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THE WALKING DEAD Recap: Negan Tells Carl to “Sing Me a Song”

THE WALKING DEAD Recap: Negan Tells Carl to “Sing Me a Song”

Editor’s note: This post contains spoilers for the latest episode of The Walking Dead! Proceed with caution, survivors. For reals, if you haven’t yet watched this week’s episode, “Sing Me a Song,” we highly suggest you do so before proceeding. Okay? We good? Let’s go.

Welcome back to another recap of The Walking Cartoon Fascist. In this week’s episode, we remember how much we didn’t miss the title character when he was absent in last week’s “Swear”.

But I dislike calling Negan a cartoon. Because, as animation aficionados well know, cartoons are capable of incredible depth. Negan, on the other hand, is just a one-dimensional portrait of sadism. “Sing Me a Song” reminds us of this–just in case we didn’t pick up on it the very first time we met him last season–over and over and over again.

This time around, the season 7 Big Bad has designs on Carl, who infiltrates Negan’s Sanctuary with Jesus, a far more sensible character since he sits out most of this episode’s proceedings. Half of which involve Negan trying to bring Carl to the dark side, tempting him with the power he has over his men and a visit to his harem. (He even gives him a beer in case we missed the point.) But since the one-eyed boy wonder takes out two of his men with a machine gun, the other half of their time together is spent with Negan telling him how ugly and gross his missing eye makes him look. So why doesn’t Negan just waste Carl? Because he’s addicted to power, which he all but admits when he says, “It’s more fun to break you.” That doesn’t spare us from being subjected to an interminably long scene of Negan interrogating his “wives” to see if one of them cheated on him with one of their exes. Of course he finds out they did did, and burns her lover’s face with a red-hot iron as punishment, rambling on yet again about the importance of following rules.

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I can handle all the zombie gore this show can throw at me, but if I have to watch human beings mutilate other human beings (or, in the case of Negan, a facsimile thereof) in what purports to be a serious drama I’d prefer it not be too gratuitous. Yet watching Mark pass out as the flesh from his cheek sticks to Negan’s iron, the sociopath slowly pulling it away, topped off with yet another of his flippant observations that his victim pissed himself, well, here we’ve exited the misery porn of Season 7 and entered the zone of torture porn, a loathsome horror subgenre to which The Walking Dead originally served as a blissful alternative when it first premiered. Though at least some torture porn movies try to impart a moral lesson, however trite such lessons might be. In this case, I’m not sure what our takeaway is supposed to be, other than the fact that dictators are assholes.

Elsewhere in this universe of gloom… Rosita, rather than pay her “taxes,” is still after Eugene to make a bullet with which to take out Negan. But Michonne’s way ahead of her, having already captured one of his people and secured a ride to the Sanctuary. Daryl, meanwhile, has a secret admirer (most likely Dwight or Sherry) who’s left him with a means of getting the hell out of there. And not a minute too soon, because of all the characters who’ve been abused this season, Daryl most wears it like a kicked puppy. If I ever have to watch him serve cheese to Negan in his brothel again, I will go stark raving mad.

“Sing Me a Song” ends with Negan again visiting Alexandria, with Carl in tow, where he both fat-shames and sexually abuses Olivia, before trying once more to bond with the kid during a music montage that’s painful for how desperately it wants to be funny. It’s all topped off with Negan sitting on Rick’s porch kissing Judith’s forehead while telling Carl he might bury him and Rick in their flower bed.

Hey, I’m not opposed to the idea. Provided he makes room for this miserable season.

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Undead Afterthoughts

— When those two walkers approached Michonne from behind, I was really hoping she’d found some new pets.

— “Sing Me a Song” is yet another season 7 episode that runs waaaay longer than it needs to. Seriously, most of that harem scene could have been cut without losing anything.

— Somehow pairing Negan with Carl makes him look even more childish. Love him or hate him, the kid comes off far more mature than the leather-jacketed bore, especially when he gets lines like, “You see that respect? Cool, huh?!”

— “What you’re saying doesn’t make you a sinner. But it does make you a tremendous shit. But just for now. It doesn’t have to be terminal.” How weird is it that Father Gabriel is now the most likable person in Alexandria?

— I would have found Rosita’s verbal beat-down of Eugene unforgivable if she hadn’t cried a little while delivering it.

— “I’d like to take it back to awkward silence now.”

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter (@JMaCabre).

Images: AMC


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