9. “Sing Me A Song” (Co-writer with Corey Reed)
Season 7, episode 7
“Sing Me A Song” was one of the first episodes that went inside The Sanctuary. Like many of Angela Kang’s episodes, it combined some serious action with serious character development. In this episode, Carl snuck into The Sanctuary on a truck coming from The Hilltop. He killed two Saviors when he was discovered and almost killed Negan. But Negan, instead of being angry at Carl, was impressed by him.
He took Carl on a tour of The Sanctuary, which gave the audience a good look at what life was like inside. Carl was introduced to Negan’s harem of wives and the troubling issues of consent surrounding his marriages. And after finding out that one of his wives was “cheating” on him with her old boyfriend Negan punished the man by holding a hot iron to his face, burning half his face. It was the same punishment that Dwight received which resulted in the horrific scarring covering one side of his face.
Also in this episode, Negan demanded that Carl remove his bandage and show Negan his empty eye socket. He humiliates Carl, who stoically faces the entire ordeal but does end up telling Negan that he had to put his mom down. Despite the power imbalance between them, the two have a bonding moment.
At the end of the episode, Negan takes Carl back to Alexandria. Negan finds Judith and while he is sitting and waiting for Rick to return with scavenged goods he wonders out loud if he should kill Rick and the others and take Alexandria for himself.
This episode revealed a lot about Negan and his ruling style. It was the first time that audiences saw Negan actually show a nuanced personality instead of resorting to theatrics. It also was the episode where Sherry helped Daryl escape and where Tamiel follows Rick and Aaron back to Alexandria after they finally manage to get the supplies off the boat.