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Negan Leaves His Mark on The Walking Dead Mid-Season Finale

Don't mess with a clean-shaven Negan.

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The Walking Dead may not have had the most epic mid-season finale in the show's history, but there were a few moments on Sunday's episode that left fans in a bit of shock. Each of these scenes involved this season's charming antagonist, Negan.

Negan and his group, The Saviors, have firmly been in control since the start of this season, when Negan killed off a couple of Rick's people inside Alexandria. In last week's episode, Negan spent some time with Carl, after the overly-aggressive teen gunned down some of The Saviors. Negan took Carl back to Alexandria and spent most of this week's episode waiting for Rick to show up.

Warning: Spoilers for the mid-season finale ahead.

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Things started getting a bit crazy towards the tail end of the 90-minute episode. Spencer demanded to speak with Negan, in order to tell the leader of The Saviors that he should be in charge. Negan considered Spencer's offer for about two seconds, before stabbing him in the stomach and letting his innards fall to the ground, in a truly gruesome and brutal scene. Spencer, the son of the original leader of Alexandria, is no more.

Moments later, Rosita--using a homemade bullet from Eugene--pulls out a gun and takes a shot at Negan. It misses him, but it takes a chunk out of Lucille, Negan's bat. Instead of seeking revenge on Rosita, Negan tells one of his men to kill someone. He quickly turns and shoots Olivia in the face, killing her. Olivia was the person in charge of the inventory who slapped Negan last week after he made some advances towards her. Negan reminded Rick, when he showed up, that he killed Spencer to keep Rick in charge. Olivia's death was a form of punishment for Rosita's actions.

To make matters worse, Negan finds out Eugene is the person who made the bullet. There were a few moments during the scene where it seemed like he was going to kill Eugene. However, Negan decides to take him instead. While he isn't dead, that's still a huge blow to the community, as three members of the town are gone, and there is probably a good deal of torture ahead for Eugene.

There is a method to Negan's madness. As we saw in the last episode, he has strict rules in place, and when you break the rules, you get punished. It seems like Negan gives the groups under his watch just enough freedom to make their own choices, but if they make decisions he doesn't agree with, people die. He rules communities through fear and seems to do so incredibly well.

While the show didn't leave viewers with a huge battle or yet another cliffhanger, it does reestablish the fact that Negan and his crew are in charge of the community. While some may find the show to be a bit slow this season, it's all building to each of the communities coming together to take out The Saviors once and for all.

We'll find out more when The Walking Dead returns in February.

Mat Elfring on Google+

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