Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is on the loose. The Walking Dead 10x04, "Silence the Whisperers," ended with Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) discovering an empty cell when weighing his options as the deciding vote on Negan's fate. Negan is in the hot seat for the death of Margo (Jerri Tubbs), accidentally killed when Negan rescued Lydia (Cassady McClincy) from a violent ambush committed by Margo, Alfred (David Shae) and Gage (Jackson Pace). Though Negan bought in to the Alexandrians' way of life after a near eight-year prison term, an angry mob out for blood forced his escape with the help of an unidentified accomplice.
Gabriel reports ex-Savior Laura (Lindsley Register) was on guard duty, but she claims innocence. The likeliest suspect is Negan's keeper, the little-seen Brandon (Blaine Kern III), who first appeared to keep Negan in line during the Season 10 premiere, "Lines We Cross." Brandon was seen again in "Silence the Whisperers," arriving on the scene of Lydia's attack shortly after Margo's death.
In the comics, Brandon is the scorned Brandon Rose, son of the Hilltop's Morton and Tammy Rose. After assaulting Rick Grimes, Brandon sets Negan free in the hopes they could maneuver Rick and Whisperer leader Alpha into a war that would result in the deaths of both leaders.
Brandon wants to avenge the death of his father, killed by Rick in self-defense, and his mother, one of a dozen victims whose decapitated head was displayed on Alpha's border. Sneaking into the Alexandria jail, Brandon pitches an alliance with Negan, telling him, "You're the only person I can think of who might hate Rick Grimes as much as I do."
"There's a whole army of Whisperers out there… and they don't want us bothering them. Rick is gearing up for war with them and they have no idea," Brandon says. "If we went and told them what was coming… they could attack and kill Rick and all these other a—holes that live here. They'd kill them, they'd all kill each other… whatever."
Later, a panicked Paula alerts Rick and Michonne the keys to the jail are missing. Michonne races to the jail, finding it empty. In #153, a bossy Negan orders Brandon to point him in the direction of Whisperer territory.
Back at Alexandria, Rick meets with Michonne and Aaron, who says if Negan's smart, he'll leave the area and never be seen again. Rick suspects Negan could return to harm Alexandria, and Michonne quickly deduces Negan is headed into Whisperer territory. Michonne and Aaron are then sent out to retrieve the fugitive Negan.
At the Whisperer border, Brandon breaks down thinking about his mom's head on a pike. "Whisperers killed my mom… Rick killed my dad. I hate them all. I want them to kill each other. I want them all dead."
"That's the plan, kid. That's the plan," Negan says. "Or rather… that was your plan."
(The Walking Dead #153. Photo: Image Comics)
Because Negan has his own plans for Alpha, he stabs Brandon in the heart. Negan then leaves Brandon's body behind as he wanders into Whisperer territory alone. The Walking Dead #153 will be adapted in episode 10x05, "What It Always Is," premiering Sunday, Nov. 3 on AMC.
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