean Savior, it wouldn’t have had the same effect on the story. Daryl was fooled by Dwight in the woods. He helped Dwight and Sherry. He even understood why they returned when he met them again at the Sanctuary. He told Dwight he got it. He talked to Sherry.

But he also knew that Negan is in charge. He saw what he, himself, had to do in order to stay alive while at the Sanctuary. Trusting Dwight and Sherry in the woods led to Denise’s death and to Daryl not trusting his own judgment with these Saviors. They might just be trying to survive, but under Negan that means they are a threat. They are a threat even if they don’t want to be or mean to be.

They are the new walkers. Walkers don’t want to be a threat. They don’t mean to be trouble. But they are. They are big trouble and even though a walker or a Savior may look like a human and look like it has humanity in it, It has more inhumanity and it must be stopped.

Next: Why Negan killed who he did in the midseason finale

Just the way it is more difficult to watch a walker kill of a loved one who has turned. It was more difficult for us to see Daryl kill Fat Joey than a Savior we don’t know or a Savior who was attacking him. But it still had to be done. And just the way Daryl was able to kill Dale. He was able to kill Joey. Sorry, brother.