Negan is in charge.
Or more precisely, how Dwight has fallen in line and Daryl refuses to get on board.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan was electrifying in his scenes, and he continues to make Negan such a charming yet terrifying new villain for the series.
Even when Negan is doing something “nice,” there’s always a dark hint of menace behind it and the prospect of getting up close and personal with Lucille.
I know Ezekiel talked about how people want to follow a leader on The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 2, but sometimes it’s crazy to think that so many people are willing to do the bidding of such a mad man as they are for one who is good.
Exploring the different paths Dwight and Daryl were taking under Negan’s thumb was interesting to watch, especially in the repetitive nature of Dwight trying to break Daryl down.
Because while Negan has his “yes” men, Dwight is much more conflicted of a character. And that’s a good thing.
This was an episode that got into why he’s made his decisions, though it also obviously hinted at his possibility of turning on Negan.
For a good majority of the hour, it was pretty easy to hate on Dwight concerning his treatment of Daryl – from the dog food, to the never-ending blaring music, to keeping Daryl locked in a cell, naked.
And letting Daryl know it was his fault for getting Glenn’s head bashed in just felt cruel. Seeing Daryl breakdown after the song change was heartbreaking. The guy has been put through hell physically and emotionally.
Dwight having to kill a former friend – and that friend’s speech about their choices – touched upon Dwight’s conflict, and I was unsure if he would let the man go. He didn’t, unfortunately.
He certainly didn’t sound so sure of himself when he said he was happy now during that quiet chat in the hallway with his wife.
Yet, it was Negan’s tale to Daryl about why he and Dwight are now “buddies” that really opened up the decisions Dwight has made. Trying to save his wife, Dwight was willing to stoop to the lowest of the low to help – even if that meant compromising himself, subjecting his wife to Negan, allowing himself to be punished.
It doesn’t excuse what he’s been doing recently, but it does make Dwight more than a black-and-white character. It does make him more sympathetic.
He even tried to speak up when Daryl refused to say he was Negan in front of Negan, and I was almost not even sure if Daryl would do it in what was such a tense scene.
It’s even incredible that Daryl – after everything so far – still refused to bend a knee for Negan.
It made his statement to Dwight about understanding Dwight’s decisions so telling as it did in why he can’t give in to Negan’s will.
Though, who knows how long Negan’s “soft spot” for Daryl will last.
You’ve also got to hand it to actors Norman Reedus and Austin Amelio, who were able to portray so much in a lot of those scenes that didn’t even include vast amounts of dialogue for Daryl or Dwight. Their facial expressions and body movements said plenty.
Plus, it’s tough to top Negan’s monologues.
The walker drama of the episode unfortunately wasn't that scary and almost felt thrown in because it needed some zombie action for the hour. I just never worried about Dwight getting bit.
This was a relatively engaging hour as far was wanting to see just how things were going to play out. It offered an inside look at the Saviors, and it really captured the choices two characters were willing to make in facing such an evil villain with control over them.
But will either survive by the time The Walking Dead Season 7 is up?
Were you glad to find out what Daryl’s been dealing with? Do you agree with Dwight’s choice? Sound off below, and to not miss a second of this series, make sure you watch The Walking Dead online at TV Fanatic.
NOTE: The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 4, “Service,” airs Nov. 13 at 9 p.m.
Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.