Tonight's extended episode of The Walking Dead went exactly as expected with Negan making his first visit to Alexandria, early at that. Rick and company were expecting Negan to arrive in a week's time, but their visit came sooner than expected.
Negan also brought a heavy load of Saviors with him to tear Alexandria apart. Initially, Negan told Rick that he would only take half of everything, but that's not the case anymore.
Negan's first visit to Alexandria depicted his group of Saviors pillaging the entire compound of Alexandria. Between hassling young girls and threatening the lives of its residents over a couple of handguns, Negan wanted to make another statement clear to the residents of Alexandria: what Negan says, goes. It doesn't matter if Negan said he was only taking half; Negan makes the rules, so he can change them at any time.
What More Could Negan Possibly Do To The Alexandrians?
Other than making his domination apparent to Alexandria's residents, by raiding their homes and armory, Negan also did something that will psychologically torment them for days to come: he burned their beds.
When the Saviors began loading up the beds, it was presumed that they'd use them, but after Michonne came about a pyre of burning mattresses outside of Alexandria, it's obvious Negan had something in mind.
By burning the beds, Negan has done two things. For one, he's removed the places of comfort a person falls back into. When a heavy loss settles on a person's mind, it's usually their bed that is the place of utmost comfort — but without a bed to lay down in, the degree of comfort in mourning is decreased substantially. Rick was feeling that emotion the most while he prepped sleeping bags in place of mattresses, and the rest of Alexandria will begin feeling the same.
Not only does burning the beds remove a place of comfort for the Alexandrians to retreat back into, but Negan has implicitly told the group that whatever he decrees is the new rule. Regardless of how ridiculous a rule or order may be, they have to follow it, while smiling with a shit-eating grin.
Negan Just Isn't Done Psychologically Breaking Rick And Company Down
Everything that Negan did in tonight's episode was to continue breaking Rick's group down mentally. Rick was officially broken in the Season 7 premiere, but now Negan sees this as the time to break the rest of the group. By forcing them to hand over their guns, along with watching the Saviors loot their homes — and then to have to realize their beds were burned for no purpose — it's definitely going to crack the group's reserve. We've already seen Rick lose hope; now it appears Michonne is losing it too.
What could Negan hope to gain from their total submission? The group won't be as dangerous or as capable as they once were, which isn't good for Alexandria or Negan. He wants them to continue to supply him with more goods every week, but they won't be able to with Negan hindering their ability to do so at every turn — which is why it's obvious that Negan doesn't want them to succeed. He already has enough people and communities working for him to survive for as long as he wants in the apocalypse; torturing Rick's group is done out of some sick pleasure. A perfect example of this was burning the beds.
Can Alexandria Survive Negan's Uncompromising Wrath?
Negan wants to psychologically torment the group until they succumb to the zombie apocalypse or wind up as victims under Negan's baseball bat. There's no out for Alexandria. Either way, the residents will have to bring Negan to justice or sit back and watch their community collapse around them as Negan kills them all one by one.
What do you think Negan is trying to do? Will he exterminate Rick's group, or does he really intend to mold Rick's group into survivors like the Saviors? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9PM on AMC.