(Warning: Spoilers about this week’s The Walking Dead episode will definitely be found below.)
We have seen a lot of strange things on The Walking Dead over the last 10 seasons. We’ve seen tiger attacks. We’ve seen the use of wire tie between two cars to decapitate zombies en masse. We’ve seen a woman kill herself so that her zombified form could kill an enemy. We’ve seen cannibals eat a man’s leg in front of him. We’ve seen a man kill his best friend. We’ve even seen a boy eat a gallon of chocolate pudding.
But what happened in this week’s The Walking Dead is a first, not just for the zombie series but for, like, humanity. And now we understand why this week’s episode needed a rare sexual content rating.
The bulk of this week’s episode concerned Daryl and Company’s efforts to escape the cave — and we’ll cover that fully in the episode recap — but the B-story concerned Negan and Alpha. There’s a mole (Gamma) among the Whisperers, and Negan knows exactly who it is. In the midseason premiere, Negan sold the mole out to Alpha, and in return, Alpha led Negan out into a secluded area in the woods. Alpha insisted that Negan face forward during the entire walk, and Negan assumed that his days were numbered. It was one of the rare moments in Negan’s time on the show where he actually looked legitimately frightened.
When Alpha asked Negan to remove his clothes, Negan actually seemed resigned to his death, and delivered what started to feel like his final words. “I made something. My name meant something.” And then Alpha asked him to turn around.
“You’re a crass man,” Alpha said, standing before him completely naked, save for a skin mask. “I reckoned you might appreciate a crass reward.”
Alpha propositioned Negan. And Negan accepted. “Are you just going to leave that mask on?” Negan asks.
“Does my true skin disturb you?” Alpha asks.
“Not at all. Weirdly the opposite,” Negan says to her.
Welcome back, The Walking Dead.