Even if it weren’t my job to follow The Walking Dead, I would continue to watch it. Into the seventh season now, I am devoted to these characters, I am invested in the universe, and I believe that hopeful, funny episodes like last week’s Ezekiel-centered one outweigh the bad on this show.
With that said, as someone who is a huge defender of this series, this week’s episode was, in my opinion, too much. The violence I can stomach, the zombie kills I relish, but when it comes to the way that this series psychologically breaks down characters, it is hard to watch and almost impossible to enjoy.
I don’t want to admit it so soon, especially after he’s only had three episodes with which to play, but Negan is a problem for The Walking Dead, and a problem in a way he wasn’t for the graphic novels. In the Robert Kirkman’s source material, Negan is sinister and brutal, but in the way he speaks, he also brings some comic relief with him. While he’s certainly the worst villain of the The Walking Dead’s comic run, he is also a villain we were excited to see, like for instance Mags Bennett in Justified.