The Walking Dead revealed Negan's jailbreak to be loaded with highs and lows and a full circle journey in Sunday's Mid-Season Nine premiere.
Spoilers for The Walking Dead Episode 9x09 follow. Major spoilers!
Negan's journey on The Walking Dead officially came full circle when he was brought to his knees at the location where he killed Glenn and Abraham. In fact, Negan found the world to be so much emptier than he had remembered it prior to being thrown in the Alexandria jail that he decided to voluntarily return to his prison cell. However, the moment of vomiting at the location from the infamous Season Seven premiere might be most indicative of Negan's change and feeling of regret.
"That was something, when the script came out and we were talking about Negan's journey and the highs and the lows, and the wins and the losses," The Walking Dead executive producer and director of Episode 9x09 Greg Nicotero told ComicBook.com. "It's a win, he kills the walkers, and then all of his supplies are destroyed. Then he finds water, and he drinks it and then he vomits. And then he finds the leather jacket, but then he gets chased away, and then he gets back to the Sanctuary, but it's all overrun, it's ruined."
The journey, in fact, was an absolute roller coaster for Negan. "Negan goes through all of these ups and downs that have to lead him to this final place, which is, it doesn't matter what the world is if you're not surviving with people, and that's what makes him want to come back," Nicotero said. "But I'm glad you caught that, because I had called Angela [Kang] at one point, and said, 'What if we actually go back to the clearing? So when Negan is vomiting the water after he drank it, he looks around, and if somebody is paying attention, they're going to realize that Negan went right back to where it all started. Now he's on his knees.'" Life comes at you fast, Negan.0comments
As for the character, the decision to go back to Alexandria and prison paired with Negan's looks of regret at the iconic death site is tremendously revealing. "I think it's saying a lot [about the character]," Nicotero said. "I think it's saying that probably he made a mistake, and everything that he has done was the wrong way of going about it. And so instead of him being the king of kings, and living in sanctuary in the lap of luxury, he's now a man alone with no one. And it all started with that moment where he killed Glenn and Abraham. So I really felt that just that little piece of inspiration for me really added a tremendous amount to Negan's journey."
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.