The seventh episode of the seventh season of The Walking Dead, ” Sing Me a Song,” features an awkward situation between Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). The episode initially aired on December 4, 2016, and was written by future showrunner Angela Kang and TWD veteran Corey Reed, and the talented Rosemary Rodriguez directed it.
Carl infiltrates the Sanctuary with the intention of killing Negan. When he points the gun at Negan, he replies, “You are adorable,” and tells him you scare the sh*t out of me. Carl kills two of Negan’s Saviors before he is tackled by Dwight (Austin Amelio), as Daryl (Norman Reedus), a captive of Negan’s, watches helplessly, unable to protect Carl.
Negan gives Carl a tour of the Sanctuary, takes him to the room where his “harem” resides, and deals with one of his wives for misbehaving. Then they arrive at Negan’s apartment, where he forces Carl to remove his eye patch, revealing his missing eye. In true Negan style, he mocks and teases him about the injury, and Carl cries in humiliation.
This is a turning point in their relationship as Negan apologizes, telling him he forgot he was a kid. Despite Negan’s flaws, he has always had a soft spot for children, which, as a former gym teacher, doesn’t come as a surprise. But this episode shows Negan a new side to Carl, and he shows a bit of respect for this child who had to shoot his mom and lose his eye. While he does appreciate Carl’s bravery, he doesn’t allow him to forget his place and the fact that he is alive because Negan has allowed him to be.
Negan believes he deserves something in return for the loss of his Saviors. After forcing Carl to reveal his eye injury and making “Negan-esque” comments forces the boy to sing to him.
The Walking Dead – Carl Grimes
This episode features an in-depth look at life at the Sanctuary. Carl witnesses a man getting his face melted for misbehavior; an act Dwight was also a victim of, and other goings on with the Savior’s compound.
Carl and Negan’s relationship was complicated, as Negan truly liked the kid but often put Carl in situations to toy with Rick. He once said, “Never kill a kid,” yet he was set to do that to Carl later in season 7.
Carl believed Negan could be redeemed, and one of Carl’s dreams for the future is what stayed Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) hand in killing Negan when he had the chance. Negan mourned the loss of Carl deeply.
Fun bit of trivia regarding this episode, director and SFX master Greg Nicotero portrays one of the walkers at the front of the Sanctuary. This is also the episode in which Olvia (Ann Mahoney) delivers the smack heard ’round the fandom to Negan for his inappropriate comments.