Negan and Gamma have both done really bad things in their time on The Walking Dead. Did their heroics in “Walk With Us” see them earn redemption?
In an action-packed episode that will go down in The Walking Dead history books as one of the best ever, both Negan and Gamma had moments where they attempted to right some of their past wrongdoings. Did they do enough to be redeemed in the eyes of both fans and characters alike?
Gamma, better known as Mary to the survivors, has quite a troubled past. In an attempt to show her loyalty to the Whisperer cause, Gamma killed her sister after she attacked Alpha. This quickly led her to rise up the ranks of the Whisperers, earning her the title of Gamma. However, after talking with Aaron and realizing that her baby nephew, Adam, was living a happy life at Hilltop, Gamma quickly became disillusioned with the Whisperer way of life. When she discovered that Alpha was lying about killing Lydia, Gamma was officially done with the mask-wearing villains and defected to the communities.
In “Walk With Us”, Mary continued to prove to the survivors that she was on their side, as she fought in the Battle of Hilltop. After Hilltop fell, Mary found herself alongside Alden, Kelly, and Adam on the road. When a group of walkers, likely attracted by Adam’s crying, closed in on them, Mary allowed Alden, Kelly, and Adam to hide in a van while she drew the walkers away from them. She eventually took down all the walkers before being brutally murdered by Beta. While her death was unexpected, Mary died protecting the same people that she was at war against earlier in the season – a sign of growth and redemption.
Mary’s sacrifice to save her nephew proves that, in the end, she did the right thing for her family. She may never have been able to fully reconcile for what she did to her sister, but at least she was able to, in some way, make up for it by protecting her nephew.
Negan, on the other hand, is a much more complicated case. Both fans and characters alike have a lot of hatred for the former leader of the Saviors after he killed Glenn and Abraham and led a war against the communities. The fact that he started season 10 still locked up in the Alexandria prison cell over six years after All Out War shows just how disliked Negan is by the survivors.
So, when he kills Alpha and delivers her head to Carol, is that enough to change people’s opinions about him?
Taking out the leader of the Whisperers should go a long way in earning trust among the communities. Like many fans, most of the characters won’t ever forget what Negan did to the people they care about. However, if Negan can continue to show that he is on their side and will risk his life for them, then perhaps he can eventually become accepted among the survivors. He has already saved Judith and Lydia from harm prior to killing Alpha, so he clearly is on the right path in terms of being redeemed.
Negan even managed to show that he really did learn from Rick and Carl’s actions during All Out War. While he is leading Alpha to the cabin where she ultimately meets her demise, he has a conversation with her in which he is essentially giving her one last chance. If she acknowledged that her view on the new world is flawed, then perhaps Negan would have spared her in an attempt to avoid more bloodshed. Just like Rick and Carl fought for, Negan gave the enemy a chance to acknowledge their wrongdoings and atone for their mistakes. When Alpha refused, Negan did what he was sent to do, beheading Alpha for Carol.
No matter the story, redemption is always a complicated topic that will be sure to divide opinions. We will have to watch how the rest of season 10 plays out to see if Negan truly has turned a corner like it appears he may have.
What are your thoughts on Negan and Mary? Did they redeem themselves in your eyes? Let us know by leaving a comment or tweeting @labrosse_joe!