"What took you so damn long?" Carol (Melissa McBride) asked Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) when he delivered Whisperer leader Alpha's (Samantha Morton) decapitated and zombified head, upholding his end of a deal granting him his release from jail and finally avenging Carol's murdered son Henry (Matt Lintz). Negan's mission to infiltrate the Whisperers and gain Alpha's trust took him just three days, during which he became the first Whisperer to be intimate with Alpha before receiving his own mask made from walker flesh. Carol ordered Negan to "do it fast," but standing in the way was Alpha's big and "super creepy" bodyguard Beta (Ryan Hurst).
"I don't know that he wasn't afraid of Beta. I think that he thought Beta was super creepy," Morgan said on Talking Dead. "People ask me why didn't Negan kill Alpha earlier? As opposed to the socks scene, for instance, why didn't he kill her then? I think in Negan's mind, Beta was always behind the next tree. He was lurking and creeping out, and I think Negan was fully aware of that."
It wasn't so much fear as it was knowing "'this dude is just off,'" Morgan added. "And he is, he's just off. And he doesn't have a very good sense of humor, obviously, and Negan had a problem with that. But I love Ryan."
Beta has since laid Alpha to rest, having discovered her head displayed on a spike at the Whisperer border. Now wearing a new mask made from Alpha's face, Beta and his walker army invade Alexandria in "The Tower," where Negan will confront Alpha's daughter Lydia (Cassady McClincy) over the death of her mother.
After taking out Alpha and gaining a small level of trust with Daryl (Norman Reedus) over saving him from stray Whisperers, the long-jailed former Savior leader hopes to "open up a new chapter in the book of Negan."
"My feeling is it's exactly what he said to Carol. He wants to go through the doors of Alexandria and start a new life," Morgan said. "At least that's as far as he's gotten. I don't think he's had a whole lot of time to think about this, what the next chapter is and the details of that. I think he is hoping to get out of that jail. He's been in jail for eight, ten years, and been out for three days and living amongst the Whisperers. I think the next chapter would be a shower. And from there, he wants to figure out what the next move is and how he rebuilds his life."