The Walking Dead: Viewers were finally able to feel some compassion for Negan

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan-The Walking Dead_Season 10, Episode 22-Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan-The Walking Dead_Season 10, Episode 22-Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC /

The Walking Dead has featured many characters for whom viewers can feel compassion. But, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) isn’t one of those characters. Fans are still holding grudges against him for Glenn and Abraham and all the other lives he destroyed along the way. During the season 10c episode “Here’s Negan,” fans finally felt something akin to compassion for him.

When the announcement was made that The Walking Dead would feature a Negan-centric episode and give a back story to the villain, fans were ready for it. The need to see some backstory on what this made this man into the barbed wire bat-wielding one featured in the series was great. There needed to be an explanation for his actions.

Morgan’s real wife, Hilarie Burton Morgan, was cast as his reel-wife Lucille, and again, fans couldn’t contain their excitement. To finally see this power couple on screen together was a dream come true for some.

The Walking Dead Negan and Lucille

The love story of Negan and Lucille that is told in “Here’s Negan” is more of a ‘we’re married, we have problems, how to deal with them” than a romantic story. Lucille is struggling to get Negan off his rear and get a new job after he is terminated from his position as a gym teacher because of a misdemeanor assault charge. You can understand her frustration when all he wants to do is play video games and spend money that he doesn’t have.

When she tells him of an MRI appointment for the next day, and he acts nonchalant about it, fans know where this story is going. It had been told before to Father Gabriel in season eight when Negan confesses his infidelity to his wife, who finds out she has cancer.

One thing we didn’t know is that the day she found out, he was with his mistress, who was also Lucille’s friend. This just added fuel to the fire of animosity people felt for Negan.

Then enters in the outbreak, and we see him care for her during her illness, hunting for medicine, learning how to kill walkers, and reading to her from Jane Austen novels; we start to see that he does love her. When he leaves to find more medicine and is captured, you can guess what will come next.

Fans knew the ending of this story, but nothing prepared us for how beautifully the story would unfold. Negan saw the words “please don’t leave me like this,” and the look on his face was horrible. Seeing Lucille tied in bed, plastic bag on her head, and already turned into one of the undead was such a heartbreaking scene. Then queue the music, “You Are So Beautiful To Me” by Joe Cocker, starts to play, and you forget who Negan is for a moment and experience his pain right along with him.

This scene finally humanizes Negan from the vile murderer to a man who just lost his love. A love that he dishonored and tried to make up for his past actions, but it was too little too late. Although the story is told in a confusing order of events, it still somehow works and is a captivating tale of the two characters.

Then by the end of the episode, we see him strut his way through Alexandria as he smirks in Maggie’s direction; then we know, Negan is back.

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We can only guess what will happen between Negan and Maggie during the final season, but showrunner Angela Kang has promised we do get the scene between these two that we deserve to see.

The Walking Dead will return to AMC with the final season of the series on August 22.