Spoilers for AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead‘ will be found below.
At the end of last season of The Walking Dead, Rick and Company ended the All Out War with Negan, but Rick — motivated by his dead son Carl’s vision of the future — decided to spare Negan’s life. The decision to do so has had major ramifications for the show this season, as Negan’s presence inside a jail cell has caused major problems. If Rick had killed Negan, the Oceansiders wouldn’t have killed off several members of the Saviors. Maggie wouldn’t have tried to kill Negan, which means that Rick wouldn’t have tried to stop her, which means that Daryl wouldn’t have tried to stop him, which is to say: Rick would still be on the show, and Maggie would still be running The Hilltop.
While madness nearly conquered Negan before the time jump, Negan’s head seems screwed on better after the time jump. He has a window, which he considers as good as television, as he collects outside gossip from inside his cell. He’s even been able to develop some relationships, like the friendly one he has with Judith Grimes. However, as we see in his interactions with Father Gabriel this week, deep down, Negan is still Negan. He does, briefly, show some concern for Gabriel after learning that Rosita had been injured, but that concern is fleeting. At the end of the episode, in fact, the gate to his jail cell is left open, and Negan gains an opportunity to escape.
The question is: Will he take it?