This week, Carl is hanging out with Negan in the Sanctuary, and it’s as uncomfortable as you’d think it would be.
We open on Michonne, strolling down the highway, whistling. Is it just me, or has Negan ruined whistling for all of us? Because it is creepy. She calmly passes the smoldering mattresses that the Saviors burned, just ‘cause. A couple of walkers begin following her, and she kills them with her sword. Then, she starts dragging them off somewhere. Did I mention creepiness?
Meanwhile, Carl and Jesus are in the truck bound for Negan’s compound. As they approach, Jesus opens up a bottle of maple syrup, which seems a weird way to prepare to meet a psychopath, but it turns out he’s leaving a trail. Like Little Red Riding Hood! He tells Carl they should jump off the moving truck because they’re getting close and Carl is like, bish, you crazy. Then he says Jesus should go first so he can see how it’s done, which of course, ninja Jesus does. He looks up to see Carl waving at him, still in the truck which is now entering the Sanctuary, and Jesus seems kinda tickled by Carl’s audacity.
When the truck stops, Carl grabs a gun, and when it opens he starts shooting, killing one of Negan’s men immediately. Negan thinks this is adorable. Carl shoots another Savior before Dwight tackles him. All Daryl can do is watch from the other side of the chain link fence in the walker yard where he works(?).
Negan is delighted by Carl. He wants to give him the tour, but Carl is not into it. So, Negan threatens Daryl with violence and mutilation and Carl reluctantly takes his hand. Tour time!
Inside a warehouse, Carl and Negan look down on a bunch of people, both literally and figuratively. When the folks catch sight of Negan, they kneel. Carl is kind of impressed. Negan magnanimously tells everyone that thanks to their latest haul, they will all be getting fresh vegetables at dinner! Wow, being a Savior is fun.
Back in Alexandria, Eugene and Rosita are getting ready to do a run. Except Rosita has no intention of scavenging for the Saviors. She is hell bent on revenge. Spencer tells her this is all Rick’s fault and that this is what they have to do now, but she is so whatever with him. (As are we all.)
Negan is now introducing Carl to his wives, who are all dressed like extras from a Robert Palmer video in tight black dresses. Sherry (formerly married to Dwight) asks Negan to go easy on one of the newer wives, Amber, who has apparently committed some kind of transgression by “cheating” on Negan with her husband. Negan creepily chastises Amber, who breaks into terrified tears and assures him that she loves him. Then he starts smooching Sherry and it’s pretty icky. It’s at this moment that Dwight arrives with Daryl, who is holding a tray of munchies. Awkward.
Rick and Aaron, who are out and and about, diligently scavenging, come upon a sign warning them to “Keep going, only thing here 4 you is trouble.” But they can’t come home empty handed, so onward they go.
Also out scavenging are Gabriel and Spencer. I think no one else wanted to be partners with them. Spencer, as per usual, is bitching about Rick. Gabriel, however, says that Rick brought out the best in him (did he?) and is surprisingly loyal. Spencer kinda hopes Rick doesn’t make it back, at which point Gabriel says those thoughts are just thoughts, but saying that out loud makes Spencer a “tremendous shit.” And then he gets out of the car! Whoa! How much of a douche-canoe do you have to be to make Gabriel disgusted with you?
Speaking of douche-canoes. Negan is hanging with Carl in his pretty cushy apartment and Carl does not know what the heck is going on. Negan seems to have taken some sort of avuncular liking to Carl, but he also can’t resist tormenting him. For example, by insisting that Carl unwrap his empty eye socket and let Negan look at it. It’s gross, which fascinates Negan, and he can’t stop talking about it. Carl is utterly humiliated and starts to cry. However, Negan also tells him that his grody eye is rad as hell and that now no one will fuck with him.
Fat Joey, one of the Saviors, comes by to drop off Lucille, which Negan left down by the truck. Negan was distracted, what with all the shooting. Which, oh yeah, Carl shot two of Negan’s men! And Negan wants him to make it up to him by singing him a song. Seriously? Yep. Carl struggles but manages to croak out a few bars of “You Are My Sunshine” which is what his mom used to sing to him. Negan wants to know about her, so Carl explains he shot her after she died so she wouldn’t turn. Negan loves that. No wonder Carl is kind of little serial killer! (We were all thinking it, come on.)
Later, Carl witnesses Negan dispensing punishment to Mark (the husband of Amber) in the form of a hot iron to the face. The same treatment Dwight got. Apparently, if you piss Negan off but are willing to give him your wife and be horribly disfigured, everything will be cool.
Dwight and Sherry meet up in a stairwell. They smoke cigarettes. Sherry tells Dwight that the deal they made was only supposed to affect them, but Dwight says it’s always at someone else’s expense. Are they thinking of Daryl?
Carl is now growing bolder. He doesn’t think Negan is going to kill him after all. Or his father. Or Daryl. Negan doesn’t take the bait, he just tells Carl they should go for a ride.
Elsewhere: Spencer shoots a walker with a crossbow and finds a note in his pocket that seems to please him. Rosita takes Eugene to the factory he’d pointed out earlier last season as a good place to manufacture bullets. Then she says a lot of mean stuff to manipulate him into making a bullet for her. He does, but afterwards, when she apologizes, he is unforgiving. I’m starting to think Rosita and Spencer belong together.
Someone slides a note under Daryl’s door that says “Go now.” There’s a key taped to it. I wonder if that was Sherry? Or Dwight?
Michonne, meanwhile, has been stacking up walker bodies like Legos to blockade the road. Ahhhh. It all makes sense now. A Savior in a pickup truck is forced to stop and Michonne pulls a gun on her, demanding to be taken to Negan.
Rick and Aaron find more blustery warning signs but figure out that the guy who left them must be dead or he would have shot them by now. On investigating further, they see that he had a houseboat that is surrounded by submerged walkers. I feel like this houseboat thing could play into the Tara storyline with the seaside community. We shall see.
Negan and Carl arrive at Alexandria. A startled Olivia lets them into Rick’s house. Negan engages in more body shaming with Olivia (because if you’re going to be a psychopath, be a SEXIST psychopath). But then as if to comfort her, he offers to bone her. Olivia, on behalf of women everywhere, hauls off and slaps him. Negan just giggles saying now he’s 50% more into her. He wants Carl to take him on a tour of the house and Carl does his best to discourage Negan from entering the room where Judith is, but no dice. As the episode ends, Negan is sitting on the porch with Carl, cuddling Judith on his lap.
Next week, the mid-season finale!