Was Negan Shot In ‘The Walking Dead’ Episode 8x01?

Spoilers for The Walking Dead 8x01.

After a season living under Negan’s boots, Rick Grimes is fighting back.

In last Sunday’s season 8 opener, Rick lead a coalition consisting of soldiers from Alexandria, the Hilltop colony and the Kingdom, rolling up to Negan’s front door with an army and a fleet of reinforced vehicles. During a standoff with Negan, Rick called out the Savior leader from cover, promising he’d kill Negan. Counting down from ten, Rick opened fire at “seven” — causing Negan and his lieutenants to duck for safety. While Simon, Gavin, Regina, Dwight and Eugene withdrew inside, Negan dove downwards, ending up on the ground.

Rick, closing in, fired at Negan through a gate — the camera was mostly on Rick as he fired shots at his target, who pulled his legs in and scurried to safety. The next time we see Negan, he’s limping along the base of the Sanctuary, dragging along a bum left leg. Rick, meanwhile, set his sights on Negan again and maintained a stream of steady fire as Negan took cover behind a large piece of metal. Despite Negan being on his own and with no Saviors around to protect him — a perfect kill opportunity in sight — Rick let Gabriel drag him away, opting instead for a Polaroid of Negan’s defeat over his literal dead body.

Showrunner Scott M. Gimple offered up an explanation for why Rick simply didn't just gun down Negan during their confrontation, but whatever the reason, Rick did have it out for Negan as evidenced by all the shots he fired off in his direction — but did any connect? It seems like one of Rick's shots may have caught Negan in the leg, even if only a little; otherwise, the only other way he could have been injured was during his dive for cover when Rick first opened fire.

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Last we saw Negan, he was revealed to have taken refuge in a nearby trailer as the Sanctuary was seized upon by a massive horde of Walkers — the same hiding space used by Father Gabriel, who was inadvertently left behind in the chaos. Negan stepped out of the dark, not immediately appearing to be injured, and well-off enough to spout an appropriate Negan-ism about pants sh—ttin'. Negan shows up in a sneak peek look at the rest of the season (as if he'd be offed in the first episode back anyway), but Gabriel might be in seriously deep sh—t.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.

The Walking DeadSunday at 9PM EST on AMC

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