Posted November 22, 2017 by David Ratcliffe in Comics

REVIEW: The Walking Dead S08E05- The Big Scary U

Episode: S08E05 – The Big Scary U

Air Date: November 19, 2017
Executive Producers: Frank Darabont, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Robert Kirkman, Charles H. Eglee, Glen Mazzara, Scott M. Gimple, Greg Nicotero, Tom Luse, Denise Huth

Developed by: Frank Darabont

Story by: Scott M. Gimple, David Leslie Johnson and Angela Kang

Teleplay by: David Leslie Johnson and Angela Kang

Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Lauren Cohan, Khary Payton, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Lennie James, Alanna Masterson, Xander Berkeley, Austin Amelio, Steven Ogg, Josh McDermitt, Tom Payne, Seth Gilliam, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira.


“People are resources…people are the foundation of what we are building here.” So speaks Negan to Gregory in a flashback as the attack starts on the sanctuary. Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Kudos. After all we have been through much hate for Negan still. Is he the best villain on TV at the moment? Perhaps.

In the present Negan and Father Gabriel are trapped in a trailer; remember? No? I’d forgotten too with all the different stories we follow on a week by week basis.


We stop all the fighting here and get to some of Negan’s background and the thinking through of the saviours that they have a rat who helped start Rick’s rebellion due to the course of events. Eugene has always been an observer and his scenes with Dwight are highlights.

Negan says he helped kids before everything. He said he does not need to confess anything yet he ends up offering an insight in to how he works and what made him the beast he is. Negan constantly asserts that he kills the right people in the wrongest ways, and to the point during his scenes with Gabriel affirms this, “I haven’t killed anyone that didn’t need it.” The Walking Dead does duologues well and it seems this episode could have benefited from the Daryl/Beth treatment of having us learn about Negan through his confession and not seeing anything else.

We learn that Negan had a wife who he was unfaithful too, that he sees the sanctuary as an economy with work paying for food and shelter; that they are not “slaves” like Father Gabriel thinks. Negan opens up about how he brought together the saviours under his leadership. Gabriel explains how he shut his congregation to death in his church when it started. After this Negan explains his first wife was the only true wife he had and he cheated on her. She was sick and he was weak. The tension of the scenes and the confessional style with Gabriel locked in the second room makes these scenes some of the best and humanise Negan for the first time.


“We work, you protect us that was the deal.” Simon taking charge with Negan presumed dead turns off the power to preserve resources causing the workers to demand to see Negan. After squabbling Negan’s overall power over everyone makes the workers kneel when they hear his whistling. Covered in entrails he and Gabriel are alive and he orders Gabriel be kept in a cell. Negan is a despot but he realises their has to be a reason for the attack happening the way it did and he still believes he saves people. Doing the things he does for his own perceived right reasons makes him a compelling villain.

Negan tries to charm Eugene by promising him a high reward if he can find the mole. Eugene has a dilemma as he knows it was Dwight because of the paint from the chess piece he touched earlier. The very same paint he sees on one of the weapons bags left by Rick. Eugene is torn due to his previous association with Rick’s group yet he can make his life easier by telling Negan, and let’s be honest, Eugene has always done things to make his life easier.

In the Rick and Daryl portion of the episode, which could have been saved for a different episode to increase the tension by focusing on Negan and Gabriel completely, but what does this humble watcher know? Daryl wants to use dynamite they find to finish the war. Rick disagrees rightfully thinking that such destruction might make the workers become fighters. Logical thinking. Their conflict comes to action as Rick and Daryl separate. Daryl wants to save their people where as Rick is on his crusade to help everyone.

The second best episode of the series. We head forward in to the unknown with lots of unanswered questions but in hope that the last two weeks can be a beacon of how good The Walking Dead, and hopefully series eight, can and will be.

Walking Dead airs weekly every Sunday on AMC.

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David has an undergraduate degree in Drama and first showed symptoms of a mind blown by cinema after watching The Godfather too many years ago to remember. He enjoys binge watching TV shows because that is the only way to watch them, right? The West Wing, The Sopranos and The Wire rank among his favourites of all time; the list could go on but changes the more he watches. Books, comics and games are also enjoyed in different moods. Finishing that novel is a life ambition.