Posted by Tom Chapman @tchapman
tweet: tomtomchap Warden of the North - bearded, tattooed and square eyed 'til the end
Tom Chapman

The rotting jewel in the #AMC crown, #TheWalkingDead is known for its badass butchery and lack of messing around, but did it just give us its lamest villain yet? Xander Berkeley's Gregory went full villain by betraying those around him, so how does a middle-aged man with receding hair fit into a show already overflowing with cannibals and maniacs? #RobertKirkman's comic books have given us some of the greatest villains to grace modern television, from the one-eyed Governor to the bat-wielding Negan. However, does Season 6 of the zombie romp offer up the show's first real villain problem?

Warning: Spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 5, "Go Getters," and the comic books.

Image: AMC
Image: AMC

See also:

Gregging For Mercy

Image: AMC
Image: AMC

"Go Getters" was a return to The Hilltop and an hour of "The Gregory Show," with Berkeley sufficiently filling the role of "Shit of the Week." Complete with greasy combover and crotch-first stance, Gregory represents the very essence of misogynist pig. Seemingly going back in time to when women were second class, Gregory's schtick of refusing to acknowledge any of the female survivors by their actual name has run dry since the show first introduced it. Whereas it may have been comedy relief in the pages of Kirkman's #comicbook, it doesn't transfer as well onto our screens. The main problem is that Gregory seems underdeveloped to so suddenly be thrust into the limelight. It has been a LONG time since the show graced The Hilltop, and the show seems to be spreading itself thinly.

Gregory's cowardice was already hinted at in Episode 5 when he attempted to give up Maggie and Sasha to the Saviors, and if we continue to stay true to the comics, this won't be his last snitching. Gregory will presumably also betray Rick and his assembled army to Negan, which will result in an early failed attack on The Sanctuary.

The problem is that as a villain, Gregory just isn't that effective and relies on the villainy of those around him. This being said, he still goes on to serve as a secondary antagonist in the "Whispers Into Screams" era of the comics — so don't count him out just yet. Apart from forgetting your name or giving away your hide and seek location, in a world where your head becomes a living piñata, it is hard to see Gregory (and his belt on too tight) as a real menace. Apart from kneeling before Jesus, what else can we expect from Berkeley's creepy leader?

Image: Image Comics
Image: Image Comics

The bubbling troubles between Gregory and Maggie (sorry, Martha) are set to continue as the pair jostle for power over The Hilltop. Gregory is eventually overthrown and Maggie reigns supreme, but Gregory will be none too happy about being lead by a woman.

The biggest test on how showrunner Scott Gimple uses Gregory's new villain status will come straight from the pages of the comics, and one part they are sure to include. Deciding that he wants to get rid of Maggie to reassume his post as leader, Gregory poisons a glass of wine and gets her to drink it. Although Maggie survives, Gregory is thrown into jail by Jesus and awaits his fate. The pantomime way in which the show will handle this remains to be seen, but expect some OTT faces from Berkeley and lots of close-ups on a glass of wine in case anyone forgets it contains poison.

The End Is Nigh

Image: Image Comics
Image: Image Comics

The journey of Gregory from this point will either be a very short one, or a very long one. We are currently around Issue #105 of the comics, and with Gregory lasting until Issue #141, we are still a long way off his intended demise. Deciding that Gregory is more dangerous than they first thought, Maggie decrees that he is to be hung in front of the rest of the community. Expect the show to remain pretty faithful to this — just like Jon Snow swinging his sword of justice in #GameOfThrones, it shows the human side of the end of the world.

Whereas most of TWD's villains are in your face psychopaths, Gregory really is just a snake in the grass who refuses to do anything upfront. Where Gregory is a moist towelette blowing in the apocalypse breeze, The Walking Dead has made up for this lackluster villain by introducing us to Steven "I'm in everything" Ogg's Simon.

Simon Says

Image: AMC
Image: AMC

Unique to the TV show, it proves that sometimes Robert Kirkman's comics shouldn't be taken as gospel. Where Gregory is the yellow-bellied coward, Simon is your classic TWD villain with balls AND brains. When we met Simon at the tail end of Season 6 he was only known as "Lead Savior," but he has now been promoted to establish himself as Negan's right-hand man. In an episode as flat as "Go Getter," Simon is a rare gem.

Despite being a bigger w*anker than Gregory, Simon is somehow more likable, harking back to The Walking Dead's greatest skill of making us like the bad guy. The Governor and Negan were both charismatic leaders in their own way, so give us Steven Ogg over Xander Berkeley all day long!

Technically we could have killed Gregory off in "Go Getters" and it wouldn't have made much difference at this point. Even readers of the comics know that the show is clearly setting up Maggie to be leader of The Hilltop, so it is only a matter of time before the we get there. With Maggie left isolated at The Hilltop, the next few episodes will be key in whether Berkeley can become a true villain of the show, or just another Terminus Gareth. To be honest, we just want to see more of Gregory ass-kissing Simon.

It may be a little early to judge the show's portrayal of Gregory, but it isn't looking good so far. Perhaps we have just got a little greedy of the great villains the show has already had. Better get out the good scotch though, Gregory's clock is ticking!

Check out our video of where you might have seen Steven Ogg before, and don't forget our poll below.

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