Season eight of The Walking Dead ended with the Rick’s capture of Negan, as well as Maggie’s plot to potentially take down Rick over his refusal to kill Negan.
However, just because Negan has been neutralized for the time being doesn’t mean that he’s no longer a threat. With Lauren Cohan exiting the show (at least temporarily), Morgan on Fear, and Rick Grimes leaving the show permanently, the show will lose three of its biggest leaders, opening up a vacuum in that department. Meanwhile, the various camps — Alexandria, The Hilltop, the Kingdom, the Saviors, and Oceanside — appear to be at loggerheads with no iron fist up top to provide discipline.
With the threat of The Whisperers on the horizon, Negan’s brutal methods — and his ability to unite his own people through fear — may actually become necessary to the survival of everyone else. In other words, Negan is going to continue playing a central role in the series, and as Negan threatens in the latest teaser, Rick “is not saving the world. [He’s] just getting it ready for me.”