First off, let me say that this episode was awesome! And it was the highest rated episode in years, at that. JDM and his wife, Hilarie Burton did a great job as the onscreen couple of Negan and Lucille Smith.
But why did Negan remind me of Nicholas Cage during the entire episode? 😂 His expressions and mannerisms were very similar. But that’s besides the point….
At first glance, Negan was a total scrub before the apocalypse started. He lost his job because of a violent bar fight, and he wasn’t looking for another job. Plus he spent almost $700 on that snazzy leather jacket he wears. He played Fortnite with kids on Xbox, and worst of all, he cheated on his wife with her sister!!!! If I were Lucille, I probably would have shot him.
Negan also seemed very sensitive, and he cried a lot. This was in striking contrast to the character we know as Negan. This was a guy who was totally screwing his life up, and was way old enough to know better. But after learning his wife had cancer , he straightened up, broke the affair off with Lucille’s sister, Janine, and became the supportive husband Lucille needed. He even made her gourmet dog food for dinner! Ha ha, now we know why Negan was so excited to get into Rick’s kitchen!
The director of this episode was Laura Belsey, who I admittedly don’t know anything about. But I found it very interesting that she mirrored the final scene from Season 6 so effectively. In calling back to what we consider is our intro to Negan in Season 6, we are shown Negan’s true introduction, when he was actually born… of anger and despair and immeasurable grief.
I would have appreciated Belsey appearing on Talking Dead , so that she could discuss the parallels between the two episodes, from the music and sound effects down to the lighting. (And yes my daughter picked up on it first, before I did!)