The problem with contempt in the world of The Walking Dead

Steven Ogg as Simon - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Steven Ogg as Simon - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

In the world of The Walking Dead, people need to stick together to survive. But when egos can’t be set aside, things start to fall apart quickly.

Contempt is always a bad thing, but it’s particularly bad in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Contempt usually leads to bad decisions. We have seen several examples of how contempt never ends well in the world of The Walking Dead and from the look of things, we’re fixing to see contempt raise its ugly head again between Negan and his right hand man Simon.

Early in The Walking Dead, we learned that Shane and Rick were best friends. Later, when Rick seemingly returned from the dead and reunited with his family, he became the group’s de facto leader, pushing Shane to the side. That didn’t sit well with Shane, who quickly started resenting Rick’s decisions. The one-time best friends soon became enemies, though Rick didn’t realize it until the very end. Shane’s contempt for Rick was so pervasive that he even set about trying to set up situations to make it look like Rick was wrong and he was right. In the end, though, Shane died because he couldn’t pull it together.

Later on, we saw Deanna’s son Spencer dealing with his rage after losing his family. Rick was a good target, and Spencer made it his mission to cause problems for Rick. He hid weapons in his house, which almost cost Olivia her life when the guns showed up as missing. Spencer tried to rally other Alexandrians against Rick, citing Rick’s faults and failures. Instead of working with Rick, he worked against him. Negan saw right through Spencer and gutted him like a fish without a second thought.

Now it’s Negan who faces a contempt problem. Of all of his lieutenants, Simon and Regina pose a threat to Negan’s way of life because they don’t seem to be all-in on the “I am Negan” plan. You can see the look of disrespect and contempt on Simon’s face after Negan appears after everyone thought him dead. Negan chastised him, and that didn’t sit well with Simon. Negan already has one defector among his lieutenants, and from the look of things Simon could be on the way to defecting soon enough. The only question is how things will end for Simon if he decides to go against Negan.

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Contempt is a funny thing. The person feeling contempt usually thinks he is right while believing that the person on the receiving end of the contempt is wrong. As we’ve seen, that doesn’t seem to work well in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and yet it still rears its ugly head. Can Simon resolve his issues and fall in line again, or will he try to make a power play? Only time will tell.