Negan escaped after saving Lydia from attack by her fellow survivors on Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead.
He heroically rescued her when three of them were tormenting her at Alexandria, blaming her for the deaths of their friends.
Her mother, Alpha, the leader of The Whisperers, had ordered the killings soon after Lydia joined their group.
Free man: Negan rescued Lydia from a brutal attack by fellow survivors and then escaped his cell on Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead
When saving her life, Negan [Jeffrey Dean Morgan] accidentally killed an attacker, and was then targeted himself.
As Alexandria’s council debated whether he should die, he ditched his cell and fled into the night.
Lydia [Cassady McClincy] admired Negan’s escape, knowing what it felt like to be judged.
‘My mother was right,’ she told Daryl Dixon [Norman Reedus] after Negan disappeared.
Ambush attack: Lydia was ambushed by a trio who blamed her for the death of their friends who were decapitated by her mother Alpha
‘She said you people put on these polite faces, but it’s just a mask. ‘Cause when things get bad, when you get scared, you pick a target, aim and shoot.’
‘Me, Negan, anything but you.’
Negan’s escape couldn’t have come at a worse time for the survivors, who’d recently been under siege by outside forces.
Voluntary confinement: Lydia claimed that she set Negan free and put herself in a cell
In previous episodes, they battled a forest fire and had their outposts attacked by walkers.
On Sunday, a giant tree fell on a building at Hilltop, trapping people inside.
Some thought The Whisperers were behind the assaults, especially as Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) had just tried to kill their leader.
Natural disaster: Ezekial [Khary Payton] was overwhelmed as a giant tree fell on a building at Hilltop, trapping people inside
Under attack: Walkers swarmed the area as the survivors were faced with yet another setback
The Whisperers responded by taking the survivors’ hunting ground—proof that they would seize whatever they wanted.
‘We’re already at war,’ noted a Hilltop resident. ‘We just didn’t know it yet.’
At Alexandria, Aaron (Ross Marquand) led the survivors through defense training.
Defense training: At Alexandria, Aaron (Ross Marquand) led the survivors through defense training
‘Lose focus and you will get killed,’ he said, as Lydia observed them. ‘Remember these people took our friends, they took our land. They must be stopped, again.’
‘Hey Lydia!’ shouted one survivor, Gage [Jackson Pace], pretending to don a Whisperers-style mask. ‘You think mommy will take me in?’
‘Oh, right,’ he added, removing it. ‘She kicked your a** out. Now you’re just a freak.’
Whisperers mask: Gage [Jackson Pace] pretended to don a Whisperers-style mask and taunted Lydia
Lydia ran off to a corner of the camp, where Negan found her and consoled her.
‘They are trying to get a reaction out of you,’ he said. ‘They want to see you upset. Don’t give that to ’em. Screw ’em.’
Daryl found them talking, and took Lydia home, telling her ‘He ain’t your friend.’
Taking off: Lydia fled the bullying and marched to another corner of camp
Offering support: Negan found Lydia and consoled her
Good advice: Lydia listened as Negan told her they were trying to get a reaction out of her
As they arrived at her door, they saw that it had been painted to say: ‘Silence the Whispers.’
Infuriated, Lydia later approached her bullies in the dining hall.
She slammed a forest animal down on their table and gutted it in front of them, causing blood to spurt onto Gage’s face.
Door message: Daryl walked Lydia back home and they found graffiti scrawled on her door reading, ‘Silence the Whispers’
Dining hall: Lydia approached her bullies in the dining hall
Forest animal: The outraged girl slammed a forest animal down on their table and gutted it in front of the bullies, causing blood to spurt onto Gage’s face
‘Shhhh,’ she said, putting a bloody finger to her lips.
That evening, they sought retribution, confronting her in the dark outside.
Margo [Jerri Tubbs], one of her attackers, punched her as Lydia wriggled to get away.
‘Why do you hate me?’ Lydia cried out.
Outside attack: The bullies at night surrounded Lydia and attacked her
‘Cause you put my friends on spikes,’ Margo answered.
‘I wasn’t there,’ Lydia protested.
Margo suggested that Lydia run away, to which the teen replied: ‘This is my home. You are my people.’
Run away: Margo suggested that Lydia run away, to which the teen replied: ‘This is my home. You are my people’
As all three of them descended on her, Negan suddenly appeared and shoved Margo out of the way.
He tried again to soothe the sobbing girl, saying, ‘It’s ok.’
Behind him, Alfred (David Shae) tried to revive Margo, whose head was bloody where she fell.
‘Shit,’ Negan said, as he realized she was dead.
The hero: Negan suddenly appeared and shoved Margo out of the way accidentally killing her
Soon it seemed the whole community had shown up, with many wanting Negan punished.
‘He didn’t do anything wrong,’ Lydia repeated as she was taken from the scene.
In the infirmary, after she was patched up, Daryl tried to comfort her.
‘My dad would’ve protected me,’ the girl said.
Negan saved her life, she insisted, so Daryl went off to visit him in jail.
Jail visit: Daryl Dixon [Norman Reedus] visited Negan in jail after Lydia insisted that he saved her life
‘If you came here for a confession, keep walking,’ Negan offered. ‘It was an accident. And for the record, screw her. She was a goddamned a**hole, beating on a kid. World’s better off.’
Negan knew that Daryl, who’d long wanted to kill him, wasn’t sure what to do.
Negan had once decimated the survivors, killing or imprisoning them as the leader of The Saviors.
But by protecting Lydia, he may have ended up saving them all, as that name predicted.
Saviors leader: Negan had once decimated the survivors, killing or imprisoning them as the leader of The Saviors
Michonne [Danai Gurira] sensed that Alpha laid off them because they had her daughter.
‘Lydia’s presence might not help us,’ she theorized. ‘But if Alpha thinks she isn’t safe with us, or if Lydia runs off because of all this, it’ll definitely hurt us. She has to stay at Alexandria.’
As he headed home from Negan’s cell, Daryl ran into Carol sitting outside.
Stay safe: Michonne told Daryl to keep Lydia safe or her mother Alpha could hurt them
‘This is a distraction,’ she mused, referring to Negan and Lydia.
‘Hilltop’s got a tree through its walls. Alexandria was attacked. Our real enemy is out there.’
‘There’s enough bad stuff happening in here,’ Daryl worried. ‘I’m afraid if we don’t fix it, it ain’t gonna matter what she does to us. There won’t be anything left.’
Tough spot: Daryl wondered if there would be anything left to save
As he fretted, Michonne and Judith [Cailey Fleming] rode to Hilltop to help their friends, joined by Eugene Porter [Josh McDermitt] and other survivors.
Judith wondered if their old enemy was trying to wear them out.
‘Maybe The Whisperers wanna keep us fighting back until we get so tired that they have the advantage,’ she opined.
Road trip: Michonne and Judith [Cailey Fleming] rode to Hilltop to help their friends, joined by Eugene Porter [Josh McDermitt] and other survivors
Michonne laughed, impressed by her the little girl’s insights.
Then she spotted Ezekiel [Khary Payton], riding off alone into the forest, and followed him.
Ezekiel had lately seemed traumatized, freezing up when the disaster at Hilltop happened.
Michonne found him on a rickety platform in the woods, overlooking a ravine far below.
Low point: Ezekiel was found by Michonne as he stood on a rickety platform in the woods, overlooking a ravine far below
He refused to budge, so she took his hand, saying, ‘I’m not going anywhere.’
Ezekiel released a long, shaky breath. He turned, and she hugged him, adding, ‘It’s okay.’
He kissed Michonne, and she kissed him back for a minute, then pulled away.
Tender moment: Michonne and Ezekiel surprisingly kissed each other
‘I’m sorry,’ he said. ‘You know I didn’t mean to.’
‘We never would’ve worked out anyway,’ Michonne replied. ‘Both too damn stubborn.’
Ezekiel shared that he’d been struggling after losing his kingdom, fiancée, son, and pet tiger.
Too stubborn: The sword-wielding leader told Ezekiel they were both too stubborn to make it work anyway
Michonne related to that darkness, explaining she’d once been so far down her own personal hole that she dared walkers to bite her.
‘Next thing I know, my sword was chopping off its head like it has a damn mind of its own,’ she recalled. ‘So I put the sword down, kill ’em with my own bare hands. Eventually, I just gave up.’
‘It feels like a mask,’ she explained. ‘Until it doesn’t.’
Final season: Michonne, played by Danai Gurira, has been on the show since season three and season 10 is her final season
‘My old mask saved my life,’ claimed Ezekiel. ‘But I can only wear it for so long.’
Michonne teared up, aware that losing everything was ‘harder the second time around… especially when you get used to having someone there, that partner-in-crime,’ she affirmed, thinking of her lost love, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln).
‘Now it’s all on you. Just you.’
Opening up: Ezekiel and Michonne opened up about their lost loves
She urged Ezekiel not to go it alone, then praised his kissing skills, which made him laugh.
Together, they set off for Hilltop to fight the walkers encircling the property, but by the time they got there, the undead had broken through its gates.
Ezekiel ran into battle, shouting ‘Defend the breach!’ with Michonne close behind.
Sticking together: Michonne urged Ezekiel not to go it alone, then praised his kissing skills, which made him laugh.
As she looked around, she saw Judith killing walkers right alongside her, and was proud.
Back at Alexandria, the community’s council convened to decide what to do with Negan.
‘I get why people might think Negan’s been redeemed,’ Aaron told the group. ‘I’ve wondered it myself. Hell, maybe he has changed.’
Community council: Aaron during a community council meeting argued that Negan was broken
‘But a man like that who’s done the things he’s done, killed the people he’s killed, something inside him is broken. We need to face that fact.’
‘Yes, but killing him now over this undermines the civilization that we have built,’ Siddiq [Avi Nash] responded.
‘What if other people never get to witness that civilization because of him?’ Aaron asked.
Counter point: Siddiq [Avi Nash] argued that killing Negan would undermine their mission
‘What the hell are you even talking about?’ Siddiq replied. ‘The Whisperers are attacking us. Look at what’s going on at Hilltop. We are taking our eyes of the ball.’
‘The council wasn’t made for this: Deciding on a man’s life in the dead of night, because people are carrying pitchforks and torches,’ said Father Gabriel Stokes [Seth Gilliam].
Daryl, acting as Michonne’s proxy, felt they’d better decide before others did it for them.
Tough decision: Father Gabriel Stokes [Seth Gilliam] was considering his vote and went to talk to Negan
‘Lydia said he saved her, so he saved her,’ he declared. ‘I’m a no.’
Gabriel went to talk to Negan the next day, and found him gone.
Lydia then lay down in his prison cell, telling everyone she helped him escape.
‘C’mon,’ Daryl said. ‘You didn’t do this. I kept watch last night. You never left the house.’
‘Does it matter?’ she asked resignedly. ‘This is where they want me.’
Escape helper: Lydia claimed that she helped Negan, but Daryl said he was on watch and she never left the house
That morning, Michonne told her group that she was lighting out for Oceanside after getting a call that a survivor there had seen a Whisperer nearby.
‘You know as well as I do, they move as a pack,’ she said, adding that Judith was going with her.
‘So you think they’re planning an attack?’ asked Yumiko [Eleanor Matsuura].
‘Walkers at Alexandria, the tree here, and now Oceanside?’ Michonne considered. ‘First time, coincidence. Second time might be bad luck. But the third time, we should check.’
He’s back: Ezekiel returned and told Jerry [Cooper Andrews] that he was fine
Convertible ride: Michonne, Judith and Luke left for Oceanside together
Looking out: Carol Peletier watched from above
Silence message: A message reading Silence The Whisperers was scrawled on a fortified wall