“Back off, Dwight. Is that any way to treat our new guest? C’mon kid, I’m going to show you around,” says Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) to Carl (Chandler Riggs) who has just killed two Saviors during a failed attempt to assassinate Negan in AMC’s horror/drama series, The Walking Dead.
As season seven episode seven begins, Michonne (Danai Gurira) is walking down the road while whistling. She’s deliberately drawing walkers toward her and she uses her sword to put both of them down. Michonne then drags the two dead walkers to a specific spot on the road.
Carl and Jesus (Tom Payne) are in the back of the Saviors’ truck as it heads toward Negan’s compound. As they drive along, Jesus is looking for landmarks while leaving a trail so he’ll be able to track the truck’s route to Negan’s home base. He tells Carl they need to jump out now that the truck has slowed enough, but Carl asks Jesus to go first so he can copy how he does it. Jesus jumps and scrambles for cover. He looks back at the truck after hitting the ground to see Carl standing and waving goodbye, quickly realizing that Carl has tricked him.
Negan takes Carl to where his wives hang out and lets him watch as he questions Sherry (Christine Evangelista) about her sister wife Amber getting together with her former lover, Mark. Sherry asks Negan to go easy on Amber and to her surprise he acts as if he will, telling Amber she can go back with Mark. Then Negan promises he’ll give her, Mark, and her mom a different job which terrifies Amber who apologizes through her tears and says she belongs to Negan. He tells her he doesn’t know why she’s crying because she’s going to make out very well with her decision but that there are consequences. Before moving on, Negan makes out with Sherry in front of Dwight (Austin Amelio) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) who’s standing there holding a party tray. As Negan turns to leave with Carl, Daryl begins to tell Negan not to hurt Carl. Negan tells Dwight to lock Daryl back up in his cell for speaking out of line.
On the road, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) are searching for supplies and Rick is concerned because he believes the Saviors will be back any day now. They see a sign on a gate with a warning to travelers to continue on, advising them only danger waits for them beyond the gate. Rick and Aaron decide to risk it, pass through the gate, and head up the road.
Back at the Saviors’ compound, Carl and Negan enter a bedroom and Negan tells the kid to have a seat because he wants to get to know him better. As he talks to Carl, telling him that he’s impressed by how he did try to take him out, Negan just can’t get past looking at the bandage over Carl’s wound. Negan orders Carl to take it off, saying, “It’s like talking to a birthday present.” Carl says no but Negan warns him not to test him. Carl does as he’s instructed and Negan visibly reacts to the horrible wound and tells Carl that it’s really ugly. He goes on and on about it until Carl starts to break and begins to cry. Negan backs off seeing Carl cry and actually apologizes to him, saying that sometimes he forgets that he’s just a kid. He tells Carl that he shouldn’t cover up the wound but leave it for all to see. He advises Carl that it may not make him popular with the ladies, but no man will ever mess with him after seeing that wound.
Negan then asks Carl what he likes to do for fun and asks about music. “I know…I want you to sing for me,” says the sadistic bully. Carl says he doesn’t know any songs but Negan calls his bluff saying he knows his mother must have sung to him when he was little. Carl tries to ask why and Negan’s demeanor changes to the Negan we have come to know – tough and serious – and he responds coldly, “Because you killed two of MY men. This is the price.” Carl, being a little afraid of Negan for the first time since getting caught, starts to sing “You are My Sunshine” while Negan swings his bat around the room, commanding Carl not to let it distract him and to continue. When Carl finishes, Negan tells him that wasn’t half bad and Lucille likes it when people serenade her. Negan tells Carl to get up and to follow him.
Back on the road, Spencer (Austin Nichols) is out scavenging for supplies with Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) when the two men have a heart-to-heart about Rick. Spencer admits that he hates Rick and thinks everyone would be better off if Rick didn’t make it back to camp alive. He goes on to admit he blames Rick for his mother’s death and for everyone else who died in Alexandria. Gabriel stops Spencer and tells him that it’s possible people didn’t die because of Rick being there and that Rick is a good man and leader not just because he knows how to lead, but because he brought them all together and kept them together. Gabriel goes on to tell Spencer he’s being a sh*# but that it’s just for now and doesn’t have to be a permanent thing. Gabriel decides not to continue on with Spencer and heads back to town.
Spencer keeps going on his own and comes across a walker stuck up in a tree next to a crossbow. Spencer gets a rope and uses it to knock the crossbow down and accidentally knocks down the walker, too, ripping it apart. He checks its pockets and finds a note about supplies at a certain location.
Negan brings Carl to a large room in the factory where Saviors are gathered. Mark is in the center of the gathering, tied to a chair. Negan reminds everyone about ‘the rules’ and that he wishes he didn’t have to burn Mark but he broke the rules. With everyone watching, Negan takes a red-hot iron and puts it against Mark’s face. Mark screams in agony until he wets himself and passes out. Negan, not being pleased that his suffering ended early, tells Daryl to clean up the mess Mark made and orders the doctor to do his thing. Negan turns to Carl and says, “You probably think I’m crazy,” and then tells Carl he needs to decide to what to do with him. Carl asks Negan why he hasn’t killed him, Daryl, or his father. Negan reveals he believes Daryl is going to make a good soldier and that Rick is a good scavenger. Negan asks Carl what he thinks he should do with him and Carl tells him to throw himself out the window so that he and Rick don’t have to kill him.
Impressed with Carl’s cockiness, Negan decides to return him to Alexandria. Negan and Carl prepare to leave in the truck which Jesus is hiding on top of, and as they’re exiting Daryl threatens Negan again not to harm Carl. Negan responds by instructing Dwight to put Daryl back in his box. Not long after Dwight deposits Carl in the cell, footsteps are heard outside Daryl’s door and a message is shoved under the door with a key attached to it. Daryl takes it and reads the note which says, “Go now.”
Back on the road, Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and Rosita (Christian Serratos) travel to where Eugene originally talked about making ammunition for them. Rosita wants Eugene to make her a bullet, but Eugene doesn’t want to, reminding Rosita that they’re outnumbered. Rosita is determined to have Eugene make a bullet and says some very hurtful but true things to Eugene about how he lied to save himself and he’s only alive because he pretended to be someone he’s not. Hurt but still needing to prove he can be useful, Eugene starts making Rosita a bullet. After he’s finished, Rosita tries halfheartedly to apologize to Eugene but he won’t accept it. He calls her out, telling her she’s only apologizing now because she got what she wanted and is trying to make herself feel better. “I’d like to take it back to awkward silence now,” says the ammunition maker.
At Alexandria, Carl is being forced to give Negan the grand tour which includes picking on Olivia until she cries and the horror of Negan finding little Judith and taking a real shine to her. Negan moves to the front porch, sitting next to Carl while holding little Judith in his lap. He confesses to Carl that he really likes the suburbs and says that maybe Carl is right, he should kill him and Rick.
Out on a dirt road, a truck comes across a road block made of slaughtered walkers. A woman Savior gets out of the truck for a closer look and that’s when Michonne sneaks up on her with her sword, ready to attack. She makes the woman give up her gun and knife and get back in the truck. Michonne gets in the truck next to her and tells her to take her to see Negan.
The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 7 Review:
Overly long at 90 minutes and redundant at times, episode seven titled “Sing Me a Song” takes an extra half hour not to introduce a new character or plot element to the series but unfortunately to reinforce AGAIN just how much a sadist and bully Negan is to those around him. At one point it did appear another side of Negan was going to be revealed when he apologized to Carl about teasing him about his horrific wound. However, the evil thug quickly returned to his bravado of threatening and intimidating Carl and anyone else who crossed his path in the episode. Do the writers think the audience doesn’t already know how horrible Negan is after he brutally murdered Glenn and Abraham? We get the point and the season’s continuing overemphasis of Negan’s evilness is lessening the impact.
The stand-out performance goes once again to Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the ruthless and incredibly cruel leader of the Saviors. Especially effective was the scene where Negan teases and then apologizes to Carl about his missing eye wound. It’s a scene that for a brief second almost revealed a human side to Negan. Also, Morgan as Negan and Riggs as Carl have solid chemistry together as enemies who are trying to size up and figure each other out.
With Negan enjoying life at Alexandria and now knowing about little Judith, things look like they just got much worse for Rick. Nice going, Carl.