'The Walking Dead': What Happens With Negan Now?

The Walking Dead set the stage for a popular comic book arc with Negan to be carried out ahead of schedule with Sunday's Mid-Season Nine finale.

Spoilers for The Walking Dead Episode 9x08 follow. Major spoilers!

After several conversations with Seth Gilliam's Father Gabriel, Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan might have finally gotten his manipulative wish. After breaking Father Gabriel down using his words, Negan's jail cell door was left unlocked as the pastor left their last visit in a frustrated hurry. His final appearance in the Mid-Season Nine finale saw the villain tossing his tennis ball behind him and making a break for it.

This story is pulled straight from the pages of The Walking Dead comics, though Father Gabriel was not directly involved in Robert Kirkman's source material. For example, check out the cover of a particular comic issue below...

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(Photo: Skybound)

Negan eventually gets his lucky wish granted and breaks free of Alexandria's jail cell. Spoilers for The Walking Dead comics and possibly TV series follow, so if you wish to remain fresh for the series, this is a great place to stop!

In the books, it appears Negan is going to go straight back to his villainous ways after escaping the prison. However, after he meets the Whisperers and appears to be joining them, he elects to cut off the head of their leader Alpha. He doesn't stop there, either. Negan marches right back to Alexandria to deliver Alpha's head to Rick like a trophy. Though he is proud of his work and believes himself to earned a bit of trust from Rick, he is still not welcome in Alexandria after the Whisperer War because he started just that -- a war with a major foe.

"I am excited for fans to watch and see what happens, because I think Negan is a complicated character and we've seen that he's a guy who will bash in people's heads to make a point," The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang told Comicbook.com. "We've also seen that he was at the lowest of the low point earlier in the season, was suicidal. We've also seen that he has a particular relationship with Judith Grimes that seems like pretty friendly and nice. And so, all of these things are kind of churning within Negan, and that's part of his story going forward. So I think that there's some interesting twists and turns to be had with Negan one way or the other."

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Whether or not Negan's redemption arc is headed to The Walking Dead is unknown but Jeffrey Dean Morgan told ComicBook.com after reading the particular issue where his character kills Alpha that he is definitely in it for the "long haul" with tremendous enthusiasm for the arc's possibility.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET. Fear the Walking Dead will return for its fifth season in 2019. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter and watch ComicBook.com's After The Dead each Sunday night following new episodes.