[Warning: This article contains spoilers from the Walking Dead comic books.]
Not all ofThe Walking Dead TV series fans read the comic books that Robert Kirkman created, and which the series is based on. But for those of us who do, the fact they named Season 6 episode 16 'Something to Fear' speaks volumes.
We already knew who Negan was and that he was coming this season. And even though we have been speculating that in the finale someone would get 'Lucilled,' it was still just that: speculation.
Now, with the episode dubbing its name from issue 100 of the comic book series, we KNOW one of our survivors will die at Negan's hands and, more specifically, by Lucille. So let's take a moment to go back to that issue 100 and pinpoint some moments worth mentioning.
By the time 'Something to Fear — Part 4' takes off, our group of survivors has already met Negan's Saviors — more specifically Dwight's group — and won (kinda). In this issue, we see the remainder of the Saviors planning a future attack for dawn, because "it'll take longer to gather everyone and get them into position."
So even though the TV series has portrayed two survivors vs. Saviors stand offs so far, there'll definitely be a third in the season finale. Our group has killed too many of the Saviors in the TV series — plenty more than in the comics — and that may take the finale's introduction of Negan to a whole new level of revenge.
The previous encounter with Dwight's group took Abraham from us. In issue 100, we see Eugene, who was with him at the time, standing in front of Abe's grave, back in Alexandria. It was a huge loss and it took Eugene's character to a new level of understanding of how things are and what part he needs to play (I hope he doesn't go that far as to bite Dwight's 'pearls' in the show).
On TV, we've kind of seen him go that extra mile already, with the Wolves attacking Alexandria. He's stepped up and went outside with Rosita and the others because "this is (was) a moment people will talk about." On the show, we do have a hint that Eugene will take Sasha's shift and patrols with Abraham, but we also have Heath and Tara going on a solo run, and that's got us wondering who Dwight will kill: Tara or Abraham?
They're working on Abraham's story right now and Tara's had a pretty conclusive story arc already, with her getting to say goodbye to Denise and Glenn, and even leaving before knowing Maggie had been captured. So for Tara, there are no loose ends, while for Abe we'd need to see a lot more closure before he kicks the bucket.
The ride to the Hilltop
In the comics, Rick is taking some of his people back to the Hilltop for two primary reasons. The first one being that, after they were attacked and they lost Abraham, Rick feels they need to warn the Hilltop of what happened and they could use the "extra muscle." And then we also have Glenn, trying at all costs to get Maggie, Sophia and the baby to live, permanently, in the Hilltop. Rick's group is Michonne — though she advised against them going — Carl, Glenn, Maggie, Sophia, and Heath.
They go as far as they can, then stop for the night on the road. Though it may seem unwise to do so, after they'd just been attacked, Rick had no idea who they were dealing with at the time and he thought they'd be safe for a while, since the Saviors had just attacked. Big mistake.
The TV series has already taken Maggie to the Hilltop, had her forge the deal with Gregory and set things into motion for the finale. There's also the fact that Sophia is long gone, so maybe they've been putting so much time into those Glenn/Enid interactions to replace Sophia for her. Heath is on a run, so he won't be in the car, and that leaves the floor open for who'd take his place. Many of you may say Daryl, but I still have my doubts. Morgan would be a good substitute, since he probably doesn't want to live in Alexandria anymore (after Rick told him to, pretty much, shut up and accept how things are).
Rick gets face-slammed from the top of the car by one of Negan's men and, in his speech, the guy says that "it's one thing watching for meat puppets ... (it's) different with people." Once more, Rick comes out to play without being fully prepared and backed up with information about his enemies. Sound familiar?
On last week's episode, that was exactly what happened with the Survivors when, after disposing of all the people inside the facility, they get surprised by some more of Negan's people. I mean, do your research Rick! It's fine to have an inside man to map the place out for you, but do a little reconnaissance for goodness' sake. I'm guessing they were feeling pretty tough going into this — with due right, I might add — but I'm hoping they learn from this and don't get caught with their pants around their ankles a second time dealing with Negan.
He's, hands down, the best villain in the whole The Walking Dead comic book series (some might even say he's the best all together). He's physically strong, foul-mouthed (REALLY foul-mouthed), he's the definition of sadistic, he likes the sound of his voice, he's merciless and he's extremely violent — having a barbed-wire covered bat as a weapon of choice signifies that point. He's also, in his perspective, justified in doing what he does. He believes what he offers is a nice deal, since he protects the communities he trades with, and he thinks he's a reasonable man.
Now, I don't know how that logic will play out on the show, since so far Rick's group has amped the kill count of Negan's men from the comic books by at least a dozen. If Negan retains that "reasonable man" attitude on the show, it might just be that we'll lose more than one of our beloved characters to Lucille. And that would not be for shock value only, folks.
Everything that comes to be after this moment in the comics, does so specifically because of this gruesome kill. Maggie moving to the Hilltop and gaining leadership, Rick's insight of how the world can simply not continue by these kill or be killed standards, all of it is only possible because Glenn died (and died in this brutal way). They will have to get it in there on the TV show, but, as always, I'm expecting a twist of sorts on how this terrifying scene will be played out.
They've given us the comic epic moments before 'Something to Fear.' They've stuck to it, to the core at least. They are not about to go breaking it now. Negan will be just as, or even scarier than in the comics. And, more to the point, a precious survivor (maybe more) will have his/her head smashed to the tarmac with a weird looking bat, by a disgusting and hateful man.