The Walking Dead season 8, episode 12 preview: The Key

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

On the next Walking Dead episode, Negan and the Saviors are all about driving fear back into the hearts of Rick Grimes and gang.

The latest Walking Dead shifts back to Dwight’s vantage point with the Saviors. He’s chased away as an asset by Tara, giving him no choice. Dwight is under the impression no one’s found out about his dealings with the other side as of yet, maybe ever. It could be in his best interest to just cut his losses and rejoin the Saviors. His wife Sherry isn’t coming back and even if she did, it seems she was keen on Daryl (letting him escape). Why sacrifice his life for a cause that routinely looks down on him? A cause that makes mention of his looming death at their hands at every corner.

Dwighty D is better off with the Saviors in every angle except the Negan one. A cushier lifestyle, vastly more resources, and actual respect not disdain. His issue is Negan, rather than the Saviors. What Negan did to him, branding his face and stealing his wife is unforgivable.

Tara left her group to join another but Dwight can’t?

Tara kept talking all last episode about how Dwight can’t be trusted, that there’s no second chances. That he can’t just drop his group and join theirs… Except, that’s exactly what she did post-Governor and Rick’s group accepted her with open arms. Tara instantly made you cheer on Dwight’s survival in one swoop. By the end of their chase, you were hoping Dwight would somehow evade her. It was actually relief when he used the Saviors to save himself on the last Walking Dead.

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“The Key” – Simon and Dwight chat

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Rick, ‘The Widow’, and ‘The King’ obviously don’t scare easy… Which makes Simon’s original idea of full retaliation/scorched earth, not deals, all the more plausible. Negan remains steadfast in his belief of saving people, that a little nudge in the right direction (one down) will bring them back in order and civilization.

However, clearly Rick has thrown a wrench in the whole blueprint. There’s not a chance in the world Rick will kneel now that Carl is gone. This ends in only one way… One or the other side losing the war. Notice that Simon respects Dwight’s opinion and hints at Negan’s plan being flawed. Yet, he makes it clear he ‘believes’ Negan knows exactly what he’s doing. No one wants to risk a branding or a Lucille meeting. Negan has the people’s full respect after all.

Regardless of the Saviors’ methods, we’ve seen their community relax only after he was found to have survived. They weren’t fond of Simon’s ways in the brief period where he assumed control. A leader can only be as effective as his numbers allow him to be, and Negan’s got the numbers.

Negan’s Plan

On the last Walking Dead episode, we saw Eugene inspiring Negan to fight dirty. Meaning, use the walker virus to their advantage by utilizing zombie innards and guts on their weapons to infect dissenters. It’s an unexpected, crafty move and in Negan’s own words, “It just requires a simple touch with your weapon.” Of course, the move could backfire easily with Savior lieutenants getting infected if someone like Morgan were to reverse an attack lunge.

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We see Negan continuing to get into Rick’s head in the trailer for this Sunday’s Walking Dead episode. Negan’s soul-destroying statement, “You failed your boy! You failed your people!” will undoubtedly eat away at Rick Grimes. Win or lose.