As HUGE SPOILER ALERT: Major plotlines for both The Walking Dead comic book Issues #104, 105 and 106 , plus Season 7 episode 'The Cell' are discussed here.
After that gut-wrenching premiere and last week's introduction of Ezekiel and the Kingdom, The Walking Dead gave us another plot development episode this week. 'The Cell' was pretty much a 101 guide to the Sanctuary, with an in-depth explanation of Negan's rules and how his whole system works. Although essentially covering only one location, there were some cool tidbits from the comic books worth taking a look at — especially where D and his former wife Sherry are concerned.
Dwight, One Of Negan's Top Men
The premiere made it pretty clear that Simon was Negan's right-hand man, but Dwight definitely holds a place in his inner-circle. He's in charge of breaking Daryl and getting him ready to accept the Sanctuary's rules, and he also has the autonomy to go in and out of the compound on his own accord. That's a long way away from just last season, when we saw Dwight running for dear life in the woods, and 'The Cell' explained how he climbed that ladder so fast.
The story is pretty much the same in the comics; Dwight and his wife join Negan's group, but she soon discovers the benefits of becoming one of Negan's wives — yes, he has a few of those — and chooses to become one. Dwight has a hard time accepting it and, after breaking the rules and meeting with her, Negan burns his face with an iron, to teach Dwight a thing or two about limits. Charming!
Dwight, The Trojan Horse
There were plenty of looks and uneasy stares — not to mention the almost spoken words — from Dwight in this episode. Plus, all the interaction between Negan and Dwight was gold in terms of letting us know where D actually stands. In case you didn't pick it up, Dwight still holds a huge grudge against Negan, and he'll do whatever he can to set his wife free from her new husband.
In the books, Dwight actually appears as Negan's right-hand man, which allows him much more access into Negan's plans. Dwight eventually goes to King Ezekiel with all the info he has on Negan, and plays a big part in helping the combined forces of the Hilltop, the Kingdom and Alexandria in their fight against Negan.
Sherry, One Of Negan's Wives
Differing from Dwight — who turned from a reasonably nice guy to a minion from hell — Sherry seems to be more accepting of her situation in the Sanctuary. She enjoys a good life as one of Negan's wives, having security, clothes, food and even cigarettes without having to work for it like everyone else. Sherry's softer side makes Dwight seem much more evil in comparison, especially her treatment of #Daryl — she even warned him not escape.
In Robert Kirkman's comic books, Sherry is Holly and, apart from the name change, her story plays out very similarly. She stands up for Negan's other wives, makes sure they stay in line and tries to avoid Negan's wrath falling on them. The one disparity would be the fact that Holly and Dwight have a more strained relationship in the comics; comic book Dwight heavily resents Holly's decision to join Negan's harem.
The Sanctuary, Negan's Home Sweet Home
The Walking Dead gave us some nice insight into how Negan came to be the big boss of the #Sanctuary, divulged during Dwight's conversation with the 'orange code' man on the road. It seems the place was already set up when Negan showed up, but that the people weren't doing very well without a strong leader to guide them — or without a "thug with a bat" to bash in some skulls for them. We had been given some clues as to what the Sanctuary would look like in the promo photos before the season premiered, and it's fair to say The Walking Dead once more did an awesome job of translating Negan's headquarters from the comics onto the show.
'Issue 108' starts with Negan showing of his ping-pong skills, giving us a glimpse of the Sanctuary in the process. Then, later on, we get a tour of the place when an Alexandrian tries to infiltrate it to kill Negan — which backfires, of course. I gotta say though, things were definitely better explained in the show, with Negan laying down the three ways someone could live in the place: as a Walker on the fences, working for points or serving as one of Negan's men.
Debunked: The Overpass Walker
I had mixed feelings about this scene; on one hand, it's always great to see things straight from the comic book pages make it to the show, but on the other hand I wished it had been more faithfully translated. I mean, part of what makes that moment so awesome in the book is the fact that it's Jesus that throws that Walker over on top of Dwight, instead of it simply falling from the overpass. It felt a bit pointless, as if the producers chose to include that scene simply to tease comic book readers. Of course, we never saw what was happening on the overpass, and it's possible that Jesus had been following Dwight somehow and decided to crush D with a Walker (wishful thinking, I know).
More on The Walking Dead:
- Straight From The Comics: Which Comic Book Scenes Made It Into 'The Walking Dead' Season 7 Episode 'The Well'?
- 5 Things You Might Have Missed In 'The Walking Dead' Episode 3 'The Cell'
- Breaking Down The Promo Posters For 'The Walking Dead' Season 7: How Many Have Been Revealed So Far?
Just like last week's episode, "The Cell" gave us a more in-depth explanation for some comic book moments that have always made us wonder. Now, in contrast to Ezekiel's sweet wooing of Carol, this week's episode gave us some gut punches — seeing Daryl in that situation wasn't at all pleasant — and it once more forced us to acknowledge that, as of the premiere, #Negan is the higher power in The Walking Dead — for now.