The Walking Dead: Whose word can you trust, Rick or Negan’s?

Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Morgan Jones (Lennie James) in The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 14Photo by Gene Page/AMC
Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Morgan Jones (Lennie James) in The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 14Photo by Gene Page/AMC /

The latest episode of The Walking Dead, “Still Gotta Mean Something,” left some fans wondering how you can ever trust anyone after this point.

At long last the lines between good and evil have become blurred to the point that it’s really hard to distinguish where the line is to begin with, and this became even more noticeable after The Walking Dead episode “Still Gotta Mean Something.” Rick gave his word and went back on it almost immediately, while Negan gave his word and it really feels like he means it. Someone flipped the script between these two. What the heck is going on?

Rick is still mourning Carl’s loss, and he has no love for the Saviors even though some of them stayed behind to help close the gates at the Hilltop while their colleagues fled. When Alden asks Rick to spare the others, citing their own confusion amid the chaos, Rick makes no promises. This is foreshadowing, of course, because as soon as Rick finds the escaped Saviors again he promises that they can return to the Hilltop and be safe. All will be forgiven. Rick even notes that giving his word still has to mean something, in a nod to the episode’s title. Some of them clearly consider this offer and they fight alongside Rick and Morgan in the attack.

And then Rick kills them.

As soon as Rick starts killing them, Morgan follows suit and pretty soon they’re all dead. They were fighting with Rick and Morgan, thinking that they would have a second chance at the Hilltop rather than return to the Sanctuary, and then they are slaughtered.

At this point Rick’s word means next to nothing. How can he be trusted when he says one thing and does another?

This brings us to Negan. Negan is a cold-blooded killer, no question, but oddly enough he has always been a man of his word. It’s easy to dislike the guy, but it’s hard to deny that he isn’t a liar. It’s his stone-cold truthfulness that makes him so dangerous. He literally lays it all out for you: Break the rules and pay the price. It’s on you, not him, when you mess up.

When Negan realized what happened to the Scavengers, he was repentant. He wasn’t responsible, per se, but he owned up to it and promised to make it right by Jadis. I, for one, believed him. He hated what Simon did, and he offered to take Jadis back with him so that they can take charge.

Now we have quite the quandary: Rick goes back on his word, and Negan keeps his. Rick kills people who are trying to do the right thing. Negan only kills people when the situation demands it. Rick is erratic. Negan is focused.

Whose word means more? There’s blood on both sides now. Lots of blood. In Rick’s case, the blood is flowing more and more while Negan is trying to stem it off. We’ve done a weird reversal in personalities and it’s hard to tell who to cheer for at this point.

Next: The Walking Dead 814 recap: Still Gotta Mean Something

Will Carl’s letter bring Rick back to his senses, or will the rampage continue? And will Negan reclaim order in the Sanctuary, or is the damage done? Can you trust either of these men? With only two episodes left it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.