Watch The Talked About Scene From 'The Walking Dead' 8x05
Spoilers for The Walking Dead 8x05.'The Big Scary U' — the 'U' standing for the 'unknown,' as [...]
Spoilers for The Walking Dead 8x05.
"The Big Scary U" — the "U" standing for the "unknown," as pointed out by that leech Gregory — finally peered behind the veil that is Negan's boisterous personality and revealed part of Negan's curious backstory, fulfilling a promise made by actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan that season 8 of The Walking Dead would explore the villain's unknown past.
Negan and Father Gabriel spent the last three episodes trapped together in a trailer as the Sanctuary was overrun by a horde of walkers, a situation they found themselves in at the end of 8x01 when Rick and the alliance launched a multi-pronged attack that involved aiming and unleashing the dead on the Saviors' main compound.
Father Gabriel believes there's a reason he ended up in this situation, why he was spared from death after risking his life to save Gregory. "There had to be some reason I did what I did," Gabriel tells Negan. "Maybe this is the reason." Negan asks what his creepy little ass means.
"I think… I'm here to take your confession." Gabriel's prophecy proves true when Negan enlists Father Gabriel's help to escape. "What I want is for you to work with me," Negan tells him, earnest. "That is all I ever want."
"I've killed before, but that's not my greatest sin," Gabriel says from behind the safety of a locked door. He confesses. "I locked my congregation out of my church when this all first started. I listened to them die as I cowered. I failed them. I failed God. And every day I work to lessen that failure, to be of service and purpose. Now I offer you the assurance of a pardon, penance and absolution. I will go with you. I will show you that working together as equals is the only true way to grace. To a future. I will do this. If you confess."
"Jesus, Gabe. What you did? That is some horrible, cowardly, spineless shit. But I guess that's what a confession is supposed to be, right?" He loosens. The walls come down a bit.
"My first wife was a real wife," Negan admits. "My only real wife. 'Til death did us part. It was before this. I lied to her, I screwed around on her. She was sick. And when she went… when she went, it was during this. I couldn't put her down. That is how I was weak. That is what I will confess. Because, yeah, maybe we do bite the big one here."
It was a rare moment of genuine openness from Negan, whose confession spurned a dissenting reaction from fans, but it was nonetheless sincere:
"Gabriel puts Negan in a position where they're in a tight spot and they've got to get out of it, and the only way he's gonna get Gabriel to work with him is to answer a couple of questions about himself," Morgan said on Talking Dead. "It's really our first glimpse at Negan's life before the apocalyptic world started. There's so much of Negan that's a showman. He does everything like he's P.T. Barnum, and I think that episode, it's him not putting on a show. It's him as naked as Negan will ever be, probably, and it was a big moment. It was a big moment when I read it and it was a huge moment when we played it, and I hope that the audience kind of digs it as much as we did getting to play it."
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.
The Walking DeadSunday at 9PM EST on AMC
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