Here's the trailer from SDCC. Season 8 launches Oct. 22, 2017.

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"Well. Didn't see THAT coming."


"They may get a ratings spike with the mid season premier as people tune in to find out if it's really true. But I predict that the ratings will continue to decline after that."


I'm going to be sorry to see him go. It's a sad development... though I'm looking forward to the next episode, where he'll supposedly finish his run on the show and complete some important tasks.  

From what I've read, part of the reason this is happening is to justify Rick's upcoming decision (the one he makes in the comics) regarding the fate of Negan. Part of this is being done in order to put Rick into a mental place where he can make a decision based on mercy and a hope for change. 

Frankly, I hope he doesn't.

I"m as forgiving as much as the next guy, but the time to get all touchy-feely is NOT when dealing with a sociopath like Negan. Forgive as many of the Saviors as you like, but Negan has already shown us who he is, what he will do if he gets the chance. It isn't worth the risk.

PLUS all of his followers. They're not going to believe that he won't come back unless Rick hangs him in the public square. He's a revolution in the making whether people see him or not.

PLUS all the stuff he's already done. I found it incredible -- literally, I simply did not believe it -- when Rick didn't kill him outright in the comics. For Glenn. For Abraham. For the terror he's put them through. I can't believe -- again, I simply will not believe -- if he is not killed outright on TV, and Rick doesn't have a revolution on his hands. Maggie won't (or shouldn't) stand for it, or she is not the person we've seen develop for seven seasons. Or Daryl. Or Rosita. Or -- well, anybody who's lost someone or been terrorized by Negan. Which is everybody. Everyone will want him dead, and I wouldn't want to be the guy holding up a cross and saying "blessed are the peacemakers."

It just doesn't wash. At least not for me. It's not only justice to put him down, it's impractical NOT to. If this were real life and Rick let Negan off the hook, he wouldn't be in charge much longer.

Plus, I've never liked Negan on TV or in the comics, and I am tired of his voice. As Rick said, "Don't you ever shut up?"

So I'm hoping that with Carl's death the producers are splitting from the comics sufficiently that they can do things like kill off Negan. PLEASE.

I'm going to have to watch last night's episode again with a critical eye on Chandler Riggs' performance. Carl knew he was dying the entire episode. That casts a different light on everything he says and does (said and did). The one thing which springs to mind is his confrontation from on top of the wall with Negan. He told Negan that,no, he didn't want to die, knowing all along that he was already dead. On Talking Dead, Scott Gimple had such high praise for Riggs' performance the episode before because Gimple thought the expression on Riggs' face gave it all away when Carl was bitten.

I liked it when Rick smacked Negan in the mouth with Lucille and Negan responded, "Don't you touch her!"

When Negan knocked Rick out the window, Rick had the gun in his hand, leaving Negan with nothing but Lucille. Why didn't Rick just shoot him then? (Q: "Who brings a bat to a gun fight?" A: "The loser.")

Tracy tells me Jeffrey Dean Morgan will be the new Batman (???).

Cap, this is from an interview with Chandler Riggs in The Hollywood Reporter. It sounds like Scott Gimple wasn't happy with Rick's motivation to leave Negan alive in the comics, and wanted to use Carl's death to make it more solid. So it's secondhand reporting in what Gimple is thinking, but it's as close as we'll probably get until the end of the season. 

What was Scott's reasoning for killing Carl?

In the comics, Scott was trying to figure out why there was a hole between Rick slitting Negan's throat at the end of the "All-Out War" arc and then there's the time jump and Negan is alive and in prison and Rick didn't kill Negan. Scott was trying to figure out how to bridge the gap between Rick not wanting to kill Negan and Rick also really wanting to kill Negan, which he does right now [in the show's story]. Scott's way to get around that was to make Carl this really humanitarian figure and person who could see the good in people and see that people can change and not everyone out there is bad. That's what Carl's talk to Rick was in this episode: There's no way that they can kill every one of the Saviors and not everyone is a bad person and there has to be some way forward than just killing people.

Also, here's the scene where Carl got bit, in case anyone wants to revisit it. 

Captain Comics said:

Frankly, I hope he doesn't.

You and me both. I know Kirkman is more committed to keeping Negan alive than he is to keeping any of his other characters around. And for that reason, I'm considering dropping the comic.
I would hate to give up on the TV show because it's without a doubt my favorite show since Fringe. But if Negan is still around after this I'm probably done. And I love JD Morgan. I just can't stomach the idea that a repulsive psychopath like Negan can get away with what he's done and find some sort of place in the world. I'm seeing too much of that kind of thing happening in the real world right now. I'd like to see the show take a stand and deliver some justice.

I understand the visceral need to want Negan punished -- as an invested audience member, I want that, too. But I hardly think putting an end to a bad guy everyone wants dead is "taking a stand." It's just giving the audience what they want. Showing mercy, despite the righteous hurt of the audience, is a much more difficult stand to take. Mercy is always more difficult. I'll be interested in seeing the case they make for it in the coming episodes, since it seems like it'll be going that way.

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

 But I hardly think putting an end to a bad guy everyone wants dead is "taking a stand."

Yeah. I know it's not taking a stand in terms of the overall world of entertainment. I just mean, I hope they will take a stand by doing what the comic is too chickensh*t to do. Negan is basically being kept alive in the comic because it makes it easier for Kirkman to generate story ideas. I personally don't like the message it sends.

I'm not entirely sold on why Negan's still alive in the comic, either. I don't think Kirkman did a great job of setting up why Rick's new stand against killing had to start with him, of all people. I think the TV show is on its way to doing a better job of that -- at the unfortunate cost of Carl. 

I like TV Negan more than comic Negan -- Jeffrey Dean Morgan's portrayal gives us more humanity behind the bluster than Kirkman and Adlard have usually been able (or inclined) to convey. 

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