The Walking Dead: Gavin’s expression and the shot across the bow

Jayson Warner Smith as Gavin - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 14 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Jayson Warner Smith as Gavin - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 14 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

There was a moment on The Walking Dead “Bury Me Here” when Savior Gavin’s expression was something more than shock. What does it mean?

As soon as Jared pulled the trigger and shot Benjamin instead of Richard, Gavin knew there was a problem. His expression was one of shock because he didn’t expect Jared to shoot the young man, and there was also a little fear there. Did he know that this shot across the bow could lead to bigger problems?

It was Richard’s plan all along to get Ezekiel to fight the Saviors, but he was missing the spark to ignite the flame. When desperation sank in, Richard was willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good, but all along Richard’s fatal flaw has always been not thinking far enough into the future. If you know the Saviors at all, you know they’re unpredictable. It should be no surprise that they wouldn’t kill the guy asking to be killed. What’s the lesson in that? Shooting Benjamin would send a huge message, which is presumably why Jared made that call.

When the shot was fired, however, Gavin didn’t look happy. He wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible.

I see two possibilities here. 1) Gavin was was worried about Negan’s reaction should he find out that a kid died on his watch, and 2) Gavin knows that this might have caused some bigger problems for him, and the Saviors.

Negan Seems To Like Kids

I’ve long suspected that Negan has a thing about kids. We saw his gleeful reaction to finding Baby Judith in her bed, and we saw how he treated Carl with respect when he didn’t have to. Carl killed Saviors within the walls of the Sanctuary, and Negan didn’t kill him. Judith still had a mattress when everyone else’s mattresses in Alexandria had been stolen and burned. This suggests that Negan doesn’t mess with kids. (I don’t think Negan really expected Rick to cut Carl’s arm off)

The other issue here is the matter of Negan’s right hand men who preside over the satellite stations in the area. We’ve seen how Simon runs things. We still don’t know who was in charge of the place the women in Oceanside came from, and whether or not Negan was aware of the slaughter of the men and boys. Was that a sanctioned act, or was the person in charge doing what Jared did and making a judgement call?

We don’t know if Negan ever heard about what happened to the men and boys who were killed. We don’t know if he gave his men carte blanche, or whether his men are starting to take liberties. Jared took a liberty in shooting Benjamin, and Gavin knows that this kind of dissent is a problem.

Shot Across The Bow

Gavin’s reaction to the news that Benjamin died reminded me of the sinking of the Lusitania.

World War I was already raging in Europe, but it was the sinking of an ocean liner by German U-boats, and the deaths of over a thousand innocent people, that prompted people to see that the Germans had to be stopped at all costs. It was the spark America needed to join the fight against Germany.

Was Benjamin’s death the spark the Kingdom needed to fight the Saviors? Richard’s hostility toward the Saviors was not a secret, and while killing him would have been sad, it likely wouldn’t have had the same impact because he was constantly antagonizing the Saviors. His death would have been a cause and effect matter, which could have been enough to prompt Ezekiel to act. Benjamin’s death, however, was a whole other matter entirely.

Gavin’s expression, then, might signal a fear that the deal between the Saviors and the Kingdom is about to end, and who knows what that will mean.

More from Undead Walking

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