The Sanctuary is fractured and there are dissenters in the ranks. Negan is facing a war on two fronts, but which one is the bigger danger?
It might look like Negan has Rick on the run after destroying Alexandria, but the state of the union at the Sanctuary is not strong.
According to the AMC synopsis of The Walking Dead’s season 8B, things are not going well for Negan: “In addition to the war, Negan continues to deal with struggles within his ranks as workers, traitors, and others’ thirst for power cause conflict at the Sanctuary.”
Negan runs a pretty tight ship, in large part due to his reign of terror that keeps things running smoothly at the Sanctuary. He hinted to Gabriel that things would fall apart in his absence, and it sounds like the seeds of dissent have been sown even though Negan is back in charge.
When it comes to the workers, it’s clear that they respect their leader and know that he’s working to help protect them. But when Simon and Regina crossed the line and shot at them in “The Big Scary U,” their loyalty was tested. Sure, Negan says he will keep them safe, but what if he can’t? Can they hold out hope that they will always be safe? Honestly, no. So long as guys like Simon are around, none of the workers are safe and they know it. They need to make their own survival plans if they want to make it out of the war alive.
Eugene knows that Dwight was the traitor, but he didn’t say anything about it to Negan. Now Regina knows it, and she is heading back to the Sanctuary to let Negan know. That puts a huge target on Dwight’s back, and it also means he can’t go back to the Sanctuary.
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Once Negan discovers that Father Gabriel and Dr. Carson have escaped via a car that was conveniently left unguarded, Eugene will have a target upon his back, too. Can Negan trust him? I think so. I think Negan understands what makes Eugene tick, namely that Eugene is terrified and he wants to survive at all costs. Helping Father Gabriel and Dr. Carson were momentary lapses of conscience, but of all his lieutenants, Eugene is probably the most trustworthy.
The rest of the lieutenants, however, aren’t so trustworthy. Gavin is probably the least threatening – and most likely to walk away from the whole situation. Gavin doesn’t need any of this drama. Simon and Regina, on the other hand, are power-hungry. They know what the Saviors can do and they want to be in charge. All it took was for Negan to be away for a little while before they made a power play. With Negan distracted by the war, it might be possible for Simon or Regina to start a coup.
There is dissent in the Savior ranks, and Negan will have to work hard to keep things in order while simultaneously fending off Rick’s attack if he’s going to stay on top.
The Walking Dead returns February 25 at 9pm on AMC.